January 23, 2018
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Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey

Mary Aloysia Hardey, a central figure in the expansion of the Society of the Sacred Heart in North America, was born in Piscataway, Maryland, December 8, 1809. As a child Mary moved with her family to Opelousas, Louisiana and in 1822 enrolled as a student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in nearby Grand Coteau.

Upon completing her studies Mary entered the novitiate of the Society of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau and took the name Aloysia. A young religious of many talents, she was put in charge of a school in St. Michael's, LA and soon after making final vows was named Superior.

In 1840 Aloysia Hardey moved to New York City and opened the first school and convent of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the eastern United States. She was named Provincial Superior (this title was later changed to Superior Vicar) for the houses in eastern North America in 1844. During her 27 years as Superior, Aloysia Hardey opened 16 houses of the Sacred Heart from Canada to Cuba and throughout the eastern United States. To this end she traveled extensively and made 19 transatlantic voyages for Society meetings and retreats. To accommodate the expansion of the Society, she moved the center for the vicariate from Manhattanville in New York City to Kenwood, in Albany, New York where she established a new novitiate for the vicariate in 1864.

In 1871 Aloysia Hardey was appointed an Assistant General for the central government of the Society of the Sacred Heart based in Paris. During her 15 years in this position she was an advisor for the founding and rebuilding of European convents. She also helped revise the Sacred Heart curriculum to incorporate advanced studies and contributed to the discussion of the Society's role in advancing the higher education for women.

Aloysia Hardey died in Paris on June 17, 1886 and is buried at Kenwood in Albany, NY.


Catholic Encyclopedia: Mother Hardey

Mary Aloysia Hardey with Fran Gimber, RSCj (2011)


Books by or about Mother Hardey

Google Books: Mary Aloysia Hardey by Mary Garvey

Mary Aloysia Hardey: Religious of the Sacred Heart, 1809-1886 (1901, American Press)


Quotes from Mother Aloysia Hardey

Let the Mistress of Class seek first to strengthen her pupils in solid piety, for science, human science, is only a secondary aim.

Let your spiritual exercises ever hold the first place in your esteem; give to their faithful accomplishment your first and principal attention. Consider your other daily duties as secondary.

Under no circumstances should three words be spoken, when two will suffice.

Make your preparation for Christmas an active prayer, a prayer of fidelity, of silence, of mortification.

Exercise your zeal in the performance of your daily duties, whether it be to sweep a room, to wash dishes, or to accomplish some task in harmony with your natural inclinations.

Fervor, like sanctity, is not measured by time. Though you must give to prayer the time prescribed by rule it is not the minutes that God counts, but the amount of love that you put into your prayers.

In Bethlehem, all was provided for the accommodation of the rich and the great, but no one thought of Joseph, of Mary, of the Incarnate Word. There was no room for them. No room in His own city for the expected Messiah. Our hearts are moved with sorrow and indignation as we read these words; yet how often may they be applied to us. Jesus presents Himself at the door of our hearts, and our actions give answer, 'there is no room.'

Our pride, selfishness, tepidity, jealousy, low aims and natural motives cry out, ' there is no room ! ' No room for the meek and humble Babe of Bethlehem! Yet the soul of a Religious of the Sacred Heart should be the glorious city, the sure refuge, the peaceful dwelling of her Divine Spouse. And such would be the case, if we had the true spirit of our sublime vocation.

You may do more good to a child by one kind word, than by a whole day of scolding.

...with humility one can do all things for the Glory of God, while without it, they can do nothing. We may then be confident that we should practice this virtue, and I am certain, that if Mother Barat were able to speak in her last moments, her recommendation to the entire Society, would have been an exhortation to humility.

What would it be like if Our Lord were as exacting with you as you are with the children?

Our loving-kindness with ourselves is the source of our loving-kindness to others. When we develop this consciousness within our self and toward our self, then we can offer genuine, Christ-like love, tolerance and compassion to others.  This is the true work (and reward) of our life.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is essentially adapted to the wants of our age; it supplies every need and satisfies the highest aspirations of the soul.

The study of the Heart of Jesus in making us familiar with His ways; enables us to see at once His blessed will in every event of life.

The contemplation of the Heart of Jesus should be the habitual occupation of our spiritual exercises.

In every action ask yourself: "Is this for the glory of the Heart of Jesus? Was it thus He thought? He judged? He spoke?

Interior life requires the submission of all our faculties to the action of God. Although we can not be confirmed in grace, we may become one with the Heart of Jesus by conformity of sentiments, affections and will.

We need have but one fear, -that of not corresponding with the love of the Sacred Heart.

We are naturally faint-hearted, and we shun difficulties. Let us bear in mind that prayer is all-powerful, and that the Heart of Jesus is the supplement to our weakness.

Oh, with what respectful love we should manifest our faith in the Real Presence! Jesus takes delight in dwelling among us. Should we not find happiness in His company?

Whether we pray, work or suffer, let all be done "for the greater glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus."

It is only when silence reigns in the soul that the voice of God can be heard.

To know how to speak, we must first learn to be silent.

Work is a safe guard against idle conversations. Have always on hand some useful occupation, and give your whole attention to it.

Discretion is the fruit of silence, and indiscretion, the source of much misery.

Study to keep your thoughts under control: if you wish to become a soul of prayer.

Never speak in a self-sufficient tone. All our words must breathe modesty and edifications.

Learn to speak of God simply and naturally, and your conversations will not be wearisome to others.

Silence of action calms the soul, and recalls the presence of God.

There are some persons who appear to be silent, but their secret communings with self-love lead them to converse frequently with the enemy of all good.

By becoming easily agitated you evince weakness of character, and quickly lost the interior spirit you may have gained.

Never be the first to communicate news.

Try to see only what you are obliged to see, that the eyes of your soul may remain fixed on God.

Do not lose time "in little nothings," or worse still in daydreams, for they are the greatest obstacles to the interior life.

Natural activity along does not advance your work.

We should not divide our strength by thinking of one duty while performing another.

Consider that day lost in which you have not denied your senses some coveted gratification.

Do not try to excite sympathy for every little suffering, lest you lose the merit of it. This is petty, Jesus sends each pain. Why, then, seek comfort save in His Divine Heart?

True piety dwells in the heart, for there the soul is at home with God. It manifests itself exteriorly by humble, loving worship, and the faithful discharge of every spiritual and social duty.

Seek God sincerely and you shall find Him; not, perhaps, in sensible devotion, but in that lively faith which detaches the heart from earth, and lifts it above perishable things of time.

During prayer our respect should be both interior and exterior; our whole bearing prove that we are speaking to God.

Do not go to prayer simply for your own satisfaction. Seek there the glory of God and the welfare of souls.

The duty of the moment is never forgotten by the soul that lives in the presence of God.

Pray much, and be convinced that it is only by prayer you can do any good.

We should learn to speak to God before we attempt to speak of God.

Let us not seek perfection for its own sake, nor correct our faults simply to rid ourselves of them; but let us desire to please the Divine, who says to us: "Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."

Unhappy is the heart which the will of God cannot please.

Obey without fear of blame or contradictions, once the will of God is made known to you.

What you do for God, do promptly and cheerfully. Much of the merit of obedience is lost when we are slow or negligent in executing what is commanded.

Happiness is found in doing God's will.

When the will disapproves, difficulties begin; when the will submits, difficulties end.

We carry the yoke of the Lord joyfully, when we esteem it an honor, not a burden.

We are apt to make mistakes when not guided by the spirit of God.

Humility is a sure proof that God is taking special care of your soul.

If you aim to please God in all you do, the humiliation of failure will not disturb your soul.

There is no merit in simply bearing humiliation; we must accept it as a gift from God.

Let us be persuaded that if we are not humble, we shall spoil everything we undertake.

If our hearts are not filled with love of God, they will be filled with love of self and the things of earth.

Jesus delights to dwell in a charitable heart; but He cannot enter an abode where love does not reign.

Politeness, according to St. Francis of Sales, is "the flower of charity." We should cultivate it, not from mere natural motives, but through love of Him whose image we see in our neighbor.

Never repeat to another what has been said against them. God hates mischief-makers.

Beware of misunderstandings; they are the source of many faults against charity.

To know how to render service gracefully is an enviable gift.

Be above human respect, and silence uncharitable remarks. Were there no listeners, there would be no detractors.

We often fall into the same faults which we criticize most severely in others.

Be an angel of peace wherever you are.

Love the children; do what you can for them and God will do the rest.

Study the sciences you are called upon to teach; but, above all, study your pupils in order to mould their characters, to make them love duty, and to lead them to God.

The pupils expect us to speak of our Lord. We need not say much, but a few words coming from the heart with produce a lasting impression upon them.

Never let the pupils see that an order given by authority is displeasing to you.

Endeavor to make valiant women (and men)of your pupils by training them to heroism of self-denial, so necessary for the fulfillment of their noble mission in the world.

Teaching is a duty which gives glory to God and gains souls to His love: but you must look for your reward only in Heaven, where, as Holy Scripture assures us, "they who teach others unto justice will shine as stars for all eternity.

Unless you put your heart into your work, success is impossible.

Never forget that the children are a sacred trust which you must guard "with a truly maternal love drawn from the Heart of Jesus." Be patient with your pupils; our Lord is so patient with you.

Pay special attention to children who are timid, unattractive and self-concentrated. They are too often neglected, and thereby deprived of the training which they should have received at the Sacred Heart.

Teach the children to love the truth, and readily pardon a child who acknowledges her (his) fault.

A teacher should rarely threaten to punish. Her (His) government should be one of love, not of fear. Frequent threats indicate weakness of character.

Never make cutting remarks to the children. Sarcasm is a cowardly weapon to use with a child who cannot retaliate.

By your profession you are consecrated to the education of youth - education, not instruction. The latter is the means, the former is the end.

Purity of intention is our safeguard. In success, it keeps us from presumption, and in failure, it prevents discouragement.

A soul that works purely for the love of God is not much affected by the praise or censure of creatures.

You must teach virtue rather by example than by precept, for children are impressed more readily by what they see than by what they hear.

Education is a sacred work, upon which may depend the salvation or loss of a soul.