|NEWS FROM BRUSSELS|
Some news related to the discrete though active presence of the saint in Brussels. They are rare: goodness is not noisy
The feast of
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat is celebrated on 25th may.
In Rome, a current event is evoking an echo of her spiritual calibre and of her work of education.
Madeleine Sophie Barat always invites to prayer
In the summer 2006 the convent of Trinitá dei Monti will become the religious house of the Monastic Community of Jerusalem.
Property of the French State since its foundation in 1500, it had been entrusted to the cape of Saint Francis of Paola, founder of the Minims. These hermits became cenobites, scholars and artists. It was in 1828 that Pope Leo XII asked Madeleine Sophie Barat to undertake the work of education at Trinitá dei Monti.
The Pious Institutions of Rome and Loreto, who administer the buildings, decided to restore the secular façade. During these works was born the idea of installing new bells.
Amidst the troubles of the French Revolution, the three bells had been taken away and melted down! Only one had been recast and restored to the bell-tower.
One large bell has been cast and put under the patronage of Saint Francis of Paola. It carries a favourite maxim of that great saint: "Nothing is impossible to those who love God."
The smaller bell is dedicated to Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and recalls one of the Saint's important sayings : "For the sake of the soul of one child, I would have founded the Society."
On 5th March 2006, the blessing took place of the two new bells. During the solemn celebration, each participant could ring the bells and hear the deep voice of Francis of Paola and the lighter voice of Madeleine Sophie Barat.
In their tower, they are still waiting for electrification and for the inauguration of the restored façade, so longed for by the Roman people.
The Religious of the Sacred Heart are leaving the place after 178 years of prayerful and devoted presence, but the voice of Madeleine Sophie Barat will continue the call to prayer.
Visits from far away
January 11th 2006 : a group of twelve teenagers from Brisbane, Australia, came over to Belgium to pray Saint Madeleine Sophie. Two teachers accompanied them. This Sacred Heart school, Stuartholme, is twinned with that of Jette. Mr Verstrepen, Director of the Secondary school, found lodgings in the families of the pupils of Jette and he also accompanied the group with another teacher.
January 21st 2006: a group of teachers from the Sacred Heart Secondary School of Seoul, Korea, made a short visit in Brussels. Schoolhead, Sister Kim Yeong-ja accompanied them. This trip, which had been financially helped by the school, stopped at different places where Saint Madeleine Sophie had lived: Joigny, Paris, Amiens, Brussels, Rome. In our school of Wonhyo-ro, more than 60% of the teachers are baptized and all of them, believers or not, are inspired by the educational philosophy of Mère Barat.
These two visits were a proof that the spirit of education according to Saint Madeleine Sophie remains very relevant.
When will we see another school group from a nearer region come and visit her?
P.S. This solidarity, be it in personnel or finance, is also a reality between some of our schools in Europe and others in Central Africa.
Saint Peter's Parish of Charenton (France), let know that the restauration of the chapel of Conflans is finished. The inauguration occured in March 2005. An altar is dedicated to Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, as well as a stainglass.
Conflans is a part of Charenton, a city close to the XIIth arrondissement of Paris. Saint Madeleine Sophie went often there during the last years of her life. She was buried in Conflans cemetery in 1865. A first time in 1893, an exhumation was done to examine her remains, in order to introduce a canonisation process. What a surprise to observe that her corpse was well conserved. She was buried again in a new coffin at Conflans. In 1904, due to the laic laws, her coffin left France, together with so many religious, including 2400 sisters of the Sacred Heart. The coffin was sent to Jette (near Brussels, Belgium). A new examination was performed for her beatification in 1908. Again, her corpse was found intact and laid in that shrine where she lies since then.