Blessed Marie-Thérèse de Soubiran

Marie Therese de Soubiran

Her first foundations

Blessed Marie-Thérèse de Soubiran was born on May 16, 1834, in Castelnaudary, a market town in southwest France. As a young girl, she was a member of the Children of Mary Sodality, which was run by her uncle, Fr. Louis de Soubiran.

At 20, having spent one year as a Beguine lay sister in a community in Belgium, she returned to France where, together with friends, she created the initial structure of a new religious community. For several years, they shared a life of poverty, immersed in prayer and the work of accommodating poor girls.

In 1864, Bl. Marie-Thérèse attended a thirty-day Jesuit retreat in Toulouse during which she discerned that God was calling her to persist in her new foundation. Two years later, consecrating the Congregation to Mary, she founded the Sisters of Marie-Auxiliatrice with their primary mission being the education of girls.

From the Mother House in Toulouse, other communities were soon established across France and England. However, trouble arose in 1869 when a new sister to the Congregation, accused Marie-Thérèse of financial mismanagement.

To Our Lady of Charity

Having felt forced to abandon her Congregation, she was eventually welcomed by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Paris on September 20, 1874, taking final vows three years later under the name Marie of the Sacred Heart.

She quickly integrated into her new religious family teaching catechism and working with the young women in their care. Following a slow decline in her health, she died on June 7, 1889, with her final words being: “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”

A reputation restored

Two years after Bl. Marie-Thérèse’s death, an investigation revealed that the accusations against her were unfounded. Posthumously, her reputation was vindicated, and she was exonerated.

The process for her beatification began in Paris on May 9, 1934, under Pope Pius XI, leading to her beatification on October 20, 1946, following the approval of two miracles attributed to her intercession.

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