Sacred Heart (of Jesuts), Ladies of The

Sacred Heart (Of Jesuts), Ladies Of The,

a religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in Paris Nov. 21, 1800, and devoted to education. In that year Joseph Desird Varin, superior of the Fathers of the Faith, desirous of establishing a society of women who would devote themselves to the education of young ladies of the higher classes, selected Madeleine Sophie Louise Barat and Octavie Bailly. On Nov. 21 they consecrated themselves to the Heart of Jesus, and opened a school in Paris. They removed to Amiens in 1801, where both their community and pupils increased rapidly. Madame Barat was chosen superior in 1802, branch establishments were founded, and in 1806 a first chapter of the order was held, at which that lady was chosen superior-general, which post she retained till her death, in 1865. Pere Varin completed his draft of the proposed constitutions in 1825, and they were approved by Leo XII Dec. 22, 1826. Being invited by the pope to Rome, they established themselves in the convent and church of Trinita de' Monti. They spread thence to the chief cities of Italy, and soon owned flourishing schools in Austria, Bavaria, Prussia, Belgium, England, and Ireland. They had come' to the United States in 1817 with bishop Dubourg, of New Orleans, and founded a house near St. Louis, Mo. Their increase in this country is chiefly owing to the late archbishop Hughes, to Madame Elizabeth Gallitzin, and especially to Madame Aloysia Hardey, who founded the majority of the American houses. They opened a school at the corner of Houston and Mulberry streets, New York, and now the order has spread to the principal states of the Union, to the Canadian provinces, Cuba, and Chili. The rules and constitutions are closely modelled on those of the Society of Jesus in all that regards the conditions for membership, training, degrees, elections, etc. The members employed in teaching and governing are styled "choir religious, "the others "lay sisters." According to Appletons' Cyclopoedia, the order had (1875): "In France, 8 provinces and 42 establishments, including 1 in Algiers; the province of Belgium and Holland, with 4 establishments; that of England and Ireland, with 5; that of Italy, with 5; that of Spain, with 3; and that of Austria, with 5. In America, they had in the United States 3 provinces, with 21 houses; the province of Canada, with 5; and the province of Chili, with 5, besides an establishment at Havanna. The number of 'choir religious' was 2325, and that of lay sisters 1947; total 4272. The central house of the whole order and the residence of the superior general is in the Boulevard des Invalides, Paris."

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