The saints are not those people who have arrived at the end, but those who have seen what the beginning is really about. They are not a strange group of people different from ourselves; they are who we could be, who we should be...
Two hundred and thirteen years ago today Sophie Barat, a few weeks short of her 21st birthday, made her first vows along with a small group of other young women. We know their names and a few bare facts, but little else about them. Whilst Sophie's life has been recorded and pored over in great detail, theirs have not. They are our forebears in the Society, and yet - as with so many of our great-great-great grandmothers - though we share their DNA and owe them so much, they remain largely unknown, shadowy figures.
Today, our 213th birthday, we remember especially those very first pioneering women: but it's an excellent opportunity to remember with gratitude the thousands of women since then who have been part of the life of the Society; and to give thanks especially for all those whose lives given in love are now known only to God.