Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 25 | Live Generously

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

A.D. 1779–1865

There are many themes that connect Jesus’ teachings. One of the mega-themes is generosity. 

Generosity is at the heart of every one of Jesus’s teachings. Time and again, he invites us, encourages us, and challenges us to be generous with God, neighbor, and self. And each of his teachings invites us to live a life of heroic and staggering generosity. 

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat lived a life of generosity we can all aspire to.

Madeleine grew up in a France still bearing the scars of the French Revolution, at a time when the education of young girls was largely overlooked. Madeleine herself was educated out of the generosity of her brother Louis, a schoolteacher who taught her Latin, Greek, philosophy, and other subjects. Once she turned twenty, she was able to pass on this generosity by founding the Society of the Sacred Heart—a religious order of nuns dedicated to the education of girls.

Under Madeleine’s guidance, the Society of the Sacred Heart grew rapidly, establishing schools across France and eventually spreading globally. Madeleine’s work facilitated environments where young women were encouraged to grow intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally, embracing a lifestyle of generosity and service.

To date, the Society of the Sacred Heart has established an international network of over 2800 private Catholic schools. They span every continent but Antarctica, and have taken root in countries as varied as Uganda, Pakistan, Japan, Belgium, New Zealand, and Chile. These schools are all a direct result of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat’s generosity. 

We may not all be founders of religious orders, but there are many ways to be generous. And Jesus calls all of us to live generously. Here are just some examples of Jesus’ teaching that contain a bold invitation to live generosity.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

“Whoever has two should share with someone who has none.”

“Sell what you have and give to the poor.” 

“Forgive seventy-seven times.”

“Lay down your life for others.”

​We cannot do everything, but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing. Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do. And what we can do, all of us, is make small sacrifices, and simplify our lives in some small ways, so that others can discover the truths that led us to where we are today.

Jesus invites you to live a life of staggering generosity! So, don’t just be yourself, be your most generous self!


I will make someone’s day with my generosity.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Educators

Feast Day: May 25

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Gregory VII, Saint Bede the Venerable, and Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi

Canonized: May 24, 1925

Canonized By:  Pope Pius XI

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