Soeur Saint Aphrodise
1813 - 1874
Born: Cécile Cambon
Cécile Cambon was born in Cambret (Aveyron) on May 16, 1813. Her parents were peasants who had both died young. Cécile left for Béziers where she earned her living as a housemaid. Simple and pious, she chose Father Gailhac as her confessor.
In his search for trustworthy people, Gailhac invited Cécile to work at the Good Shepherd, an invitation she willingly accepted. For the outset, she helped to lessen difficulties, especially economic ones. Early each morning, accompanied by her donkey, Cécile passed through the streets of the city and the surrounding areas asking for alms. She used to travel dozens of miles of foot, and everyone knew her. Many would give her goods or money, but she was not always well received. She did not flinch in face of the difficulty of the task and the humiliations it brought with it. Her humble, mortified and tireless presence was one of the hidden sources of strength of the work.
Realizing that she wanted to consecrate herself to God in religious life, Father Gailhac told her of his projects and asked her to be part of the community. So strong were her love and devotedness that she anxiously awaited the opportune moment for its realization. A person of great simplicity, she always kept her unsophisticated character, full of kindness. She spoke only patois and never succeeded in mastering French. Among the founding sisters, Cécile had been the first to enter the Refuge of the Good Shepherd. She had experienced all the trials of the institution and had worked side by side with the various sisters who lived there before the foundation of the Institute 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