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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sophie's Journal - 22

Today I promised to tell you about Suzanne Geoffroy. She had a very interesting life before she joined the novices in Poitiers on the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila in 1807. She liked to tell how she had been brought up by an uncle and "as my education cost him less than fifteen francs, I have never been able to spell a word the same way twice." When the Revolution began and religious orders were suppressed, she formed her own community which assisted persecuted priests and religious during the Reign of Terror. Her great object in life was "to establish a Society following the Rule of St. Ignatius, which should be devoted to the Sacred Heart and to the salvation of souls."
Suzanne's community became the nucleus of Father Coudrin's order of the "Religious of the Sacred Hearts and of Perpetual Adoration." Suzanne was "overtaken by calumny and advised to retire to a convent in La Vendee." Shortly after Mother Barat arrived in Poitiers in July of 1806, Suzanne begged to enter but was refused. Later, when the Vicar General of te diocese asked Mother Barat to make a foundation at Niort, she replied: "Very well, on the condition that you give me Suzanne Geoffroy. I know her. She will suit me perfectly."
When Suzanne entered the community at Poitiers, Mother Barat wrote: "Though she was forty-four years of age and had been Superior for fourteen years, she fulfilled all her duties as a novice with the most exemplary humility and obedience."

The older novice had one of the most exciting stories to tell, but when the candle-flame approached the pin she summed up: "I obeyed; I came; Mother Barat received me and here I am."

Sister Geoffroy made her vows on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 1808. Mother Barat named her superior of the new foundation at Niort.

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