History: Mère Saint Stanislaus

Mère Saint Stanislaus
1825 - 1859
Born: Rosalie Gibbal

Rosalie Gibbal was born in Puimisson on September 11, 1825. The youngest daughter of a profoundly christian couple, she had lost her father in the year of her birth and her mother when she was sixteen years of age.  Because of her age, she needed a guardian, and this responsibility fell to her brother, Jean.  From her youth, Rosalie felt called to religious life. At eighteen, she asked her brother’s permission to enter the community of the Sisters of Charity, but he refused. 

While waiting to be twenty-one, Rosalie devoted herself to helping the poor and the sick. Her compassion for the most abandoned was aroused by the situations of extreme poverty and misery which she encountered. Her devotion to humble charity drew her especially to the poor and sick as suffering members of the Body of Christ. She used to clean their houses, prepare their meals and medicines, and comfort them spiritually. She treated them as Jesus Christ himself. Rosalie had a very deep interior life and spent long hours in prayer, hours which became the integrating element of her generous gift of herself in service.

Her brother, Jean, was a lawyer who had established his practice in Béziers in 1847. Rosalie stayed with him for long periods of time and, while there, continued to help those most in need. The young girls and orphaned children in the Refuge of the Good Shepherd were among them. And so it was in Béziers that she met Father Gailhac, who became her spiritual director and spoke to her of the new Institute he intended to found.

Above all, Rosalie sought to consecrate herself to God and to dedicate her life to those who most needed her. She understood that she could give concrete form to her religious consecration by putting herself at the service of the Refuge, and she accepted the challenge.  Now that she was of age, her brother could not prevent her from doing so.  And so she waited for Father Gailhac to assemble a group sufficiently solid in order to found the community of the Sacred Heart of Mary.  

A Journey in Faith and Time
History of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Vol 1.
Sr. Rosa do Carmo Sampaio, RSHM 
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