Come and draw from the well

Spiritual center operated by the religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Historic Landmarks

The Barat house was built in the 16th century, after a terrible fire ravaged the town of Joigny. In the second half of the 18th century, it was occupied by Jacques Barat, who made wine-barrels by trade, and his wife Madeleine, born Fouffé. Sophie, their youngest child and the future foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, was born on the night of 12th December 1779. (Couldn’t you mention the other fire?)

The Barats lived there in simplicity. Their work and family life followed the rhythm of the vineyard, in the light of a faith that was genuine, if somewhat austere, and was soon troubled by the first rumblings of the Revolution.

After their 3 children left, the Barat parents remained alone in the family home. Jacques Barat died there in 1809, but Mrs Barat continued to live there until 1819.

In 1886, the Society of the Sacred Heart bought the house. With the introduction of Sophie Barat’s cause of beatification, the Society expected that there would be many pilgrimages. The first community settled there in 1894.

In 1994, the opening of the Sophie Barat Centre was a turning-point for the house. It had been the wish of the Diocese and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The premises were adapted to suit the needs of a spiritual centre, and the life of the resident community was restructured.

Since then, the Centre has been developing its spiritual programme and welcoming visitors from the five continents, since the Society is international.

Although it is more than 400 years old, the Barat house is not a museum! Whether you’re staying there or just visiting, it can be an inspiration. It shows the history of a family that belongs to the wider history of France, and shows the traces of simple, passionate human destinies, fired by a genuine desire for God.