The Congregation of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart is a religious congregation of female catechists of the pontifical right. It was founded on 8 December 1889 by Father Louis-Etienne Rabussier S. J. and Mother Marie-Ignace Melin.
It was founded on the day of the Immaculate Conception. This Congregation honours the Blessed Virgin in a special way, preferring the hidden life, like Mary in Nazareth.
Its principal rule is to follow Christ in the footsteps of the Gospel. The sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart practise the apostolate of the interior life, fraternal charity and service to the smallest and poorest. Their main task is to take part in catechesis among the working classes. They are also involved in teaching, charitable and parish work, caring for the sick and the elderly, etc. A secondary school for agricultural education bears the name of Blessed Eugénie Joubert in Yssingeaux (Haute-Loire).
Present in France, in Le Puy-en-Velay (where they were founded), then in Aubervilliers, Paris and Saint-Denis, the sisters left France at the beginning of the 19th century because of anti-congregation laws. They opened communities in Liège and Dinant (Belgium), Rome and Nemi (Italy). In 1919, they began a missionary apostolate in Dahomey (Benin, Africa). At the beginning of 1904, when she was very ill, Blessed Eugénie said: “I’ll go to Africa one day”.
Today, the Congregation is represented by Sister Marie-Catherine and is located in Via delle Vigne Nuove in Rome. Blessed Eugénie Joubert is honoured in a chapel dedicated to her. The premises are occupied by the Missionaries of Divine Revelation.
Her parents: Marie-Antonia Celle and Pierre Joubert.
Her brothers and sisters:
Ernest, born 17 April 1868, notary at Tence (Haute-Loire), married to Thérèse Peyrot (died at Châteaucreux station in Saint-Etienne, caught by the train), and secondly to Philomène Viallard.
Marie, born on 13 August 1870, a nun of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart. She was Superior of the Monastery of Liège where Sister Eugénie died. Later, she was Assistant to the Superior General in Rome.
Laurent, born 11 June 1874 (died young).
Wilfrid, born on 6 May 1878, a doctor in Paris, married to Flore (…). Sister Eugénie loved to have her brothers and sisters to pray, especially the one she called “her” little Wilfrid. After Blessed Eugénie’s death, Wilfrid asked for and received his rosary from the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart, in memory of the dozens of Hail Marys he had recited with Sister Eugénie.
Gabriel, born on 30 December 1879, cafe owner in Yssingeaux, he married Marie Gerphagnon. He had a son who died aged 18.
Edouard, born 23 December 1882, single, French consul in Auckland, New Zealand.
Antonia, born on 2 June 1885, married Jean-Marie Gaucher; she had four children, two of whom died in infancy.
Antonia and Marie-Antonia
Article paru dans le magazine l’épervier de novembre 2023