Celebrating Sophie

Sophie's childhood bedroom in her family home has been turned into an oratory, with a huge painting of her above the altar and tabernacle. The last time I went there, with the group with whom I prepared for final profession, I became aware, during our first prayer, that all eyes were on the painting. So I looked at it too, and straight away heard an exasperated voice: "Why are you looking at me? You should only be looking at Jesus!" Needless to say, I immediately fixed my eyes on the tabernacle! For the rest of our visit I studiously ignored Sophie and especially her painting, concentrating on Jesus instead, which I'm sure gave her untold pleasure!

While thinking about what to write to celebrate her feast today, I heard the same voice: "Why are you going to tell people about me? You should only be telling them about Jesus!" And really, that's how it should be, because Sophie spent her 85 years telling people about Jesus. Basically, she told them that God is love, and Jesus is the incarnation of that love, and the Heart of Jesus is the inexhaustible source of that love. She encouraged her sisters, through their words, actions and their very beings, to proclaim that love to all they met, so that others might know and believe in this abundant, compassionate, tender love. This was necessary then, in a church still overshadowed by the enduring memory of Jansenism, and just as necessary now, when so many people still need to be released from burdens of guilt and shame, still feel unloved and unlovable.

For over sixty years Sophie wrote thousands of letters and hundreds of conferences. In them, she encouraged her sisters and friends to a stronger love of God, to deeper trust and prayerfulness and greater generosity and zeal in their response. So I have been searching through a calendar of quotes, to try and find the most appropriate ones, to let her speak to us about Jesus. And I came across this one, written when she would have been my age, to one of her earliest companions in the Society. Given what has gone before, it seems a most appropriate way to end this post:

I should be speaking to you about Our Lord, but it is perhaps better for us to be thinking of him in the silence of our hearts and so preparing ourselves for a deeper knowledge and a greater love of him.

Amen, and may each of us today, finding that silence and stillness in our hearts, grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus, so as to communicate his love to those we meet. And then let us celebrate the life of a true woman of heart, a woman of passion, generosity and single-heartedness, who gave herself totally to the God who is love.

Happy feast everybody!


  1. Happy Feast Silvana!! Enjoy the day, and celebrate in style. :-) xx

  2. Happy Feast! Thank you for the reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus!

  3. Dear Silvana,

    How wonderful to know you have a blog! Happy Feast and thank you for your words that invite a transparency of self that allows the revelation of Heart within.


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