Skip to main content

Full text of "Mary Aloysia Hardey : religious of the Sacred Heart, 1809-1886"

See other formats


DC IRBftl 








Mother Mary Aloysia Hartley 



Aloyaia 



SrluumtH of the 9arrri> S?rari 



IBflfl - IBBfi 



IH tlh an 9ntrodiirtion bg Ihr 

3. fflamptoU, &. 3 



f orb 

Antrrira y rnui 
1910 



N 1 



SCTTABETH 8ETON SCHOOL 



Copyright, 1910, by 
THE AMERICA PRESS 



Nihil Obstat. 



THOMAS B. COTTER, Ph. D., 

Censor Deputatus. 



Imprimatur. 



JOHN M. FARLEY, D.D., 

Archbishop of New York. 



August 16, 1910. 



:<;' 

-i"i 






INTRODUCTION. 

Had the Life of Mother Hardey not been published it 
would have been a positive loss for the history of the Cath- 
olic Church in the United States, where for more than fifty 
years she was such a conspicuous figure. Her biographer 
completed the work several years ago, but it was only after 
reiterated entreaties and expostulations that the manuscript 
was finally put into the hands of the printer. 

The Sisters of Charity have shown a keener appreciation of 
the advantage of such publications. For they have already 
given to the world two excellent Lives of their beloved 
Mother Seton, and by so doing have made the Catholics of 
the United States their debtors ; for no one can fail to profit 
spiritually by the story of such a glorious career. It is, 
therefore, a source of sincere satisfaction that side by side 
with Elizabeth Seton there should stand to-day her illus- 
trious compatriot, Mary Aloysia Hardey. Both were typical 
American women; one from the North, the other from the 
South ; one who began her life of self-immolation after the 
desolation of her widowhood ; the other who was a nun 
when she was still a slip of a girl ; one a convert to the 
Faith ; the other of a family so intensely Catholic that they 
spelled their name Hardey, instead of Hardy, because some 
of their kin in Maryland who were known by the latter 
name had apostatized from the Faith ; one was the Foun- 
dress of a great Congregation; the other was substantially 
the Foundress of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in the 
United States. At least, to an outside observer, she seems 



to have stamped her individuality on the body, and imparted 
to it the impulse under which it still works. The lives of 
both are not only an inspiration to the devoted religious 
who delight to call them Mother, but to people of the world, 
Catholic and Protestant alike, who are made happier and 
better by the contemplation of the work of these two splen- 
did heroines who have done so much for the glory of God 
and the good of humanity. 

When the Hardeys emigrated from Maryland to Louis- 
iana it was to better their worldly fortunes; but in reality 
God was leading the favorite of the household, Mary, or 
Mary Aloysia, as she was afterwards called, into the arms 
of a saint, Mother Duchesne, whom Mother Barat had sent 
out to establish the first community of the Society of the 
Sacred Heart in America. But not even Mother Duchesne 
suspected the future greatness of the little girl who was 
among the first five to enter the humble boarding school at 
Grand Coteau ; and it is almost startling to be told how two 
insignificant and almost ridiculous incidents came near de- 
flecting Mary Hardey from the path that God had marked 
out for her. 

She entered the convent when she was only sixteen 
years of age. Mother Barat always spoke of her as " her 
first American daughter," though as a matter of fact, a good 
lay-sister preceded her as a postulant. Her independent 
manner at first worried her superiors. They fancied they 
saw what they supposed was the characteristic American 
pride ; but in reality no one in the convent had a better sup- 
ply of the virtue of humility. Indeed, her superior soon 
wrote to Mother Barat that " Madame Aloysia is too per- 
fect; I fear she will not live long" a most uncomfortable 
inducement to be virtuous. 

vi ' ' 



She was first appointed Superior at the age of twenty- 
three. It was an unusual mark of confidence, and revealed al- 
ready her remarkable aptitude for governing ; a difficult task 
at any time, but especially in those days when the conven- 
tual surroundings were not, as at present, refined and even 
elegant, but when food was scarce and when what they 
had was coarse and repulsive. Sometimes there was not a 
chair to sit on, or a plate to eat from. There was work to 
be done in the field, or even the barn and stable, but those 
refined and cultured women were as light-hearted and gay 
as if all that had been contrived for their amusement. The 
only thing that discouraged them at times was the lack of 
spiritual guidance, and most of all the absence of the 
Blessed Sacrament in their miserable dwellings. Mother 
Hardey, however, was always like a ray of sunshine in 
the gloom, but never more so than when the Asiatic 
cholera was ravaging St. Michael's with its two hundred 
inmates. She moved like an angel of light among the sick, 
smiling and happy, for death never had any terror for her. 

She became Superior in 1836, and until her death in 1886 
she was always in posts of authority. Her life was one of 
stupendous labor. While providing for the spiritual and 
temporal welfare of her children, she was at the same time 
off on never-ending journeys, all of which were unavoidable 
on account of the establishment of new houses that were 
asked for everywhere. Again and again she crossed the 
Atlantic, not in the luxurious vessels of to-day, but on the 
clumsy, slow-going and often dangerous craft of fifty years 
ago. We find her in Europe and Cuba and Canada and far 
away in the West, never even thinking of respite or repose. 
Her houses of education were built everywhere on a mag- 
nificent scale all over this vast continent. 

vii 



What is most striking in her long Superiorship is the ad- 
miring affection which she inspired not only in the hearts 
of her spiritual daughters but among people of the world 
as well. You meet men and women whose hair has long 
since turned gray who will tell you, as if it were a title to 
distinction, that they knew Mother Hardey ; but among her 
own religious, those especially who had the happiness of 
living with her, there is always noticeable a tenderness in 
the attachment combined with something like awe, and yet 
it is not awe, for no one ever feared to go to her, even if 
they were in fault or if the work that had been entrusted 
to them had met with disastrous failure. Though in- 
variably successful herself, no one knew better than she 
how to comfort those who had not been so favored. She 
was large minded and considerate, and though to a certain 
extent her position as Superior entailed what might be 
called isolation, and though the necessities of her office often 
called for reproof and reprimand, yet every one was con- 
vinced that there was always a large place in her heart for 
the humblest and weakest and least equipped, and perhaps 
especially for them. In the noblest sense of the word she 
was intensely human, and it is very touching to see this 
absolutely unworldly and saintly woman, who was always 
absorbed in great enterprises, clinging to Mother Barat, 
whom she was about to leave, sobbing and weeping like a 
child as if her heart would break. No wonder that Rafaela 
Donoso, a young Cuban girl who heard that Mother Har- 
dey, when in Havana, was in danger of death from yellow 
fever, hurried off to the church and offered herself to God 
to suffer three days in purgatory if the precious life were 
spared. Doubtless many of her daughters had made many 
similar oblations for their mother, but they are unrecorded. 



via 



She was the Assistant of the Mother General in Paris 
when she died. That was in 1886. She was buried at Con- 
flans, but very few are aware that when a few years ago 
the Government expelled the nuns from their convents, 
Mother Hardey's American daughters succeeded in having 
her venerable remains brought to this country. It was 
done very quietly and almost secretly. No doubt many peo- 
ple who admired and revered her would have liked to have 
paid her some tribute of honor on that occasion, but the 
dread of publicity which is the characteristic of her re- 
ligious, and which is sometimes carried to lengths that 
might seem extreme, prompted them to keep all knowledge 
of what they were doing from the world at large. They 
buried her on the hill that overlooks her beautiful and be- 
loved Kenwood. Around her are her daughters who, like 
her, have gone to their reward, some of them unlike her in 
the bloom of youth, as the simple crosses on their graves 
declare. But none of them, young or old, would want a 
better resting place than near her who gave them their great 
ideals. Her memory pervades the sacred and silent enclos- 
ure ; and if the great ones of the world enter there they will 
bend their heads abashed and ashamed as they recall, with 
self-reproach, the glorious things that were achieved for 
God by this remarkable woman Mary Aloysia Hardey. 

T. J. CAMPBELL, S. J. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION v-ix 

CHAPTER. PAGE. 

I. Birth and Childhood of Mary Hardey 

1809-1819 i-io 

II. Origin of the Society of the Sacred Heart 

1800 11-14 

III. Foundation of the Society of the Sacred 
Heart in America St. Charles, Mis- 
souri 1818-1821 15-23 

IV. Foundation of Grand Coteau, La. 
School Life of Mary Hardey 1821- 
1825 24-34 

V. Mary Hardey Receives the Religious 
Habit Foundation of St. Michael's, 
La. Madame Hardey Takes Her First 
Vows 1824-1827 35-45 

VI. Death of Madame Hamilton Council 

at St. Michael's 1827-1833 46-50 

VII. Cholera at St. Michael's Madame Har- 
dey 's Profession Madame Aude's De- 
parture for France Madame Hardey 
Appointed Superior 1833-1836 51-60 

VIII. Madame Hardey's Administration as 
Superior Mother Galitzin Visitatrix 
of the American Houses 1836-1841... 61-72 

xi 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

IX. Mother Galitzin Visits St. Michael's 
Foundation in New York Mother 
Hardey Leaves St. Michael's Death 

of Mother Aude 1841-1842 73-84 

X. Visit to Rome Retreat at Lyon's Re- 
turn to New York Foundation in Can- 
ada Death of Mother Galitzin 1842- 

1844 85-102 

XL Transfer of the Academy to Astoria 
Purchase of the Lorillard Estate 

1844-1847 103-114 

XII. Early Days at Manhattanville Letter 
of Bishop Hughes Day School in New 

York 1847-1849 115-129 

XIII. Foundations at Eden Hall Halifax 
Buffalo Ceremonies in the Manhattan- 
ville Chapel 1847-1851 130-142 

XIV. Foundation of the Academy and Orphan- 
age in Detroit Mother Hardey At- 
tends the Council of 1851 Foundation 
in Albany Cholera in Buffalo Death 

of Mother Duchesne 1851-1852 143-156 

XV. New York Day School Visit of Mon- 
seigneur Bedini, Papal Nuncio Edify- 
ing Deaths 1852-1853 157-169 

XVI. Foundation in Chile Troubles in De- 
troit 1853-1854 170-181 

X VI L Foundations : St. John, N. B Rochester 
London Sault-au-Recollet Havana 

1854-1858 182-198 

XVIII. Manhattanville Pupils Letters of Arch- 
bishop Hughes and Mother Barat So- 
journ of the Bishop of Puebla at Man- 
hattanville Foundation at Kenwood 
1858-1860 199-221 

xii 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

XIX. Mother Hardey's Visit to Paris On Her 
Return She Visits the Houses of the 
Vicariate Foundation in Montreal 
1860-1861 222-237 

XX. Civil War in the United States Foun- 
dation of Sancto Spiritu Letters of 
Reverend Father Gresselin, S. J., Her 
Director 1861-1864 238-252 

XXL Death of Archbishop Hughes Eighth 
General Council Death of Mother 
Barat 1864-1867 253-282 

XXII. Difficulties in Havana Death of Mother 
Trincano Mother Hardey Visits the 
Pottowatomie Missions Attends Re- 
treat of Superiors in Paris 1867- 1869.. 283-295 

XXIII. Foundation in Cincinnati Mother Har- 
dey Resumes the Government of Man- 
hattanville Foundation of Rosecroft, 
Maryland 1869-1871 297-307 

XXIV. Mother Hardey Appointed Assistant 
General and Visitatrix of the Convents 
of North America Departure for 
France 1871-1872 308-321 

XXV. Mother Hardey, Assistant General in 
Paris Foundation of Elmhurst, Provi- 
dence Visit to America Return to 
France Apostolic School 1872- 1876.. 322-331 

XXVI. Mother Hardey Visits Houses in Spain 
Her Golden Jubilee Second Visit to 
Havana 1876-1878 332-348 

XXVIL Mother Hardey Charged with the Proba- 
tionists Visit to Belgium Deaths of 
Religious in America 1878-1880 349-359 



Xlll 



CHAPTER. PAGE. 

XXVIII. Mother Hardey Visits England and Ire- 
land Superior of the Paris Day 
School Last Visit to America 1880- 

1884 360-37 1 

XXIX. Characteristic Virtues of Mother Har- 
dey 37 2 -382 

XXX. Last Days and Death of Mother Hardey 
Temporary Tomb at Conflans Final 
Interment at Kenwood 1884-1886. .. .383-401 

INDEX 403-405 



xiv 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey Frontispiece 

Blessed Madeleine Sophie Barat - - Facing page 16 

Tomb of Mother Duchesne and First Con- 
vents ----- " " 40 

First New York Convent " "80 

Old Manhattanville - - - " "120 

Eden Hall " "136 

Convents on Seventeenth Street and Madi- 
son Avenue, New York - - - - " " 160 

Detroit, Rochester and Grosse Pointe Con- 
vents - - - - - " "184 

Mother House, Paris --" " 216 

Houses at Atlantic City and Philadelphia " " 248 

Maryville, Clifton, St. Charles', and St. 

Joseph's Convents ------ " " 296 

London, Halifax, Sault-au-Recollet - - - " " 312 

Houses in Providence and Boston - - " " 328 

Convents in Havana and Porto Rico - - " " 344 

Kenwood " " 376 

< Mother Hardey's Grave " "400 



CHAPTER I. 

BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD OF MARY HARDEY. 
1809-1819. 

As we trace the lineage of Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey, 
we turn to one of the brightest pages in the history of 
America. It records the eventful day, when, under the 
leadership of Leonard Calvert, a company of English Cath- 
olics sailed from their native land to lay the foundations of 
civil and religious liberty in the New World. 

Voluntary exiles from the home of their fathers, rather 
than renounce the glorious inheritance of the Catholic 
Faith, they broke the ties that bound them to their country 
and crossed the seas to find a resting place in the wilds of 
America. On the joyful Feast of the Annunciation, 1634, 
they landed on the shores of Maryland, and, like Christo- 
pher Columbus, took possession of the land, by uplifting the 
Cross, the emblem of salvation, under whose peaceful shade 
their future home was to be consecrated to the sacred 
interests of humanity and the Church. 

Among these high souled pilgrims was Nicholas Hardey, 
a man of undaunted courage and of unflinching fidelity to 
his faith. When Clayborne raised the standard of rebellion 
in Maryland, and sought to overthrow the Catholic rule in 
the Colony, Nicholas resisted him with all the energy of 
his strong character. Having learned, to his dismay, that 
a man named Hardy was among the followers of Clayborne, 
and fearing to be confounded with this fanatical marauder, 
he inserted the letter " e " in his name, declaring that 
through succeeding generations it should distinguish his 
family from the descendants of the man who had abandoned 
the ancient Faith. 

Anthony, the grandfather of Mary Hardey, came in 
direct line from this loyal son of Mother Church, and was 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

well known in colonial times throughout Maryland and 
Virginia. He lived near Alexandria, the home of George 
Washington, and was, in his youth, an intimate friend of 
the future champion of American independence. The two 
boys were of congenial temperaments, both of them light 
hearted, gentle and fond of athletic sports. 

When in after years Anthony Hardey referred to their 
excursions through the woods, or along the banks of the 
Potomac, it afforded him pleasure to relate how, in their 
feats of strength, he delighted to show his physical superior- 
ity, " but not for worlds," he always added, " would I have 
harmed my comrade, for I considered him a type of all that 
is gentle and manly in youth." 

Frederick, the third son of Anthony, inherited the win- 
ning qualities of his father. In the year 1800 he married 
Sarah Spalding, and made his home in Piscataway, a village 
famous in the annals of Maryland. It is situated on Piscat- 
away Creek, an arm of the Potomac. It was the very place 
where the Colonists planted the Cross when they landed on 
the shores of Maryland. Here, Chilomacon, Chief of the 
Piscataway Indians, gave the white men a cordial greeting 
and bade them share the products of his fields of maize and 
the results of his chase. This friendliness was rewarded by 
the gift of Faith, for a few years later, 1640, the Chief, with 
his wife and daughter, received the Sacrament of Baptism 
at the hands of Father White, the Jesuit missionary. It 
was an imposing scene, for Governor Calvert and his officers 
had traversed the wilderness to greet the red men as breth- 
ren in the House of God. A cross was erected at Piscataway 
to commemorate the event ; the priests chanted the Litany, 
while the Indians, decked out in their bright robes and 
gorgeous plumes, followed the Governor and his attendants 
in the procession which closed the solemnity. 

The lingering traditions of this event, so full of faith 
and piety, must have given the spot a special charm for 
Frederick William Hardey and his bride, as each had in- 

2 



BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD 

herited from a long line of ancestors a deep love for the 
Church. 

Life opened with fair promise for the young couple, 
whose highest pledge of happiness rested in their mutual 
love and trust. Nine children were born to them, four sons 
and five daughters, but the child of benediction for the 
household was Mary, who was destined by God to exercise 
so wide an influence in the religious Congregation which 
now reveres her memory. She was born on the Feast of the 
Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1809, and was bap- 
tized Mary in thanksgiving to the Mother of God. 

About a year after her birth the homestead was glad- 
dened by a visit from Mrs. Hardey's mother, " Good Grand- 
mother Spalding," as she was familiarly called. Mrs. Spald- 
ing's stay was brief, as there was an epidemic of whooping 
cough in the neighborhood, and, fearing that Mary might 
catch the disease, she insisted upon taking her and her faith- 
ful nurse, Betty Edelin, to Baltimore. 

The mother's sacrifice became the grandmother's joy, 
for owing to various circumstances the child's sojourn was 
indefinitely prolonged. 

As Mary advanced in age her beauty enhanced, her large 
gray eyes, her symmetrical features, golden hair and intelli- 
gent countenance made her the delight of the home. In dis- 
position she was playful and active, but unusually thought- 
ful fop a child. Her firmness of character and strength of 
will, which distinguished her in after life, soon displayed 
themselves. There is an amusing instance of it even in her 
nursery days which may be worth recalling. One day Mrs. 
Spalding presented her with a pair of red shoes ; with quiet, 
dignity Mary refused to accept them, saying she did not 
like colored shoes. The following day Aunt Betty produced 
them again at the morning toilet, but coaxing and threats 
were unavailing, the little feet were kept secure beneath the 
robe of their ungracious mistress. At length Betty became 
indignant, and Mary feigned surrender, but no sooner was 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Ihe shoe partly on than, raising her foot, she tossed it across 
the room. Subsequent efforts were equally unsuccessful, 
though colored shoes were quite the fashion for children of 
that period. 

She was six years of age when she returned to her own 
home, but she was almost a stranger there, and had to form 
acquaintance with her three sisters, two of whom had made 
their appearance in the family during her absence. . Until 
then she had been the delight of her grandfather and queen 
of his home. But conditions were now changed, there were 
others to share the paternal caresses, and she felt the in- 
trusion keenly. Even in her old age, Mother Hardey often 
spoke of the pain which she then experienced. The pene- 
trating glance of Mrs. Hardey was quick to perceive this 
early sorrow, and she sought every means of insinuating 
herself into the affection of her little daughter, until, by 
degrees, she gained full possession of her heart. 

Mary was a lovable character, yet we cannot paint her 
earliest years wholly in bright colors. Occasional out- 
bursts of temper revealed in her a passionate nature. 
Of a domineering spirit, she often quarreled with her play- 
mates, for which she was usually punished by being put in a 
corner with her face to the wall, a humiliation which she 
felt deeply, often giving vent to her feelings in various 
ways. Indeed, it became a subject of family concern when 
they saw her strong passions striving for mastery. 

The year 1803 is noted in the history of America as the 
date of the Louisiana Purchase. When this vast territory 
came into the possession of the United States a tide of 
emigration flowed steadily for a number of years in the 
direction of the Mexican Gulf. 

Among the pioneers from Maryland was Mr. Charles 
Anthony Hardey, who fixed his residence in Lower Louisi- 
ana. His letters to friends at home were filled with praise 
of the fertile lands bordering on the Mississippi, their luxuri- 
ant growth of cotton and sugar cane, which yield stores of 



BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD 

wealth in return for the planter's toil. He urged his brother 
Frederick to leave Maryland and come to share his large 
plantation in Grand Coteau. The offering was tempting to 
parents whose dearest interest was the welfare of their 
children. Prince George County afforded them a comfort- 
able livelihood, but Louisiana abounded in facilities for 
amassing a fortune. Mrs. Spalding did not recoil before the 
sacrifice of separation from parents and friends. She per- 
suaded her husband to accept the proffered home in the 
South, and preparations were at once made for the journey. 
Mr. Spalding was generous in providing his daughter with 
slaves, money, household furniture, all indeed that was 
necessary to begin life amid new scenes. With four little 
children, one a tender infant, Mr. and Mrs. Hardey started 
on their perilous journey. It is difficult for us to conceive 
the hardships of travel a hundred years ago. The journey 
which can now be accomplished in a few days, then required 
three or four months. It was made in emigrant wagons 
across the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburg, then in flat 
boats, or arks, as they were called, down the Mississippi to 
New Orleans. In course of time the travelers arrived at 
Grand Coteau, but the joyful days of welcome were soon 
clouded by an unexpected blow. Mr. Charles Hardey died 
after a brief illness, leaving his brother Frederick heir to 
his extensive tracts of land. 

After some years the Hardey plantation became a sort 
of hamlet, comprising the family dwelling, sugar mills, cot- 
ton warehouses, granaries, trade shops, and a row of huts, 
divided by gardens, known as " Negro Quarters." About 
seventy or eighty plantations made up the parish of St. 
Landry. They centred round a modest church, whose cross 
betokened the faith of those that lived in its holy shadow 
and slept their last sleep in the cemetery beneath. At this 
period a large plantation presented a wide field for the 
exercise of Christian virtues and a great mission for the 
women of the South. The Catholics accepted it, and the 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

traditions of the past reveal how nobly many a one fulfilled 
her duties in that respect. Life in those southern lands was 
almost patriarchal. Hospitality seemed ever waiting at the 
threshold. Friends gathered in, rarely for a passing call, 
but for a visit of days, even weeks. Whoever the guest 
might be friend or stranger he was greeted with a hearty 
welcome and feasted at the family board. 

The welfare of the slave was not overlooked in the re- 
sponsible mission of the Southern woman. In the early 
morning, at the sound of a bell, the negroes were awakened 
for the labors of the day, and in Catholic families it was 
customary for them to gather round the master for morning 
prayer. The moment was a solemn one, consecrating the 
slaves' long hours of toil, but more solemn still was the 
evening hour, when twilight fell upon the scene, and the 
whole household grouped around the father of the family, 
who lifted up his voice in thanksgiving for the blessings of 
the day and in supplication for God's loving care through 
the coming night. 

It was in sickness that the relationship between master 
and slave was seen under its fairest aspect. The care be- 
stowed upon the negroes was scarcely less paternal than 
the attention given to the children of the master. The in- 
stitution of slavery was indeed a dark cloud on the horizon, 
yet the unprejudiced mind will acknowledge that the negro's 
shackles were not always the fetters of the slave. 

When the Act of Emancipation broke their bonds many 
of the slaves of the Hardey family clung to their former 
master with an affection and devotion which lasted until 
death. The home was the primary school of those 
days. It was at the family hearth that Mary Hardey 
learned her first lessons of faith and piety. Mrs. Hardey 
possessed the gift of explaining the truths of religion in a 
manner intelligible to the minds and attractive to the hearts 
of her children. " My mother was a saint," Mother Hardey 
was heard to say in speaking of her early life. " She had 

6 



BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD 

pious pictures hanging in every room of the house. We 
knew by heart the history of each subject, and, as a reward 
for good behavior, we might claim our favorite Madonna 
and keep possession of it until our next offence. Reverence 
for the priest was a characteristic of the household. When 
a missionary chanced to rest under our roof we were taught 
to kneel and kiss his hands; 'an honor due thern/ my 
mother used to say, ' since they are consecrated hands and 
are privileged to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar.' " 

To the Christian training of such a mother may be at- 
tributed Mary's growth in the knowledge and love of God, 
and her devotedness later on in His service. When only 
eight years of age she was permitted to receive her First 
Holy Communion. She had been attending the Catechism 
class with her older sister Anne. Being so young she was 
not expected to be ready; but one day the priest asked a 
question which none of the other children could answer. 
Mary arose and with childlike simplicity gave the explana- 
tion. It was proof enough that she was prepared. 

A few of Mrs. Hardey's letters to her family in Maryland 
have been preserved. They are interesting, because they 
give us a clearer insight into her own character, and furnish 
us with occasional glimpses of Mary's early life. The fol- 
lowing was addressed to her sister, Ellen Spalding, after the 
death of her beloved mother : 

" OPELOUSAS, LA., July 25, 1820. 

" MY DEAR LITTLE SlSTER : 

" Your kind letter of the 6th of June came safely to hand, 
with the melancholy news of my dear mother's death, news 
that I expected to hear, for from the account brother Michael 
gave me in his last letter, I could hardly flatter myself 
with the hope that she would live through the summer. I 
am very sorry to hear of my father's state of health. I 
hope he has not lost his speech. You must tell me in your 
next letter. Ellen, if it should be the holy will of God to 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

take both your parents, bear it with fortitude and thanks- 
giving to Almighty God for His Infinite Goodness in spar- 
ing them to you till the age of maturity, and for letting you 
have the pleasure of waiting on them in their last moments. 
This reflection is enough to comfort you, I think, for it is 
the greatest consolation a child may have. My dear sister, 
you are not sensible of the loss you have sustained, for you 
never have been long separated from your mother; there- 
fore you cannot know yet what that trial is. But, my dear 
little girl, I can tell you that your loss is irreparable. This 
side of the grave no person is like a mother to a girl of your 
age. Let my Ellen be ever so prudent, she needs a guide 
and counsellor. You cannot be too prudent in regard to 
your visiting and your visitors. You are lonely, no doubt, 
but you know you are always in good company. When your 
earthly friends are obliged to leave you, call on the Holy 
names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph company that will ever re- 
main with you, provided you wish to remain with them. 
My dear, you may be sure I will do all I can for my dear 
mother's soul. 

" Answer Anne's letter as soon as you receive it. My 
love to all my sisters and brothers. Your devoted sister, 

" SALLY HARDEY." 

A few months later Mrs. Hardey wrote a second letter 
to the same sister : 

" OPELOUSAS, LA., December 12, 1820. 
" MY DEAR SISTER : 

" Your letter of October 2Oth came safe to hand on the 
6th of this month. It found us all well except myself. I have 
not entirely recovered from my long confinement, which be- 
gan the first of October. On that night I introduced a 
stranger into the family, a fine, strong, ugly boy, George 
Raphael by name. 

" So you still have the happiness of waiting on our 
afflicted father. Oh ! Ellen, I fear you do not realize the 

8 



BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD 

great privilege Almighty God has been pleased to grant you. 
Ah ! my dear, if you only knew the grief I experience in 
being separated from him you would appreciate your happi- 
ness. 

" I am very sorry to hear of Uncle Hilary's death, and I 
should be glad to have particulars of it. I am truly happy 
to hear that one of our good aunts stays with you. I think 
they could not please their deceased sister more than by 
staying with you in your present state. I hope my Ellen 
will be very particular in her visits. Never pay one without 
consulting your aunts or your brothers. As your sisters 
have families you know they must attend to them, so, of 
course, they cannot spend much time with you 

" Do mention to father my proposal of having you and 
all our family come here after his death." 

Under date of December 20, this letter is continued, as 
follows : 

" MY DEAR SISTER : 

" Your letter of November 6th arrived here on the loth of 
this month, but I did not receive it until to-day. It con- 
tained the news that I expected from your last letter. You 
have had time to fortify yourself to bear bravely the death 
of one of the best of fathers. I hope you will not grieve 
much, for you know that does not help the departed soul. 
Prayer is all the comfort we can give him now. I shall 
have Mass said for him after Christmas. 

" I hope you will consider the welfare of your soul and 
body and accept the invitation of a brother and sister, who 
think you could do better by coming here than by remaining 
where you are. 

"My dear, do not think I would send you this invitation 
without providing you with an escort upon whom you can 
rely, as you could on a father or brother. 

"Your nieces all go to school this year; it will soon be 
over; then I shall have the pleasure of their company all 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

day. I assure you, Anne and Mary are great company for 
me, and also a great assistance. One is a good nurse, the 
other a good housekeeper. They had a real trial this fall 
when I was sick. 

" Ellen, you must take care of the books that our father 
procured for the instruction of his children. You must 
write to me often and tell my brothers also to write. 

" Mr. Hardey joins me in love to you ; my children also ; 
they often speak of you. Your affectionate sister, 

" SALLY HARDEY." 

Up to that time, as we see from the letters, little Mary 
was attending the village school and devoting herself to her 
home duties, but this happy period of her life was drawing 
to a close. An Academy of the Sacred Heart was about to 
open its portals to the daughters of Louisiana, and in the de- 
signs of God Mary Hardey was to be one of its first pupils. 



10 



CHAPTER II. 

ORIGIN OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART. 
1800. 

Before relating the history of the Academy which was 
about to be established in Louisiana, we shall record briefly 
the events which called into existence the Society of the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

During the last decade of the i8th Century, while Europe 
was convulsed by revolutions, a small number of French 
priests, who had withdrawn from Germany, formed an as- 
sociation, under the title of " Fathers of the Sacred Heart," 
resolving to live together according to the Rule of St. Ig- 
natius until, in the providence of God, the Company of Jesus 
should be awakened into new life. 

Their Superior, Father de Tournely, was a man of faith 
and prayer, filled with zeal for the Glory of God and the 
salvation of souls. The object dearest to his heart was to 
provide means of education for the youth of France, hoping 
thereby to raise upon the ruins of the past a generation de- 
voted to the service of Christ and the interests of the 
Church. 

To accomplish this aim, he felt that it would be neces- 
sary to found a similar community for women for the train- 
ing of the future wives and mothers of France. 

He intended that the Heart of Jesus should be the centre 
and model of the new congregation, and that it should adopt, 
as far as might be practicable, the Rule of St. Ignatius. 

Father de Tournely did not live to see the desire of his 
heart accomplished. He died on the 9th of July, 1797. Dur- 
ing his last illness the only thought of earthly things that 
occupied his mind was the society he had planned, and he 
often spoke of it to Father Varin. " My friend, you know 
all ; I have told you everything. Do not act in a hurry, but 
await God's time." 

II 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

These words, spoken a short time before his death, 
seemed prophetic: "It will be founded! It will be 
founded ! " 

Father Varin, who was elected to fill his place as su- 
perior of the little Society, was chosen by Providence to 
execute his plans. Having gone to Paris a few years later 
he received into his community a young priest named Louis 
Barat, who was destined to point out to him the future 
foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart. 

One day Father Varin asked Louis whether any tie 
bound him to the world. The young priest answered that 
he had a little sister in whom he was much interested. 
" These words struck me very forcibly," relates Father 
Varin. " I asked her age, what she could do. He replied 
that she was between nineteen and twenty, that she had 
learned Latin and Greek, that she could translate Homer 
and Virgil fluently, and had capacity enough to make a good 
rhetorician ; that she had thought of entering a Carmelite 
Convent, but just then she was spending some weeks with 
her family." This " little sister '' was Madeleine Sophie 
Barat. A month later she returned to Paris and was pre- 
sented to Father Varin. 

He soon perceived in the young girl great simplicity and 
humility combined with the highest intellectual gifts. 

Father Barat, her only tutor, had accomplished his self- 
imposed task with unbounded energy, yet he had not 
dreamed that he was training the foundress of a religious 
congregation which was destined to exert a vast influence 
on Catholic education, not only in France, but in nearly 
every country of the Old and New Worlds. 

At that time she was living in the house of Madame 
Duval, No. 2 rue de Touraine. Associated with her in her 
studies and good works was Octavie Bailly, who, like her- 
self, was attracted to the religious life ; Mademoiselle Lo- 
quet, a very pious and intelligent lady, noted for her talents 
and her charitable enterprises, also lived with them. 

12 



ORIGIN OF THE SOCIETY 

Father Varin had recognized in these ladies a vocation to 
the religious life, but at first he did not see clearly the will of 
God in their regard. They began a course of study under 
his direction and enjoyed meanwhile the benefit of his spir- 
itual training. 

One day he asked Sophie Barat what plans she had 
formed for her future. She replied that she felt called to 
the religious state, preferably the Order of Carmelites ; as 
their life seemed to unite great love for Jesus Christ, with 
an heroic spirit of sacrifice. 

The answer pleased her director, and at once he unfolded 
to her his plans for the institute he intended to found, point- 
ing out to her that, in addition to the love and spirit of sacri- 
fice required by the Rule of Carmel, it would ask a generous 
devotedness for the salvation of souls ; one of its chief ends 
being the education of young girls. He then dwelt upon 
the educational advantages she had received, representing 
that they fitted her in a peculiar manner for this great enter- 
prise, so important for the revival of Faith in France. He 
concluded by assuring her that she was called by God to 
serve Him in this new institute, which was to be devoted 
to the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Her humility caused her to shrink from such an under- 
taking, but she submitted to Father Varin's decision, and 
ere long the little group of friends at Madame Duval's house 
was formed into a religious community. They were Sophie 
Barat, Octavie Bailly and Mile. Loquet, with Marguerite, 
Madame Duval's servant, a pious and earnest soul, who 
joined them as lay sister. 

On the Feast of the Presentation, 2ist of November, 
1800, Mass was celebrated in the little chapel, Rue de Tour- 
aine, and the four postulants pronounced their vow of con- 
secration to the Sacred Heart. 

In the following May, 1801, the first house of the Society 
was established at Amiens. The Heart of Jesus blessed 
abundantly the work commenced in lowliness and gener- 

13 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

osity of spirit. The ranks of the religious filled rapidly. 
Academies were opened in Grenoble, Poitiers, Niort, and 
other cities of France, and in 1815 a general novitiate was 
founded in Paris, under the direction of Mother Barat, 
where, as from a central point, she governed the various 
communities of her Institute. The little seed, planted among 
the ruins of the revolution, had sprung up into a fruitful 
tree, and before eighteen years had elapsed it spread its 
branches afar, even to the distant shores of the New World. 



CHAPTER III. 

FOUNDATION OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART IN 
AMERICA ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI 1818-1821. 

The young- Republic of America, after separating from 
the Mother Country, entered at once upon a life of intense 
energy, and the Church was not the last to feel the inspira- 
tion of freedom. Before the close of the eighteenth century 
the Orders of Carmel and the Visitation were established 
in the United States. The first decade of the nineteenth 
century saw the birth of Mother Seton's Congregation in 
Maryland, and about the same time two religious communi- 
ties sprang up in the newly settled regions of the far west, 
the Lorettines and the Sisters of Nazareth in Kentucky. 
A little later came the daughters of St. Dominic. On the 
Atlantic Coast, the Ursulines had founded convents in New 
York and Boston, but their sojourn in the former city was 
of short duration. 

When, in 1815, Bishop Dubourg was appointed to the 
See of New Orleans, his first care was to provide educational 
establishments for the children of his vast diocese. In New 
Orleans he found a flourishing Academy conducted by the 
Ursulines, but it was insufficient for the increasing growth 
of the Catholic population. Hence, when in Paris, he made 
application to Mother Barat for a colony of her nuns. The 
heart of the foundress responded to his appeal, but her judg- 
ment made her hesitate. Her Institute was new, and the 
members scarcely sufficed for the work already undertaken. 
But when God wills, all obstacles give way. He had been 
silently preparing, among the daughters of the Sacred Heart, 
an apostle for the American Mission, in the person of 
Madame Philippine Duchesne. 

This heroic woman was in the Paris convent when the 

15 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Bishop called, and knowing the object of his visit, she be- 
sought the Mother General to give a favorable answer. 

Her pleadings and representations convinced Mother 
Barat that the foreign mission should be accepted, so she 
promised the Bishop that she would prepare a little colony 
to start for Louisiana in the course of the following Spring. 

Mother Duchesne's burning zeal communicated itself to 
her sisters, many of whom offered to accompany her, but 
three only were chosen. 

A brief notice of these pioneers may be of interest to the 
reader. 

Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, France, on 
the 29th of August, 1769. She belonged to a Christian fam- 
ily which was noted for strong faith and rare qualities of 
mind and heart. From her tenderest years she was trained 
in the practice of piety by her mother, who united to a vig- 
orous intelligence a deep love for the Church. Vocations to 
the religious state seemed inherent in the race of the Du- 
chesnes, and for more than a century before the revolution its 
representatives had been found in the Community of the 
Visitation Convent of Ste. Marie, Grenoble. Philippine was 
a pupil in that convent and afterwards took the religious 
habit there, but the outbreak of the revolution obliged her 
to leave the convent and return to her family. But though 
compelled to live in the world by force of circumstances, she 
never forgot the sacred vocation to which God called her. 
Indeed, the very house where she had been a nun became 
the centre of her work, as it was converted into a prison 
where the unfortunate victims of the Reign of Terror were 
confined, and she, in spite of every obstacle organized an 
association for their relief. Nor was she satisfied with that. 
For after the evil days had passed away, and the convent 
was declared the property of the nation, and its grounds 
made a public park, she brought such influence to bear on 
the authorities that she succeeded in securing the old place 
and endeavored to reunite there the scattered members of 

16 




Blessed Madeleine Sophie Barat 



FOUNDATION IN AMERICA 

her community. But the Sisters that returned soon aban- 
doned their vocation and it seemed as if all her efforts were 
doomed to failure. But " to them that love God all things 
work together unto good." On the very day that her Sisters 
turned forever from the cloister of Sainte Marie, she heard 
of the Society of the Sacred Heart. At once she felt strong- 
ly attracted towards it on account of its two-fold spirit, the 
active and the contemplative life, and she entered into ne- 
gotiations with Mother Barat. The necessary arrangements 
were soon made, and on the I3th of December, 1804, Mother 
Barat, accompanied by three nuns, arrived at Sainte Marie 
and took possession of it in the name of the Sacred Heart. 
Nor was she long in discerning the worth of Madame Du- 
chesne, who entered with ardor upon the duties of her new 
life. A multitude of good works filled up her days and even 
kept her toiling late into the night. But her soul longed for 
another field of labor. Her yearnings were all turned to- 
wards the foreign missions. To make Jesus known to the 
Indian tribes of the New World, to breathe His Name into 
their forest wilds, to elevate them by the ennobling influ- 
ences of faith, such was the lofty ambition of Madame Du- 
chesne. 

She mentioned her intentions to Mother Barat, and later 
on to Father Varin, who gave them his approval, and made 
her happy by the assurance that one day she would extend 
the glory of Christ in the far-off regions of America. 
Henceforth her life shaped itself upon the hope of soon real- 
izing her ardent longings. During the recreation hours, she 
spoke to the pupils of the joy of making Christ known in 
heathen lands with the rapture of one assured of conquest. 
She was wont to conclude by asking: " Who will come with 
me?" One of her pupils, writing of those early days at 
Sainte Marie, says : " If the ship had been at hand we would 
have been ready to follow her to the ends of the earth." 
Mother Barat encouraged this vocation, but at the same 
time restrained the zeal of her spiritual daughter. She felt 

2 17 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

that the accomplishment of this purpose was reserved for a 
future day and, in the interval, sought to prepare that apos- 
tolic soul for the mission of suffering and love. She was 
a valiant guide to a valiant soul, says the historian of Mother 
Barat, and wrote singularly prophetic lines to her: "Life 
must not be for you a time of enjoyment. Our Lord in- 
tends you to be a spouse of blood ! " Under this strong but 
loving guidance the apostle was prepared for a career of 
heroism. It was only after fourteen years of waiting that 
Madame Duchesne's earnest desires were realized. 

Madame Octavie Berthold, who accompanied her to 
America, was born a Calvinist, and, worse still, her father 
had been Voltaire's private secretary. She became a Catho- 
lic in her twentieth year, and shortly after entered the new 
Society. Her cultivated mind and thorough knowledge of 
foreign languages made her very useful in the Paris school, 
where her talents and virtue won for her the highest respect 
of the pupils. But her work lay beyond the Atlantic, where 
she was to sow in tears and suffering the seed destined to 
produce a hundredfold for the greater glory of God. 

Madame Eugenie Aude, who was chosen by Providence 
to take a very active part in establishing the Society of the 
Sacred Heart in Louisiana, had been brought up amid the 
pleasures of the world in Italy and France, and to detach her 
heart from the attractions around her called for a miracle 
of grace and love. One night, after returning from a ball, 
she stood admiring herself in a mirror, when suddenly she 
saw reflected not her image, but the bruised and bleeding 
face of the " Ecce Homo." This vision of Christ suffering 
touched her inmost soul, and from that moment she deter- 
mined to give up the world and consecrate herself entirely 
to the service of God. She never wavered in her resolution 
and shortly after she stood at the door of Sainte Marie, ask- 
ing to be received into the Society of the Sacred Heart. She 
entered the Paris Novitiate and advanced rapidly in those 
virtues which so admirably distinguished her after life. 

18 



FOUNDATION IN AMERICA 

While in the Novitiate she learned to know Mother 
Barat intimately, and to love her with an affection that 
lasted until the end of her life. It was the remembrance of 
the " Ecce Homo " that made her joyfully offer herself for 
the mission of the Sacred Heart in America. 

Two lay Sisters, Catharine Lamarre and Margaret Man- 
teau, were chosen to join the little band of missionaries. 
They were both of mature age and tried virtue, and their 
devoted help was invaluable during the years of hardship 
which attended the beginning of the American mission. 

The great distance, the perils of the voyage and the 
many privations which they knew to be awaiting them only 
increased the ardor of these apostolic souls, whose one aim 
was to exalt the Kingdom of Christ wherever obedience 
called them. 

Bishop Dubourg, who had preceded them to America, 
wrote from Baltimore to Madame Duchesne : " The voyage 
is doubtless a trying one, but women and children make it 
constantly in the hope of bettering their condition in life. 
Shall not we, with greater zeal, do as much for the glory of 
God and the salvation of souls?" The question found a 
generous response in the hearts of Mother Duchesne and 
her companions. As the time of departure drew near, 
Mother Duchesne wrote touching farewells to her family 
and friends, and in one of these letters, quoting the words 
of a holy servant of God, she wrote : " Since the days of 
Abraham to those of Jesus Christ, and from the days of 
Jesus Christ to the present time, when God has willed to 
call a soul to a higher degree of perfection, He has with- 
drawn it from its country, He has detached it from every- 
thing, even from the holy sweetness of spiritual friendship." 
And in another letter she says : " Think of my happiness 
every day ; envy if you like, but do not wish to take it away 
from me." 

The long desired day of the sacrifice came at last. On 
the eve of the departure the whole community assembled to 

19 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

bid the missionaries " God speed " on their perilous journey. 

" Mother Barat gathered us around her," wrote Madame 
Aude, " and spoke to us in that earnest and touching manner 
of the greatness of our vocation and how enviable it was in 
the light of faith. She exhorted us to unswerving fidelity 
in the observance of our Holy Rule, and then gave to 
each one her obedience, naming Mother Duchesne Superior, 
with extraordinary powers for the government of the mis- 
sion. Finally, with deep emotion, she exclaimed, ' Come, let 
us give one another a parting embrace, for you will ever be 
my dearest daughters in the Sacred Heart.' We knelt at 
her feet, which Mother Duchesne kissed, and while we all 
remained silent I saw that our Mother was shedding tears. 
They seemed to fall upon my heart." 

The day of departure was a day of sacrifice and sublime 
holocaust, as also the marriage feast for one of those gener- 
ous spouses of Christ, Madame Aude, who made her final 
profession. 

Writing of her happiness to her Sisters of Quimper, she 
said: "What shall I say of the grace I have received? I 
now feel it my duty to set no bounds to my sacrifice. Jesus, 
in giving me the Cross, has not bestowed it as a mere out- 
ward token. His strong and gentle hand has thrust it into 
my heart. He makes me feel it by the pain I experience in 
leaving you, my beloved Mothers and Sisters, but He makes 
me love it, because I know that at the foot of the Cross I 
shall obtain for the dear family that adopted me all the gifts 
of His love." 

Mother Duchesne and her companions were detained 
some weeks in Bordeaux, while waiting to embark for 
America, and during this trying interval she was encouraged 
by letters from Mother Barat, Father Varin and other 
friends. The Abbe Perreau wrote : " You may reckon on 
a special Divine Protection, for you can say with the 
Apostle. ' Lord, we have left all things to follow Thee, 
what, therefore, shall we have? ' Listen to His answer. In 

20 



FOUNDATION IN AMERICA 

return for this great reliance upon Him, He will give you 
His Divine Heart as a refuge, His Spirit to guide you and 
a few drops from His chalice of suffering to purify you, to 
detach you from yourself, to teach you to lean on Him 
alone. Oh ! how strong and how sweet is His support ! Go 
then courageously where He calls you. You will find Him 
everywhere." 

On Holy Thursday, which fell that year on the iQth day 
of March, the little colony embarked on the sailing ship 
Rebecca, and on Holy Saturday a favorable breeze car- 
ried them out of port, and before the glad bells rang out 
their Easter peals the religious lost sight of the beautiful 
land they never expected to see again. 

On the 29th of May, which by a striking coincidence 
was the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the Rebecca touched the 
shores of America, about sixty miles below New Orleans. 

Madame Aude's description of their landing presents a 
lively picture of the holy joy which filled their hearts. 

" When we set foot on that shore, which in the light of 
faith is a ' promised land/ we were deeply moved. Mother 
Duchesne's heart could not contain its happiness ; kneeling, 
she kissed the earth, while her eyes filled with blissful tears. 
' No one sees us/ she said ; ' kiss it too.' You would have 
rejoiced to see her delight. Her countenance expressed all 
the feeling of a heart overflowing with gratitude to God 
and consumed with a desire of procuring His glory." 

Two priests were awaiting the nuns, with letters from 
the Ursulines, offering them hospitality. 

Madame Aude gives the following description of the 
journey to the convent : " We started at nine o'clock in the 
evening, blessing the Heart of Jesus for our safe voyage 
across the ocean and offering ourselves to Him anew. The 
night was beautiful, the sky cloudless and sparkling with 
stars, which were reflected in the peaceful waters of the 
Mississippi, along whose banks we drove. Everything 
seemed to raise our hearts to God." 

21 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

About four in the morning the party arrived at the con- 
vent, and were received by the Ursulines with the most 
cordial Christian charity and every demonstration of sis- 
terly joy. 

Full of gratitude for their kindness, Mother Duchesne 
wrote : " This house is like one of our own convents, no- 
where could we have met with more affectionate hospitality. 
These good nuns provide us with everything. Mothers 
could not do more for their children." 

As soon as Bishop Dubourg heard of Mother Duchesne's 
arrival he sent her from St. Louis a letter full of encourage- 
ment and welcome, but, by some strange chance, six months 
elapsed before the greeting was received, and meantime 
Mother Duchesne was anxiously waiting and wondering at 
the Bishop's prolonged silence. Finally, hearing that he was 
expecting her in St. Louis, she determined to go thither. 
" Four hundred leagues," she wrote, " seem very little when 
one has traveled thousands, and to ascend a quiet river is 
only a pleasure, after encountering the ocean and its 
storms." 

Having taken leave of the devoted Ursulines, Mother 
Duchesne and her companions embarked on the steamer 
Franklin, which was to convey them to St. Louis. In 
those days, when steam navigation was in its infancy, mis- 
haps were many and adventures often thrilling, but nothing 
could disturb the peaceful occupations of the nuns. In the 
narrow cabin, where seventeen persons were closely 
packed, they prayed, meditated, studied English meantime, 
while the steamer ploughed its way up the great river, whose 
broad expanse of water, sparkling in the sunshine or sleep- 
ing in the moonlight, overshadowed on both sides by the 
foliage of a primeval forest, presented a scene both grand 
and picturesque. 

On the 2ist of August, 1818, the Franklin reached St. 
Louis, after a voyage of forty-two days. 

Mother Duchesne hastened to the Bishop's residence and 

22 



FOUNDATION IN AMERICA 

found him eagerly awaiting her arrival. The aspect of the 
dwelling, a sort of barn, offered a vivid presage of what the 
religious might expect in their new mission. One apart- 
ment served for dormitory, dining room and study for him- 
self and four or five priests. It was the poverty of the early 
ages of the Church, but with it was the heroism of those 
same times. 

In writing, later on, of the obstacles to the success of 
their work, Mother Duchesne says : " Shall I tell you what 
urges me on? It is the example of the saintly clergy of this 
country, men like Monseigneur Flaget, Bishop of Bards- 
town, or Mgr. Cheverus, Bishop of Boston, and, above all, 
our own devoted prelate, who makes himself all to all, work- 
ing incessantly for the good of his people. He has many 
trials, but how great he is in the midst of them." 

The location selected by Bishop Dubourg for the new 
foundation was at St. Charles, on the Missouri River. The 
town was small, and the house provided for the nuns was 
poorly adapted for school purposes. 

The Bishop intimated that their residence was only tem- 
porary. " You can stay there for the present," he said to 
Mother Duchesne, " until we decide upon your future des- 
tination. We must till the soil before we begin to plant. 
You and I will have to spend our lives in this ungrateful 
labor ; our successors will reap where we have sown, but we 
must be satisfied to look to heaven for our reward." 

The religious soon discovered that a mistake had been 
made in the place selected for them. After a year's resi- 
dence in St. Charles they removed to Florissant, fifteen 
miles from St. Louis. 

Here the school became more prosperous. The follow- 
ing year a Novitiate was established, and Mother Duchesne 
wrote that five of their most promising pupils were among 
the first novices received. 



CHAPTER IV. 

FOUNDATION OF GRAND COTEAU, LA. SCHOOL LIFE OF 
MARY HARDEY 1821-1825. 

During one of his pastoral visits to lower Louisiana, 
Bishop Dubourg met a wealthy Catholic lady, who made 
known to him her desire of establishing a convent for the 
education of young girls. Her husband, Mr. Charles Smith, 
a relative of the Hardey family, had left Maryland in 1803, 
to make his home in Louisiana. 

Having settled in Opelousas, he and his wife devoted 
themselves to the welfare of Catholicity in that section of 
the country. 

After building a church, their piety fostered another gen- 
erous aspiration, that of founding houses of education for 
both boys and girls. 

Mr. Smith died before his plans could be carried into 
effect, but his widow gave her time and her fortune to their 
accomplishment. One of her plans was the establishment 
of a school at Grand Coteau, which was the home of Mary 
Hardey. 

The Bishop entered heartily into the views of this esti- 
mable lady, and suggested the Religious of the Sacred Heart 
as well fitted to respond to her designs. 

The proposal for this foundation was in due time ac- 
cepted by Mother Barat, and the charge of organizing it was 
entrusted to Madame Aude. Sister Layton, the first lay- 
sister postulant received in America, was to be her only 
companion until the arrival of the nuns whom Mother Barat 
had promised to send from France. 

Despite the poverty of her house at Florissant, Mother 
Duchesne insisted upon giving the sum of one hundred 
dollars for their immediate needs, especially for the furnish- 

24 



FOUNDATION IN LOUISIANA 

ing of the chapel. The Bishop also bestowed upon them 
whatever he could spare from his own scanty resources. 

On the 5th of August, 1821, Madame Aude and her com- 
panion embarked on the steamer Rapid, but twenty 
days elapsed before they reached Grand Coteau, where they 
were cordially welcomed by Mrs. Smith, who gave them the 
hospitality of her own home until their house was com- 
pleted. It was a frame building, fifty-five feet square, with 
a veranda covered with luxuriant vines. There was an en- 
trance court, shaded by beautiful trees, and a large orchard 
which was to serve as a playground for the children. The 
kitchen, dining room and infirmaries were small buildings 
of one story each. 

Madame Aude took possession of the house before it was 
finished, and began at once the preparations for the opening 
of the school. 

In the beginning of October five pupils were received, 
one of whom was Mary Hardey. There had been question 
of sending her to Emmitsburg, with her elder sister, Ann, 
and her three cousins, the daughters of Mr. Raphael Smith, 
but her delicate health furnished a strong plea for keeping 
her nearer home, and it was decided to place her under 
Mother Aude's care. 

Mr. Hardey became a true friend and benefactor to the 
convent. 

We gather from the correspondence of those days, that 
he frequently sent provisions and gave them also the serv- 
ices of his slaves when needed. But his greatest gift to the 
Society of the Sacred Heart was undoubtedly that of his 
beloved daughter, who became one of its brightest orna- 
ments and strongest supports in America. 

The work which fell to the willing hands of Mother Aude 
and Sister Layton may be easier imagined than described. 
But never was burden more cheerfully borne or tasks more 
joyfully accomplished. 

Bishop Dubourg took great interest in all their concerns. 

25 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

In one of his visits he playfully asked Mother Aude if it 
was at the Court of Napoleon she had learned to milk the 
cows. 

But domestic labors were not the only trials which 
Mother Aude had to bear. Privations, deeply felt because 
she could not always prevent the pupils from sharing them, 
formed a large part of her solicitude. In one of her letters 
to Mother Barat she writes : " Flour is so scarce that I was 
on the point of giving the children potatoes in place of 
bread, when Mrs. Smith sent us several loaves which I 
received as a great treasure, and the Heart of Jesus, know- 
ing our needs, inspired Mr. Hardey to send us a barrel of 
flour. 

" We have only six chairs, which we are obliged to carry 
from one place to another, but we have a supply of kitchen 
and table utensils, benches and desks." 

Mother Barat was keenly alive to the wants of the foun- 
dation. In a letter dated November 23d she wrote : " Many of 
our Sisters long to go to you, but before we can spare them 
others must be trained to fill their places. Two only will 
leave us to join you." These two missionaries were Madame 
Lucile Mathevon and Madame Xavier Murphy, an Irish 
lady, who was then in the Paris Novitiate. 

Of the latter, Mother Barat wrote to Mother Duchesne : 
'' Madame Murphy is about thirty years of age, and she will 
be very useful to Mother Eugenie for her school. The char- 
acter of the Irish is very like our own. This dear Sister is 
pleasing and amiable in manner, and nothing is an effort in 
the fulfillment of her vocation." 

At the time of her departure for Louisiana Madame Mur- 
phy took the name of Xavier, in honor of the great saint, 
whose apostolic example she longed to imitate. Full of joy- 
ous enthusiasm, she left France on the 7th of December, the 
first Friday of the month, a circumstance which she did not 
fail to note, as a proof the voyage would be under the special 
protection of the Sacred Heart. " Every one on board the 

26 



FOUNDATION IN LOUISIANA 

vessel was seasick, myself included," she wrote to Mother 
Barat, " but not for one moment was I afraid. Madame 
Mathevon seemed to be in constant dread of death, and at 
times I found it hard to keep from laughing at her exclama- 
tions. During a rather severe storm, thinking herself on 
the point of being lost, she jumped from her berth and, 
stretching out her arms like Moses, cried aloud for mercy. 
Alas ! I was too much overcome by sleep to take the place 
of Aaron. You should have seen the terror of the passengers 
on hearing of the approach of pirates. All hastened to hide 
their money and valuables. I smiled at their fright. Do 
you know, dear Mother, why I was so tranquil? It was 
because I felt sure of the protection of our Good Master. 
Why should a daughter of the Sacred Heart be afraid? 
They said I was a fine sailor, but they little knew what sus- 
tained me during the voyage." 

The vessel arrived at New Orleans on the Feast of the 
Purification, and Madame Xavier looked for the first time 
upon the land of her adoption. She had expected this sight 
to bring her an intense joy, and that she could exclaim with 
holy Simeon, " Now, O Lord, Thou dost dismiss Thy serv- 
ant in peace for my heart's desire is fulfilled," but just the 
contrary happened. " All at once," she wrote to Mother 
Barat, " the friends that I had left in Europe loomed up be- 
fore me, and my heart fell, like the weights of a clock. How- 
ever, I asked Our Lord to strengthen me, and I begged the 
Blessed Virgin to offer me, even as she had offered her 
Divine Son to the Eternal Father on that day. Occupied 
with these thoughts I arrived at the Ursuline Convent. As 
the Bishop was in the house we were at once presented to 
him. I never met any one with whom I felt so readily at 
my ease. ' My Lord/ I said, ' I am come from France, but 
first of all from Ireland, to be your obedient daughter. Do 
with me as you wish, I do not care where I go, provided I 
am in America.' " 

Early in April Madame Murphy reached Grand Coteau. 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

In May she had the happiness of pronouncing her first 
vows, and, filled with the joy of this first consecration to 
God, she entered upon the duties of her new mission with all 
the ardor of her generous nature. 

After some months of excessive labor she was stricken 
with a severe illness. Mother Aude nursed her with mater- 
nal tenderness which deeply touched the heart of her 
spiritual daughter, and won her confidence and lasting 
gratitude. 

While yet a novice in Paris, this fervent religious had 
written of herself to her former teachers, the Ursulines of 
Blackrock : " I am the last and least in this house. I am of 
use only to Almighty God, who is pleased to show forth 
His power in His weakest creatures." The same spirit of 
humility and childlike simplicity gave a marked character 
to her whole religious life. In writing of her to Mother 
Barat, Mother Aude says: "Sister Xavier appears to be a 
strong soul, full of faith, and it is souls of this stamp that 
are needed here." 

Such was the religious who assisted Mother Aude in the 
school at Grand Coteau, and shared with her the honor of 
training the mind and heart of Mary Hardey. 

We have few details of Mary's schooldays, but a diary 
kept by Madame Xavier gives us a record of current events, 
and consequently of the influences that surrounded her con- 
vent life. After informing Mother Barat that she had 
already sent her the journal of the month of April, Madame 
Xavier goes on to say : " On the feast of Corpus Christi we 
had a procession at which several seculars assisted. It was 
the first of the kind ever witnessed here. A repository was 
prettily arranged in the barn, and the Blessed Sacrament 
was exposed all day in our little chapel. But our joy was 
yet greater on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, for on that 
day Madame Gerard received the religious habit and Sister 
Layton took her first vows. The chaplain said a few 
words appropriate to the occasion ; Mother Aude and I re- 

28 



FOUNDATION IN LOUISIANA 

nevved our vows in union with all our dear Society. The 
Blessed Sacrament was exposed all day, and after benedic- 
tion in the evening our pupils sang a canticle to the Sacred 
Heart, so soul inspiring that priest and nuns joined in the 
singing." 

A spiritual fast followed the delights of that day. The 
chaplain went away, leaving them, as Madame Xavier ex- 
pressed it, " like the daughters of Jerusalem without priest 
or sacrifice." 

This privation continued until the Feast of Saint 
Ignatius. It was especially felt upon Saint Mary Magda- 
len's day, which was kept as the feast of the Mother General. 
" We felt it keenly," writes Madame Xavier, " but we laid 
our sacrifice before the altar, and united in spirit with our 
Paris sisters in offering the best wishes of our hearts to the 
Mother who is the joy and glory of our dear Society." 

On August /th, 1822, about a year after the foundation 
of Grand Coteau, the religious had the delightful surprise 
of a visit from Mother Duchesne. 

The following day the pupils left for their summer vaca- 
tion, and the community were at liberty to enjoy in full 
measure the presence of their revered Mother. 

However, occasional sacrifices were not wanting, even 
during those happy days. Madame Aude notes in her jour- 
nal that the first Sunday after Mother Duchesne's arrival 
they were deprived of Holy Mass, and then adds, in her own 
mirthful strain, " The just man lives by faith, and, at times, 
it is the only food to be found in these parts." 

The 23d of the month brought the holidays to a close, 
and the pupils returned with joy to the convent which they 
had learned to love. 

The scholastic year was opened, according to custom, by 
the distribution of the honorary distinctions awarded dur- 
ing the preceding term. Mother Duchesne presided at the 
reunion. 

As a testimony of respect to their venerated guest, a 

29 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

complimentary address was read by Mary Hardey, in the 
name of her companions. 

Before leaving Grand Coteau, Mother Duchesne wrote to 
Mother Barat in enthusiastic terms of the good effected by 
Mother Aude in her school. She describes her as " one of 
those souls that draw down graces on all who come near 
them. Her pleasing manners, rare talents and capacity for 
government lift her far above others of her sex." 

After a visit of three weeks, Mother Duchesne returned 
to Saint Louis. Her noble character and saintly appearance 
had made a strong impression upon the pupils, especially 
Mary Hardey, who began to reflect seriously upon vocation 
for the religious life. Hitherto she had deemed herself un- 
worthy of so high a calling, though she felt strongly at- 
tracted to the cloister, but light came to her at a moment 
when she least expected it. One day, while standing in the 
ranks waiting for the signal to go to class, Madame Xavier's 
gentle demeanor in the midst of her pupils forcibly im- 
pressed her, and she seemed to hear an interior voice utter- 
ing these words, " What others have done you can do." 
She resolved at once to accomplish her duties with greater 
fidelity, and to enter with ardor on the rugged path of self- 
denial, in order to prepare her soul for the more perfect ful- 
fillment of the Divine Will. 

Mary's school days ended in the summer of 1824, in a 
manner most satisfactory to her teachers and highly gratify- 
ing to her parents. During the course of the year she had 
worn the " First IVIedallion," the highest honor of the school, 
and had been received into the Congregation of the Chil- 
dren of Mary. 

In her home she was distinguished by a tender love and 
constant thoughtfulness for all around her. Mrs. Hardey 
found in her a congenial companion, as well as a dutiful 
daughter, ever ready to assist at the burdensome cares of 
the household. 

With her younger brothers and sisters she was like a 

30 



FOUNDATION IN LOUISIANA 

child, ever disposed to enter into all their passing pleasures, 
and nearly sixty years later her brother, Dr. Charles Hardey, 
rendered the following tribute to his sister's amiable disposi- 
tion : " As a devoted daughter and affectionate sister, she 
was a model for imitation, always sweet, kind, obedient, lov- 
ing. She was almost adored by the negro servants. As for 
me, she was my confidant and playmate ; the love between 
us grew as I advanced in years, and continued true and 
tender to the time of her death. Her memory is as dear to 
my heart now as it was sixty years ago." 

Among her relatives and friends Mary was no less a 
favorite than in the bosom of her family. She is represented 
by those who knew her then as a tall, beautiful girl, with a 
commanding figure and a dignity of bearing altogether in 
advance of her years. 

Although surrounded by all the joys that make home-life 
delightful, her vocation for the religious state became daily 
more rooted. She realized fully the sacrifices it would de- 
mand from herself and those she loved, but there was no 
hesitation in her strong resolve to leave all at the Master's 
call. 

Mrs. Hardey's watchful eye soon discovered her daugh- 
ter's attraction, and in the strong simplicity of her faith she 
blessed God that He had honored her in choosing for His 
special service one of her children, and that one the most 
gifted and the most tenderly loved. It was different with 
her father. He treated the matter very lightly, having no 
faith in his daughter's vocation. Hence, he readily entered 
into the plans of certain relatives of the family to divert 
Mary's aspirations into another channel. A pleasure party 
was organized for the purpose of introducing to her a gen- 
tleman who was considered worthy of her heart and hand. 

Mary was on the point of accepting the invitation when 
she recognized the snare laid for her vocation and realized 
that the hour had come for her to follow the call of God. 
Not daring to trust herself to speak to her father, she wrote 

31 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

him a note, asking permission to enter the convent the fol- 
lowing day. As his room was directly over hers, she heard 
him pacing the floor until a late hour that night. She knew 
well the struggle he was going through and, dreading an 
unfavorable decision, she delayed entering the dining room 
the next morning until the family had withdrawn ; but, to 
her dismay, she found her father awaiting her. Referring to 
her note, he spoke of her request as a " childish freak," add- 
ing, however, that he would not oppose her but would take 
her himself to the convent. " You will not remain," he said, 
" and in a few days we shall see you home again." But she 
assured him that she understood perfectly the importance 
of the step she was about to take, and that with the assist- 
ance of God she hoped to persevere. 

On the Feast of St. Michael, September 29, 1825, she 
bade a silent farewell to her mother, who fully realized that 
her daughter would never again cross the threshold of her 
home, while the younger members of the family, all un- 
conscious of their loss, thought she was only leaving for a 
visit to the convent and urged her not to remain too long. 

At Grand Coteau there was no anticipation of her com- 
ing. The religious knew she intended to enter, but they were 
wholly unprepared for her announcement, " This time I have 
come to stay." " So you think, my child/' interrupted her 
father, " but you will soon tire of the life and in a week's 
time you will be home again ! Meanwhile, is there anything 
we can send you? " "Oh! yes, father," she answered, " I 
have forgotten my looking-glass and comb." All present 
were greatly amused at her request, which confirmed Mr. 
Hardey in his opinion of her vocation. If it proceeded from 
vanity, we shall see later on how she conquered this weak- 
ness of her sex. 

A few days after her entrance her vocation was put to 
a severe test. An aged negress, known on the Hardey plan- 
tation as " Old Aunt Sophie," came to tell her that her 
father was dangerously ill. " Do come home, Miss Mary, 

32 



FOUNDATION IN LOUISIANA 

for he is very sick, very sick indeed," adding tears and sobs 
to her entreaties. Mary felt strongly urged to hasten to 
her father, but she resisted the impulse and dismissed Aunt 
Sophie with sympathetic messages for the family. Her 
grief, however, overcame her, and an hour later she started 
for home without saying a word to any one. She had walked 
a mile when suddenly it dawned upon her that she was about 
to give up all that the grace of God had enabled her to ac- 
complish. Again the voice of conscience was promptly 
obeyed, and renewing to God the sacrifice of her home, now 
doubly dear because of the sorrow that overshadowed it, 
she retraced her steps, and, with her usual frankness, ac- 
knowledged to Mother Aude her struggle and her triumph. 

The next day they learned that Mr. Hardey had not been 
even indisposed. Aunt Sophie's love for her young mistress 
was unfortunately greater than her love for truth, so she 
had recourse to this expedient in the hope of getting her 
home again. 

The strength of character which Mary showed on this 
occasion was evinced in matters of minor importance, a mat- 
ter of feminine vanity. She had taken complacency in her 
beautiful golden hair, and spent many precious hours before 
her mirror, arranging it in heavy braids which fell below her 
waist, or in binding it up with a fancy comb, according to 
the prevailing fashion. In the first weeks of her postulantship 
her conscience began to reproach her with loss of time and 
the folly of such vanity, so one evening, while the religious 
were at supper, she hastened to the dormitory and cut off 
her braids. The changed appearance of the young postulant 
caused great astonishment, and Mother Aude rebuked her 
very severely for her impulsive act. 

Another incident will show the sincerity of her desire to 
consecrate herself unreservedly to God. Once, while listen- 
ing to an instruction on the obligation of the vow of obedi- 
ence, she was greatly disturbed in mind. It seemed to her 
impossible to pass her whole life in doing the will of another, 

3 33 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

but she was not long in finding a solution to her difficulty. 
" The surest way of being able to do my own will," she said, 
" is always to will that which my superiors will for me." 
The resolution was faithfully kept through life. 

One day she was asked if she knew how to spin. " No," 
she answered, " but I can learn." And before long she be- 
came an adept in the art. 

Wishing to test her patience, Mother Aude gave her at 
one of the recreations a tangled skein of silk to unravel, 
warning her not to break the thread. With characteristic 
determination the young postulant began her task, and with 
skillful management and unwearied perseverance at last suc- 
ceeded in accomplishing it. 

Mother Xavier, who had been watching her dear Mary 
with loving interest, applauded her constancy, and, turning 
to Mother Aude exclaimed, " Our dear little Sister's per- 
severance is certain, O Mother, do give her the veil." 



34 



CHAPTER V. 

MARY HARDEY RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT FOUNDA- 
TION OF ST. MICHAEL'S, LA. MADAME HARDEY 
TAKES HER FIRST Vows 1824-1827. 

Mary Hardey received the religious habit on the 22d of 
October, 1825, in the little chapel of Grand Coteau. 

A friend of the family who was present at the ceremony 
gives the following details : " It was a day of great joy for 
Mary, whose face beamed with happiness ; but for us who 
were losing her, it was full of sadness. We could not but 
grieve to see one so young and so dearly loved lay aside her 
bridal robes and come among us in the sombre garb of a 
novice of the Sacred Heart. Our hearts were full of sym- 
pathy for the courageous parents, so generous in their 
sacrifice." 

It was customary in those days for the novice to assume 
the name of a saint. Mary adopted that of Saint Aloysius 
and during the earlier years of her religious life she was 
usually called Madame Aloysia, and faithfully did she try 
to emulate the virtues of her beloved patron. 

Obedience was her guiding star, and when on the day 
after the ceremony of her clothing she was called upon to 
bid adieu to Grand Coteau, her second home, she obeyed the 
summons cheerfully. 

About sixty miles from New Orleans, on the left bank 
of the Mississippi, lie the fair lands associated with the 
pathetic story of the Arcadian exiles and glorified by the 
charm of Longfellow's magical pen. Its bayous and wood- 
lands and flower enameled fields are embalmed with mem- 
ories of the gentle Evangeline. Not far from these smiling 
scenes, in the midst of a devout Catholic population, the 
Society of the Sacred Heart founded its third convent in 
America. 

35 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

The Abbe Delacroix, formerly chaplain at Florissant, 
but at this time Cure of the small town of St. Michael's, had 
appealed to Mother Duchesne to establish an academy in his 
parish. His desire met with innumerable obstacles, but the 
indefatigable Cure surmounted them all. To Mother Du- 
chesne's objection that financial resources were wanting, he 
responded by raising a subscription of seven thousand dol- 
lars for the purchase of land and the erection of a house. 

In corresponding with Mother Barat on the subject, 
Mother Duchesne wrote : " Mother Aude is the only one 
Vvho could carry on this work. It requires her firmness, tact 
and prudence in so difficult a position. Madame Xavier 
Murphy is well fitted to replace her at Grand Coteau." 

Mother Aude in her letter to Mother Barat makes us 
acquainted with the members of the new foundation. 

" I take with me to Saint Michael's Madame Xavier 
Hamilton, a very competent mistress for the English classes, 
who, if necessary, can assist in teaching French ; Sister 
Labruyere and Sister Mullanphy, who will be cook; Phil- 
ippine and Sophie, the two novices who received the veil on 
the feast of Saint Magdalen, and with whom we are every 
day more pleased. Then there is a third novice, Mary Har- 
dey, whom we had for two years and a half as a pupil. She 
was always at the head of her class and was ' First 
Medallion ' in the school. She would do honor even to the 
French Novitiate. Pray that she may persevere. I think 
that she will one day be a great help to us. She is not yet 
sixteen." 

On the 23d of October, 1825, the little band bade a sad 
but loving farewell to relatives and friends who had assem- 
bled to wish them " God speed " on their journey. The part- 
ing was painful on all sides, as we learn from Mother Aude's 
letters, for the spirit which moves one to renounce every- 
thing for God does not sever filial and fraternal bonds of 
affection. On the contrary, it enlarges the heart and 

36 



RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT 

strengthens even those natural ties that render life sacred 
and beautiful. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hardey gave their blessing and consent to 
their daughter's departure, and they were much consoled to 
see her so generous in her sacrifice. 

Leaving Grand Coteau and Mother Xavier Murphy, the 
special friend and guide of her school days, was an addi- 
tional sorrow to Mary. A warm sympathy united them, 
arising from similar traits of strength and beauty of char- 
acter. Though their paths were henceforth separate, their 
friendship, founded in the love of Jesus, was constant to the 
end. 

After various halts and adventures on the journey, the 
little colony reached St. Michael's on the eve of All Saints. 

Mother Aude thus describes their arrival : " Monsieur 
Delacroix received us kindly, and as our house is not yet 
under roof he gave up his own to us and sought lodgings 
elsewhere. 

" On the Feast of All Saints we were obliged to go to the 
parish church, and the news of our arrival having been 
noised abroad the church was full. Monsieur Delacroix 
placed us in the sanctuary, and at his request we sang the 
Mass of Dumont, a Tantum Ergo, a hymn and the Laudate. 
The congregation joined in the singing with great feeling. 
Many of them were moved to tears. 

" I have already received visits from the principal in- 
habitants, who have made us kind offers of services, but the 
more we are welcomed the more I wish to hide myself in 
the Heart of Jesus. I have greater need than ever of prayers 
for this work, which I undertake with certain misgivings." 

The religious left the dwelling of the hospitable Cure 
on the 2oth of November and took possession of their new 
convent, which was situated in the center of the parish, 
very near the church. 

Mother Aude gives the following description of it to 
Mother Barat: "Our house is one hundred feet in length, 

37 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

built in brick, with green shutters, shingled roof and wood- 
work the color of mahogany. We have no other furniture 
than the four walls, no stove nor fireplace, but we warm 
ourselves near the Crib of the Saviour, and from time to 
time in the kitchen. It is impossible to get a workman to 
make a bench ; all are too busy trying to finish the house." 
A little later she wrote again, alluding to their privations: 
" It is really the poverty of the Crib ; nothing could be more 
charming. Our little novices are being strengthened in 
their vocation, and they will soon be able to assist us in the 
school." 

The seed of an abundant harvest is ordinarily sown in 
the earth of self-abnegation. Such was the soil from which 
Mother Aude and her little family were to reap the fruit of 
their labors. 

For four months they lived on milk and rice, yet their 
health was excellent. Love lightened every task, and priva- 
tions were, at times, even sources of amusement. 

During the first weeks they had to take their meals in 
rather primitive style. They had no dishes, but a peddler 
called one day and temptingly displayed his wares, where- 
upon they bought a dozen tin plates, promising to pay him 
later as they had no ready money. The next morning, while 
each one was enjoying the luxury of a plate at breakfast, 
the creditor appeared at the door and demanded payment. 
In vain was he reminded of the terms of the contract. He 
would brook no delay, so before finishing their repast they 
had to wash the plates and return them to the inexorable 
owner. Incidents such as these brightened the days of toil 
and privation that preceded the opening of the school. 

Mother Aude marked with joy the growing fervor of her 
daughters, and wrote Mother Barat : " Our little novices 
are being formed to the religious life; one particularly, 
Madame Aloysia, is likely to become a great success. Her 
demeanor, her aptitude for study, her docility, her excellent 
judgment and attachment to the Society afford us the great- 

38 



RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT 

est consolation and make us look hopefully to her future." 
Towards the end of March the building was completed, 

and Our Lord took up His abode in the modest little chapel. 
In a transport of joy, Mother Aude writes to Mother 

Barat : 

" EASTER SUNDAY, 1826. 

" MY VERY REVEREND MOTHER : 

" I do not believe there is a happier person in the whole 
world than I am to-day. This morning for the first time we 
had Mass in our little chapel. Our Lord is with us ! He 
has said to us, as to His Apostles, ' Fear not, it is I ! ' Ah ! 
Mother, can you understand how sweet is the day that ends 
our privation of five long months? The Real Presence of 
Jesus in the Eucharist is now so sensible to my heart that 
I could fly to martyrdom to prove my belief in this great 
truth. The entire world, with all its riches and pleasures, 
could never equal one moment of the joy I felt when I saw 
the Blessed Sacrament placed in the Tabernacle. We all 
wept for joy on leaving the chapel. Even our pupils were 
deeply moved. Mother, O, Mother! We have Jesus with 
us! Nothing now troubles me, for He will always be here. 
With Him I can do all, suffer all, hope for all. . . . 

" Our little chapel is simple and pretty, but Jesus is 
there ! I would like to make the whole world happy to-day, 
because of the ravishing joy I find in the presence of the 
Good Master." 

Such was the ardent soul that inspired Madame Hardey, 
and through her, successive generations, with a tender love 
for Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar. About the same 
time that the religious rejoiced to welcome Jesus to their 
new home, they gave cordial greeting to the young souls to 
whom they were to make Him known and loved. 

" It would be impossible to desire a better opening," 
writes Mother Aude. " The pupils are polite and docile, the 
mistresses united and submissive to authority. Our little 

39 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

novices surpass my expectations, especially Madame Aloy- 
sia. She is like an experienced Mistress with the pupils, is 
very energetic at study, and most successful in teaching her 
classes. Her exterior bearing is amiability itself; in char- 
acter, she is frank and artless, her judgment is solid, and her 
vocation genuine. Indeed, I should have too many conso- 
lations were it not for the anxiety caused by so many debts. 
However, God will take care of us in His own way." 

Mother Barat wrote her congratulations to Mother Aude 
and the assurance of her deep interest in the welfare of St. 
Michael's, and in conclusion she says: "Give my kindest 
greetings to your dear family and assure them all that they 
are dearer to me than ever, since their separation from 
Grand Coteau. You are now charged with the mission of 
making the Heart of Jesus better known and loved in an- 
other part of Louisiana. Why cannot I share your labors? 
Ah ! I know well ; it is because I am unworthy. I can, at 
least, envy your privilege, and beg Our Lord to shower bless- 
ings upon my Eugenie and her daughters who are so dear 
to me." 

A little later, in reply to Mother Aude's remark that she 
" longed to wear out her life and die for the interests of 
Jesus," she replied : " I implore you, my dear Eugenie, take 
care of your health and do not desire to die. To live and 
suffer for the glory of Him you love, is far more worthy of 
your devoted heart. That other desire is an imperfect one 
and evinces more love for yourself than for Him. To labor 
for the salvation of souls is the greatest proof of our love 
for God. Besides, you have to extend the interests of our 
dear Society in a new country. Farewell ! May the Heart 
of Jesus make you and all your daughters His worthy 
spouses and enable you to draw to Him a great number of 
souls." 

If we have dwelt upon these letters of the Mother Gen- 
eral it is because the spirit breathing in them emits sparks 
of that apostolic love which quickened the same ardent 

40 




1 Tomb of Mother Duchesne and House Where She Lived 

2 St. Charles', Missouri. (Old House) 

3 St. Michael's, Louisiana, 1825 1841 

4 Grand Coteau, First Convent in Louisiana 

5 St. Michael's as Planned by Mother Hardey 



RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT 

flame in the hearts of Mary Hardey and the other members 
of the little family of St. Michael's. 

The prosperity of the new foundation soon realized the 
most sanguine expectations. Within a few months several 
postulants entered and forty pupils were received in the 
school. 

The following lines are a tribute from one of the pupils 
of those early days, who, amid the fast falling shadows of 
old age, recalled Madame Hardey's lovely young face and 
the gentle influence she exercised around her: "I can see 
her yet, as she looked then, so kind and unaffected in man- 
ner, that the youngest child in the house could approach her 
with ease, and yet, withal, so dignified, that the eldest re- 
spected and reverenced her. The rare qualities with which 
nature endowed her formed a rich setting for those super- 
natural gifts and graces which shone out in her character 
like the brightest of gems." 

Towards the close of the year 1826, the Annals of the 
Society of the Sacred Heart recorded one of the most im- 
portant events in its history, namely, the approbation of 
the Society by His Holiness, Leo XII. 

" This approbation," says Mgr. Baunard, the historian 
of Mother Barat, " not only confers on the Constitutions 
which obtain it a stronger authority, a higher sanction and a 
more sacred character, but it secures them against any rash 
attempts to interfere with them. 

" The Church when it approves of a Congregation im- 
parts to it a share of its own prerogatives, which are to be a 
united, unchangeable, independent and universal society." 

In reference to this event, Mother Barat addressed a let- 
ter to the Superiors of the Congregation. " Our Rules and 
Constitutions," she wrote, " having borne the mark of the 
Holy Spirit, and the exact observance of them having al- 
ready conducted many of our Sisters to a high perfection 
and a holy death; they appeared to lack nothing that could 
win our veneration, except the sanction of the common 

41 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Father of the Faithful. Urged by our great desire to be 
more intimately united with the Visible Head of the Church, 
whose devoted and submissive daughters, the Religious of 
the Sacred Heart will ever glory in being, we conjured His 
Holiness to approve our Constitutions. He has deigned to 
grant us this favor, after they had been duly examined by the 
Congregation of Regulars and a Commission of Cardinals. 
The result is entirely conformable to our desires, and all our 
rules have been recognized by the Holy Father as being 
wise and divinely inspired. 

" What a proof of love the Heart of Jesus has given the 
Society, and with what gratitude our hearts should be filled ! 
But the solid fruit which He has the right to expect from 
us, in return for so signal a blessing, is greater punctuality 
and generosity in the observance of these holy rules. Let 
each one then make them her study and say to herself fre- 
quently, as an inducement to the faithful practice of them, 
' in obeying these rules I am sure of obeying the Church 
and of doing the will of God.' ' ! 

Some American missionaries coming from Rome the 
previous year had brought to Mother Duchesne and her 
daughters a message from the Holy Father, urging them to 
work zealously for the increase of devotion to the Sacred 
Heart in America. 

Mother Bigeu, who had been charged with carrying on 
the negotiations for securing the papal sanction, had written 
from Rome consoling news to Mother Duchesne. " The 
work in which you are engaged has contributed greatly to 
obtain the approbation of the Holy See. The Cardinals, and 
the Pope himself, were very much impressed to hear that 
the Sacred Heart had inspired women with so much 
energy." 

The announcement of this event gave rise to religious 
celebrations in all the convents, in token of deep happiness 
and unbounded gratitude; but the nuns in America seemed 
to have a special right to rejoice since their humble labors 



RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT 

had helped to secure for their loved Society the brief so 
highly prized. 

The struggles of the past and the trials of the present 
were counted as nothing, now that the Society had received 
this crowning blessing from the Father of Christendom. 

Madame Aloysia Hardey was one of the first admitted 
to take her vows after the Society had obtained the Papal 
sanction. 

According to the Rules of the Society of the Sacred 
Heart, the novice spends two years in preparing herself 
for this important event. During that period she is in- 
structed in the nature of the obligations she is about to as- 
sume, and, according to her measure of grace and strength, 
her superiors must give her opportunities of making daily 
progress in the practice of the virtues which are the object 
of the vows. But her sweetest occupation and most sacred 
duty is to contemplate, study and know intimately the in- 
terior dispositions of the Heart of Jesus with regard to pov- 
erty, chastity and obedience, in order to conform and unite 
herself closely to them. 

The Rule tells her " that she must cherish poverty as 
her mother, and rejoice to feel its effects sometimes in her 
food, rest, lodging and clothing." 

" With regard to the virtue of chastity she must strive. 
by continued watchfulness over her senses and the purity of 
her mind and heart, to imitate the purity of Angels, and 
even the purity of the Heart of Jesus, as far as it is possible 
for creatures, aided by Divine Grace." 

" The exercise of obedience will become very sweet to 
her, if she always considers, as she should do, in every su- 
perior, the person of Jesus Christ Himself; she will find no 
difficulty in conforming her will to the will of her superiors 
in everything in which there is not evident sin, and by the 
conformity of her judgment with that of her superior, by 
the readiness and joy that will accompany her obedience, 
she must endeavor to omit nothing that may belong to the 

43 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

perfection of this virtue of which Jesus Christ is the model." 

In regard to the other virtues befitting the holiness of 
her vocation, the novice is to consider the Heart of Jesus 
as an " open book " in which she can study how He prac- 
ticed each virtue in particular, in order to conform herself 
to the interior dispositions of His Divine Heart, when she 
is called upon to imitate His example. 

Madame Hardey had profited so well by the training she 
had received and had made such progress in humility and 
self-renunciation, that her superiors abridged the period of 
her noviceship and admitted her to her first vows on the 
fifteenth of March, 1827. 

The five years which follow before the final vows, are 
considered as a continuation of the noviceship, the exer- 
cises and practices of which are preserved, as far as they 
can be combined with application to study or teaching. 
Hence the Rule reminds the young religious that " they 
must beware of thinking that they have entered on a course 
of greater freedom in which there will be less restraint and 
subjection. On the contrary, they must regard each step 
in religious life as a step further towards that perfection at 
which they must aim until their last breath. They have in 
fact engaged themselves to this before God, by making 
their first vows, and they must feel that it would be a 
strange abuse of grace, if, at the end of the five years, they 
were less advanced in interior life and the virtues of their 
state, than they were on leaving the novitiate." 

During the course of these five years, local superiors are 
required to keep the Superior General exactly informed of 
the progress in virtue, and success in studies of the aspi- 
rants under their charge, in order that she may judge who 
are to be admitted at the end of this time to the final pro- 
bation. 

We are enabled to follow Madame Hardey's advance- 
ment during the period of her aspirantship from the letters 
of Mother Aude to Mother Barat. 

44 



RECEIVES THE RELIGIOUS HABIT 

In the fall of 1827 she writes : " The novices are good. 
Among the aspirants, Madame Aloysia distinguishes her- 
self in every respect." 

A little later, when Mother Duchesne was about to 
establish a convent in St. Louis, she expressed the desire to 
have Madame Aloysia. Mother Aude wrote in reply : " If 
you take Madame Aloysia, dear Mother, you may as well 
take the whole house." 

These words from a superior like Mother Aude prove 
the worth of the young religious ; but the following lines to 
Mother Barat are even more appreciative, especially when 
we consider that Madame Aloysia was not yet twenty years 
of age. 

" She has an upright mind, excellent judgment, great 
prudence, experience far beyond her years, and without ex- 
ception she is the most promising subject in the Commu- 
nity. She possesses likewise the most attractive exterior 
qualities, a lovely countenance and that modesty and dig- 
nity so becoming in a religious." 



45 



CHAPTER VI. 

DEATH OF MADAME HAMILTON COUNCIL AT SAINT 
MICHAEL'S 1827-1833. 

In the beginning of May, 1827, Madame Matilda Hamil- 
ton, the Assistant Superior and Mistress General of the 
school of Saint Michael's, was called to her eternal reward. 

Mother Aude, under the first impression of her grief, 
wrote to Mother Barat : " Our Angel of Peace is no more. 
God called her to Himself at three o'clock yesterday morn- 
ing. After receiving the Last Sacraments, she gave me her 
cold hand, saying, ' I am dying; in a few moments I shall 
be with God.' She then took her Crucifix, pressed it to her 
lips, looked at me as if to take a final leave, uttered the 
name of Jesus and breathed her last sigh." 

The great gifts with which Madame Hamilton was en- 
dowed had led her superiors to look to her future as one of 
eminent usefulness to the Society. Her life was truly a 
striking illustration of the triumph of grace in a soul that 
earnestly seeks God. 

Like Madame Aloysia Hardey, to whom she was re- 
lated, Madame Hamilton sprang from one of those English 
Catholic families which sought liberty on the peaceful 
shores of the Chesapeake. 

Her father left Maryland early in 1810, in order to ad- 
vance the worldly prospects of his children in the new 
homes of Upper Louisiana. His first care, however, was to 
give them an education that would be an inheritance for 
time and eternity. His abode was open at all times to re- 
ceive the passing missionary, hence, his family lived, as it 
were, in the blessed atmosphere which surrounds the priest 
of God. 

In those early days, many a Catholic home became the 
sanctuary of the King of Kings. An apartment was always 
ready for the priest, and another for the chapel, where less 

46 



DEATH OF MADAME HAMILTON 

fortunate neighbors might assist at the Holy Mass. Such 
was the home of the Hamiltons. It was not surprising then 
that two of the daughters were called to the religious state. 

Eulalia and Matilda became pupils of the Sacred Heart 
at Florissant in 1820, and the following year the former en- 
tered the noviceship. 

Matilda had likewise heard the call to a more perfect 
life, but she lacked courage to respond. She was on the 
point of sailing for Europe when she heard that Eulalia was 
to be clothed in the religious habit, so she delayed her de- 
parture until after the ceremony. She was so impressed by 
the scene and so touched by Divine Grace, that she entered 
the noviceship at once, and, a month later, received the 
white veil of the novice, assuming the name of Xavier. 

Mother Duchesne, writing of her to Mother Barat, says : 
" Our Sister Matilda is very pleasing in looks and manner ; 
she has a manly spirit, generous soul and capability for 
great sacrifices. God has allowed her to go through many 
trials, but her courage and faith have triumphed over all." 

After taking her first vows, Madame Hamilton was 
sent to Grand Coteau, and later she accompanied Mother 
Aude to St. Michael's, where, under her prudent direction, 
the school acquired a reputation which was rapidly ex- 
tending throughout the Southern States. Already the 
pupils numbered sixty-five. All of them deeply regretted 
the death of the Mother, whose sterling qualities they had 
learned to appreciate. 

Madame Hamilton would have been an irreparable loss 
to Mother Aude had not the latter seen that Madame Aloy- 
sia could be trained to replace her in the important post of 
Mistress General, the duties of which office are thus laid 
down in the Rule : 

" To labor constantly for the glory of the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus, to form young souls to His love, employing human 
knowledge only as a useful instrument to direct them to 
this noble end, such are the principal motives which the 

47 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Mistress General must have in view and which will draw 
clown the blessing of God upon her work. 

" She shall, therefore, fervently implore the Sacred 
Heart of Jesus to grant her the spirit of prayer, of fervor 
and of zeal. In order to fulfill her duties profitably she 
needs a sound and solid judgment, great vigilance, true dis- 
cernment, enlightened prudence, delicate sense of what is 
becoming, and finally, wise firmness, tempered by kindness, 
gentleness and charity. 

" She should look upon herself as holding a mother's 
place to all the children confided to her. She shall, there- 
fore, have for them all a mother's love and try to gain their 
confidence by gentleness and kindness. 

" She shall watch with motherly tenderness over the 
preservation of their health, and when sick procure for them, 
and even personally bestow on them every care which ten- 
der charity can suggest. 

" Her position, far from rendering her independent, does 
but draw closer the bonds which unite the Mistress Gen- 
eral to the Superior whose place she holds in the office in- 
trusted to her." 

In confiding to Madame Aloysia a charge of such re- 
sponsibility, Mother Aude continued to watch and direct 
her at every step, while her docile daughter found light, 
strength and efficiency for her important duties in her en- 
tire submission to the wise counsels of her beloved superior. 

Saint Michael's did not fail to realize the fair promise of 
its opening years, as we learn from Bishop Rosati, the suc- 
cessor of Bishop Dubourg, who wrote to Mother Barat as 
follows: " It is evident that God has special designs on this 
country, since He gives us not only the advantage of a first 
rate, and at the same time Christian education, but also the 
inestimable blessing of a great many vocations to the reli- 
gious life, which is something quite unheard of in these 
parts. The good which is being done at Saint Michael's is 
great, but we have every reason to hope for even greater." 

48 



DEATH OF MADAME HAMILTON 

With that untiring zeal which distinguished her, Mother 
Barat sought to strengthen the American branch of the So- 
ciety. The political horizon f Europe was lowering, and 
the evils of an approaching revolution again threatened to 
compromise the liberty of the Church in France, hence, 
Mother Barat looked to the New World as the probable 
stronghold of Faith's grandest triumphs in the nineteenth 
century. In her letters to Mother Duchesne she expresses 
the hope that if the menacing storm should break in fury 
around them, the Society might find in America a refuge 
where it could still labor for the glory of the Sacred Heart. 

In order to maintain that unity of spirit and government 
essential to the well being of the Society, she directed 
Mother Duchesne to convene the superiors for the purpose 
of holding a provincial council. 

In spite of her reluctance to preside over this delibera- 
tive body, Mother Duchesne humbly bowed before the de- 
cision of her superior, and asked only that the meeting 
might be held at Saint Michael's, in order to spare the 
Southern Superiors the fatigue of a journey to Saint Louis. 

She left Saint Louis on the 7th of November, 1829, and 
soon after her arrival at Saint Michael's she opened the 
council in accordance with the wishes of the Mother Gen- 
eral. 

The Society had been especially blessed by God since its 
first foundation in Saint Charles eleven years before. There 
were now five academies with three hundred and fifty pupils 
in attendance, and the number of religious had reached 
sixty-five. 

Mother Duchesne in forwarding her report to the 
Mother General, writes in glowing terms of the convent at 
Saint Michael's. " Our children are very obedient and very 
faithful to the practice of their religion. The former pupils 
are much attached to the house and speak of it with enthu- 
siastic gratitude. 

" Many of them come here for confession and Holy 

4 49 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Comrnunion. We have our own way with the parents who 
appreciate our system of education." 

She also wrote in praise of the Community, adding: 
" Every day they make greater efforts to advance in virtue, 
often seeking, rather than avoiding humiliations." 

Madame Aloysia, as secretary of the council, was 
brought into frequent relations with Mother Duchesne, who 
was quick to discern in the young religious rare intellectual 
gifts, exceptional qualities and unusual strength of will. 

Having remarked her reserved and somewhat haughty 
bearing, which she termed her " American pride." Mother 
Duchesne lost no opportunity of testing her humility by 
sharp and severe reprimands. She was no doubt well satis- 
fied with the evidences of humility which she discovered, 
for, writing later of her, she adds these significant words: 
" Madame Aloysia is too perfect ; I fear she will not live 
long." 

If Mother Duchesne was consoled by the religious spirit 
which reigned at Saint Michael's, her own example of self- 
abnegation and humble dependence was a source of edifica- 
tion to every one. She had said of herself in a letter to 
Mother Barat that she was " a worn out staff, only fit to be 
set aside," but, when she bade adieu to the assembled 
Mothers and started on her homeward journey, they felt 
that she was truly a column and strong support to the So- 
ciety in America. 

In 1832, the convent at Saint Michael's counted two hun- 
dred inmates. The school continued to prosper, the ranks 
cf the Noviceship were constantly increasing, and twelve 
little orphans had been received by Mother Aude. 

With this ever growing success, time passed away in 
that blissful monotony which offers little for the historian 
to relate. Yet the faithful accomplishment of the duties of 
every day life was silently preparing Mother Aude and her 
daughters for the terrible calamity that was to visit their 
peaceful home and seal their mission with the life-giving 
sign of the Cross. _ n 



CHAPTER VII. 

CHOLERA AT ST. MICHAEL'S MADAME HARDEY'S PROFESSION 

MADAME AUDE'S DEPARTURE FOR FRANCE MADAME 

HARDEY APPOINTED SUPERIOR 1833-1836. 

In the Spring of 1832, the Asiatic cholera appeared for 
the first time in America, having been carried to Quebec on 
the tide of western emigration. Following the St. Law- 
rence River and the Great Lakes, the pestilence turned 
southward, advancing with the current of the Mississippi, 
along whose borders it smote down thousands of victims. 

During the next Spring the contagion swept over Louisi- 
ana, and the convent of St. Michael's was included in its de- 
structive course. 

On the 3Oth of May, Madame Vandamne, one of the re- 
ligious, felt the symptoms of the dread disease, and before 
the rise of the morrow's sun her spirit passed from its earth- 
ly exile to its eternal home. Two of the orphans and five of 
the religious were already attacked, and two others were at 
the last extremity. 

Mother Aude took prompt and decisive measures to ar- 
rest the progress of the disease. The pupils were sent to 
their homes, and the Community and orphans were re- 
stricted to a part of the building, where they were sheltered 
from the contagion. 

The intrepid superior remained at the post of danger 
day and night, and in answer to friends who urged her to 
remove with the Community to a place of safety, she reso- 
lutely declared : " I would rather be torn to pieces than to 
leave the bedside of my poor Sisters. God united us at the 
foot of the Altar and together we must live or die." 

Madame Aloysia Hardey ably seconded her superior in 
her attendance on the sick. An eye witness tells us that 

51 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

" she went through the plague-stricken house like an Angel 
of Mercy, cheering the invalids, consoling the dying and 
preparing the dead for burial. Her delicate charity, pres- 
ence of mind and efficiency in nursing, rendered her invalu- 
able not only to Mother Aude but to the entire Com- 
munity." 

While she was attending one of the orphans, the doctor 
bade her bestow her care upon those whose condition gave 
greater hopes of recovery. In obedience she withdrew, but 
returned a little later to find the sufferer still alive. For 
twenty-four hours she devoted herself to the care of the 
child, applying such remedies as her judgment and experi- 
ence suggested, and at the doctor's next visit she had the 
joy of hearing him pronounce her little patient out of 
danger. 

" In those terrible days," wrote Mother Aude, " God 
gave me the consolation of seeing the Sisters who were 
taken from us die like saints, and the others, calm, resigned 
and even happy, expressing but one desire to be true to 
their last breath to the consecration they had made of their 
whole life to the Divine Heart of Jesus." 

The devoted superior at last succumbed to the exhaus- 
tion consequent upon her anxiety and fatigue. After a brief 
illness she rallied, but scarcely was she convalescent when 
one of the Sisters died of apoplexy. That death was fol- 
lowed by three others in rapid succession. In her distress, 
Mother Aude wrote to the Mother General: "Has God 
closed the last link in this chain of cruel trials? He alone 
knows, and I must not seek to know. I am heartbroken. 
Pray for me, dearest Mother, that neither in my heart nor 
on my lips any word or thought of complaint may ever 
arise." 

The untiring devotedness of Madame Hardey during 
those memorable days was rewarded by that privilege so 
ardently desired by every Religious of the Sacred Heart, 
admission to her final vows. 

52 



CHOLERA AT ST. MICHAEL'S 

It is by their final profession that the members enter 
properly speaking, into the body of the Society, and become 
eligible for offices of government and administration. 

In the words of the Rule, " their love for Jesus Christ, 
their zeal for the glory of His Divine Heart, their charity 
towards others, in a word, all the virtues, whether essential 
or proper to their holy vocation, should as much excel those 
to be found in novices, as a person running along the road 
to perfection outstrips one who is seeking it. 

" Called as they are by their Institute to consecrate 
themselves to the service of their neighbor and to the sanc- 
tification of souls, let them never forget that they should be 
deeply rooted in humility and charity. The nobler and 
grander their work is in the light of faith, the more they 
should lower and annihilate themselves in their own hearts. 
In this deep sense of their lowliness and nothingness, they 
must be ready at all times to accept the lowest employ- 
ments in the house. They must also accept contempt and 
humiliation, no matter whence they come, as well as the re- 
proofs, mortifications or penances which the superior may 
think useful for the good of their soul. . . . 

" Thus faithful to the grace of their vocation, they will 
advance more and more in the way of perfection and pre- 
pare themselves for eternal union with their Divine 
Spouse." 

According to the plan of the Institute this important step 
must be preceded by a period of probation, which tn the be- 
ginning of the Society was three, and has since been ex- 
tended to six months. This second noviceship, generally 
made at a mature age, after the first experiences of life have 
been gone through, is one of the most powerful means of 
renewal and spiritual progress. During that time study, 
teaching, offices are all interrupted and ample time given 
for prayer, silence and cultivation of the interior life. 

In Madame Hardey's case there was no such respite 
from labor, no such preparation for the coming of the bride- 

53 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

groom ; but the lessons of heroic suffering and filial submis- 
sion to the Divine Will which she had so recently learned in 
the midst of the pestilence, had fully prepared her for the 
grace of profession, which she made on the iQth of July, 

1833- 

The fervor of the young religious, which was a foreshad- 
owing of the life of devotedness that was to bring forth such 
rich harvests for the glory of the Heart of Jesus, imparted 
to this ceremony, always so impressive, a spiritual bright- 
ness that led Mother Aude to write to Mother Barat: 

" Madame Aloysia's profession was a ray of sunshine 
after the gloom of those terrible days through which we 
passed." 

The close of this sadly eventful year was sealed by a 
sacrifice keenly felt at Saint Michael's. 

Mother Aude was recalled to France, having been elected 
at the recent General Council one .of the four Assistants of 
the Mother General. 

In writing to Mother Barat as to the choice of her suc- 
cessor, Mother Aude says : " Madame Aloysia could be su- 
perior, but she is only twenty-three years of age, and, as 
you remember, made her profession a few months ago. 
. . . These are the only obstacles I see, for she has the 
prudence, talents and virtues necessary for the position." 

Two days later this letter was followed by another, in 
which Mother Aude says: "Madame Aloysia has all the 
qualifications requisite for one at the head of a house, if you 
can overlook her age." 

Unquestionable as these praises were, Mother Barat 
deemed it unwise to depart from the customs of the Society, 
so she named Madame Bazire superior and appointed 
Madame Aloysia assistant superior, in addition to her office 
of mistress general, treasurer and mistress of class. 

Under the pressure of such arduous and unremitting la- 
bors Madame Aloysia's health began to break. In June, 
1836, she wrote to Mother Aude : " I fear my chest will not 

54 



CHOLERA AT ST. MICHAEL'S 

be able to bear more than ten years of teaching. But what 
does it matter, since it is in the service of the Society that 
I am wearing out. Like a brave soldier, I should be proud 
of my scars." And in another letter : " In order to finish 
my occupations, I have to take from my night's rest what 
the days fail to supply, but I am only too happy to labor 
for the welfare of our dear Society and the good of souls. 
I have always been faithful to your parting recommenda- 
tion, never to complain, no matter how multiplied or bur- 
densome my duties may be.'' 

Mother Hardey's correspondence with Mother Barat 
dates from this time. On April 18, 1836, she wrote her the 
following letter: 

" MY VERY REVEREND MOTHER: 

" Our revered Bishop Blanc will hand you this letter 
and he promised to do all in his power to bring me in re- 
turn a few lines traced by your own hand. He has been our 
guest for a few days and he seems to be deeply interested in 
all that relates to our welfare. 

" He will tell you of the desire of Bishop Purcell to 
establish a house of the Society in Cincinnati. A founda- 
tion there would contribute greatly to the advantage of our 
other convents, as we are in need of teachers for the Eng- 
lish classes, and I am sure such teachers could be found 
among the accessions made to the Society in Cincinnati. Be- 
lieve me, Very Reverend Mother, our little family of Saint 
Michael's is prepared to make any sacrifice you may demand 
to further this undertaking, which we have all the more at 
heart, because we feel sure that it will advance the interests 
of the Society. As to your Aloysia, she is ready to give you 
a proof of her devotedness not by offering herself for the 
foundation, for she is unworthy of being chosen, but by ac- 
cepting an increase of labor in order to replace those whom 
you may deem suited for so noble a mission." 

About the same time, Mother Hardey recommended the 

55 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

proposed foundation to Mother Aude, whose special office 
in Paris was to watch over the interests of the American 
houses. 

In her letter she says: " We have had the honor of a 
visit from Bishop Blanc and Bishop Portier of Mobile. 
They visited the school and the community and seemed 
pleased with everything. 

" Bishop Blanc asked several questions about the com- 
munity, among others, whether union reigned at St. Mi- 
chael's. ' Yes, Monseigneur/ replied one of the religious, 
' you may tell our Mother General that we are one.' 

" ' Why, that surpasses the Trinity,' exclaimed Bishop 
Portier. ' Here are twenty-eight nuns and they make but 
one.' The Bishop of Mobile is very witty and affable." 

In this same letter Mother Hardey tells Mother Aude 
of certain difficulties with the Trustees of the Church, aris- 
ing from the proximity of the convent to the parish church. 
These gentlemen took offense because the religious erected 
a wall of inclosure around their property. With the hope 
of appeasing them, Mother Hardey proposed certain plans, 
which she forwarded to Mother Aude, begging her to sub- 
mit them to Mother Barat for approval. In conclusion she 
expresses the fear that her letters may not have been suffi- 
ciently clear and detailed. 

" I shrink from expressing my views too decidedly," she 
says, " and this often makes me reticent. Tell her that you 
know the heart of your American daughter, that it is good, 
that it loves her as much as an American can love, and that 
is more than an American can express." 

While Mother Hardey thus found solace in pouring out 
her anxieties to her beloved Mother Aude, a grave was 
about to open for one whom she held in tender affection. 

Mother Xavier Murphy, the friend and confidante of her 
school days, was dying. Although they had met but sel- 
dom since their separation in 1825, they always remained 
faithfully attached to each other. 

56 



CHOLERA AT ST. MICHAEL'S 

One of the religious of those days gives the following 
account of Mother Murphy's visit to Saint Michael's in 
1834: " Our families in Louisiana were very united. Many 
of the religious were strangers in a strange land, and this 
fact seemed to link their hearts in bonds of closer union. 
Mother Murphy's visit was hailed with joy. On one of our 
holidays she insisted upon serving us at dinner, saying that 
she deemed it an honor to wait upon the spouses of the 
Lord. 

" Towards the end of the meal she drew from her pocket 
a roll of paper and read us some sprightly verses she had 
written for the occasion. 

" This esteemed Mother possessed a highly cultivated 
mind and the rare gift of uniting religious sentiment with a 
cheerfulness of manner that brought sunshine wherever she 
went." 

Though a prey to incessant fever, Mother Murphy re- 
tained to the last her joyful serenity of character. Writing 
to Mother Barat as her death drew near, she says : " My 
soul is stronger than my body, for my mind is always at 
peace. The more imperfect I am, the more God seems to 
love me." And to Mother Duchesne she writes : " This 
fever weakens me very much ; but for the good of the Com- 
munity it is well for the Superior to suffer. Pray that God 
may give me grace to become a holocaust for His glory." 

From the Annals of Grand Coteau, dated September 6, 
1836, we are able to give an account of the last hours of 
Mother Murphy's well filled life : " We have no longer any 
hope of saving our beloved superior. God in His wisdom 
has not answered our prayers according to our desires. He 
wants to give her the peace of a better world. Early this 
morning we sent for Father Rossi, but when he arrived our 
Mother was unable to receive Holy Viaticum. She was con- 
scious, however, and the privation only increased her merit 
and revealed to us in a clearer light her admirable virtues. 
Though suffering intensely, she awaited death with a peace 

57 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

and serenity which proved that her heart had already found 
rest in the Heart of Jesus. She pronounced frequently the 
sweet names of Jesus and Mary, pressed the crucifix to her 
lips, and often rested her gaze upon a statue of our Blessed 
Lady. About five minutes before midnight, while invoking 
the sacred name of Jesus, she expired in the peace of the 
Lord." 

When the tidings of Mother Murphy's death reached 
Saint Michael's, Mother Hardey's grief found vent in silent 
prayer for the dear departed and in humble acquiescence 
to the will of Him who had blessed her with the gift of so 
true and loyal a friend. She little dreamed that this painful 
loss would prove for herself the immediate cause of her ap- 
pointment as superior of Saint Michael's. 

In the month of October she received a letter from 
Mother Barat, from which we quote the following lines: 
"' Try, my dear Aloysia, to aid your superior in maintain- 
ing the observance of Rule, the fulfillment of religious ex- 
ercises and the practice of the virtues of our holy vocation. 
If you have the care of the novices, train them rather by 
the force of example than by precept. Hold lovingly to the 
observance of poverty and obedience for yourself and for 
them. Impress upon them that they cannot be true Reli- 
gious of the Sacred Heart, without loving and practising 
these virtues, which are the essence of religious life. 
Awaken in them zeal for souls, so that from the time of 
their noviceship they may take pleasure in teaching the 
children, in waiting upon them and especially in serving 
the poor. 

" If fervor reigns in your house Jesus will bless it and 
He will send you subjects. But if you languish in virtue, 
if each one prefers her own interests to those of Jesus, then 
all will slacken, all will decay, and what a misfortune that 
would be in a country where you should become Angels in 
order to gain hearts to Jesus Christ." 

A few weeks later another letter from the Mother Gen- 

58 



CHOLERA AT ST. MICHAEL'S 

eral brought the announcement that Mother Bazire was to 
go to Grand Coteau and that Mother Hardey was to replace 
her as Superior of Saint Michael's. 

We find the expression of Mother Hardey's grief and 
profound submission in the following letter to Mother 
Barat : 

" MY VERY REVEREND MOTHER : 

" My happiness would have been complete after the re- 
ception of your first letter but for the early arrival of an- 
other, which has caused me a grief so profound that I know 
not how to bear it. I communicated its contents to our 
good Bishop, and only for his encouragement I should be 
crushed. O, my Mother General ! How can you place such 
a burden on your poor Aloysia. How can you make her 
unhappy now, when for the past twelve years she has found 
only pleasure in the prompt and entire accomplishment of 
your will? " 

After further respectful protests she says : 

" But I shall resist no longer. As a true American I 
promise to do my best. If in order to succeed I have only 
to follow your counsels, I can answer beforehand for my 
success. To receive your precious letters, to keep you faith- 
fully informed of all that transpires here will be my great 
consolation. I have noted your recommendations and they 
shall be followed literally." 

In conclusion she says: 

" In union with your little family here I place myself at 
your feet; bless us and commend us to Him, over whose 
Heart your prayer is all powerful." 

We can judge by a few extracts from Mother Barat's 
letters how she counselled the young superior to begin her 
administration : " Copy in everything, my dear daughter, 
the mode of government of Mother Aude, who succeeded so 
well in your country. . . . Prayer, confidence in Jesus, 
will help you much. Be faithful to your spiritual exercises. 

59 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Do not neglect them under pretext of business. You will 
always have duties to attend to, but you should rarely sac- 
rifice your time of prayer. Observe the same fidelity in re- 
gard to your day of recollection once a month and your an- 
nual retreat." 

We have seen how Mother Hardey's early initiation into 
the government of the school and the discharge of other im- 
portant offices had prematurely developed her naturally 
strong character. The sequel will show that she possessed 
in an eminent degree those rare gifts required by the Rule 
in one who fills the position of Administrator, Guide and 
Mother. 



60 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MOTHER HARDEY'S ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR MOTHER 

GALITZIN VISITATRIX OF THE AMERICAN 

HOUSES 1836-1841. 

Mother Barat once wrote to one of her daughters : " In 
order to govern others we must be very humble and pa- 
tient. Oh ! how perfect we ought to be when we have to 
deal with the imperfect! Are you visited by the Cross? 
Welcome it as a friend ; you will find in it a well spring of 
spiritual blessings. Are you bent upon winning a soul? 
Suffer for it." 

In humility and patience, in love of the Cross and in zeal 
for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Hardey 
entered upon the duties of superiority, a burden which she 
was destined to carry for fifty years. 

A little incident will illustrate the gentleness and tact 
which ever marked her intercourse with her daughters. A 
Sister who was very fond of Mother Bazire had hoped to 
accompany her to Grand Coteau. When she found she was 
not to go she was very much disappointed, but she made no 
complaint. 

Mother Hardey, however, divined her suffering and 
hastened to offer sympathy. " My poor child," she said, 
" we have imposed on you a great sacrifice, but it is really 
because you are so much needed here ; you are so useful in 
every way." Not so much the words, but the tone of voice, 
so full of maternal interest, touched the heart of the young 
Sister, who from that moment conceived a grateful and last- 
ing love for her new superior. 

Mother Hardey continued to appeal to Mother Aude for 
counsel, but it was especially to Mother Barat that she 
looked for guidance in every detail of her office. We find 
in their mutual correspondence, on the one hand, the sim- 

61 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

plicity of a child and the confidence of a daughter, on the 
other the vigor of the Foundress and the tenderness of the 
Mother. 

In one of these communications, Mother Barat wrote: 
'' Your mode of government pleases me very much. It 
seems to me to come from God. He will always bless your 
obedience and you will gain in proportion. I am greatly 
pleased with your simplicity and confidence. ... I 
cannot urge you too strongly to ground yourself and your 
(laughters in the interior spirit. You do well to arrange 
your duties so as to have ample time for meditation and 
prayer. How I long to visit your dear Louisiana, but it is 
useless to think of it. Later it will be easier for you to come 
to France, and what a consolation it will be for me to see 
you! While awaiting this happy moment, my daughter, 
sanctify yourself daily more and more in order to procure 
greater glory to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The desire to 
do this should be your only passion. Your heart realizes 
the necessity of making reparation for the neglect and for- 
getfulness of so many, even His own Spouses, and it is a 
consolation for me to find one who like you wishes to love 
Him without measure." 

The following extract from a letter to Mother Aude 
shows in strong relief a distinguishing feature of Mother 
Hardey's character, viz., her perfect frankness with her 
superiors. " I keep nothing from you, my clear Mother, and 
I trust you will be equally candid with me. Do not fear to 
pain me by speaking frankly, for I like sincerity and it is 
the surest way to gain my confidence. Reserve on your 
part would be the only thing that could diminish my un- 
bounded reverence and affection for our Mother General 
and yourself. 

' You may think what you please of me, blame me, re- 
prove me, it matters not. You shall know all. Pray for me. 
Our Lord has given me much to suffer of late, but I bear all 
for the sake of our Mother General." 

62 



ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR 

Another time she writes to the same : " If my occupa- 
tions were in harmony with the sentiments of my heart, 
how many letters would be sent to you and our Venerated 
Mother! But I have never been less mistress of my time 
than since it has pleased Divine Providence to make me a 
servant of the servants of Christ. Formerly I could say, 
' On such a day I will write to our Mother General and to 
my beloved Mother Eugenie.' Now I must be at the serv- 
ice of every one night and day. You can understand how 
contrary this is to the inclinations of nature. 

" I am trying, however, to be patient, for something tells 
me that this state of things will not last always. ' Old 
times, good old times,' will come again. Have you forgot- 
ten your English? Do not forget it. It is the language you 
spoke to your little American eighteen years ago." 

She then begs Mother Aude to obtain Mother Barat's 
authorization for the erection of a building to accommodate 
the orphans. " I am distressed," she says, " that I cannot 
receive more than fourteen of these dear children. Never 
were they so good, nor their relatives so pleased with their 
progress, nor requests for admission so frequent. I am ac- 
cused of preferring them to the boarders. I shall not deny 
it, for love for the orphans is the inheritance I received from 
my dear Mother Eugenie." 

Saint Teresa says that it is the property of love to be 
working in a thousand different ways, and this thought 
seems to epitomize Mother Hardey's life as Superior of 
Saint Michael's. 

We read in a letter written to Mother Barat by the Su- 
perior of Baton Rouge : " You will rejoice to hear that the 
school now numbers two hundred pupils. Their parents 
have the greatest esteem for dear Mother Aloysia Hardey, 
and she is much beloved by the Community and the outside 
world. What heightens the value of her admirable qualities 
is the fact that she is apparently ignorant of them. Our 
Lord seems to take delight in blessing all that she under- 
takes." 63 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

The convent buildings could no longer suffice for the 
accommodation of so many pupils, so it became advisable 
for the religious to seek a location elsewhere, especially as 
the Church Trustees continued to interfere with every pro- 
ject that might better the situation. 

At this juncture a beautiful estate about two miles dis- 
tant was offered for immediate sale, and as the conditions 
were especially advantageous, Mother Hardey determined 
to make the purchase. 

Her letter to Mother Barat explains the difficulties of 
the situation : 

" I hesitated, my Very Reverend Mother, about purchas- 
ing this property, lest it should not be in accordance with 
your wishes; yet your letter of last January gave me the 
assurance that I was free to act when circumstances would 
not admit of delay. As the purchase has been made condi- 
tionally, it may be cancelled if it fails to receive your sanc- 
tion. You can form some idea of our present crowded con- 
dition when you hear that we lodge two hundred children 
in a building which was calculated to accommodate only a 
hundred and fifty. I wish you could see for yourself all our 
inconveniences. Who knows whether our Sisters of the 
Roman Novitiate would ever have enjoyed their present de- 
lightful abode, had not you, my venerated Mother, visited 
Rome? I am confident you would seek a ' Villa Lante ' for 
your family of Saint Michael's were you to witness our 
present needs. 

" Of late our position here has become intolerable. As 
the present cemetery is full, the Trustees are agitating the 
question of using the old one, which is in the immediate 
vicinity of our house and which was abandoned when we 
came here. . . . But our Good Master, while sending 
us these crosses, seems to bless our efforts in His service, 
for the Community and school were never more numerous. 

" We have at present in the house one hundred and 
ninety-nine pupils, thirty-six religious, including novices, 

64 



ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR 

and twenty-five charming little orphans. . . . Although 
we desire with the greatest anxiety a favorable reply, be as- 
sured, my Very Reverend Mother, that what you decide will 
be willingly accepted ; your views will ever be mine. Five 
years ago to-day I made my profession. It is thirteen years 
since I gave myself to the Society, but only five since I have 
been able to say to myself, ' Our Mother, our Society rec- 
ognize me for their child, or rather they cannot disown 
me.' What a consolation ! There is none greater in this 
world ! I have only one regret, that of not having served 
the Society better. 

" Adieu, my Very Reverend Mother ; ask of Him who 
can refuse you nothing, that I may not be lost in trying to 
save others. This is my greatest fear, a fear which never 
leaves me." 

After a delay of several months Mother Barat's approval 
of the purchase was received. With a courageous heart 
Mother Hardey undertook the erection of the new convent, 
but before its completion she was transferred to a distant 
field of labor. 

In the history of individual souls, sufferings and success 
are related to each other as the shadow to the light; the 
gloom of one follows the smile of the other. That very suc- 
cess which was shedding lustre over the convent at Saint 
Michael's was for Mother Hardey the cause of severe trials. 
The building of the new convent was in process of erection 
when Bishop Blanc ordered Mother Hardey to suspend the 
work and remodel the plan on a smaller scale, as he feared 
that so large an establishment might injure the prosperity 
of the Ursuline Academy in New Orleans ; but as two hun- 
dred pupils had to be provided for, the matter was referred 
to the Mother General. 

In her reply, Mother Barat enjoined the greatest defer- 
ence to ecclesiastical authority, explaining at the same time 
that concessions could not be made which might prove det- 
rimental to the works of the Society. " Should the Bishop 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

command," she wrote, " you must without doubt obey, but 
I should be obliged to protest ; in that case I would trans- 
plant you to another field of labor. We must be free to fol- 
low our vocation." She then advises securing the assist- 
ance of an influential ecclesiastic, a friend of the convent, 
and very competent to give judicious counsel in this deli- 
cate matter. 

In writing the lives of the friends of God, the chapter 
of trials will always remain incomplete, especially when 
there is question of their mission with souls. How much 
ingratitude comes to light over which we must throw a veil ! 
How much anguish of heart, impossible to describe, with- 
out betraying the secrecy which charity ordains! 

A letter from Mother Barat came to console and 
strengthen her daughter Aloysia. It is dated Rome, Febru- 
ary 26, 1838. We quote the following extracts: "The af- 
fair of the letter which was copied and used against us, 
caused me much grief, and in accordance with your advice 
we shall take our precautions that a similar occurrence will 
not happen in future. Divine Providence has permitted 
these difficulties, my dear daughter, in order to try us, and 
also to attach me still more to you and to your house. You 
belong to the Sacred Heart and you are the first of my 
American daughters; is not that sufficient to claim my af- 
fection? Besides, naturally, I like your nation and its ex- 
cellent qualities, and there is no fear of a misunderstanding 
between you and me. I appreciate fully your embarrassing 
position. Do not be in the least disturbed by what you may 
hear, for this gossip will not make the slightest impression 
on me. When I need any explanations I will have recourse 
to you and then I shall remain in peace. 

" Give up your classes, dear Mother. A superior should 
not be overburdened. Employ all the time you can com- 
mand in prayer and spiritual reading." 

Mother Hardey considered it a happy privilege to com- 
ply with this injunction, for it was in prayer that she found 

66 



ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR 

light and strength to labor for the welfare of the religious 
family she so ardently loved. 

The interests of the Society were always uppermost in 
her thoughts and were always preferred to any personal 
considerations. Of this we find a proof in one of her letters 
to Mother Aude : " I beg of you, if there should be any ques- 
tion of admitting my old Aunt Theresa (Miss Theresa Har- 
dey) to oppose it strongly. The Society would gain nothing 
by receiving her, although she is so holy. Her advanced 
age renders her unfit for our mode of life, and though she 
might be able to live according to Rule in what is strictly 
essential, her years and incapacity would require dispensa- 
tions wholly at variance with religious discipline and the 
observance of community life." 

Love of rule in its smallest detail was a marked charac- 
teristic of Mother Hardey. She herself was the living rule, 
regular, punctual, exact, in so easy and natural a manner 
that she seemed to be moulded in its spirit ; and in the train- 
ing of her daughters she sought to correct all peculiarities 
which might conflict even remotely with what is familiarly 
known as " common life." Thus we find in the reminis- 
ences of Mother Galwey, Vicar of the Missouri Province, 
many things which throw light upon Mother Hardey 's 
method of training novices in the spirit of their vocation. 
Mother Galwey was over thirty years of age at the time of 
her admission into the Society, and she had already made 
some progress in the ascetic life, under the guidance of 
Bishop David, Coadjutor of Bardstown, Kentucky. Shortly 
after her entrance, when the novices were preparing to cele- 
brate the Feast of St. Stanislaus, their patron, she an- 
nounced in Mother Hardey's presence that she had no devo- 
tion to " boy saints " ; her patron was St. Ignatius, the illus- 
trious founder of the Society of Jesus, but when the feast 
day arrived the novices were dispensed from their accus- 
tomed duties and left free to enjoy themselves. Madame 
Galwey, however, spent the day at her usual occupations. 

67 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Her obedience, always prompt and loving, was ready for 
every call, yet as the day wore on she realized that she was 
the only novice not enjoying the holiday. In her impulsive 
way she went to Mother Hardey to inquire the cause. " Did 
you not say," was the answer, " that you had no devotion to 
' boy saints? ' " The gentle reproof was understood and re- 
membered. Before the lapse of another year St. Stanislaus 
had one more loving client. 

On another occasion Madame Galwey declared with a 
certain emphasis that she objected to changing her bed, as 
she could not sleep the first night in a new place. Mother 
Hardey made no comment at the time, but towards evening 
she sent a message to the novice to put her bed in the gar- 
ret. The following day a new resting place was assigned, 
the third day another, and so on for twelve consecutive 
nights. Madame Galwey understood the motive for these 
repeated changes, and in relating the trial of her noviceship 
in after years, she remarked that Mother Hardey had taught 
her how to find rest in every corner of the Sacred Heart. 

Training such as this helped to temper the strong char- 
acter of the novice, and at the expiration of her two years' 
noviceship, when she made her First Vows, she was found 
competent to fulfill the office of assistant superior. 

In this position her experience, judgment and ability 
enabled her to render valuable services to her superior, but 
the youthful appearance of the latter was on several occa- 
sions the cause of amusing mistakes. Thus once, when a 
gentleman called to make inquiries about the school, 
Mother Hardey presented herself to give the required in- 
formation. The visitor stated that he wished to place his 
daughter at the school and therefore desired to transact his 
business with the superior, or at least with one of the older 
religious. Without a word, Mother Hardey amiably with- 
drew and sent Mother Galwey, whose mature appearance 
proved satisfactory. 

On another occasion a gentleman refused to tell her the 

68 



ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR 

object of his visit as it was a matter of great importance 
which he could not communicate to any one but the supe- 
rior. This time Mother Hardey was obliged to admit that 
she held that office. " What," he exclaimed, " you the supe- 
rior? How could anyone appoint a youngster like you to 
such a position? " " It is a surprise to myself," she quietly 
answered, " and soon my superiors will discover their mis- 
take." Before the close of the interview, however, her visi- 
tor recognized the maturity of her judgment, and in offer- 
ing his apology declared that it was not folly, but wisdom 
had prompted her appointment. 

Between the years 1839 an d 1842, the Society of the 
Sacred Heart passed through a crisis which proved that its 
strength was from God and that its foundress was well 
grounded in humility. 

The rapid growth of the Society seemed to require cer- 
tain amendments to the Rules, but only in matters of sec- 
ondary importance. At the Council convened in 1839, some 
changes were introduced, which appeared to conflict with 
the original Plan of the Institute. When these decrees were 
promulgated, remonstrances were sent to the Mother Gen- 
eral from all quarters. She had the sorrow to realize that 
she was opposed by many of her daughters, upon whom she 
relied for help in the hour of her great perplexity. 

It does not enter into our narrative to give the history 
of this painful episode, which called forth a protest from the 
Minister of Public Worship in France, engaged the paternal 
interest of a large body of the French episcopacy, as also of 
the great Cardinals Pedicini and Lambruschini, and lastly 
drew from the Sovereign Pontiff, Gregory XVI., the defi- 
nite word, touching the important questions at issue. 

We alluded to the event here, because it offers a new 
proof of Mother Hardey's adherence to authority in the per- 
son of the Mother General. While the Decrees met with 
opposition in some of the convents in America as well as in 
France, they were cordially received at Saint Michael's. 

69 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Thus, in writing to Mother Barat on the subject, Mother 
Hardey says : " During vacation Monseigneur Forbin Jan- 
son gave us our annual retreat. We took occasion of that 
season of grace to read the Decrees, and we began at once 
to conform to them." 

Mother Barat appreciated the prompt and entire sub- 
mission of her daughters and wrote in reply : " What con- 
solation you have given me, my dear Aloysia, by your read- 
iness to make essay of the new Decrees. Your prompt obe- 
dience will be very pleasing to God. . . . Jesus will 
surely bless it." She then urges Mother Hardey to take 
care of her health. ' Try to spare yourself, for you have 
much to do for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and 
the good of souls. 

This letter was soon followed by another, in which she 
announced the approaching departure of a Visitatrix for 
America. This measure had been decided upon in the 
Council of 1839, m order to secure that uniformity of cus- 
toms and observances so conducive to union of minds and 
hearts. Mother Elizabeth Galitzin, one of the Assistants 
General, was chosen for this important mission. 

This remarkable woman was illustrious by birth, char- 
acter and education. Born in Saint Petersburg, 1795, of the 
princely race of Galitzin, she was brought up in the Rus- 
sian schism, and was deeply imbued with its spirit of hos- 
tility to the Roman Catholic Church. Left fatherless in her 
infancy by the death of Prince Alexis Andrievitch, her edu- 
cation was carefully directed by her mother, the Countess 
of Protosof, who employed scholarly tutors to cultivate the 
mind of this highly gifted girl. Elizabeth acquired a knowl- 
edge of Latin and learned to speak and write with great 
fluency French and English. The fine arts also held a con- 
spicuous part in her education. Her mother loved her, but 
treated her harshly, and even allowed her tutors to beat 
her cruelly. Under this influence she developed a stern, 
inflexible character, " hard as steel with a heart as true as 
gold." ?o 



ADMINISTRATION AS SUPERIOR 

At the age of sixteen she was informed of an event, 
which, for a time, filled her heart with bitter hatred towards 
the Catholic Church and especially towards the Jesuits, who 
had a house of the Order in St. Petersburg. We give the 
account in her own words : " My mother called me to her 
room and told me she was about to confide to me a secret, 
which I was not to reveal to anyone, lest we should be ex- 
posed to exile and even to death. She then went on to say 
that she had been received into the Catholic Church nearly 
ten years before, giving me her reasons for leaving the 
Greek schism in spite of the laws of Russia and the terrible 
example of the tortures inflicted upon one of my ancestors 
for his conversion to the Catholic Faith."* 

The announcement of the conversion of her mother 
caused such violent agitation in the mind of the young prin- 
cess that she registered in her own blood a vow of hatred 
against the Catholic Church, and the Jesuits in particular, 
invoking the Divine wrath upon her future life should she 
ever prove faithless to her solemn engagement. 

Four years later, however, that strong nature yielded to 
the touch of grace, and she requested baptism on bended 
knees from Reverend Father Rosaven, Superior of the Jes- 
uits. He inquired if she was ready to suffer persecution and 
even death, perhaps, for the sake of the religion she wished 
to embrace. " I hope all things through the mercy of God," 
was her ready answer, although she relates the blood 
seemed to freeze in her veins as she pronounced the words. 

After entering the Church, she resolved to become a reli- 
gious. In 1812 the Jesuits were expelled from Russia, but 
Father Rosaven continued, from afar, to direct his spiritual 
daughter. He spoke of her to Mother Barat, who seconded 

* Prince Michael Galitzin, who having become a Roman Catholic was forced 
by the Empress Anne to play the part of Court buffoon, and to submit to a mock 
marriage in the celebrated " Ice Palace." which she had caused to be erected on 
the frozen surface of the River Neva. Though his sufferings were intense, he 
survived the cruel treatment and adorned his name by his Christian and princely 
virtues. 

71 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

his efforts to direct this soul according to the designs of 
Providence. Ten years after her conversion she was ad- 
mitted into the Society of the Sacred Heart. She had no 
dowry, owing to her mother's opposition to her becoming a 
religious, but this circumstance only secured for her a more 
heartfelt welcome from Mother Barat. " I shall be de- 
lighted to receive you," she wrote, " with nothing but the 
clothes you are wearing, as St. Francis Borgia received the 
young Stanislas Kostka. The choice and admission of a sub- 
ject will never be with us a pecuniary affair. A good voca- 
tion, a good spirit and some degree of talent are all the 
dowry we require. If you bring us a soul thoroughly de- 
tached from the things of this world you will be rich, my 
dear child, and we shall welcome you with joy." 

As a novice, Madame Galitzin was remarkably cheerful 
and submissive to all the requirements of religious life. 

Her obedience was striking. " I may be wanting in 
many virtues," she once remarked, " but when I stand at 
the gate of Heaven I wish to be able to say, ' Open to me, 
for I have obeyed.' " 

After her religious profession she was named Secretary 
General of the Society, an office for which she was eminent- 
ly fitted by her knowledge of foreign languages, her excel- 
lent judgment and sterling virtues. 

Such was the religious appointed to visit the American 
houses, and of whom Mother Barat wrote to Mother Har- 
dey: "Strive to enter fully into her views for the greater 
glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and for the good of 
souls ; yet, my daughter, it will not be contrary to the per- 
fection of obedience to make known to her the customs of 
your country and the inconveniences which might arise 
from the adoption of certain measures or regulations pro- 
posed by her. She will profit by your counsel and experi- 
ence, and you will be able to speak to her with all the more 
liberty if you are disposed to yield to whatsoever she may 
deem advisable for the greater glory of God." 

72 



CHAPTER IX. 

MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS SAINT MICHAEL'S FOUNDATION 
IN NEW YORK MOTHER HARDEY LEAVES SAINT MI- 
CHAEL'S DEATH OF MOTHER AUDE 1841-1842. 

Mother Galitzin was warmly welcomed on her arrival 
in New York by Bishop Dubois, who had been urging 
Mother Barat for many years to establish a house of her 
society in his diocese. 

This desire of the venerable prelate may be said to date 
back to July 3ist, 1827, when the sailing vessel Edward 
Quesnel entered the harbor of New York after a voyage 
of forty-five days across the Atlantic. 

Among the passengers on board were two young priests 
who had studied at St. Sulpice, Samuel Eccleston and J. B. 
Purcell, both of whom became subsequently Archbishops of 
Baltimore and Cincinnati. The Reverend Clergymen had 
under their care four religious of the Sacred Heart, Mes- 
dames Du Four, Dorival, Vandamme and Piveteau. From 
the journal of Madame Piveteau we learn many interesting 
details of the voyage, especially of the anxiety of the nuns 
to reach land in time to hear Mass and receive Holy Com- 
munion on the Feast of St. Ignatius, to whose patronage 
they had confided their new mission. 

To gratify their devotion, Rev. J. B. Purcell took them 
ashore in a row boat, then accompanied them to the Cathe- 
dral, where he offered the Holy Sacrifice for a safe voyage. 
The religious were most cordially received by Bishop Du- 
bois, who obtained hospitality for them in the Wilcox family. 
They tarried only a few days before starting on their west- 
ern journey, but the impression which they gave of their 
Institute was so favorable that it bore fruit in later years. 

Bishop Dubois wrote to Mother Barat in the month of 
October, 1827: " It was my intention to visit you and your 

73 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

pious associates in Paris in order to give you a better idea 
of our country before asking you to establish a house in 
New York. There is no doubt as to the success of an order 
like yours in this city; indeed, it is greatly needed; but a 
considerable sum of money would be required to supply the 
urgent needs of the foundation. The Catholic population, 
which averages over thirty thousand souls, is very poor, be- 
ing chiefly composed of Irish emigrants. Contributions 
from Protestants are so uncertain and property in the city 
so expensive, that I cannot promise any assistance. All I 
can say is that I believe one of your schools, commenced 
with sufficient money to purchase property and support it- 
self, until the ladies have time to make themselves known, 
would succeed beyond all our expectations." 

After expressing the hope of seeing her on his approach- 
ing visit to Rome, he adds: " I have the sorrow of witness- 
ing an abundant harvest rotting in the earth, through lack 
of Apostolic laborers and the necessary funds to organize 
the various needs of the diocese. In the meantime, dear 
Madame, please to prepare subjects for me. If my plans 
meet with success, I shall be able to conduct hither on my 
return a colony of your angels of virtue and zeal. Believe 
me, I am penetrated with respect and esteem for your holy 
Congregation, as also for you, Madame, its worthy Supe- 
rior and Foundress." 

This appeal was in accordance with the wishes of 
Mother Barat, who earnestly wished to establish at some 
future day a house of her Institute in the Metropolis of the 
Western Hemisphere. But lack of resources constrained 
her to delay the execution of her plan, as it was neither ad- 
visable nor possible to start the work under those restric- 
tions of poverty which weighed so heavily on the founda- 
tions made in Missouri and Louisiana. 

Bishop Dubois was not discouraged by this first refusal, 
and when Mother Aude left for France in 1833, his lordship 
confided to her the following letter to Mother Barat : 

74 



MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS ST. MICHAEL'S 

" You would have a poor opinion of my eagerness to pos- 
sess a branch of your dear and holy Community, were you 
to judge of it by my long silence on the subject. Although 
I am convinced of the boundless good which it would ac- 
complish and of its certain success, yet I have not concealed 
from myself, nor from you, the difficulties to be encoun- 
tered in the beginning. 

" The presence of Madame Eugenie has revived all my 
hopes. She has seen and pointed out to me what might be 
accomplished. I do not believe the obstacles are insur- 
mountable. Some efforts and sacrifices made in favor of 
this foundation would produce the most brilliant and con- 
soling results. I leave details to good Mother Eugenie, who 
will make known to you all that she has seen and heard." 

Mother Eugenie's report only confirmed the Mother 
General in her opinion that the moment appointed by Di- 
vine Providence had not yet arrived, but seven years later, 
Bishop Hughes, Coadjutor to Bishop Dubois, went to see 
Mother Barat and refused to leave the house until she gave 
him her promise to send Mother Galitzin to make the nec- 
essary arrangements. 

Mother Galitzin's arrival in New York awakened gen- 
eral interest in the foundation. The principal ladies in the 
city, Protestant as well as Catholic, wished to be presented 
to her, as her name and relationship to Prince Galitzin, the 
saintly Apostle of Pennsylvania, had created quite a sensa- 
tion in social circles. Bishop Hughes conducted her 
through various parts of the city in search of a suitable lo- 
cation, but though unable to find one at the time, Mother 
Galitzin realized that New York would be a great field for 
the works of the Society, and before leaving she promised 
to open an Academy in the course of the following year. 

From Missouri she went to St. Michael's, where she was 
eagerly expected by the Community and pupils, though a 
feeling of awe mingled with their joy, at receiving a prin- 

75 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

cess whose conversion had aroused interest even in Amer- 
ica. " For myself," said Mother Hardey, speaking of the 
event, " I dreaded the ordeal of meeting her, but I tried to 
find consolation in the thought that she was the representa- 
tive of our Mother General." 

As the hour of arrival drew near, the Community as- 
sembled to give formal greeting to the Mother Visitatrix. 
When the carriage reached the house, a religious of small 
stature and simple bearing alighted and hurriedly inquired 
for the superior. Mother Hardey at once presented herself. 
" My dear," said Mother Galitzin, " we met a man on the 
boat who is selling very fine cabbages at a very low price. 
It is a great bargain ; send some one to buy them." After 
such a salutation, it was easy to forget the rank of the prin- 
cess in the humble religious whose love for holy poverty 
was manifested in such a practical way. Her frank, open, 
earnestness of manner immediately captivated all hearts. 
Mother Hardey wrote of her in the following terms to 
Mother Barat : " You could not have found a more worthy 
representative, or one whose manners and views are better 
adapted to our country. She has gained the confidence of 
our family and all hearts are already devoted to her. For 
myself, I acknowledge that the capacity in which she comes 
would have sufficed to win my respect, but not that perfect 
confidence which she inspired at first sight. Ah ! I can ap- 
preciate the sacrifice you have made in parting with this 
dear Mother ! I trust the good which she is destined to ac- 
complish among your American daughters may compensate 
you for her absence." 

Mother Galitzin on her part, recognized the excellent 
qualities of Mother Hardey, and her letters prove the 
esteem in which she held her. Writing from New York, 
whither she had gone to make the final arrangements for 
the foundation, she says : " The time is approaching when 
I am to take part in the General Congregation. I shall keep 

76 



MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS ST. MICHAEL'S 

my title of Provincial until the nomination of my successor. 
Madame Hardey could fill the position and she is the only 
one here capable of this charge. When you know her inti- 
mately you will be convinced that she is endowed with rare 
capacity for government. If you name her Provincial on 
her return to America, the nomination will be favorably re- 
ceived in all our houses. Our communities have the highest 
idea of her merit and she enjoys universal esteem. Her rep- 
utation has preceded her to this city. I am convinced that 
under her direction the Academy here will be most suc- 
cessful." 

Before Mother Galitzin's arrival in America Mother 
Barat had written to Mother Hardey of her desire to see 
her: " When your Visitatrix has reached St. Michael's, per- 
haps you could be spared to bring us a few of your reli- 
gious. This is a desire, not a probability, for St. Michael's 
will long have need of your care. Yet I am anxious to see 
you and live with you for a few months at least. I can no 
longer hope to go to America. I am too old, but I long to 
become acquainted with my first American daughter. I 
leave this desire to Our Lord, who will one day realize it if 
it is for His glory. Give me your opinion on the subject, 
for I would sacrifice everything rather than injure a family 
which is so dear to me." 

Thus it was just when St. Michael's was at the height 
of its prosperity that Mother Hardey was called to a new 
field of labor. In view of the importance of the New York 
foundation, Mother Barat consented to the proposition of 
Mother Galitzin, and with breaking hearts her daughters 
offered their sacrifice. In the Annals of St. Michael's we 
find this paragraph : " In the departure of Mother Aloysia 
many of the Community have lost their first Mistress of 
Class, their companion in the Novitiate, or their first Supe- 
rior, and all deeply regret the beloved Mother whose only 
aim was to promote their truest happiness and to enkindle 
in their souls love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus." 

77 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Mother Hardey and her companion probably travelled 
to New York by way of Cincinnati, as we learn from the 
following letter from Bishop Purcell addressed to Mr. Mark 
Anthony Frenaye of Philadelphia: 

" CINCINNATI, 8 May, 1841. 
" MY DEAR MR. FRENAYE : 

" Madame Aloysia Hardey and Madame Hogan, who are 
on their way to New York to commence a boarding school 
under the auspices of Bishop Hughes, have no acquaint- 
ances in Philadelphia. I therefore earnestly recommend 
them to your care. I am sure either the good Sisters or 
Madame Lajus, or some other Catholic lady will be de- 
lighted to lodge them for twenty-four hours, if they can 
stay in your fair city so long. 

" Please present me most respectfully to your saintly 
Bishop and Rev. Messrs. Gartland, Sourin and Bishop 
Kenrick. 

"Most respectfully yours, 

"J. B. PURCELL."* 

Madame Galitzin, with Mesdames Thieffry and Shan- 
non, went to New York early in May, 1841. They were 
joined by Mother Hardey and Madame Hogan, a niece of 
Madame Galwey, on the I7th of the month, and a few days 
later Madame Boilevin, Sister Gallien and Delphine Pratt, 
an orphan, arrived from St. Louis. 

Bishop Hughes secured hospitality for the religious with 
the Sisters of Charity at St. Patrick's orphan asylum, while 
awaiting possession of the house which he had rented for 
them, and one of the religious writes : " We were guests of 
the good Sisters for three months, receiving daily every 
mark of kindness and courtesy which true charity delights 
to bestow. Far from looking unfavorably upon our advent 

* Selections of letters of the late Mark Anthony Frenaye published in the 
Records of the American Catholic Historical Society, Philadelphia, December, 1902. 

78 



MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS ST. MICHAEL'S 

into the diocese, they interested themselves in securing for 
us both pupils and postulants, and constantly proved them- 
selves true spouses of a God who is all charity." 

The house destined for the Sacred Heart Academy had 
been occupied for years as a school, under the direction of 
Madame Chegary, a French refugee, who had sought a 
home in America, far from the terrors of the Revolution in 
her native land. In the early part of the century her Acad- 
emy had enjoyed a brilliant reputation and had become cele- 
brated as the Alma Mater of many of the daughters of the 
best families of the States. It was pleasantly situated on 
the corner of Houston and Mulberry Streets, a part of the 
city not then invaded by the march of traffic. The spacious 
apartments, communicating by massive folding doors, the 
commodious arrangements of the building and the pleasant 
garden outside, adapted the place in a special manner to 
the purposes of a convent school. It had ceased to be a 
home of learning and had become a boarding house, kept 
by a Mrs. Seton, at the time the Bishop secured it for the 
religious of the Sacred Heart. The good lady promised to 
vacate the premises on the 1st of June, when the lease of 
her last boarder expired. But it was discovered that as soon 
as one occupant left, she rented the room to another. 

" In this way," said Mother Hardey, " we may be kept 
waiting indefinitely. Meanwhile we are doing nothing and 
are trespassing upon the hospitality of the good Sisters. We 
must assert our rights by resorting to prompt and decisive 
measures." 

With the consent of Mother Galitzin she repaired to 
Houston Street and informed Mrs. Seton that she had come 
to take possession of the vacant apartments, in order to pre- 
pare for the opening of the school. She established herself 
in one unoccupied room with two postulants, and, as each 
room was vacated, they cleaned and prepared it for the spe- 
cial use for which it was destined. The weeks that followed 
were full of labor, difficulties and privations, but in the 

79 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

midst of her trials Mother Hardey never lost her courage 
and unalterable calm. One of the postulants was taken sud- 
denly with a severe hemorrhage, which reduced her to the 
last extremity. Sending the other postulant for the priest 
and doctor, Mother Hardey herself washed the feet and 
made all the necessary preparations for the administration 
of the sacraments. Happily, the girl did not die, but her 
long convalescence was an additional care to the devoted 
Mother, who cheered the invalid with the assurance that 
she considered her a special benediction to the house. 

" During those weary days," writes one who afterwards 
became her daughter, " I frequently visited Mother Hardey 
and I was always impressed by her air of peace, recollec- 
tion and cheerful acceptance of the sacrifices which daily 
presented themselves. I made myself her commissioner 
and I thus had innumerable opportunities of observing her 
sustained calmness and self-forgetfulness. One Sunday I 
called and asked to accompany her to the Benediction of the 
Blessed Sacrament. She declined my offer, saying that she 
disliked to go to the Cathedral, except for Holy Mass. I 
proposed a walk to the orphan asylum where the venerable 
Bishop Dubois was to give Benediction. On obtaining her 
consent, I hastened to the episcopal residence and asked 
the Bishop to await our arrival. He kindly assented, and I 
went on my way rejoicing to have secured for Mother Har- 
dey a privilege which I knew would prove a great solace to 
her. Alas! for the memory of the aged prelate! When we 
arrived he was preparing to return home. ' O, Monseig- 
neur,' I exclaimed, ' you promised to wait for us ! ' ' Did I, 
my child,' said he, trying to recall his promise, ' how sorry 
T am, but I forgot all about it.' 

" I was distressed to have brought Mother Hardey 
through the streets to no purpose ; but there was no trace of 
disappointment on her countenance. ' We shall at least ob- 
tain the Bishop's blessing,' she said, ' and have a little time 
in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, a privilege 

80 







First New York Convent, Houston and Mulberry Streets, 
later Convent of Sisters of Mercy 



MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS ST. MICHAEL'S 

which I do not often enjoy at present.' Thus did she find 
compensation for every disappointment and persuade those 
who wished to serve her that they had not entirely failed." 

The I3th of July, Mother Galitzin and her companions 
took possession of their new home. That same day Bishop 
Hughes came to bless the little community, and on the fol- 
lowing morning he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 
in their modest chapel. He never ceased to prove himself 
their gracious father and benefactor, as is testified repeat- 
edly in the records of the Houston Street Convent. 

On the 22nd of July, feast of St. Mary Magdalen, the pa- 
troness of Mother Barat, His Lordship said Mass for the 
second time, and again on the Feast of St. Ignatius, when 
he blessed the house and solemnly installed our Divine Lord 
in His Tabernacle Home. 

Mother Galitzin thus describes to Mother Barat their 
new abode : " The house is situated in a charming position. 
It will be a joy for me to show it to Mother Sallion. She 
will be astonished to find that we have spent so little money, 
considering that we have renovated every room from garret 
to cellar, and they number thirty. The part destined for 
the chapel, the parlors and the pupils is really very fine; 
that set apart for the community is, thank God, simplicity 
itself, and poverty reigns there supreme. The parlors are 
very simple in their elegance, for we have them carpeted. 
We could not do otherwise, as carpets are used here in all 
the houses, even in kitchens, and the Sisters of Charity also 
have them in their parlors. Our chapel will be beautiful. 
I drew the design of the Altar and Tabernacle and I am 
happy to say that everyone is in admiration of my good 
taste. We have several applications already and it is 
thought we shall have a large school." 

The first to apply for admission to the Academy was a 
little girl thirteen years of age. She asked to be received as 
a free pupil, her mother being unable to pay the pension. 
Mother Hardey was touched by the child's simplicity and 

6 81 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

accepted her at once, feeling confident that the child of pov- 
erty was the child of the Heart of Jesus, and, as their first 
pupil, would bring a blessing to the school. Her hopes were 
more than realized. The young girl was gifted with rare 
intelligence and exceptional aptitude for all branches of 
studies. When her education was completed she entered 
the Society and throughout her religious life cherished a 
child's deepest gratitude to Mother Hardey. She was a 
most efficient and successful mistress in the school, and for 
several years held the office of superior in various convents 
of the Order, until she was called to her eternal reward in 
1862. 

Once the school was well organized, Mother Galitzin 
was anxious to start for Europe, but she had to wait until 
the arrival of the reinforcement promised by Mother Barat. 
In her letters she urges the Mother General not to delay, as 
the school was becoming very numerous and Mother Har- 
dey could not be spared. " She is my right hand," she 
writes ; " we act in perfect harmony. Everyone admires 
her, and she is making the reputation of the house. What 
happiness it will give me to present her to you." 

On the I3th of September Mesdames Sallion, Tucker, 
Talbot and Sister Battandier arrived and were cordially 
welcomed by Mother Galitzin and her daughters. In the 
exuberance of her joy, Sister Gallien rang the convent bell 
so vigorously that the neighbors thought the house was 
on fire and rushed to the rescue. We can picture the dis- 
may of the nuns to find the house surrounded by a motley 
crowd, greatly disappointed that their curiosity could not 
be gratified by a view of the cloister. 

The travellers brought two letters to Mother Hardey 
from Mother Barat. In the first, dated Paris, 15 June, 1841, 
we read : " You will be consoled, I am sure, by the good 
news which our Mothers will communicate to you. Our 
foundations seem to prosper, thanks to the Divine Good- 
ness which deigns to make use of instruments so poor and 

82 



MOTHER GALITZIN VISITS ST. MICHAEL'S 

unworthy, to promote the glory of the Sacred Heart. . . . 
As to the present state of affairs in the Society, I have only 
one word to say to you. Hold fast to the trunk of the tree, 
no matter what you may hear! Make known to me your 
doubts, your uneasiness, for we shall always understand 
each other. My Compass shall ever be the See of Peter, the 
Vicar of Jesus Christ. Directed by it we can never err, and 
we should rather die than swerve from its guidance. 

" However, things are calming down by degrees around 
us. Each one is trying to do all she can for the good of the 
Society, so I hope that Jesus will continue to bless us. He 
will bless you especially, dear Aloysia, if you understand 
the importance of your obligations. Unite yourself to Jesus 
and count upon His help rather than your own capabilities, 
for self-reliance usually spoils everything." 

In this letter Mother Barat refers to the differences of 
opinion among her daughters in regard to the Decrees of 
the Council of 1839. The subject was to be settled at the 
approaching General Council, of which Mother Galitzin 
was a member. As we have already learned, she chose 
Mother Hardey as the representative from America, to the 
great satisfaction of Mother Barat, as expressed in the fol- 
lowing lines : 

"PARIS, AUGUST 21, 1841. 
"Mv DEAR ALOYSIA : 

" Our Mother Provincial could not have given me a 
greater pleasure than to choose you as her companion to 
the Council, where you will have the opportunity of meeting 
nearly all the first Mothers of the Society. I have at last 
the hope of seeing you, if the Good Master will sustain my 
feeble existence until then, and what consolation this meet- 
ing will give me! Take care of your health, my daughter, 
so that there may be no obstacle to your departure. As 
soon as I reach Rome, whither I am going in a few weeks, 
I shall settle the date of the Council and the time for you to 
leave America." 

83 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Mother Hardey rejoiced at the prospect of meeting her 
venerated Mother General, and of seeing once again her 
beloved Mother Aude, who was then Superior of the Trinita 
in Rome. But the latter joy was to be reserved for Heaven. 
Mother Aude died on the 6th of March, 1842, and, by a dis- 
pensation of Divine Providence, Mother Hardey only 
learned the news as she was about to enter the chapel, 
where the mortuary notice was hanging. Our Lord, no 
doubt, wished to be Himself the first to receive the outpour- 
ings of a grief which He alone could console, as He was the 
only one who understood the ties of affection and gratitude 
which bound her to the Mother who had been the channel 
of His graces to her. 

A circular letter from Mother Barat to the Society, dated 
March 7th, 1842, gave the details of Mother Aude's last 
moments: 

" Yesterday at 7 p.m. our dear invalid gave up her soul 
into the hands of her Creator. The agony began about 
noon, and shortly after she lost consciousness. She had ap- 
peared during the morning as well as on the previous days, 
so I secured Confession and Holy Communion for her, that 
she might gain the Indulgence of the Jubilee which opened 
that day. 

" While she was fully conscious, Father Rosaven gave 
her the last Sacraments ; an hour after would have been too 
late. During the long and painful agony, priests and re- 
ligious succeeded one another in reciting the prayers of the 
Church for the dying. Her dispositions were those of a 
saint, full of resignation, confidence and the sweetest peace." 

The body of Mother Aude was laid to rest in the crypt 
beneath the high altar of the Church of the Trinita, and, as 
if to give a touching emphasis to the memory of her mission 
in America, a former pupil of St. Michael's, attended by her 
negro slave, was present at the funeral service. 



CHAPTER X. 

VISIT TO ROME RETREAT AT LYONS RETURN TO NEW 

YORK FOUNDATION IN CANADA DEATH OF 

MOTHER GALITZIN 1842-1844. 

As the New York foundation was now established on a 
firm basis, Mothers Galitzin and Hardey left it in charge of 
Mother Bathilde Sallion, and sailed for France on the iQth 
of May, 1842. Six weeks later they landed at Havre, and 
after resting in Paris for a few days proceeded to Rome, 
where the Council was to be convened. 

They were warmly received by their warm-hearted Ital- 
ian Sisters, but great was their disappointment to find that 
Mother Barat had been obliged, through force of circum- 
stances, to leave Rome on the 2ist of June. She had re- 
turned to France to calm the agitation caused by her pro- 
tracted absence. Moreover the Cardinals, who were friends 
of the Society, advised her to hold the General Council at 
Lyons, as neutral ground between Rome and Paris. 

The brief stay of the Mothers from America in the Eter- 
nal City abounded in holy joys. For Mother Galitzin, it 
revived old associations and tender memories, while for 
Mother Hardey it offered new and deeper happiness. There 
she drank in fresh draughts of faith and piety in her visits to 
the Tomb of the Apostles and the great Basilicas, and in 
treading the Arena purpled with the blood of the Martyrs. 
But the privilege most dearly prized was an audience with 
Gregory XVI. She and Mother Galitzin were presented to 
His Holiness by Bishop Rosati of St. Louis. This devoted 
friend took pleasure in recounting to the Holy Father the 
good effected by the Religious of the Sacred Heart in 
America, and the field of usefulness yet open to them. 

The story deeply interested the Pope, and in witnessing 
the great concern which he manifested in the welfare of 

85 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

their far-off missions his spiritual daughters realized more 
than ever before how truly the Pope is the Father of 
Christendom. 

Mother Hardey held as an unfailing joy the memory of 
the Pontiff's benediction bestowed with so much unction 
upon herself and her religious family and their works. She 
treasured until her death, as a precious souvenir of this visit, 
a little bronze medal given her by Gregory XVI. 

At the Convent of the Trinita she had the sad consola- 
tion of kneeling at the tomb of her beloved Mother Aude, 
and of hearing from the religious how often their regretted 
Mother had spoken to them of her " dear Aloysia " in con- 
nection with her Louisiana Mission. 

We find a record of this visit in the annals of the Trinita : 

" The meeting with our American Mothers was a strik- 
ing example of the beautiful spirit of union which exists 
among the members of our loved Society. How close are 
the ties which bind us even when farthest separated and 
how easily we become acquainted when we meet." 

At the Convent of Santa Rufina, Mother Hardey had the 
pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mother Lehon, who 
became the third Superior General of the Society. In con- 
nection with this meeting Mother Lehon kept the remem- 
brance of having received from Mother Hardey the first 
steel pen she had ever seen, as this modern invention had 
not yet usurped the place of the time honored quill. 

It was well known in Rome that the object of the ap- 
proaching Council was to settle the question of the Decrees 
of 1839. In this important matter Rev. Father Rosaven, 
Assistant General of the Jesuits, took very special interest, 
and he was anxious to know the sentiments of the American 
Mother. In an interview with Mother Hardey he inquired 
if she knew for what purpose she had been called to Rome. 
" Yes, Reverend Father," she replied, " I have come to 
obey." "On which side are you?" he continued, referring 
to Mother Barat and the party opposed to her views. " On 

86 



VISIT TO ROME 

the side of authority," was Mother Hardey's quick rejoinder, 
and she spoke truly; from the beginning to the end of her 
long career she was always to be found on the " side of 
authority ! " 

At this particular epoch, her adhesion to the first author- 
ity was all the more remarkable as it placed her in direct 
opposition to Mother Galitzin, who had been the chief 
author and promoter of the objectionable Decrees, but her 
affection for the Mother Provincial gave way before that 
strong principle of obedience which she maintained in all 
its integrity to the end of her days. 

On the i6th of July Mothers Galitzin and Hardey left 
Rome for Lyons, where Mother Barat was awaiting the 
members of the Council at the Convent of La Ferrandiere. 
It was a memorable event for Mother Hardey. For the first 
time she found herself in presence of the Mother General. 
The latter was so surprised at her youthful appearance that 
she exclaimed : " How young she is ! " " Yes, Reverend 
Mother," replied Mother Galitzin, " but that is a fault which 
she will correct every day." 

Mother Barat had hoped for great results from the Coun- 
cil of Lyons. But when all the members were assembled, an 
unforeseen difficulty obliged the Convocation to adjourn. 

Monseigneur Affre, Archbishop of Paris, claiming author- 
ity over the Society of the Sacred Heart, condemned as 
irregular any meeting of the Council elsewhere than at the 
Mother House in Paris, and notified all the Bishops in 
France who had convents of the Society in their dioceses, 
of his opposition to the meeting in Lyons, as well as to the 
Decrees of 1839. Twenty-two Bishops gave their adhesion 
to his protests. 

Having tried in vain to propitiate His Grace, the Mother 
General was forced once more to appeal to the Sovereign 
Pontiff. A commission, consisting of eight Cardinals, was 
appointed by Gregory XVI. to inquire into this urgent ques- 
tion, and in the meantime the opening of the Council was 

87 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

deferred. Mother Barat proposed to the councillors to enter 
into retreat. " We must lift up our hands to God, who is 
our Hope," she said, " for in man we have none ! " She re- 
paired with her companions to the Convent of " Les 
Anglais," situated on the heights of Fourvieres. 

Father Barelle, S.J., a man of eminent sanctity and elo- 
quence, gave the spiritual exercises. He seemed to be di- 
vinely inspired. " This retreat," writes Monseigneur Bau- 
nard, " in the midst of hot contests and sharp trials, was like 
a fountain in the desert." Mother Barat afterwards de- 
clared she had never heard anything like it. 

The effect was an abundance of light for all, and a closer 
union of hearts, even while minds were divided on the ques- 
tions at issue. 

Mother Hardey's share in the blessings of this retreat 
was abundant and lasting, but even during it trials were not 
wanting to purify her virtues. She was charged with the 
care of the altar, a privilege she greatly appreciated. One 
morning, however, she had the misfortune to miscalculate 
the number of Hosts for consecration, and the priest dis- 
tributed all the particles at Holy Communion, forgetting 
there was no reserved Host in the Tabernacle. 

It is easy to appreciate Mother Hardey's feelings when 
she realized what had happened. But her own grief was as 
nothing compared to that of Mother Barat on learning that 
they were to live a whole day without the Blessed Sacra- 
ment. Mother Hardey was terror stricken to see this ven- 
erated Mother fall on her knees and with hands upraised to 
Heaven exclaim, " O Lord 1 Have our sins forced Thee also 
to abandon us?" Tears and sobs choked the utterance of 
the heart-broken superior, who mourned all day and would 
not be comforted for the loss of her Eucharistic Lord. 
Mother Hardey's own anguish of soul can be more readily 
imagined than described. 

On another occasion she broke one of the only pair of 
altar vases they had in the house. This time Mother Barat 

88 



VISIT TO ROME 

only smiled, telling her to confide her hands to the care of 
her good angel, that they might be less destructive. 
Humiliations such as these were keenly felt by Mother Har- 
dey, who often related them in after years for the purpose of 
consoling her daughters in similar trials. 

Before the close of the retreat Mother Galitzin felt in- 
spired to offer herself to God as a victim for the welfare of 
the Society. Her impulsive nature and arbitrary conduct 
had been the cause of great suffering to Mother Barat, but 
her generosity was now to repair the errors of the past. 
The sacrifice so heroically made was sanctioned by Mother 
Barat and Father Barelle, and courageously signed by the 
hand of her who thus pledged herself to become a holocaust 
of reparation. 

In the month of August a duplicate Brief was issued in 
Rome for the Cardinal Protector and Monseigneur Affre, in- 
forming the latter that his office of Archbishop of Paris gave 
him no special rights or jurisdiction over the whole Society 
of the Sacred Heart. 

At this juncture a new complication arose. A protest on 
the part of the French Government threatened the Society 
with destruction, if certain provisions of the new Decrees 
should be made to supersede the Statutes approved by the 
State in 1827, in which Paris was named as the residence 
of the Mother General. The transference of her residence 
to Rome as decided in the new Decrees was looked upon as 
a violation of the Statutes, and the confiscation of the prop- 
erty of the Society was one of the penalties threatened. 

Under these apprehensions the Council adjourned its 
sittings to an indefinite time, and the members dispersed to 
their respective homes. The Superior General left Lyons 
for Paris on the Qth of November and the decision of the 
momentous question was again referred to the Holy See. 

During these troubled days Mother Hardey was silently 
gaining light and strength for future needs. She had known 
but little of that repose found apart from the busy sphere 

89 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

of active labors, hence her sojourn near the saintly Foun- 
dress and the example of virtues carried to heroism which 
.she witnessed around her formed an epoch in her own 
spiritual life. Moreover, Father Barelle understood and 
appreciated the grand capabilities of her strong character, as 
we learn from his letters of direction, extracts from which 
we shall give later. 

On leaving " Les Anglais," Mother Hardey spent some 
weeks at La Ferrandiere. In presenting her to the novices, 
Mother Galitzin made an eloquent appeal to their mission- 
ary spirit, pointing to America as a broad field for the ex- 
ercise of their Apostolic zeal. Madame Bullion, one of the 
novices, longed to go to the foreign Missions, so she sought 
opportunities to speak to the American Mother. 

" During the serious illness of Mother Galitzin," she 
writes : " it was my privilege to prepare the little altar in 
her room when Holy Communion was brought to her, and 
as I passed to and fro I cast many a glance at Mother Har- 
dey, who occupied the room adjoining. The very sight of 
her made me think of God and of our Holy Rule. She was 
usually seated at her desk writing. Once I ventured to 
enter and whisper, ' Mother, will you pray that I may be one 
of your daughters in America? ' She said not a word, but 
gave assent by a gentle inclination of the head and a 
gracious smile. Her fidelity to silence impressed me so 
forcibly that I never forgot it." 

Before returning to America Mother Hardey had the 
pleasure of visiting several convents in France and Bel- 
gium, and of making the acquaintance of many of Mother 
Barat's first daughters in the early days of the Society. 

She sailed from Havre on the I7th of October, with Mes- 
dames Cauche and Cruice, Miss Regina Decailly, a postu- 
lant, and Madame Bullion, the novice already mentioned. 
Mother Galitzin, who had offered to return to America, 
was unable to leave on account of serious illness, so Mother 
Hardey was appointed Superior of the Convent in New 

York. 

90 



VISIT TO ROME 

Among their fellow passengers on board The Lutica 
were five Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who were going to 
Louisville, Kentucky, to make the first foundation of their 
Order in America. On arriving in New York, Mother Har- 
dey invited the Sisters to rest some days at the Houston 
Street Convent, and as their religious habit had attracted 
much unpleasant notice on landing, she thoughtfully pro- 
vided them with secular costumes for the remainder of the 
journey. 

After a few weeks passed in the midst of her own happy 
family, she conducted Mothers Cauche and Cruice to Mc- 
Sherrystown, in Pennsylvania, where a convent had been 
founded previous to her departure for France. The Noviti- 
ate at Florissant had been long in a languishing state, so 
Mother Galitzin, with Mother Barat's permission, trans- 
ferred the novices to McSherrystown, under the direction 
of Mother de Kersaint. 

Mother Hardey found on her arrival a fervent band of 
novices, a flourishing free school and an Academy number- 
ing sixty pupils, many of whom belonged to the best families 
of Philadelphia and Baltimore. In fact every child in the 
Conewago Valley was enjoying the benefits of the religious 
training given by the nuns, who in turn received every 
spiritual aid from their kind benefactor, Rev. Father Leken, 
and his Jesuit colleagues in the Conewago Mission. 

Mother Hardey installed Mother Cruice as Superior, and 
to the great regret of all McSherrystown, Mother de Ker- 
saint bade them adieu to become the pioneer of the Sacred 
Heart amid the snows of Canada. Bishop Bourget of 
Montreal, having obtained the promise of Mother Barat of 
establishing a house of her Institute in his diocese, Mother 
Hardey's next care was to send thither a colony of her 
daughters. 

Mesdames Bathilde Sallion, de Kersaint, Eveline 
Leveque and Sister Battandier left New York on the nth of 
December, with the hope of reaching Montreal before the 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

close of navigation. When only a few miles up the Hudson 
the cold became so intense that the course of the steamer 
was stopped by the fast forming ice, and the captain re- 
solved to return to New York. He offered to land any of 
the passengers who wished to continue their journey, but 
with two or three exceptions all preferred to return to the 
city. The four religious hesitated, but after a few moments 
reflection Madame de Kersaint uttered these memorable 
words : " We were told to go, but we were not told to re- 
turn. Let us advance like the Holy Family in the name of 
obedience, and perhaps we shall find a shelter." Encour- 
aged by this brief exhortation, the religious determined to 
go ashore. 

The country lay hidden beneath a heavy snow and the 
roads were almost impassable, yet, putting their trust in 
God, they travelled on, until worn out with fatigue they 
reached an inn, where they asked for lodging for the night. 
Here they were told " there was no room for them," but they 
were permitted to enter, however, though obliged to sit up 
all night. The next morning they started on their journey 
in a stage coach, which afforded slight protection from the 
inclemency of the weather. 

At length, on the i/th of the month, they reached " La 
Prairie," opposite Montreal, and had the happiness of hear- 
ing Mass and receiving Holy Communion. 

As the St. Lawrence was partially frozen the boatmen 
refused to row them over, it being forbidden for women to 
cross the river at that season; but the men relented, how- 
ever, and while the religious invoked aloud the assistance of 
our Lady of Good Help, whose church was in sight, the 
crossing was effected, if not without danger, at least with- 
out accident. 

On arriving in Montreal the nuns were cordially wel- 
comed by Bishop Bourget, who secured hospitality for 
them in the Convent of the Congregation Nuns, where they 
spent the Feast of Christmas. The following day they 

92 



VISIT TO ROME 

started for their new home at St. Jacques de 1'Achigan, 
twelve miles from Montreal, where a novel reception 
awaited them. 

Monsieur Pare, the parish priest, vested in surplice and 
stole, stood at the Church door to offer them a formal greet- 
ing. The next day, under the auspices of St. John the 
Evangelist, they were solemnly installed in their new abode. 
The Vicar General of the diocese read a letter from the 
Bishop, eulogizing the Society of the Sacred Heart, and con- 
gratulating Monsieur Pare on his good fortune in securing 
a house of the Institute for his parish. After the chanting 
of the Veni Creator and the celebration of the Holy Sacri- 
fice, the clergy advanced in procession to the convent, and 
blessed the house in presence of the whole congregation 
assembled outside. That same day the generous Cure 
deeded to the religious 365 acres of land and the building, 
which was sufficiently large to accommodate the commu- 
nity and fifty pupils. He continued to be a father and friend 
to them as long as they remained under his protection. 

Mother Hardey was meanwhile actively engaged in pro- 
moting the welfare of the Houston Street Convent. 
She organized the Congregation of the Children of Mary, 
whose members devoted themselves to visiting the poor in 
their homes and the teaching of the Catechism in the Sun- 
day Schools. 

She applied herself with her usual energy and zeal to 
instil into the hearts of her pupils a love for God and for 
the Church. She gave religious instruction every morning 
to the day scholars, who deeply appreciated her precious 
teaching. She likewise reserved for herself the task of pre- 
paring the little First Communicants, and as the great day 
drew near she gave herself to the happy band with entire 
devotedness, seeking to make them familiar with the life of 
Him whowasabout to become the nourishment of their souls. 

The history of the Passion of Our Lord was her usual 
theme for the preparatory retreat. 

93 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

On one occasion the child who was reading remarked, as 
she concluded the Gospel narrative: " Mother, that is all! " 
Apparently absorbed in the sublime recital, Mother Hardey 
replied, " Read it again, my child, I could listen to the his- 
tory of the Passion all my life." What seemed only a mo- 
mentary act of devotion produced a profound impression. 
Over forty years later this child, as a Professed Religious of 
the Sacred Heart and Mistress of the Manhattanville 
Noviceship, declared that her love for the Passion dated 
from that retreat. 

In the Annals of Houston Street we find frequent men- 
tion of the visits of Bishop Hughes. On the ist of May, 
1843, he officiated at the religious clothing of Miss Mar- 
garet Donnelly, one of the first pupils of the Academy. A 
few weeks later, on his return from the Council of Balti- 
more, accompanied by nine other Bishops, he assisted at an 
entertainment given by the pupils. 

On the 5th of June His Lordship came to bid adieu to 
the religious and pupils before sailing for Europe, and " on 
the very day of his arrival," writes the faithful annalist, " he 
gave us new proof of his paternal goodness by coming with 
Bishop Chabrat and Father Starrs to announce his return. 

In the Spring of 1843 Mother Hardey received a letter 
from Mother Barat, announcing that the Holy Father had 
ratified the decision of the Congregation of Cardinals, in 
accordance with which the Decrees of 1839 were to be sup- 
pressed and the Constitutions, approved by Leo XII., to 
remain intact. Referring to the difficulties likely to arise 
from this decision, she tells Mother Hardey that she has en- 
tire confidence in her delicate tact and religious spirit to 
lead all to accept with loving hearts the final word of the 
Vicar of Christ. Then, having always in view the personal 
holiness of her daughter, Mother Barat adds : " I cannot 
recommend to you too earnestly, my dear Aloysia, to pre- 
serve the fruits of your retreat at ' Les Anglais,' and to labor 
each day to become more interior and humble. It is my ex- 

94 



VISIT TO ROME 

perience that we produce fruit in souls, only in proportion 
to our union with the Source of Grace, . . . hence there 
should be constant fidelity and generosity in laboring to be- 
come perfect religious. It is only souls, dead to themselves, 
that can produce fruit in your country." 

That same letter brought the glad tidings of the return 
to America of Mother Galitzin, whose great qualities 
Mother Hardey truly loved and appreciated. She saw be- 
neath the exterior that seemed to reflect the absolutism of 
the Russian character a greatness of soul, capable of heroic 
virtue, and a singleness of purpose which had only the glory 
of God in view. 

Mother Galitzin arrived in New York July i6th, and 
after a brief stay there visited the new foundations in Mc- 
Sherrystown and Canada. She decided to remove the 
novices from McSherrystown in order to place them under 
the personal direction of Mother Hardey. 

Having provided in various ways for the welfare of the 
eastern communities, she went to St. Louis, and in the 
month of November extended her tour to St. Michael's. 
This was to be her last journey. The Divine Spouse was to 
put the seal of His approval upon the act of self-oblation 
which she had made for the welfare of the Society during 
her retreat at " Les Anglais." 

Finding that the yellow fever threatened to reap a har- 
vest at St. Michael's, she fearlessly visited those who had 
been attacked by the dread disease. It was in vain that she 
was warned of the danger. 

She showed symptoms of the contagion the 1st of De- 
cember, and in a few days all hope of recovery was aban- 
doned, but her strength of character became more apparent 
in the face of death. She asked the physician in attendance 
whether she was going to die. As his answer was evasive, 
she quickly added : " I am not afraid of death. I even desire 
it, if such be the will of God." 

She seems to have had a presentiment of her approaching 

95 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

end, in consequence of a dream which she had at La Fer- 
randier the previous year, and which she mentioned to 
Mother Hardey and others at the time. Three coffins sym- 
metrically arranged were set before her. In the first she 
saw the body of her eldest brother, the second contained 
the form of her loved mother, while in the third she recog- 
nized her own mortal remains. 

This dream became in part a reality when, on the 28th 
of October, 1843, almost at the same hour in which her 
mother yielded up her soul to God in Saint Petersburg, her 
brother died in Paris, after having embraced the Catholic 
faith. The dream was fully verified that same year on the 
eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception when, after 
a distressing agony, she herself went to the possession of 
the eternal joys promised by Him whom she had so ardently 
loved and so courageously served. 

The news of Mother Galitzin's death was a terrible 
shock to Mother Hardey. She had lost a friend and guide, 
and it was with a heart weighed down with grief that she 
wrote these lines to Mother Barat: 

" Last evening I received your precious letter of January 
25th. It would be impossible to tell you what my heart ex- 
perienced on seeing your handwriting. How good you are, 
my venerated Mother, but what need I had of consolation. 

" I cannot describe the state of grief in which the death 
of Mother Galitzin had left me. Added to it, our terrible 
anxiety in regard to your illness. To be at such a distance, 
when letters take an age to reach us, is a trial more easily 
felt than described. While sending us one heavy cross, God 
has spared us another, whose weight would have over- 
whelmed us. May He be a thousand times blessed for hav- 
ing preserved our first Mother to us, and may we, by our 
fidelity, obtain for you the health you need so much." 

A few months later Mother Barat announced to her 
American daughters the nomination of Mother Hardey as 
provincial of the houses of the Eastern States and Canada. 

96 



VISIT TO ROME 

The news was received with joy by Mother Hardey's 
daughters, but far different were the feelings of their 
Mother, as we learn from her letter to Mother Barat : 

" NEW YORK, 10 April, 1844. 
"Mv VERY REVEREND MOTHER : 

" Your letter of March 4th has overwhelmed me ! I do 
not know how to govern this little family; every day I 
tremble at the thought of the account which I must render 
of it to Almighty God, and now you have added yet more to 
my obligations. O my venerated Mother, what will become 
of me ! . . . 

" Happily my appointment is only par interim, for the 
Council of 1845 i s not f ar distant and meanwhile I shall have 
Mother X. to advise me." 

This " interim," the thought of which consoled her, was 
to last well nigh thirty years ! 

In casting a retrospective glance over Mother Hardey's 
career, we can readily see how all the circumstances of her 
life had gradually prepared her for the important works she 
was destined to accomplish. 

As a child, she had acquired those attractive domestic 
virtues which when transferred to the cloister contribute 
to make of it a paradise on earth. During the early years 
of her religious life she had been trained in the spirit of the 
Society by heroic guides, deeply imbued with its essence of 
strength and holiness. She had been assigned to all the im- 
portant offices, which had contributed to develop in her the 
quality of prudence to a great degree, endowing her soon 
with a vast fund of experience. Beginning as Mistress in 
the school, she successively became Mistress General, Treas- 
urer, Assistant, Mistress of Novices, and Superior, and amid 
the multiplied occupations thus entailed her natural endow- 
ments had gained strength, while her supernatural gifts had 
attained a rare maturity. 

In the study of her life we have seen Divine Providence 

7 97 






MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

uniting the elements necessary to form a character, rounded 
and complete, and therefore capable of great undertakings 
and insuring great results. We do not claim, however, that 
she had then reached the perfection which crowned her later 
>ears. She was, so to speak, but expanding before the eye 
of God, growing upward in the shadow as in the sunshine of 
His love, and striking deeper roots in the knowledge of her 
own weakness and nothingness. 

Mother Barat, as we see from her letters, watched un- 
ceasingly over the spiritual advancement of her daughter, 
encouraging and enlightening her, but reproving unspar- 
ingly the least appearance of a fault, either in her personal 
conduct or government. 

Father Barelle likewise followed her progress with the 
zeal of a true apostle. On one occasion he writes : " I thank 
God, my daughter, for the improvement which I find in your 
spiritual life, and I pray that He may enable you to under- 
stand the necessity of belonging wholly to Him. Once you 
have grasped that truth, your heart will be filled with an 
ardent desire of accomplishing His Holy Will. I have read 
your daily regulation, and I give it my full sanction. . . . 
Desire to go to your spiritual exercises with as much avidity 
as epicures crave the choicest viands. They are impelled by 
the cravings of our animal nature, let us imitate their eager- 
ness by a hunger and thirst for God and our sanctification. 
Try to correct the coldness of your manner, keeping in mind 
the lesson of the Divine Master, ' Learn of Me that I am 
meek and humble of Heart,' thus will you mould your char- 
acter upon the Model which can alone render you pleasing 
to God and agreeable to those around you." 

Later he gave her advice in regard to her spiritual read- 
ing and meditation. " I can see," he writes, " that spiritual 
help is wanting to you, but when you feel the need of coun- 
sel you will always find it in the Holy Eucharist and in the 
wounds of the Crucified. Let your thoughts, your prayers 
and your hopes be directed thither ! " 

98 



VISIT TO ROME 

We have a glimpse of Mother Hardey's spiritual portrait 
in these lines to Mother Barat. 

" I have given you full details of all the houses, permit 
me now to add a few lines about myself. 

" I made my annual retreat at the close of that of the 
community. I began it with the desire to gain all possible 
good from it, and the determination to seek God alone, since 
He was to be my only guide and director. After my review 
of the past two years, I felt urged to ask Father Lafont per- 
mission to make a vow never to commit a deliberate fault. 
He refused at first, but at present he gives me permission 
for a fortnight at a time. I know not whether I acted wise- 
ly, yet I felt I was responding to the inspiration of grace. 
It cost me much to make the request, but I am amply re- 
paid by the help which it gives me to avoid a great number 
of faults. I send you my resolutions that you may bless 
them and add anything you may find lacking in them." 

Father Lafont was a zealous priest of the Order of 
Mercy, who accomplished a great work among the French 
Catholics in New York. He made his religious profession 
in the Houston Street chapel, Bishop Hughes receiving his 
vows in the presence of the community. He was appointed 
confessor of the nuns and the annals of the convent men- 
tion with gratitude and appreciation his weekly conferences 
on the obligations and perfections of the religious life. 

Mother Hardey secured for the pupils a course of in- 
structions in Christian Doctrine from Rev. Father Varela, 
one of the ablest defenders of Catholic Faith in New York. 
He is frequently mentioned as officiating in the Convent 
chapel at the reception of converts into the Church. Other 
names that have passed into history appear on the pages of 
these annals, among them that of the distinguished convert, 
Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, later Archbishop of Balti- 
more, who celebrated his first Mass in the Convent chapel 
on the 3d of March, 1844. 

The Catholic Church had greatly increased in the United 

99 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

States during the first half of the nineteenth century. New 
diocesan sees had been erected to provide shepherds for 
the Fold of Christ, and each successive year, with its labors 
and sorrows, brought its fruits and joys. A Catholic press 
and Catholic literature had passed successfully through 
their first struggles for existence, and the progress of ele- 
mentary education proved that our parochial schools were 
being established upon a solid and permanent basis. In 
spite of losses, poverty, persecutions, calumny and con- 
tempt, the Church was becoming a great factor in the 
nation. 

Suddenly a fresh persecution broke out, originating ap- 
parently in the position assumed by the Catholic body in 
reference to certain regulations of the public schools. It 
does not, however, enter into our province to review the 
shameful page of our national history, which recalls the ex- 
cesses of the so-called " Native American Party." The gen- 
eral reader is familiar with the tragic events which occurred 
in Philadelphia in 1844, when churches, hospitals and even 
the private dwellings of many Catholic citizens were burned 
by a frenzied mob acting under the inspiration of the 
" Know Nething," or " Native American Party." It was 
only after an encounter between the rioters and the militia, 
under General Cadwalader, that peace and protection were 
assured to the Catholics. 

As the storm burst upon them so unexpectedly, there 
had been no time for deliberation. The gentle Bishop, 
Francis Patrick Kenrick, counselled patience, " thinking it 
more conformable," says a Catholic writer, " to the spirit of 
the Gospel to bend and suffer than to cause additional vio- 
lence and bloodshed." But Bishop Hughes adopted a con- 
trary course. Finding that the waves of prejudice were 
about to break over New York, he inquired of the civil au- 
thorities whether the law provided for compensation in the 
case of damage done by rioters, and as the answer was in 
the negative, he boldly advised his flock to defend their 

100 



VISIT TO ROME 

churches and their property with their lives. " In doing 
so," he said, " they will not be acting against the law, but 
for the law." 

Upon receiving an anonymous notice, threatening him 
with assassination, he addressed an open letter to James 
Harper, the Mayor, a " Native American," in which he ar- 
raigned him and James Gordon Bennett and William L. 
Stone as representatives of the press, at the bar of public 
opinion. 

" Stand forth," he said, " and meet Bishop Hughes ! But 
come forward in no quibbling capacity. Come forth as 
honest men, as true American citizens, with truth in your 
hearts and candor on your lips." 

This challenge produced a deep impression throughout 
the country. " The appeal for facts and evidence, instead 
of vague charges," says a Catholic historian, " told on the 
minds of all honest men in all sections of the country. The 
vigor and firmness of the Bishop saved New York from a 
repetition of the disgraceful scenes which had left their 
stain on the ' City of Brotherly Love.' " 

In a letter dated May 15, 1844, Mother Hardey thus de- 
scribes to Mother Barat the Philadelphia riots. 
"Mv VENERATED MOTHER: 

" I would have sent you these notes in the beginning of 
the month but for the horrible events which have transpired 
in Philadelphia, and which, it is feared, may be renewed 
here. Many Catholics have been killed and several 
churches destroyed. The city is under martial law and the 
churches serve as barracks for the soldiers. Oh ! how much 
Our Lord has been outraged and insulted. Yet it is the gen- 
eral opinion that the result will be for the greater good of 
religion. 

" A remarkable occurrence is published even by Protes- 
tant papers, hostile to the Church. 

" St. Augustine's, the oldest church in Philadelphia, 
was burned by the rioters and everything reduced to ashes, 

101 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

save the wall behind the High Altar, which remained stand- 
ing ; upon it was painted the symbolic Eye of God, with an 
inscription in gilt letters, ' The Lord Seeth.' 

" The fact is all the more extraordinary, that while the 
wall was blackened by the flames, the devouring element 
only brought out in bolder relief the inscription and the All- 
seeing Eye. 

" Peace has been restored in Philadelphia since the loth, 
but fears are now entertained for our city. Some of the pa- 
rents have withdrawn their children, others have left them 
for our greater security, for several nights we kept our- 
selves in readiness to leave the house in case of attack, but 
so far the excitement has not broken out into violence. It 
is the general opinion that danger to us arises only from our 
proximity to the Cathedral and the episcopal residence, as 
the Bishop is the special object of hatred to the enemies of 
the Church. I have not had a moment of fear, for it seems 
to me that Our Lord will guard us, since we are guarding 
Him. During those nights, when we were apparently 
awaiting death, I had not the least dread of it. Whence 
comes this tranquillity? I am in fear it may be indifference, 
for I am not prepared to die." 

Mother Hardey then alludes to the solemn celebration 
of the Month of May, by sermons and benedictions of the 
Blessed Sacrament. " It is a consoling fact," she adds, 
" that already five of the parishes in New York have intro- 
duced these beautiful devotions and have had signal proof 
of the graces that flow from heaven upon those who pay 
special homage to the Mother of God." 

In this same letter she mentioned her desire to establish 
a free school for poor children, but regrets that through 
motives of prudence she believes it advisable to postpone 
this good work to a more favorable time. 



1 02 



CHAPTER XI. 
TRANSFER OF THE ACADEMY TO ASTORIA PURCHASE ot 

THE LORILLARD ESTATE 1844-1847. 

In the Spring of 1844 Bishop Hughes tried to secure for 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart the magnificent estate of 
Jacob Lorillard at Manhattanville, but negotiations having 
failed, he advised the purchase of a temporary residence in 
Astoria. 

Mother Hardey writes on the subject to Mother Barat: 
" Yesterday I went with Bishop Hughes to visit a fine prop- 
erty, situated about two miles from his seminary. He 
wished to purchase at once, but I begged him to wait until 
I could obtain your consent. His Lordship says it is an ab- 
solute necessity for us to move to the country this year, but 
we cannot raise money, as we have no property. He de- 
sires me to say that if you could borrow money in Belgium, 
we could pay the interest and return the principal later. 
We cannot do more than vegetate here so long as we have 
to pay an annual rent of $2600. Besides the health of the 
religious suffers greatly in the Summer, and the school di- 
minishes one-fourth from the first of May to the first of 
October." 

Mother Barat readily consented to the purchase of a 
country residence in Astoria, and at the close of the annual 
retreat, given by Rev. Father Barbelin, S. J., Mother Har- 
dey started with her daughters for their new home. She 
left a few of the religious in the city until the following 
Spring, when she closed the Academy and opened a day 
school in Bleecker Street. 

It is pleasant to record that the Houston Street convent 
was purchased by the Sisters of Mercy in 1848, and be- 
came known as Saint Catherine's Convent, or Academy of 

103 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Our Lady of Mercy. That was subsequently abandoned 
and the whole neighborhood is now given over to business. 

" Ravenswood," as the Astoria property was called, was 
a commodious dwelling of the Colonial style, pleasantly sit- 
uated between the East River and Long Island Sound. The 
grounds, though small, presented a picturesque variety of 
natural and artificial beauty, while a thriving garden and 
orchard furnished vegetables and fruit in abundance. 

The first Mass was offered by the parish priest on the 
3rd of September, 1844, and on the following Sunday, Feast 
of our Lady's Nativity, he invited the congregation to ac- 
company him to the convent, so that the religious might 
not be deprived of the Holy Sacrifice. The vestibule was 
converted into a temporary chapel, and about eleven 
o'clock priest and people arrived. Clustered around the 
porch and out upon the lawn, these good people assisted 
with remarkable devotion at the Sacred Mysteries. It was 
a scene never to be forgotten. 

The boarders from Houston Street arrived the next day. 
They were delighted with their new surroundings and wel- 
comed with joy their new companions. The novices were 
equally pleased with their little Nazareth, as it was called. 
For their greater seclusion, and to promote habits of silence 
and prayer, a small addition to the main building was 
erected for their use. " When we took possession of it," 
writes one of the novices, " we felt as if we had entered a 
palace. Our Mother was there making everything suitable 
for her children. Before leaving us that first evening, she 
gave us her blessing and confided us to the care of Saint 
Michael. Her confidence in the great Archangel was not 
misplaced. Some weeks later, Madame Dumont, our Mis- 
tress, called suddenly from her room, left a lighted candle 
on her desk. A wonderful mark of the Divine protection 
awaited her return. Her bed curtain had caught fire and 
was totally burned, while everything else in the room re- 
mained untouched by the flames. We attributed this strik- 

104 



THE ACADEMY AT ASTORIA 

ing preservation to the strong faith with which Mother 
Hardey had appealed to the protection of Saint Michael for 
us and our little frame building." 

Shortly after this event Madame Dumont left for 
France, and in spite of her numerous occupations, Mother 
Hardey assumed the entire charge of the novices. She 
taught them even more by her example than by her words. 
" In the life of our Mother," writes one of the novices, " we 
had the lesson of unselfishness constantly before our eyes. 
During our three years residence at Astoria, she never had 
a room for her own use. Her desk was placed in a corner 
of the pupils' dormitory, and there she spent a large part of 
her day writing letters and attending to the business of the 
house. Her bed was a cot which was carried to a classroom 
at night and removed the next morning. 

" When the weather was cold she used to go up to the 
garret where her daughters slept, to assure herself that they 
had sufficient covering and frequently she brought up hot 
bricks for those who suffered from cold feet." 

Mother Hardey's instructions to the novices were based 
upon the recommendations of the Mother General. " I beg 
my good mother Aloysia," writes Mother Barat, " to exer- 
cise her Novices in the solid virtues of the Institute. We 
cannot ground them too much in the practice of humility, 
abnegation, mortification and forgetfulness of self. If these 
virtues are not familiar to them, we labor in vain. Believe 
me, it is better to have fewer in number and better reli- 
gious. Imperfect Professed do more harm than good. Is 
not this your experience also, dear Mother? Labor then, 
my daughter, to form your young people to the love of 
Jesus Christ and to the practice of humility. Remember 
your retreat at ' Les Anglais/ and try to imprint that type 
of perfection in all hearts. Anything else is only froth, 
without consistency and therefore not durable." 

Mother Hardey showed the same maternal interest in 
the welfare of the pupils, entering into all their joys and 

105 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

sorrows, but never permitting a grave fault to pass unno- 
ticed. She governed by kindness, tact and patience, and 
she was accustomed to tell her daughters that in the forma- 
tion of minds and hearts gentleness is more efficacious than 
severity. 

As the school increased in numbers, the pupils devel- 
oped those domestic characteristics which are precious for 
them in after life. A spirit of charity was manifested by 
their zeal in sewing for the poor, and especially for the or- 
phans. The toil of nimble fingers and the fruits of generous 
sacrifices were always presented to Mother Hardey on her 
feast day. 

We find recorded in the Annals on one Feast of St. 
Aloysius the offering of one hundred complete outfits for 
the orphans under the care of the Sisters of Charity. An 
artless piety seemed to preside at their recreations. They 
had great devotion to St. Francis Regis, the patron of the 
house, and they appealed to his intercession in every need. 
One day in the late autumn, during their ramble in the 
orchard, they espied a solitary apple on the top of the tree. 
They tried in vain to dislodge it, then they invoked St. 
Regis, but the apple remained immovable. The next day 
their efforts were renewed and their invocations often 
repeated, but without success. At last one little girl knelt 
down and addressed a fervent prayer to their holy patron. 
A moment later the apple fell at her feet. Joyfully, she pro- 
claimed the glory of Saint Regis. " But why did he not 
give it to you yesterday when you prayed to him ? " ques- 
tioned the Mistress. " Oh, Madame," replied the child, " it 
was only just now that I prayed to him in my heart ! " 
Mother Hardey often related this incident and never failed 
to remark that " it is only the prayer of the heart that 
reaches Heaven." 

In the early part of December Mother Hardey received 
the painful news of her mother's death, which occurred on 
the 23d of November, 1844. With her customary self-for- 

106 



THE ACADEMY AT ASTORIA 

getfulness she tried to hide her grief from those around her. 
One of her daughters, noticing her grave countenance, ven- 
tured to ask if she had received any bad news. " Yes," she 
answered, " I have heard of my dear mother's death, but do 
not mention it until after the recreation, as it would sadden 
the community." 

We quote the following tribute to Mrs. Hardey's worth 
from the pen of a lifelong friend: "The qualities of Mrs. 
Hardey were of a high order, and her example was a rich 
inheritance to her family and friends. It was said in her 
obituary notice that ' in intellect and worth she towered 
above others of her sex.' This was not an exaggeration. In 
the judgment of many who knew her well, she was not 
equalled even by her gifted daughter." 

The autumn of 1845 brought another severe trial to 
Mother Hardey in the death of Madame Hogan, her com- 
panion from St. Michael's to the New York foundation. 

Writing to Mother Barat of her visit to McSherrystown, 
she says : " I found Mother Boilevin so exhausted that I 
felt obliged to give her the help of another mistress in the 
school. Notwithstanding our dearth of subjects, I have 
sent Madame Decailly to McSherrystown, and have prom- 
ised that as soon as Madame Hogan is able to travel she 
will follow her, yet it is almost impossible to do without 
these two good sisters, for they are the most devoted Mis- 
tresses in the school." 

This letter was resumed October 6th : " I had written 
thus far, when dear Madame Hogan was taken with a se- 
vere hemorrhage and I feared she would die before receiv- 
ing the Last Sacraments. After Extreme Unction had been 
administered she grew better and the physician pronounced 
her out of danger. As she continued to improve, I left two 
days later for Philadelphia, where I had an appointment to 
meet Bishop Kenrick. I had scarcely set out on my journey 
when our dear invalid was seized with suffocation, and the 
next morning she breathed her last sigh, repeating in trans- 

107 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

ports of love, ' Oh, how good it is to die a Religious of the 
Sacred Heart.' 

" Only those who witnessed the devotedness of this he- 
roic soul can realize the void which her death leaves in our 
ranks." Madame Hogan was deeply mourned by all those 
who had come within the sphere of her influence. 

We find in the journal of the Ladies' Children of Mary, 
the following entry : " Resolved, that as a mark of respect 
to Madame Hogan, our regretted friend and counsellor, 
black ribbon shall be worn on our medals for the ensuing 
six months." 

Shortly before her death, Madame Hogan had been 
urged by one of her sisters to be more prudent in regard 
to her health, as there was no one to take her place. 
" When our Lord takes me," she answered, " He will send 
one far more useful than I have ever been ! " 

Her words were fully verified. A few days after Mad- 
ame Hogan's death, a distinguished convert of Bishop 
Hughes, Miss Sarah Jones, entered the Novitiate, and for 
over forty years Mother Hardey found in her not only a 
loyal, devoted daughter, but a most efficient aid in every 
department of her administration. 

In 1846 the Convent of Saint Jacques in Canada was be- 
set with difficulties which required Mother Hardey's per- 
sonal solution. The boarding pupils from Montreal had be- 
come so numerous that they occupied nearly the entire 
building, which had been erected for the children of Saint 
Jacques. These latter, to the great displeasure of the vil- 
lagers, were located temporarily in an adjoining house. The 
saintly Cure, Monsieur Pare, tried in vain to appease his 
angry flock. They were in open revolt against him when 
Mother Hardey arrived. She listened with kindly interest 
to their grievance, acknowledging that they were justified 
in their protests, and calmed them with the assurance that 
the boarders should be removed without delay. 

She purchased property at Saint Vincent, He Jesus, 

1 08 



THE ACADEMY AT ASTORIA 

which was at a more convenient distance from Montreal, 
and established the boarding school there. 

On her return to Astoria, Mother Hardey tried to ob- 
tain for the pupils the blessing of a spiritual retreat. Bishop 
McCloskey, who was confessor at the convent, applied to 
the Jesuit Fathers, but without success. The pupils began 
a Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows at the suggestion of 
Mother Hardey, and on the last day of the Novena she re- 
ceived a letter from the good Bishop offering to give the re- 
treat himself. Needless to say, the favor was accepted with 
joy and gratitude. 

The zealous Bishop took so deep an interest in the suc- 
cess of the good work that he not only read over the chil- 
dren's resolutions, but added some words of counsel and 
encouragement in their notebooks. More than forty years 
later, one of the retreatants had still in her possession the 
notes of that retreat, and to the surprise of the Bishop, then 
our first American Cardinal, she, a professed Religious of 
the Sacred Heart, showed him the words of advice and 
warning which he had written for her. 

Another item of interest in the Annals of Astoria, is the 
organization of a society to provide for the needs of poor 
churches. A letter, describing a similar enterprise carried on 
in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Metz, awoke in the 
pupils a desire to emulate their sisters in Europe. Mother 
Hardey encouraged the project to open a bazaar for the 
purpose of realizing the funds necessary to purchase mate- 
rials. The result was that at the Distribution of Premiums 
July 2ist, a generous offering of vestments and altar linen 
was presented to Bishop Hughes and his Coadjutor, Bishop 
McCloskey, for the benefit of their country missions. 

Joys such as these were not without alloy for Mother 
Hardey, as we learn from the correspondence of those days. 
Experience has proved that the work of education is not 
only a difficult, but also an ungrateful task, for the reputa- 
tion of a convent school depends upon the bearing of its 

109 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

pupils within and those who have already passed beyond 
its walls. Yet their conduct is not always a fair test of the 
influence exerted over them within the sacred enclosure. 

Many who have been trained to faith and piety, on leav- 
ing their convent home yield to the allurements of the world 
and forget the lessons learned in childhood. Others, re- 
maining but a short time under the influence of religious 
teaching and little affected by it in their worldly life, throw 
discredit on the school where they had been only passing 
pupils. 

Unfounded reports of the worldliness of former pupils 
and of too progressive a spirit in the school of Astoria, 
reached Mother Barat and caused her to send words of 
warning to Mother Hardey. " In my recent letter," she 
writes, " I was obliged to tell you of the complaints made 
of your school. I hope you will understand that I mention 
them only because of the interest which I take in you and 
yours. On account of its high standing, your house should 
be the type and model of all the others, especially as re- 
gards the class of pupils, the solidity of the education given 
and the formation of the Mistresses. What are arts and 
sciences but dust scattered by the wind, compared with the 
solid virtues which we should cultivate in the hearts of our 
pupils. Even if we did not take into account the greatest 
of all interests, the salvation of souls, do we not see that the 
most superficial persons will prefer a modest, retiring, in- 
dustrious woman to a brilliant prodigy who seeks only 
pleasure and the gratification of her vanity? 

" Do not give yourself either peace or rest until you have 
succeeded in making your Mistresses models of the true re- 
ligious spirit and living examples of the principles which 
they should instill into the hearts of their pupils." 

Mother Hardey's reply is characteristic of her humility 
and readiness to submit cheerfully to the voice of authority. 
" MY VENERATED MOTHER : 

" I have this moment received your kind letter of April 

no 



THE ACADEMY AT ASTORIA 

i8th and I thank you a thousand times for all you have told 
me. Though your reproaches have wounded my heart, I 
believe I am able to say that they have been received in 
the same spirit which dictated them. I would not wish on 
any account to be left in ignorance of the charges brought 
against me. I fully understand how destitute I am of the 
qualities necessary for my responsible position, and I am 
persuaded that another would do far better in my place. 
However, I know that it is only by recognizing my mis- 
takes that I shall be able to correct them. How could I ob- 
ject to hear them from you, my Mother, to whom I have 
belonged for over twenty years, and who must know better 
than any one else my incapacity and unworthiness. I am 
willing to receive observations from any source, how much 
more readily then from you, whose duty it is to point out 
my faults." 

Mother Hardey then explains in her own frank, simple 
way, that certain changes have been introduced in order 
that the regulations of the boarding school might be made 
to harmonize with the classes of the day scholars. Other 
points of discipline, and the introduction of higher branches 
of study in accordance with the needs of the times, she 
showed to be in perfect keeping with the Society's educa- 
tional methods, which, without being altered in essentials, 
are susceptible of adaptation to the claims of every country. 

Through the pen of her secretary, Mother Barat hast- 
ened to send the assurance that the explanation was per- 
fectly satisfactory. Mother Hardey wrote in reply : 

" Mother Cahier's kind letter of July 24th awaited me at 
the close of my retreat, during which I had made the sacri- 
fice of your esteem and confidence, as your last two letters 
had caused me to believe I had forfeited both. You may 
then picture my joy and gratitude on learning that you have 
sanctioned all I have done for the welfare of the souls con- 
fided to my care." 

She then adds a message from Bishop Hughes : " His 

in 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Lordship made me promise to give you this message. He 
begs you, by venerated Mother, not to believe all you hear 
about his house of the Sacred Heart. He assures you that 
if anything goes wrong he will be the first to tell you. He 
says the complaints about our pupils are untrue; that, on 
the contrary, everyone remarks the good qualities they 
possess." 

When Bishop Hughes was in Paris in 1846 he called 
upon Mother Barat, who was highly gratified by all he told 
her of the school in Astoria, as we learn from the following 
letter: 

" PARIS, 15 MARCH, 1846. 
" DEAR MOTHER AND DAUGHTER : 

" Your venerated Bishop has kindly offered to take all 
our commissions and to be the bearer of this letter, which 
must be brief, as I leave to my secretary to reply to your 
business questions, and I count upon Monseigneur to make 
known to you the result of our conversations respecting 
your house. 

" They were consoling to me, for we agreed upon every 
point. His Lordship has a remarkably sound judgment and 
foresight, as well as a thorough knowledge of business af- 
fairs. How happy I should be to have such a guide! This 
good prelate will provide with true fatherly interest for all 
your spiritual and temporal wants. We have agreed upon 
the necessity of changing your present abode, and we have 
decided to borrow the funds requisite for purchasing a de- 
sirable location at 4 per cent, instead of 7 per cent., which 
you have to pay in the United States. We shall await the 
purchase of the property before raising the money. Mother 
Adele will explain to you our wishes in regard to your own 
house and the others confided to your care. 

" With so much labor and solicitude, dear daughter, it 
is essential that you keep your soul in peace and faithful 
to God. Be dependent then upon His Holy Spirit, by the 

112 



THE ACADEMY AT ASTORIA 

practice of generosity in sacrificing your own inclinations 
and in restraining natural activity. A superior should be, 
as far as possible, a living rule to all her subjects. Be faith- 
ful, my daughter, to all these recommendations, and Jesus 
will bless your efforts and you will thereby procure His 
glory by your personal holiness as well as by your works." 

Bishop Hughes arrived in New York on the 2ist of 
April. Before the close of the day he visited Astoria and 
rejoiced the community with an account of his interview 
with their beloved foundress. 

The selection of a new location now became the great 
object of interest to religious and pupils, and having heard 
that the Lorillard estate was again offered for sale, Bishop 
Hughes sent his secretary, Rev. James Roosevelt Bayley, 
to negotiate the affair, and he went himself to Astoria to 
recommend the community to do violence to Heaven by 
their prayers. They began at once a Novena of the Sta- 
tions of the Cross, but the following day the Bishop re- 
turned to say that Mrs. Lorillard positively refused to let 
the property be sold. " Be patient," he said, " and make up 
your mind to remain here for another year." His Lordship 
was discouraged, but Mother Hardey's hope never faltered. 

To a religious who said it would be tempting Providence 
to go on with the Novena, Mother Hardey replied : " God 
is more powerful than His creatures. Let us put our trust 
in Him and continue our prayers." 

Almost immediately after the Novena the property was 
again advertised for sale, but the price set upon it, $70,000, 
was a sum far beyond Mother Hardey's reach. 

After calculating her resources and consulting friends 
willing and able to help her, she found she could only 
offer $50,000. It was emphatically refused, but Mother 
Hardey was not yet discouraged. With all the strength of 
her lively faith she turned for aid to our Blessed Lady. 
Within the space of three days twenty thousand " Memo- 
rares " were recited by the religious and pupils, and, on the 

8 113 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

evening of the third day, their prayers were granted by her 
who is " never invoked in vain." 

Not only did the Lorillard heirs declare their willingness 
to sell for $50,000, but they even added to the original prop- 
erty twelve acres of land adjoining it. 

When Bishop Hughes announced the good news, heart- 
felt thanksgiving and a grand "Magnificat" resounded in 
the little chapel of " Ravenswood," for this visible proof 
of Divine love given to fervent confidence in prayer. 

The removal from Astoria took place on the I7th of Feb- 
ruary, 1847. The pupils refused to go home during those 
days, so eager were they to share with their mistresses the 
pleasures and privations of their installation at Manhattan- 
ville. 



114 



CHAPTER XII. 

EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE LETTER OF BISHOP 
HUGHES DAY SCHOOL IN NEW YORK 1847-1849. 

A more beautiful place could hardly be imagined than 
" Manhattanville," as the Lorillard estate was called, after 
it passed into the possession of the Religious of the Sacred 
Heart. 

It was situated upon the brow of an elevation about one 
hundred and sixty feet above Harlem Plains on one side 
and the banks of the Hudson on the other. The grounds 
were remarkably picturesque. Secluded walks, lofty rocks 
crowned with verdure, thick woods traversed by narrow 
paths, like Indian trails, smiling lawns and handsome parks 
all combined to throw a charm around the spot, now con- 
secrated to the interests of religious education. 

The pupils came in bands from Astoria and were enthu- 
siastic in their joyful appreciation of their new home. The 
first care of the religious was to provide for the comfort of 
the children. For themselves they gladly accepted the pri- 
vations inseparable from a foundation. 

" Our arrival at Manhattanville," writes one of the nov- 
ices, " marked an epoch in our community life. Our num- 
bers were few, our labors manifold, and even in the beau- 
tiful Lorillard mansion we felt that we were the true daugh- 
ters of ' holy poverty.' The hall outside the kitchen served 
for our refectory, a couple of boards answered for tables, 
while a box often supplied the want of a chair. Bishop 
Hughes, who came almost daily, was much amused by our 
improvised furniture, and he marvelled at our ingenuity in 
turning everything to account. He was especially im- 
pressed by the way in which Mother Hardey managed to 
reserve for herself what was most laborious and inconve- 
nient. ' I never see her,' he remarked to one of the reli- 

"5 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

gious, ' without broom or brush in hand, and she is always 
the same, whether in the kitchen or in the parlor. Truly 
your Mother is one in a thousand ! ' ' 

The Bishop's words found an echo in the hearts of her 
daughters, for it was their happy privilege to witness daily 
examples of those admirable virtues of which the Bishop 
had only a passing glimpse. 

In the neighborhood of Manhattanville were many poor 
families upon whom Mother Hardey began at once to exer- 
cise her charity. Since their arrival in New York the work 
of the religious had been restricted to the Academy ; now 
they were about to add the one dearest to the heart of the 
members of the Society, the gratuitous instruction of poor 
children. 

Mother Hardey converted a commodious stable into a 
schoolhouse and appointed two of the novices to teach the 
classes. In a short time the good work prospered. She vis- 
ited the classes from time to time and encouraged both Mis- 
tresses and pupils. Every effort made was sure to receive 
her commendation. At the end of the school term she pre- 
sided at the closing exercises, which were necessarily crude 
and therefore disappointing to the young Mistresses, who 
hoped for better results; but their Mother evinced un- 
feigned delight while listening to the simple recitations and 
songs of the children. After distributing the rewards, she 
noticed several little girls looking disconsolate because they 
had received nothing. The kind Mother could not let these 
little ones leave with downcast hearts. She had anticipated 
the trouble and provided for it. Drawing from her pocket 
a package of highly colored pictures, she called the children 
to her, one by one, then asked the Mistress to mention some 
effort made by the child, in order that she might receive a 
picture, either as recompense or encouragement. 

The families of the children were likewise the objects 
of her solicitude. Work for the parents, clothes for the chil- 
dren, medicines for the sick, all the needs of the body, but 

116 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

more especially the needs of the soul, claimed her time and 
assistance. Her charity soon became proverbial in the vil- 
lage. " If a poor woman called to see Reverend Mother," 
one of the Sisters relates, " I was sure to find that some of 
her clothes or bedding had disappeared. I tried to keep a 
piece of carpet under her desk during the winter, but every 
few days it was missing. At last I complained to Reverend 
Mother that there was not another piece to be found. She 
quietly answered : ' I am so glad, Sister, now your fretting 
will be over.' 

" One day a poor woman came with a very pitiful tale. 
Her husband had pawned her sewing machine and had 
spent the money in gambling and drink. Mother Hardey 
advised her to bring her husband to see her when he was 
sober, but the man refused. She then wrote him a note, 
stating that she wanted to see him on business. He came, 
very much abashed, but the good mother put him at his 
ease by inquiring about his trade, his aptitude for manual 
work, promised to secure a situation for him, and then 
broached the subject of his religious duties. He acknowl- 
edged that he had not been to the Sacraments for years, but 
he would make his peace with God as soon as he was pre- 
pared to go to confession. 

" A few weeks later the prodigal received Holy Com- 
munion and Confirmation in the convent chapel, and, true 
tc her word, Mother Hardey found him employment by get- 
ting him to attend a little fancy store which she advised his 
wife to open, and for which she advanced the sum of fifty 
dollars to make the necessary purchases. 

" From that time the man became a model husband and 
father. The business venture was a success, and some years 
later the couple purchased a fine farm, where they con- 
tinued to prosper and where they have brought up a large 
family in the fear and love of God." 

But the work of charity dearest to the heart of Mother 
Hardey was the care of a little band of orphans, the chil- 
li; 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

dren of Irish immigrants who had died of the cholera on 
reaching New York. The opportunity soon presented it- 
self and was a consequence of the difficulties which had 
arisen between Bishop Hughes and the Emmitsburg supe- 
riors of the Sisters of Charity. On account of the misun- 
derstanding he asked Mother Hardey to take charge of 
these children pending the settlement of the questions at 
issue. She was far from suspecting that this act of charity, 
in deference to the Bishop's request, would give rise to sus- 
picion and accusations against herself. 

When the New York Sisters of Charity separated from 
the Mother House at Emmitsburg, which had become affili- 
ated to the Paris Congregation, it was noised abroad that 
Mother Hardey would soon effect a similar separation of 
the American branch of the Sacred Heart. Rumors to that 
effect were set afloat and reached even the ear of the 
Mother General, who was the first to communicate them to 
Mother Hardey, of whose loyalty she never doubted. How 
deep was the suffering caused by the charge we may infer 
from the letters of Mother Barat at this period. " Continue, 
my daughter," she wrote, " to unburden your heart by con- 
fiding to me all that grieves and troubles you. It is not 
right for you to keep your sorrows to yourself! I under- 
stand you perfectly and I am thoroughly convinced of your 
attachment to the Society. You must forget what has oc- 
curred, and remember, dear Mother, no good can be accom- 
plished save by and with the Cross." 

We find Father Barelle writing to her in the same strain. 
"Who is there without the Cross? Happy the souls that 
know how to appreciate and love those which Jesus pre- 
sents to them, in order to draw them more closely to Him- 
self! Be of the number, my daughter, and make no distinc- 
tion between one cross and another. See in each of them 
* a gift of God/ a precious stone from Calvary, a message 
of grace, an efficacious means of growing conformable to 
Jesus and one of the rays of his greatest glory." 

118 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTAN VI LLE 

We can give no better refutation of the calumny circu- 
lated about Mother Hardey's projected schism than by 
quoting the following passage from the pages of her French 
biography : " It will always be Mother Hardey's crown and 
glory that she was exhaustless in her efforts to strengthen 
and maintain the bonds of unity between our houses in Eu- 
rope and America. American by birth, and American in 
heart, she had nevertheless acquired in a high degree from 
those who trained her to the religious life the spirit which 
characterized the Society in its infancy. Powerful by her 
sterling virtues and splendid character, her dignified bear- 
ing and attractive manners, she made use of these gifts to 
maintain in all its integrity the spirit she had received and 
to transmit it to future generations of her religious family." 

Towards the close of 1847, revolution broke out in al- 
most all the countries of Europe and in many places the 
Church was fiercely assailed. As usual, the Religious Or- 
ders came in for the first attack. The Society of the Sacred 
Heart had its share of trouble and its members were ex- 
pelled from their convent at Montet, in Switzerland, and 
from five others in Italy. But an All-wise Providence drew 
from it all a blessing for the Society in America, for in pro- 
viding homes for the banished nuns, Mother Barat thought 
of her houses in the New World. " Six of our Sisters," she 
announced, " are going to New York. Six others will soon 
follow. When light is withdrawn from one country it 
passes into another." 

The refugees were received by Mother Hardey with that 
genuine cordiality which proves, that if earth is an exile, 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart find a country, a homo 
and a Mother in every convent of the Order. 

Among the exiles were two whose names are intimately 
associated with the early history of Manhattanville, Mad- 
ame Trincano, whom Mother Barat had appointed Mistress 
of Novices, and Madame Tommasini, a young aspirant, 
who had suffered much during the sad scenes of the revolu- 
tion in Turin. . 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Mother Trincano could not speak English, but it was no 
obstacle to her efficiency as Mistress of Novices. Her in- 
structions in French were translated fluently by one of the 
novices, and even the recreations, which were carried on in 
two languages, lost nothing of their interest and gayety. 

Eager to secure for her novices the advantage of greater 
seclusion than the boarding school afforded, Mother Har- 
dey fitted up for their use a small stone dwelling on the 
grounds, known as " the cottage." " That dear little No- 
vitiate," writes a novice of those days, " was a true Naza- 
reth, where we tasted all the happiness that comes from 
poverty and holy obedience. A beautiful park, bordered by 
tiees, was our recreation ground, and there we felt as se- 
cluded from the world as were the ancient solitaries of the 
Thebaid. The hours passed in that lovely spot were bright- 
est when Mother Hardey was present. Her conversation 
raised our hearts to God, and when she left us we felt dis- 
posed anew for prayer." 

" Bishop Hughes often came to see us," writes another. 
" We celebrated his first visit with poetry and song. He 
asked for a copy of our verses, declaring that he would de- 
posit them in the archives of the Cathedral. Once, as he 
walked with us on the grassy slope in front of the cottage, 
I presented him with a wild flower, saying, ' Monseigneur, 
here is "Jack in the Pulpit!" ' Assuming an injured air, 
he exclaimed : ' " Jack in the Pulpit ! " Well, Madame Ten- 
broeck, I did not expect such a slur upon the oratory of 
John Hughes ! ' My great confusion was a source of merri- 
ment to him and my novice sisters." 

" So many joys centered in our cottage home that we 
left it with regret, when our Novitiate was established in 
the convent. I well remember the day we took possession 
of that new abode, and also Mother Hardey's bright smile, 
as she showed us our pleasant rooms and simple furniture. 
She took special pleasure in calling our attention to the set 
of French straw chairs, a gift from our Mother General." 

1 20 




1 Old Convent, Manhattanville, N. Y. 

2 Chapel at Manhattanville 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

Mother Barat's letters show the interest she felt in these 
novices. Seeing in them her religious family of the future, 
she insisted upon their formation, according to the true 
spirit of the Institute. " Pay special attention to the nov- 
ices," she wrote to Mother Hardey. " See that from the 
very beginning they strive to acquire solid virtue. Teach 
them to practice mortification and detachment. Unless 
they aim at becoming interior, they will be only counterfeit 
religious, and then how incomplete will be their own per- 
fection and how little good will result from their ministry 
with souls." 

Manhattanville was hardly established upon a solid 
basis when its prosperity seemed to be menaced by an un- 
expected event. A beautiful property, midway between the 
city and Manhattanville, was purchased by Bishop Hughes 
for the Sisters of Charity, who were to start a school there. 
The friends of the Sacred Heart became alarmed and urged 
Mother Hardey to remonstrate with the Bishop. She re- 
fused, saying the field of labor was large enough for both 
institutions, and, that in the work of saving souls, it mat- 
ters not whether Sisters of Charity or Sisters of the Sacred 
Heart were to be the laborers. Mother Barat expressed 
her fear on the same subject to Mother Hardey in the fol- 
lowing lines: "What is the meaning of this report which 
has reached me, my daughter? Can it be possible that your 
Bishop, who has always been so devoted to your interests 
and who urged you to incur the great expense of your re- 
cent purchase, has established near Manhattanville a school 
similar to yours, and at a more moderate pension, thus leav- 
ing you but little chance to prosper? I acknowledge that 
I am greatly surprised at this unexpected turn of affairs. 
What will become of your establishment and what do you 
propose to do?" Then, lifting her thoughts above earthly 
cares, she continues: " O, my daughter, we must grow 
strong with the strength of Jesus Christ, uniting ourselves 
so closely to His Divine Heart that no one can reach us 

121 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

without touching that Divine Heart Itself! Let us then 
despoil ourselves of what is purely natural, in order to 
clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ." 

It was probably this letter which determined Mother 
Hardey to make known her apprehensions to the Bishop. 
His Lordship's vindication is best expressed in his own 
words : 

" NEW YORK, November 22, 1847. 
" DEAR MADAME HARDEY : 

" I regretted the other evening that the lateness of the 
hour did not allow me to hear from you and to say to you 
all that I would wish in reference to the situation and pros- 
pects of your Community. Not knowing when I may have 
another opportunity of conversing on the subject, I prefer 
writing down leisurely what I would wish you to regard 
as my opinion in the whole matter. I was much afflicted 
to perceive that for the first time you appeared to be down- 
cast and despondent in reference to your prospects. I was 
equally pained in perceiving that I also, in your thoughts, 
was regarded as having contributed to the cause of your 
depression by having allowed another Community to estab- 
lish a school on terms and in circumstances prejudicial to 
your success. It appears that such an impression has been 
made on the mind of Madame Barat, your Mother General. 
I should have been sufficiently afflicted at your depression 
and discouragement without having learned that I myself 
was looked upon as having been the cause. 

" I state the case according to the impression which the 
brief conversation I had with you has left upon my mind, 
and I only regret that if unknowingly I have contributed to 
such a result I was not advised of it at any period during 
the progress of what has been accomplished. I know that 
from the day when I invited the Religious of the Sacred 
Heart to this diocese I have been loyal and, in good faith, 
zealous for their success, and, unless awfully mistaken in 
my judgment, true to their interests. I may say at the 

122 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

same time that in great things, as in small things, the Com- 
munity has been all that my heart could wish ; that they 
have already done much for the good of religion, and are 
destined with God's blessing to do still more ; that I see no 
reason for despondency, and that I am now as sanguine of 
their success as I have been at any time since their coming 
to this diocese. At all events, I look upon myself as having, 
so far as depends on me, adopted your Community as the 
first school for Catholic education in this diocese, and so 
long as I live you must not allow yourself to give way to 
gloomy apprehensions, whatever discouragements you may 
experience from other causes, for I consider myself bound 
to see that your house shall not go down, whilst I am able 
to sustain it, and that in any event we shall stand or fall 
together. 

" Now permit me to say that I think your apprehensions 
are entirely unfounded. As I feel a little mortified that 
Madame Barat should have come to any conclusion reflect- 
ing upon me, without having first given me intimation of 
the grounds of it, I think it proper to take a retrospective 
glance at what has occurred since you came to the diocese. 

" When Madame Galitzin arrived here it was deemed 
most expedient to commence in the city, and the price of 
tuition was put at rather a high rate, with a view at once 
to secure the attendance of what are called the better 
classes, and at the same time not to injure the other schools, 
and not to provoke their hostility. Afterwards the health 
of the religious required a change of air, and the place in 
Astoria was purchased. It was not a desirable acquisition, 
but perhaps the best that could be procured at the time 
and under the circumstances. When the opportunity pre- 
sented itself I urged the acquisition of your present prop- 
erty, and I am grateful both that I prevented other pur- 
chases, which would not have been suitable, and that this, 
which by all testimony and agreement of opinion is for 
your purposes the most desirable, has been secured. In 

123 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

recommending this, however, either to yourselves or to 
your Mother General in Paris, I did not disguise the weight 
of the undertaking, nor the expense which for some time 
it would involve. 

" As regards your immediate prospects, and above all 
the economy of your establishment, for the present time, 
either of the other places would have made your income and 
your expenditure more in proportion to each other. But 
ultimately you would have to abandon both. Certainly you 
have three times the quantity of land which would be neces- 
sary for you. But, on the other hand, it will rise in value 
from year to year, and after the railroad along the Hudson 
shall have been completed it will be in your power to dis- 
pose of as much of it as you wish, and at a very enhanced 
price. 

" Again, your expenses of the past year have been nec- 
essarily greater than they will be for any year to come. It 
is not in my opinion, therefore, the diminution of your 
school, so much as the increase in your expenses over and 
above your income, which has caused you to be alarmed. 

" As regards the existence of another school, I persist 
still in the opinion that it cannot interfere in any way with 
your success." 

Here the Bishop gives his reasons for this opinion, and 
after dwelling at length on the subject, continues: 

" Certainly, I would not sanction anything which I could 
reasonably suppose would be to your detriment. I think 
I may appeal to yourselves to say whether I have left any- 
thing undone since you have been in the diocese to aid you 
and to co-operate with you in the establishment of a relig- 
ious educational institution, which has been already and I 
trust is still destined to be for many generations a blessing 
which the Catholic people are, alas ! themselves but too 
slow to appreciate. Yet, for my own part, I do not see the 
slightest reason for discouragement." 

The Bishop then refers to some changes in discipline 

124 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

which might prove advantageous, such as public entertain- 
ments, distribution of premiums; literary disputations in 
presence of parents, etc., at which he says he always pre- 
sides with genuine pleasure. 

" There is only one other topic to which I shall allude. 
You know that I have never been in a situation to aid you 
from any resources of my own. You know, also, that I have 
never advised or encouraged any means which would indi- 
cate that you were restricted or, at least, so limited in your 
resources as to require aid from the well disposed of our 
Catholic population. In this country I feared that such a 
course would react injuriously on your Institute, and hence 
both here and in France I have held the same language, 
especially in reference to your present purchase. Nor has 
anything occurred to alter my views on this subject. If your 
superiors can only have confidence enough to aid and sus- 
tain you in reference to any temporary deficiency in your 
income, or to any necessary improvements which you may 
require in your buildings, I shall guarantee that you will be 
able to refund such advances. If they do not, but are will- 
ing that I should make known in such way as to enlist the 
sympathy of the charitable in your behalf, I shall pledge 
myself again that it will not be necessary for you to ask 
any aid from abroad. But at all events, I beg you never to 
allow your courage to fail. There is no reason for it, and 
even if there were, the Church cries out every day, in a 
sense which religious persons above all should understand, 
' Sursum Corda ! ' 

" I fear I have fatigued you by this long epistle, which 
I would have said to yourself in substance, if my last visit 
had not been so late in the afternoon as to require the cur- 
tailment of the conversation. 

" Recommending myself to the prayers of the Com- 
munity, I remain, 

" Faithfully, your father and servant in Xt, 

"JOHN HUGHES, Bishop of New York." 
125 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Happily this letter is one of the few found among 
Mother Hardey's papers. We may well believe that it gave 
her new courage to pass through the many trials and hard- 
ships which she had to endure before Manhattanville 
reached the height of prosperity to which she raised it. 

" During the early years at Manhattanville," writes one 
of the religious, " our Mother's work and cares were almost 
beyond endurance. Some were more ready to criticise and 
thwart her projects than to aid her in executing them. 
Alone, and in silence, she carried a burden which one less 
courageous would have thrown down in despair. But it 
was not in human aid or sympathy that she sought strength 
and courage. Many times during the day, and late at night, 
might she be seen near the Tabernacle, in loving colloquy 
with the Heart of Jesus, to promote whose glory she 
counted as nothing her own suffering and fatigue." 

The letters of Mother Barat give us an idea of the 
almost incredible labors of Mother Hardey, as well as of 
the many and varied trials which caused her to sow in tears 
what those who have come after her have reaped in joy. 

" Try, my daughter," writes Mother Barat, " to divide 
your occupations among your subjects. However gifted a 
Superior may be, she cannot do everything herself. Appoint 
Mother Trincano assistant as well as mistress of novices. 
During your absence from Manhattanville let her be su- 
perior par interim. Can you not find some one to whom 
you may confide the care of the treasury, or at least one 
who can assist you in this department, for I see the neces- 
sity of your keeping the title of treasurer and superintend- 
ing the temporalities of the house. Notwithstanding your 
occupations, I believe it advisable for you to continue to 
direct the school and to correspond with the parents of the 
pupils as much as possible ; but you should have at your 
service a reliable Mistress, who can replace you in main- 
taining order and in attending to the numerous details of 
the government, for both teachers and pupils." 

126 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

But anxieties of a graver nature than the multiplicity of 
her daily duties often weighed upon Mother Hardey. Debts 
had to be paid, and the funds were often lacking. One of 
her daughters writes: "A note of $1500 was due on a certain 
day and our Mother had not wherewith to redeem it. As 
ever, her trust was in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She 
appealed to the fervent prayers of the Community and 
novices to obtain the required amount. Deep was our 
gratitude to God, when a few days later Mother Trincano 
told us that the old place at Astoria had found a purchaser, 
and the first payment would be exactly $1500. The dear 
Mother was radiant with faith and joy. As for Mother 
Hardey, she remained until a late hour that night before 
the Tabernacle, thankfully communing with Him who had 
so mercifully come to her aid. A little later a sum of $1000 
was needed, and again we were asked to pray, as the con- 
sequences would be serious if the payment was not made 
when due. Needless to say, we redoubled our fervor. The 
eve of the important day came, and with it the answer to 
our prayers. A Cuban gentleman, before leaving for 
Europe, handed Mother Hardey $1000 in gold, as a deposit 
for the pension of his children, telling her to use the money 
if it could be of service to her. We all looked upon this as 
a marvelous protection of Divine Providence. Mother Har- 
dey said nothing, but the expression of her countenance 
plainly indicated the emotions of her heart." 

After the transfer from the city to Astoria the day 
pupils, as we have seen, were removed to Bleecker Street, 
but the house was closed after a year, to the great regret of 
the Bishop. In February, 1848, he pleaded for the reopen- 
ing of a day school in the city, and, with Mother Barat's 
consent, 134 Bleecker Street, another dwelling was rented, 
and before long a large number of pupils were admitted. It 
was a convenient place for the work of spiritual retreats, as 
also for the meetings of the Children of Mary; but while 
the opening of this house contributed much to the advance- 

127 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

ment of religion, it added greatly to the solicitude of Mother 
Hardey. Her subjects were so few in number that she was 
obliged to assign the charge of the house to a young re- 
ligious, Madame Sarah Jones, who had but recently com- 
pleted her noviceship. Mother Hardey, however, reserved 
for herself the direction of the little family and the super- 
intendence of all that related to the school. She set apart 
one day in each month for these duties, but pressing busi- 
ness often called her more frequently to the city. These 
visits became for the zealous superior opportunities for prac- 
ticing holy poverty. She could not afford to keep a horse 
and carriage, and even the fare in the Bloomingdale stage 
was somewhat of a drain upon her slender purse, so she 
usually availed herself of the butcher's wagon for a drive 
to the city. As the religious in those days wore a secular 
costume in traveling it was easy to pass unnoticed. On one 
occasion, as she was about to leave for the city, she saw a 
farmer's wagon at the door, and asked the driver to let her 
lide with him. " But, Mother," exclaimed the portress, 
" you surely will not ride in that open wagon ! " " Why 
not? " she replied. " With my veil over my face I can pass 
for the farmer's wife." Then stepping into the wagon she 
started off with the good man, who appreciated the honor 
of her company and called for her again in the evening. 

" How eagerly we looked for her coming! " writes Ma- 
dame Jones. " We spent our brightest days when she was 
with us, and they gave us new strength to work generously 
when deprived of her presence. Weenjoyed to the utmost the 
evening hours when grouped around her we listened to her 
precious counsels, and drew from her words the spirit of 
the Society she loved so much. She never tired of speak- 
ing to us of our Mother General, Mothers Eugenie and Mur- 
phy, of the early days of Saint Michael's, and we never grew 
weary of listening. Wishing to prolong those delightful 
moments, our timekeeper once secretly stopped the clock. 
The conversation continued, when Mother Hardey was sud- 

128 



EARLY DAYS AT MANHATTANVILLE 

denly startled by hearing the city clock strike ten ! She 
looked at us with such amazement that the guilty one 
hastened to confess her fault. ' Never do that again, my 
child,' was the rebuke gently given, ' or I shall lose confi- 
dence in your fidelity.' 

" Our little home was the favored spot chosen by our 
Mother for her annual retreat. The air of solitude which 
then surrounded her, her recollection and absorption in 
prayer made a deep impression upon us, and our hearts re- 
echoed the words of a Jesuit Father who directed her, ' Your 
Mother is a Saint!'" 

With advancing years, Mother Hardey was practicing 
with ever increasing fidelity the wise counsels addressed to 
her by Mother Barat towards the close of 1847. " Above 
all, my daughter, remain in the peace of Jesus, in the midst 
of your incessant occupations. Do what you can to supply 
what is wanting, but do not kill yourself. Manage to get 
some extra time to repair your strength near the Source of 
Life, for without help from the Good Master you will surely 
break down. How gladly I would go to Manhattanville, if 
I were only able ! You are always the first in my thoughts, 
for I desire your perfection ; nor shall I be satisfied until you 
attain to the very highest possible." 



129 



CHAPTER XIII. 

FOUNDATIONS AT EDEN HALL HALIFAX BUFFALO CERE- 
MONIES IN THE MANHATTANVILLE CHAPEL 1847-1851. 

In 1846, Bishop Kenrick asked Mother Hardey to estab- 
lish a convent in Philadelphia. In reply to her answer that 
she would submit his request to the Mother General, he 
wrote : " If you must await an answer from Paris, it is 
needless to write, for I have promised the Ursulines to ac- 
cept them if you decline." 

Thus pressed by the Bishop, Mother Hardey represented 
the case to the Mother General, adding: " Although it costs 
me greatly to act without your authorization, I am at pres- 
ent compelled either to accept immediately or to give up 
the opportunity of making a foundation in Philadelphia. I 
have also received a letter from the Provincial of the Jesuits 
in Georgetown, urging me to comply at once with the 
Bishop's wishes. After consulting Our Lord in prayer, and 
asking counsel of friends competent to advise me, I wrote 
to Mother Boilevin to meet me in Philadelphia that we 
might together learn the Bishop's views and decide upon 
the wisest course to adopt." 

This letter was followed a few weeks later by another: 
" The Bishop has consented to await your decision, yet he is 
so sure of your approval that he made me pledge my word, 
in your name, that we would transfer the McSherrystown 
establishment to Philadelphia next spring, but with the 
proviso that you are to decide whether we shall rent or 
purchase." 

Mother Barat having given her consent, the boarding 
school was closed at McSherrystown and an academy 
opened on Logan Square in the Bishop's own residence, 
which he placed at the disposition of the religious, accepting 
for himself a few rooms in the episcopal seminary. But 

130 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

Mother Hardey recognized the necessity of procuring for 
her daughters a residence in the country, so she began at 
once to look for a suitable location. The Cowperthwaite 
estate, situated about ten miles from the city, was offered 
for sale at a very moderate price in 1847. She purchased 
this earthly paradise, whose varied beauties won for it the 
title of " Eden Hall," and confided it to the care of Mother 
Tucker, the Mistress General of Manhattanville, a woman 
of great influence and literary ability, as well as of deep and 
enlightened piety. The most ardent desire of Mother 
Tucker was to instil into the hearts of her children a prac- 
tical devotion to the " Mother of Sorrows," and so well did 
she succeed that even to this day the atmosphere of Eden 
Hall seems impregnated with it. One evening in May, 
1848, during a retreat given by Rev. Father Barbelin, S.J., 
the pupils were walking through the quiet groves singing 
the Stabat Mater, just as Mr. George Edwards called to 
see the superior. He was much impressed by the mournful 
strains and remarked that their sweet voices inspired love 
for our Blessed Lady. " Yes," answered Mother Tucker, 
" they obtain all they ask from our Lady of Dolors." 
" Well," said Mr. Edwards, " if they can obtain for me the 
success of a lawsuit now pending, I will give you $3000 
towards building a new church." Mother Tucker at once 
informed the religious and pupils of Mr. Edwards' request 
and promise, and before retiring that night they recited 
three thousand Hail Marys. The next evening Mr. Ed- 
wards returned to announce the success of the prayers and 
to make good his promise. 

The corner stone of the new church was laid October 
30, 1849, by Archbishop Hughes, who also, on November 
27, 1851, performed the ceremony of consecration, assisted 
by Bishop Demers, Bishop Kenrick having been trans- 
ferred to the See of Baltimore. Two Bishops, forty priests, 
and a band of seminarians took part in the ceremony, but 
Mother Hardey could not be present, as she had left for 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Paris the previous October. Archbishop Hughes pro- 
nounced the little Gothic chapel as the most beautiful in 
the States. In fact it was the first convent chapel to be con- 
secrated. The sermon was preached by Dr. Forbes at the 
High Mass which followed the consecration. The cere- 
monies lasted four hours. 

Mother Hardey was actively engaged during the winter 
of 1848 with preparations for two foundations, one in Hali- 
fax, Nova Scotia, the other in Buffalo, New York. 

The Church in Nova Scotia had long been struggling for 
its rights. The penal laws of the eighteenth century had 
been applied to the British Colonies and as in the Mother 
Country, the penalty was death for the priest who cele- 
brated the Holy Sacrifice. But faith grew strong in spite 
of persecution, as the Catholic population increased by the 
arrival of emigrants from the Old World. Converts were 
also brought into the Church, chiefly by the labors of the 
zealous and tireless Bishop Lawlor, and the govern- 
ment closed its eyes to the fact that Catholics were begin- 
ning to win over their neighbors. By degrees Catholicity 
began to be treated with much more consideration. To help 
on the work Bishop Walsh, the successor of Bishop Lawlor, 
labored to procure for his flock a social position that would 
give them an influence for good in society, and on that ac- 
count he assumed the bearing of one invested with dignity. 
He put his coat-of-arms on his carriage, and when govern- 
ment officers arrived from England he paid them a formal 
call and gave a banquet in their honor. The world then 
began to offer the prelate the homage which it is ever ready 
to lay at the feet of the great. 

After a time, slumbering prejudice was aroused. The 
Bishop's freedom of action was condemned, and a petition 
was sent to Parliament to prohibit the erection of Catholic 
churches in Nova Scotia, but the Bishop was determined to 
frustrate the designs of his enemies. Having planned to 
build a mortuary chapel in the cemetery, he had all the 

132 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

materials quietly prepared, the stone dressed, windows 
made, and when all was ready he fixed the day and five hun- 
dred mechanics assembled before sunrise to begin the work. 
Even the women took part in the enterprise, for they cooked 
and furnished the meals for the laborers. Strong hands and 
willing hearts speedily accomplished the task. Between the 
hours of sunrise and sunset the modest shrine was built, 
the earth was carted away, and the church was enclosed 
by a strong palisade. It received the name of the " One Day 
Chapel." The dreaded prohibition never arrived and Catho- 
lic emancipation was extended to Nova Scotia as to other 
lands under British rule. 

Mother' Hardey, with a small colony of her daughters, 
arrived in Halifax May I9th, 1849. They were received by 
Bishop Walsh with paternal kindness and conducted by him 
to the home prepared for them in the beautiful suburbs of 
Brookside. The house was a frame building, surrounded by 
three acres of land thickly planted with fruit trees. Every- 
thing bespoke the kind thoughtfulness of the Bishop. The 
rooms were furnished, the cellar stocked with provisions, 
and a fine bookcase contained many valuable books. But 
the good Bishop went further. To the useful he added the 
ornamental. A pious picture adorned each apartment, but 
what touched the hearts of the religious most deeply was a 
large painting in their little chapel, representing the appa- 
rition of Our Lord to Blessed Margaret Mary. 

An amusing incident happened a few days after their in- 
stallation. As the Bishop in Nova Scotia is called " My 
Lord," Mother Hardey instructed her daughters to conform 
at once to the custom. One day the Sister Portress hurried 
to her room and announced in some trepidation, " Mother, 
our Lord is here ! " Mother Hardey, supposing the Blessed 
Sacrament had been brought to the house, hastened to the 
chapel, but seeing no one there she went towards the par- 
lor, where to her surprise and amusement she found the 
Bishop awaiting her. 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Eight days later Our Lord came in truth to take up His 
abode with this little family, which then numbered five 
religious, five boarding pupils and eight day scholars. As 
the house was in the vicinity of a national fort, the children 
often went to their duties to the sound of martial music. 

Before leaving Halifax Mother Hardey installed Mother 
Peacock as superior, and in words full of unction and en- 
couragement urged her daughters to strive to lighten the 
burden of their new mother by their cheerful obedience. 

On her return to Manhattanville, she wrote the follow- 
ing letter to Mother Barat : " When I left Halifax there 
were twenty-six pupils in the school, six of them boarders. 
All the expenses were defrayed by Bishop Walsh, who sent 
me the receipts on the eve of my departure. The house was 
furnished, the rent paid, the traveling expenses returned to 
me, so that the school will have only the current expenses 
to defray. His Lordship's goodness and generosity are un- 
paralleled. He was kind enough to say that the day of our 
entrance into his diocese was the happiest day of his life. 
He was shaving when the news of our arrival reached him ; 
throwing aside his razor he hastened to the wharf to meet 
us, one side of his face shaven, the other untouched. He 
conducted us to his own palace, where we spent several 
hours before starting for Brookside. The first ladies of the 
city were already there completing arrangements for our 
reception, so the good Bishop delayed our arrival by taking 
us to visit the chief attractions of the city and suburbs." 

Mother Hardey's letters to Mother Peacock are among 
the very few we have been able to find, as she required her 
daughters to destroy her letters whenever she suspected they 
were being preserved. Her interest in the new foundation 
is evinced in the following lines: 

" MY DEAR MOTHER : 

" I have delayed answering your letter in the hope of 
being able to send a man to your assistance, but Halifax has 

134 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

so bad a name that even Moses seems unwilling to emigrate. 
I am inclined to think, however, that his brother Patrick, 
who is just as good as Moses, will accept the offer. If so, he 
will sail with his wife and son on the Cambria. We prefer 
keeping the orphan until our religious leave, which will be 
in about a month. 

" 10 P.M. 

" Since the above was written, I have heard from our 
Irish friends. They cannot leave by this week's steamer. 
Master Pat, the son, is not expected to live until morning. 
You will be obliged to wait for your goods, as I do not wish 
to send them except in the care of some trustworthy person. 
Madame Thompson has purchased the articles you desired, 
and as she does not seem inclined to charge for them, I 
shall not insist. All here are greatly interested in Halifax. 
The altar linen was given by ladies and children expressly 
for your chapel. The candelabras are a present from Saint 
Aloysius, and you may thank me for them. ... I feel 
at times very uneasy, knowing how much you have to do. I 
hope the Heart of Jesus will watch over you, and give you 
strength and courage. We can expect consolation from 
Jesus alone. Let us apply to Him in our difficulties. It is 
useless to seek assistance elsewhere. 

" It is probable we shall commence building at Eden 
Hall in the course of next month. Mr. Edwards is to give 
$3000 towards the church. Here the Bishop says we must 
have ours separate from the addition. It will be in the rear 
of the old, or present, edifice, something like Bishop Walsh's 
' One Day Church.' If Sister Henrietta were here, instead 
of saying ' our Lord has come ! ' she would tell us, ' our 
Lord has gone ! ' Our Lord has gone down to the children's 
chapel. Their number having increased with the heat, 
which was almost intolerable last week, we were obliged 
to make the sacrifice of the chapel. 

" I beseech you, dear Mother, write often. You need not 
take such pains, nor write so large a hand, but let me 

135 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

hear everything concerning yourself and your little family. 
. . . I hope you pray for me. . . . The cocks are 
crowing! Instead of wishing you 'Good night/ I should 
say ' Good morning.' I hope you will be able to read my 
letter." 

Another foundation was made in Buffalo in the summer 
of 1849, in compliance with the repeated solicitations of 
Bishop Timon, whose letters to Mother Barat pictured in 
glowing terms a future full of promise. Mother Hardey 
visited Buffalo with Mother Trincano, who was destined to 
be the first superior of the foundation. They received hos- 
pitality from the Sisters of Charity, and here, as elsewhere, 
Mother Hardey left the most agreeable remembrance of her 
visit. Nearly forty years later the venerable Sister 
Anacharia thus describes her impressions : " Mother Har- 
dey appeared to me the most perfect type of a religious su- 
perior. At a glance, one could see that she was born to 
rule. Her queenly bearing and noble manners were ren- 
dered still more attractive by the beautiful simplicity of 
her amiable virtues. I can recall yet, word for word, her in- 
structions in regard to her meals, on the evening of her ar- 
rival : ' Only coffee and bread for breakfast, soup and one 
kind of meat for dinner, one vegetable and no dessert.' It 
was easy to divine the delicacy of her motive, for we were 
ourselves leading foundation life. Before her departure, 
however, we had reason to admire in her generous gifts 
what seemed to be the ruling principle of her life, that it is 
more blessed to give than to receive." 

These two foundations, of Halifax and Buffalo, made 
heavy demands on the community of Manhattanville, as 
fifteen of the members left for the new missions, and hence 
we read in the Journal of the house : " The loss of so many 
of our sisters leaves a void in our ranks not easy to fill. 
What sacrifices on both sides! We who remain must de- 
vote ourselves more than ever to a life of abnegation and 
labor, while for those who have left us, the pain of separa- 

136 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

tion is sweetened by the desire of making the Heart of Jesus 
known and loved in other parts of our dear America." 

The Manhattanville school was meanwhile rapidly grow- 
ing in numbers, so that a new chapel and additional accom- 
modations became indispensable. " The Clemency of God," 
says St. Catherine of Sienna, " becomes the servant of those 
who put their trust in Him ! " Mother Hardey's life is a 
confirmation of the truth of these words. The buildings 
were begun, and the chapel was completed in the spring 
of 1850. On Easter Monday a memorable ceremony took 
place in this beautiful sanctuary. Madame Alicia Dunne 
and her sister Margaret knelt before the altar, the former 
to pronounce her first vows, the latter to receive the white 
veil. A large number of relatives and friends were present. 
Bishop McCloskey, Fathers Starrs, Loughlin, and several 
other eminent ecclesiastics were in the sanctuary, while 
Archbishop Hughes made the occasion doubly memorable 
by an eloquent discourse in vindication of the monastic 
state. He congratulated the happy sisters, whom he com- 
pared to Martha and Mary, the younger having received, as 
it were, from the elder, the glad tidings, " The Master has 
come and calleth for thee." " It has been said," continued the 
Bishop, " that you are selfish and cold-hearted, that it would 
have been better for you to have remained in the world, to 
improve it by your influence and example, and the exercise 
of various deeds of Christian charity. I answer, for your 
justification, are you not devoting yourselves to the welfare 
of the world? Are you not to be engaged in planting the 
seeds of virtue and knowledge in the hearts and minds of 
future mistresses of home and society, which will be all the 
better for the training given by the silent hidden inmates of 
the cloister? They accuse you of ingratitude to your friends. 
The accusation is false. Is it not religion that touches 
friendship with its heavenly flame, and makes it pure by 
cleansing it from the jealousy and self-gratification that 
enter into worldly affection?" 

137 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

His Grace then made a comparison between the phan- 
toms of pleasure that delude the votaries of the world and 
the unsullied joys that delight the religious, who daily im- 
bibes truth at the fountains of Holy Writ, and in meditation 
and prayer gazes upon the infinite beauty of God. In an- 
swer to the world's question, " Can nuns be happy ? " he went 
on to say : " I venture to assert that the very persons who 
ask that question are themselves writhing under the sting 
of hidden anguish, trying to conceal the canker worm that is 
preying upon their own hearts. Again, the world exclaims : 
' How dreadful if they should hereafter regret this step ! 
They cannot leave ; they are bound by vows.' Permit me 
to ask whether marriage is not a vow. Does it not bind you 
to a comparative stranger? And where did you make your 
novitiate? Where did you study the character, habits and 
qualities of the individual selected to be the partner of your 
life? How many have taken two years to reflect upon the 
anticipated step ? Some take only a few months, others less 
time, yet no one thinks of inquiring, 'Are you happy?' 
Those who ask this question concerning nuns have not the 
heart to understand the joys of religious life. Let history 
bear testimony to the truth. During the French Revolution 
the soldiers forced open the doors of convents, thinking they 
were performing an act of mercy by giving a happy release 
to the poor starving captives. The doors stood ajar, but 
the inmates fled like frightened doves around the altar, 
clinging to the pillars of the sanctuary until forced away by 
bayonets. If the marriage vow were loosened, how many 
such doves would there be? The frequent application for 
divorce gives answer. Yet people pity the inmates of re- 
ligious houses and ask, ' Are they happy? ' ' 

Having dwelt at length upon the contrast between the 
life of the secular and that of the religious, the Archbishop 
concluded by congratulating the happy sisters on having 
severed the ties which bound them to the things of this 
world, to devote themselves without reserve to the glory of 

138 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

the Heart of Jesus and the good of souls. This day of joy 
for Mother Hardey and her daughters was followed by dis- 
tressing news from Halifax. Scarlet fever had broken out 
in the school and carried off two of the children. Physicians 
pronounced the place unhealthy. The pupils were dispersed. 
Brookside was abandoned and the community was trans- 
ferred to another location purchased by Bishop Walsh to 
be their future home. There were two small cottages on 
the grounds, and in these the religious started the school 
again until the erection of the new academy. Mother Har- 
dey wrote at once the following sympathetic letter to 
Mother Peacock: 

" MY DEAR MOTHER : 

" It would be difficult for me to express what I felt on 
the receipt of your last letter, containing the news of the 
death of your dear little Eleanor. I tried to flatter myself 
that it was one of her cousins who had been taken, not the 
promising child whom I had the happiness of offering to 
Our Divine Lord at the opening of Brookside. There is one 
consolation, dear Mother, that the first and choicest fruits 
of your school were culled by the Heart of Jesus. Both 
dear children will be your powerful intercessors before the 
throne of God. Offer to the afflicted and Christian parents 
my sincere sympathy, for the sacrifice of such children 
requires more than ordinary courage. We have been pray- 
ing for you also, dear Mother, that you may receive strength 
to bear the Cross generously. . . . You did perfectly 
right to move and to presume my approval without waiting 
for an answer. This you must always do in like emergen- 
cies. Say to his Lordship that I am extremely sorry to be 
unable to assist you in defraying the expenses of your new 
abode. We have been obliged to borrow money at 7 per 
cmt., and at this moment a note of $4000 is due, and I can- 
not tell where I shall get the money. Mr. Hargous has com- 
menced a railroad to the Pacific which has drained his purse, 

139 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

otherwise there would be no difficulty. I think it would be 
well to give up Brookside altogether, if the opinion prevails 
that it is the seat of the disease. You must, of course, con- 
sult your friends. They are your best advisers, and I am 
inclined to think it a prudent measure. What a blessing 
that this property could not be purchased. I can say no 
more to-day, except to assure you, dear Mother, that you 
are ever present to my mind. Please let me hear from you 
as frequently as possible. His Lordship shall have a letter." 
During the course of this year, 1850, Mother Hardey 
,was made very happy by the return to the Faith of two 
young ladies who had awakened her deepest interest. Left 
orphans at an early age, Sarah and Eustace Tracey had been 
brought up by Protestant relatives, and consequently in- 
duced to abandon the Faith in which they had been bap- 
tized. Having entered the school at Manhattanville, Sarah, 
the elder, became a Catholic. A struggle arose between 
her conscience and her early prejudices, but Mother Har- 
dey's wise counsels and tender sympathy sustained her 
in the conflict. Yielding at last to her convictions, she 
begged to make her confession. The Sacrament of Penance 
filled her soul with a joy she had never known before. 
" Who can express," she exclaimed, " the wondrous power 
of those three words, ' Ego te absolve!' (I absolve thee). 
How they have lightened my heart of its burden and filled 
it with peace and happiness." After her First Communion, 
Sarah returned home, where her beautiful example soon in- 
fluenced her sister. A few months later Eustace wrote to 
Mother Hardey : " I try to be good and faithful to the advice 
you gave me, but I can never equal Sarah. She makes a medi- 
tation every day, and in all circumstances is most edifying." 
In concluding, she expressed the desire to spend Holy Week 
at the convent, but her last word was an acknowledgment 
that she was still far from entering the Church. During her 
visit at Manhattanville she again proposed to Mother Har- 
dey the same doubts that had perplexed her at school. The 

140 



EDEN HALL, HALIFAX, BUFFALO 

patient Mother listened long and attentively, as if she had 
never heard the story before. Seeing that this soul was 
trifling with grace, she said gently, but firmly, " Eustace, 
confession is your stumbling block. Prepare yourself at 
once, for I will not let you leave here until you have made 
your peace with God." Light and strength came with these 
words to the soul of the young girl, who, like her sister, soon 
found in the life giving sacraments the fullness of joy and 
peace. 

While occupied in doing good to the souls which Divine 
Providence brought under her personal influence, Mother 
Hardey continued her mission of comforter to those who 
looked to her for help in the hour of need. In another letter 
to Mother Peacock, she says : " I feel deeply the Cross 
which it has pleased our Lord to send to you, though it may 
be a blessing for the house, as it was for the dear innocent 
child who was called to her eternal home before sin sullied 
her soul. She will no doubt pray for those who taught her 
to love the Sacred Heart of Jesus. . . . Trials of this 
kind may cause the parents to withdraw their children for a 
while, but, believe me, they will never cause the ruin of a 
house in which God is faithfully served. I regret sincerely 
having disappointed you and his Lordship in regard to the 
pecuniary aid you asked. I really did not mean that you 
should not have the few hundred dollars needed at the pres- 
ent moment, but that for the next two years I could give 
nothing more. How could it be possible for me to lend you 
money, when we have had to raise $6000 at 7 per cent.? As 
I mentioned in my last letter, if we succeed in finding a good 
purchaser for our ' twelve acres ' we shall be able to assist 
you at once, but not otherwise. His Lordship's telegram 
never came to hand. I have had only one and that concern- 
ing the purchase. I am delighted to hear that you have re- 
ceived a letter from our saintly Mother General. What will 
you give me if I send you her portrait, or, rather, for having 
sent it to you? As for the altar linen, I have received 

141 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

none for you nor for any one else. I fear your box has been 
lost. Pray to St. Anthony. You shall have everything that 
has been destined for your pet foundation, though I should 
say my pet, for so it is generally called by the Buffalo nuns. 
Deeply interested as I am in your establishment, I must 
confess that I am equally so in all the others. I do not nor 
did I ever understand the spirit of partiality. 

" If my last letter has not been received, you are not 
aware of my sister's arrival from Louisiana. Mother Cutts 
was kind enough to let Bishop Timon have her for his foun- 
dation, on condition that I would send some one to take her 
place. Before I can authorize the use of the History of Eng- 
land please send me a copy, that we may judge of its 
merits, for, as you are aware, no book can be introduced into 
the school unless approved. I shall have the arithmetic ex- 
amined and give you the answer. I would say, however, as 
Madame Tenbroeck remarked, it cannot be the best, since it 
is not known in the States. 

" I have a favor to ask, dear Mother. It is this : Please 
spare my eyes and not your paper. Do not cross your writ- 
ing any more. I will send you a quire of paper if needed. 

" Pray for me and believe me ever in C. J., 

" A. HARDEY, R.S.C.J." 



142 



CHAPTER XIV. 

FOUNDATION OF THE ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 
MOTHER HARDEY ATTENDS THE COUNCIL OF 1851 FOUN- 
DATION IN ALBANY CHOLERA IN BUFFALO DEATH 
OF MOTHER DUCHESNE 1851-1852. 

Among all the foundations which had been organized by 
Mother Hardey, there is probably none more interesting in 
its history nor more harassed by perplexing difficulties than 
that of Detroit. Its origin may be traced to the desire 
burning in the heart of a zealous missionary, Rev. Gabriel 
Richard, who had traveled with Mother Duchesne and 
her companions from New Orleans to Saint Louis 
in 1818. Their heroic courage and enthusiastic longing to 
make the Heart of Jesus known and loved in the New World 
produced a deep impression upon the man of God and in- 
spired him with the hope of seeing them share in his labors 
in the untilled fields of the Great Northwest. He was never 
weary of telling his people in Detroit of the brave women 
with whom he had traveled, whose love for the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus and the salvation of souls made them ready for 
every sacrifice. Among those who inherited his desire to 
see a convent of the Sacred Heart in Detroit were Mr. and 
Mrs. Beaubien, French Canadians, possessed of a large for- 
tune and full of zeal for the interests of religion, who, after 
having lost their only child, saw in this affliction a special 
design of Providence, in wishing them to be father and 
mother to the orphans and friends to the poor. In order to 
carry out their designs, they resolved to secure the services 
of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, and in 1849 tnev ma de 
application to Mother Hardey, offering a fine property for 
an academy, on condition that a specified number of orphan 
girls should be supported and educated. Having obtained 
the consent of Mother Barat to this proposal, Mother Har- 

M3 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

(ley completed the final arrangements in April, 1851, and on 
the i/th of May Mother Trincano and her four companions 
arrived in Detroit and were enthusiastically received by 
their kind benefactors in their own home. When they en- 
tered the house they found the parlor ablaze with lights, 
and grouped around an improvised altar of the Blessed Vir- 
gin the relatives and friends of the family, waiting to join in 
the hymn of thanksgiving. Mother Trincano was asked to 
intone the Magnificat, but scarcely had the singing ceased 
when Mrs. Beaubien exclaimed : " That's what I call Latin 
singing ! In the Church I could never understand what they 
were saying, but I have understood you ! Mary is indeed 
triumphant ! It is during her month that these good Sisters 
have come, and I tell you, Antoine, if the devil has any 
horns left they must be very short now ! " 

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart the religious and their 
benefactors assisted at a very fine sermon on devotion to the 
Sacred Heart. While the discourse was being delivered, 
Mrs. Beaubien made a running commentary on the speak- 
er's words. " Yes, thanks to these good Sisters, the fire 
burns ! It is you," she said to Mother Trincano, " who have 
kindled the flame. The devotion to the Sacred Heart re- 
mained hidden under the ashes ever since the death of 
Father Richard. I told the people, and the Bishop, too, that 
nothing could be done until the good French Sisters would 
come to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart." 

As the house destined for the religious was not ready, a 
temporary one was rented in order that the orphanage and 
school might be opened without delay, but in spite of the 
good intentions of the founders the religious suffered great 
privations. The necessities of life were often wanting to 
them, for their benefactors sometimes forgot their promises 
to them to provide for their needs until an adequate number 
of pupils should enable them to support themselves. How- 
ever, the excellent dispositions of the orphans and the wide 
field of usefulness opened to them compensated for every- 

144 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

thing. While their pupils were daily increasing in numbers, 
a storm was gathering which threatened to destroy the mis- 
sion. The Beaubien heirs protested against the right of 
Mr. and Mrs. Beaubien to alienate their property in favor 
of the Sacred Heart, and they instituted a lawsuit against 
them and the convent. When Mother Hardey was apprised 
of the litigation she consulted her friend and legal adviser, 
Mr. Charles O'Conor, then the most distinguished lawyer 
in New York. He recognized the difficulties of the case, and 
after much unsatisfactory correspondence on the subject, 
announced to Mother Hardey his intention of going to De- 
troit, an offer which, through delicacy, she declined, know- 
ing the loss his own interests might sustain by a prolonged 
absence, but Mr. O'Conor answered with characteristic 
brevity, " I need a vacation and I shall take it in Detroit ! " 
After considerable research he found that, according to the 
laws of Michigan, the act of donation was null. He drew 
up another paper, but neither explanations nor entreaties 
could induce Mr. Beaubien to sign it. His obstinacy was 
conquered, however, by the piety and perseverance of his 
wife. It was most amusing to hear Mother Hardey relate 
how the victory was gained. " One day," she said, " Mrs. 
Beaubien took me to her home, for the purpose of persuad- 
ing her husband to sign the document. The carriage had 
scarcely started than her ' Ave Marias ' began. Having for- 
gotten her beads, she counted her Aves on her fingers, press- 
ing them in turn upon her breast, but keeping her mind all 
the time fixed upon the object of her prayers. She thought 
and prayed aloud, and the combination was something like 
this : ' Hail, Mary, full of grace O Mother, we forgot 
that important point the Lord is with thee I must say 
this to Mr. Beaubien blessed art thou among women 
there is another point to be remembered and blessed is the 
fruit we must not lose this grand opportunity of procuring 
the glory of God.' And thus her Hail Marys continued until 
the end of the drive." 

10 145 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

When they met Mr. Beaubien he was greeted with this 
naive apostrophe : " Antoine, how foolish you are ! Do you 
not see that it is to the Heart of Jesus we are giving our 
property, and that we could not dispose of it in a better 
way? I shall require Him to observe the conditions. If He 
refuses, that is His affair! He is our security. O you fool- 
ish man ! Do you want these good Sisters to be tormented 
after our death ? When a thing is to be done, let it be done 
in the right way. How glad we should be that this good 
lawyer discovered the flaw. That shows his cleverness. 
Our antagonists think they will have their own way when 
we are gone. But I know how to catch them. Let us sign 
the deed and keep the matter secret. They will think we 
are both very stupid, and when they try to oust these good 
Sisters, they will show the paper, and then won't they be 
furious ! Don't you see, Antoine, we are doing this for the 
good Jesus and for no one else?" Such arguments were 
irresistible. 

When the old couple were asked separately by the court 
whether they had been influenced to sign the deed, " I would 
like to see any one influence me," said Mrs. Baubien. " Mr. 
Lawyer, I have done my own will since I came into this 
world, and it is with my whole heart that I make over this 
property to the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus." 

This good lady, whose honest expressions were the out- 
pourings of a generous heart, usually found her husband 
willing to co-operate in her charitable undertakings, and if 
persuasions were needed, we have seen how perfectly she 
had acquired the art of bringing his will into harmony with 
her own. 

Having settled the difficulties in Detroit, Mother Har- 
dey returned to Manhattanville to prepare for her approach- 
ing departure for Paris, whither she had been summoned to 
attend the Seventh General Council of the Society. She 
sailed on the 3d of October, 1851, accompanied by Mother 
Cutts and Mother Sallion and Madame Margaret Dunne, 

146 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

the young novice already mentioned. This Council had 
been convened in 1842, but for reasons given in a preceding 
chapter the Mother General was obliged to adjourn it in- 
definitely. Two years later she made another attempt to 
assemble the members, and again in 1848, but the political 
agitations preceding the downfall of the French monarchy 
obliged her to defer it indefinitely. Finally, when in 1851 
she summoned the provincial superiors, the crisis was pend- 
ing which converted the second republic into the second 
empire. Convinced that Paris would be the chief theatre 
of the approaching revolution, Mother Barat decided to hold 
the meeting in Lyons. It was one of the most important 
Councils of the Society. It provided for the promulgation 
of a decree issued by the Holy Father May 23, 1851, in 
answer to a petition from the Mother General, which placed, 
as it were, the last seal upon the Constitutions and govern- 
ment of the Society. The Superior General was henceforth 
to be assisted in the administration of the general govern- 
ment by superiors chosen to share her authority and execute 
her plans for the welfare of the Institute. According to the 
wish of His Holiness, the words vicar and vicariates were 
to be substituted for provincal and provinces, terms 
hitherto in use. The Society, numbering at that time sixty- 
five houses, was organized into ten vicariates, eight in 
Europe and two in America. The convents in the Western 
and Southern States were confided to the care of Mother 
Cutts, and those in the Northern States and Canada to 
Mother Hardey. It was also decided that a representative 
of the Mother General should be sent to visit the American 
houses. Mother du Rousier, the religious appointed as 
visitatrix, was provincial in Piedmont when the Religious 
of the Sacred Heart were banished on the absurd charge of 
having favored the Austrian power. She had gone through 
the perils of the revolution of 1848, had enjoyed the honor 
of being caricatured on the stage in Turin and of being 
burned in effigy on the public squares by the enemies of 

147 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

faith and of the Religious Orders. On leaving Turin she 
was appointed Mistress General of the Paris school, and it 
was while exercising the duties of her charge that she was 
selected by Mother Barat for her important mission. 

After the council in Lyons, Mother Hardey returned to 
Paris, where she enjoyed the consolation of the wise coun- 
sels and familiar conversation of Mother Barat for several 
weeks, and these restful days prepared her soul for the years 
of toil and sacrifice that were awaiting her, while they ren- 
dered still more painful the parting hour. " The day before, 
our departure," writes Madame Margaret Dunne, " I was 
helping Reverend Mother to pack the trunks. Several of 
the Mothers came to her room to say ' Good-bye,' To my 
surprise, I saw tears in her eyes, for it was unusual for her 
to show emotion. When alone with her I ventured to ask : 
' Mother, why do you weep? Do you not wish to go home? 
You know how much your own children love you and long 
for your return ! ' She looked at me sadly and said : ' My 
child, you are only beginning your religious life, but if you 
live long enough you will learn how terrible is the burden 
of responsibility. If I could be freed from it, how gladly 
would I obey ! ' The next morning we went to the little 
tribune where our venerable Mother Foundress was making 
her meditation, to ask her blessing on our journey. She 
took Reverend Mother aside, talked to her for some mo- 
ments, and when she clasped Reverend Mother in her arms 
the latter sobbed as though her heart would break." 

Mother Hardey gives an account of the voyage across 
the Atlantic in a letter to Mother Barat, dated March i, 
1852: 

" MY VENERATED MOTHER : 

" Here we are in sight of land, so I hasten to give you 
the assurance of our safe journey, thanks to the prayers that 
have been offered, though we have not escaped either storms 
or accidents. Our Lord permitted the tempest to rage, but 

148 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

not to harm us, for He was watching over us. For the rirst 
few days Mother Cutts and I were the only ones of our 
party able to be on deck. Mother Gajal was stretched upon 
her berth, expecting death at any moment ! Life and en- 
ergy, however, returned to her and all the others, but just 
as we were beginning to enjoy the ocean breeze the steamer 
suddenly stopped, in consequence of the fracture of the ma- 
chinery, and we had the prospect of several days delay with- 
out moving and the remainder of the voyage to be made 
with only one engine. This was not very encouraging news 
for us, for besides the delay we knew our sailing would 
be dangerous. While repairs were being made we resolved 
to do our duty by prayer and mortification. We began a 
novena as a preparation for the Month of Saint Joseph, and 
promised greater fidelity to the preparation and fulfillment 
of our spiritual exercises during the remainder of the jour- 
ney. In a few hours the vessel started again and the next 
day the repairs were finished. One of the priests on board 
declared that St. Joseph had done the work. We offered 
our grateful thanksgiving to the dear Saint. But this mis- 
hap was only the forerunner of another more dangerous in- 
cident. We met the equinoctial storm, and for forty-eight 
hours we experienced all the horrors of an angry sea. The 
waves dashed over the deck at each moment, the bridge 
was washed away, and one of the passengers was caught 
by the wind and pitched to the other side of the vessel, 
where the sailors rescued him from a watery grave. Our 
little band, left alone in our cabin tried to find calm and res- 
ignation in prayer and confidence, since Jesus was not 
asleep, but was watching over us and for us." 

In conclusion she says : " My very Rev. Mother, your 
words and your counsels were often the subject of our con- 
versation. They are engraven upon our hearts, and we 
promise you they will be reproduced in our future con- 
duct." 

On the third of March, the glad sounds of the convent 

149 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

bell announced Mother Hardey's arrival at Manhattanville. 
Her return was an occasion of great happiness to the pupils 
as well as to her daughters. All felt the joy of her presence, 
and as one of the religious writes, " A sense of security 
came over us which we did not experience when our Mother 
was away." 

During her absence in France, Mother Hardey had been 
replaced at Manhattanville by Mother Tucker, the Superior 
of Eden Hall. The latter though fearless in actual danger 
was prone to apprehend it, when acting for another. A 
storm, an accident, the probability of robbers, even the bark- 
ing of the dog at night, caused her alarm. The night after 
Mother Hardey's return the dogs kept up incessant bark- 
ing. One of the religious awoke Mother Tucker to inquire 
what was to be done. The good mother, aroused from a 
deep sleep, merely answered, " Let them bark, Mother is at 
home." This little incident, though in itself trifling, shows 
how Mother Hardey's presence was considered a safeguard 
from every danger. 

Immediately on her return she occupied herself with 
preparations for a foundation of the Society in Al- 
bany. She rented a house on Pearl Street, opposite the 
most flourishing Protestant Academy in the city. Madame 
Jennings was made superior, but she and her little band of 
religious were surrounded by neighbors, who, at first, found 
it impossible to appreciate or understand monastic life. For 
instance, a lady kindly disposed sent them a note of invita- 
tion to a social gathering. The letter was addressed to 
" Mr. and Mrs. Sacred Heart." Of course, the invitation 
was not accepted. The most prejudiced held aloof alto- 
gether, and the curious came to obtain information. Among 
the latter was a well educated gentleman, who remarked 
on meeting the superior, " Madame, I suppose it is all the 
same whether I address myself to you or to your husband." 
The situation was amusing, but Mother Jennings, repress- 
ing her laughter, availed herself of the opportunity to ex- 
ISO 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

plain to her visitor the nature and obligations of religious 
life, which so pleased and satisfied him that he became one 
of the most loyal friends and benefactors of the convent. 

Mention is made in the annals of the house of the pater- 
nal kindness of Bishop McCloskey. " Our saintly prel- 
ate," we read, " is the father and protector of our little 
family. Hardly a day passes without a visit from him. He 
is our ordinary confessor, and in his weekly conferences he 
stimulates us to fervor in the accomplishment of the duties 
of our holy vocation. His vicar general leaves nothing un- 
done to promote our prosperity." We may add, in passing, 
that Mother Hardey gained in the Rev. J. J. Conroy, then 
vicar general, one of the truest friends the Society has ever 
known. 

Another extract alludes to the happiness of their family 
life. " Rev. Father Wadhams, who called here yesterday, 
made this remark : ' Do you know why I take pleasure in 
coming to the Sacred Heart? It is because the very at- 
mosphere of the house breathes peace and interior joy. 
You appear to be so united and happy ! ' : It was this 
spirit which was fostered by letters from Mother Hardey. 
We quote the following, addressed to Madame Margaret 
Dunne, who was one of the little band of foundresses : 
" MY DEAR CHILD : 

" I think of you very often when I am near the Tab- 
ernacle, but especially while making the Holy Hour during 
this privileged month, so dear to the Spouse of the Sacred 
Heart. I have asked our Divine Master to draw you so 
closely to Himself, that you will love Him alone. But in 
order to reach this happy state you must study the amiable 
perfections of that Adorable Heart, for we cannot love that 
which we do not know, and, as Father Barelle says, ' It is 
because we study Our Lord superficially that we love Him 
so little.' Let the thought of our Good Master be continu- 
ally before your mind, so that you will always consider 
how He would act in like circumstances. For example, 

151 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

when you are teaching, represent Him to yourself as a 
Teacher. What patience, what sweetness in His voice and 
manner! No harsh words pass His Divine Lips, no cross 
looks, no deep drawn sighs! How does He teach? What 
effect do His explanations produce? Now compare His 
class with yours ? . . . Our study of Him must be made 
practical, and then by persevering we shall become familiar 
with His every word and look. Let this dear Jesus be 
your nearest and dearest friend. Confide your trials and 
difficulties to Him, refer to Him all your success. Take 
everything as coming from His Fatherly hand. Make haste, 
my child, to become a saint. Remember the promises you 
have made to the Lord, your God ! " 

We have given this lengthy extract to show how Mother 
Hardey conveyed the highest lessons of spiritual life in 
the simplest form. It was her maternal heart that influ- 
enced souls, and bound them to her by the " bonds of char- 
ity." To receive a line from her, to get her blessing, even 
a smile or approving nod of her head, gave strength and 
courage to her daughters in every conflict between nature 
and grace. She governed by the power of attraction, but 
her authority was never personal. The Heart of Jesus was 
the principle, the model, the help and the reward of the 
orders she gave, the virtues she required, and the sacrifices 
she demanded. 

Mother du Rousier, the new Visitatrix, arrived at Man- 
hattanville on the 24th of May, 1852. She was welcomed 
with filial affection as the representative of the Mother 
General, and we learn from the following letter to Mother 
Barat how favorably she was impressed by all she witnessed 
there : 

" I have found a beautiful house, situated in a superb 
location. This establishment would do honor to France, 
and it may be considered one of your finest, in respect to 
buildings, scenery, and general surroundings. Its prosper- 
ity is remarkable. There are over one hundred pupils, 

152 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

twelve novices and eight postulants, so you see the benedic- 
tions of the Good Master rest upon this family. I have been 
edified by the religious spirit of the community, so much 
good will is evinced by all. The rule of silence is faithfully 
observed, the regular exercises of piety are performed with 
great exactitude and punctuality. I have found the spirit 
of poverty well observed in all the departments, and the 
furniture used by the religious is of the simplest and most 
ordinary kind. 

" The morning after my arrival I called upon the Arch- 
bishop at his residence. He received me most cordially, 
and a few days later came to Manhattanville. He testifies 
the greatest esteem for the Society, and has spoken of you, 
my venerated Mother, in terms which have rejoiced my 
heart." 

Mother Hardey accompanied Mother du Rousier in her 
visits to the houses in the Vicariate. A great sorrow awaited 
them in Buffalo, for the cholera was ravaging the city and 
had already carried off three of the religious, when Mother 
Cruice, their heroic superior, offered herself to God as a 
victim to obtain the cessation of the scourge. Her prayer 
was heard. She was attacked by the epidemic and was at 
the point of death when the Mothers arrived. Braving the 
contagion they remained at the bedside of the dying relig- 
ious until her happy soul passed to its eternal reward. In 
announcing to the bereaved community the loss of their 
saintly superior, Mother du Rousier said : " The sacrifice has 
been accepted by Him who is never outdone in generosity. 
Your Mother is the last victim of this fearful malady. You 
will be spared for her sake." These prophetic words were 
verified. One of the pupils gives us an account of those 
terrible days: "Although only eight years of age at that 
time, I have still a vivid recollection of Mother Hardey's 
visit. When she entered the Study Hall the morning after 
Mother Cruice's funeral our hearts were well nigh broken. 
Death had struck down three of our devoted Mistresses, and 

153 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

our own ranks were thinned, many of the pupils having 
been recalled to their homes. As Mother Hardey looked at 
the sorrow-stricken faces that met her gaze her eyes filled 
with tears. Drawn by the power of her sympathy we grad- 
ually crept close to her, and when I felt her hand gently 
caressing my brow I laid my head against her heart and 
wept out the childish grief that had been suffocating me for 
days." 

Mother Hardey remained some time with the bereaved 
family, but Mother du Rousier was called to Saint Charles, 
Missouri, where the venerable Mother Duchesne was about 
to close her apostolic career. With that lively faith which 
had ever been one of her distinctive traits, the dying servant 
of God received the Mother Visitatrix as the representative 
of the Mother General, begged her blessing, and only after 
she had received it would she consent to give hers in return. 
On the i8th of November, 1852, she received Holy Viati- 
cum, then repeated frequently, " Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I 
give you my heart, my soul, and my life." " Come, Lord 
Jesus, delay no longer," was her last pleading cry, as to- 
wards noon she fell asleep in the peace of God. She was in 
the 84th year of her age, and had labored thirty-four years 
in the American missions. Mother du Rousier wrote to 
Mother Hardey, as follows : " Mother Galwey has promised 
to give you the details of the edifying death of our venerated 
Mother Duchesne. It is the general opinion here that we 
have lost a saint. The clergy, and the Archbishop especially, 
speak of her with the greatest admiration. Monseigneur 
Kenrick declared she was the noblest and most virtuous 
soul he had ever known. Father de Smet says that while 
living she was worthy of canonization. Our American 
houses owe everything to her. She has opened the way to 
us through many fatigues and privations. I feel that I 
am acting in accordance with the wishes of our Mother 
General in soliciting the suffrages prescribed for a deceased 
Superior Vicar. It is a homage of gratitude which we owe 

154 



ACADEMY AND ORPHANAGE IN DETROIT 

to the memory of this venerable Mother. I arrived just in 
time to receive her blessing and to recommend to her the 
needs of our missions, and she promised me she would 
treat of them earnestly with Our Lord. I count much upon 
her intercession, for I believe she is all-powerful with the 
Heart of Jesus." 

The news of Mother Duchesne's death deeply affected 
Mother Hardey. She had learned from Mother Aude to 
admire and revere the heroic virtues of this truly Apostolic 
soul, and in her own brief intercourse with her during the 
Council at St. Michael's, these sentiments had deepened into 
a life-long veneration. On her side, Mother Duchesne recog- 
nized in the youthful Aloysia, the rare gifts which fitted 
her to accomplish great things for the Society. It was she 
who suggested to Mother Galitzin the wisdom of placing 
Mother Hardey at the head of the New York foundation, 
and later pointed her out as the one best qualified for the 
office of Provincial of the American Houses. 

Writing of this matter to the Mother General, she says : 
" If I were consulted on the subject, Madame Hardey would 
be my choice. Both in the Society and the outside world 
she would be more favorably received than any other." 
Magnanimous in soul and strong in character, {he elder 
religious and the younger seemed destined to supplement 
each other in extending the Society of the Sacred Heart in 
America. The former began the enterprise amid great trib- 
ulations, the latter carried it on to a successful consumma- 
tion. We quote the following passage from the French 
biography of Mother Hardey : " If we regard Mother Du- 
chesne as the foundation stone of the Institute in America, 
we may look upon Mother Hardey as the strong column 
which supported the arch ; or if we compare the Society 
to a tree bearing abundant fruit for the glory of God, 
Mother Duschesne was the hidden root, whence the tree 
drew its sap, and Mother Hardey the vigorous trunk which 

155 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

spreading its branches covered the American soil with its 
beneficent shade." 

Initiatory steps have been taken formally for the 
beatification of Mother Duchesne. An ecclesiastical com- 
mission has inquired into the matter of her virtues, holding 
its sessions at Carondelet, Mo., and the result of its investi- 
gations has been forwarded to Rome for further scrutiny. 
Thousands of American Catholics cherish the hope that it 
may one day be allowed them to publicly invoke the inter- 
cession of Mother Duchesne in prayer, and to pay her 
likewise the homage of their reverent devotion. 



156 



CHAPTER XV. 

NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL VISIT OF MONSEIGNEUR BEDINI, 
PAPAL NUNCIO EDIFYING DEATHS 1852-1853. 

Before the close of 1852 Mother Hardey had the consola- 
tion of beginning a work that she had long desired to 
establish in New York, the foundation of a free school, 
where her daughters might devote themselves to the in- 
struction of poor children. Divine Providence opened the 
way by means of the Jesuit Fathers of Saint Francis Xa- 
vier's Church, who solicited the services of the Religious of 
the Sacred Heart in starting a school for the girls of the 
parish. The Bleecker Street community removed to a house 
at 64 West I4th Street, where they continued their select 
school, and, while awaiting the erection of their new con- 
vent, by special dispensation, they were permitted to leave 
their enclosure in order to teach their classes in the base- 
ment of Saint Francis Xavier's Church. 

Mother Hardey purchased six lots east of Sixth Avenue, 
running through from i/th to i8th Streets. The founda- 
tions were only begun, when a host of difficulties arose 
to thwart her plans. Several land owners in the vicinity 
protested against the erection of a convent in their neighbor- 
hood, and left no effort untried to defeat the project. More- 
over, the bank failed in which she had deposited the funds 
necessary for the first payments. She then turned to the 
source whence aid had often come, but a letter from Mother 
Barat, dated January 31, 1853, destroyed her hopes. " Your 
letter, dear Mother and daughter, has caused me much 
anxiety. I am grieved to learn of the state of your finances, 
and deep is my solicitude in regard to your present embar- 
rassment. But what is to be done, since we are unable to as- 
sist you? " After dwelling upon the obstacles which she her- 
self was struggling with, Mother Barat adds : " Your own ex- 

157 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

perience, as well as mine, testifies that difficulties arise from 
all quarters as soon as we begin a work which has the salva- 
tion of souls for its object. I am not surprised that you and I 
have to struggle against the dark purposes of our arch 
enemy. Oh, how consoling to know that he is none other 
than the enemy of Jesus Christ ! " 

When all seemed hopeless around her Mother Hardey 
turned with fuller confidence to Him whose help never 
fails. Again " the clemency of God became the servant of 
a trusting heart." " It was marvelous," writes one of her 
daughters, " how the money for each payment came. On 
one occasion a member of the community received from her 
family the exact amount required. At another time a note 
of $6000 was due. The three days of grace had already ex- 
pired when the morning mail brought a remittance. But 
two thousand dollars were yet wanting. Full of confidence 
in help from on high, Rev. Mother said, " This is Saint 
Joseph's day. He will not fail us." The reward of her 
faith was not delayed. At noon the Superior of the Hali- 
fax Convent arrived w/ith $2500 in payment of a debt due to 
Manhattanville. St. Bernard tells us " that the saints suc- 
ceed in everything they undertake, because of their strong 
faith, and the signal graces it obtains. Each step taken in 
trust is a step towards the blessings promised by the Lord." 
Mother Hardey experienced striking evidences of providen- 
tial intervention during the construction of the I7th Street 
Convent, but only God could know the many hours of 
anguish through which she passed before it reached com- 
pletion. The exterior of the building was rather imposing 
in those days. The Gothic fagade of brown stone sur- 
mounted by a cross, the carving of the seal of the Society, 
the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary encircled by lilies, 
over the entrance, gave it the aspect of a church, for which 
it has frequently been mistaken. Considering the new 
edifice an ornament to their street, a deputation of Protes- 
tant neighbors, who had so vehemently objected to the 

158 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

erection of the convent, waited upon Mother Hardey to 
congratulate her and express their satisfaction. 

The house became a focus, whence radiated the bless- 
ings of the Heart of Jesus over a thousand souls 
Nearly two hundred pupils were gathered in the Academy, 
and over six hundred in the parochial school. Night classes 
were organized for working girls, and also Sunday classes 
in which Catechism was taught to more than two hundred 
children attending the public schools. Several pious con- 
gregations were established for working people, notably 
the " Consolers of Mary," for young girls, and that of 
" Christian Mothers," under the patronage of Saint Ann, 
for married women. While rejoicing in the good which was 
being effected, Mother Hardey turned in deep thanksgiving 
to God for having rewarded her labors with success. Grati- 
tude with her was never a sterile sentiment. It always 
found expression in some way calculated to glorify the 
Creator, and minister to the welfare of His creatures. Thus 
her tribute of thankfulness for this special mark of the 
Divine protection was conferred upon three young girls who 
desired to embrace the religious state, and whom she se- 
lected from the highest class in the parochial school to 
finish their education at Manhattanville. She followed with 
motherly interest their progress in their studies and pro- 
vided for all their needs both at school and in the novice- 
ship with that delicacy of sentiment which was always a 
marked feature of her charity. " Be careful," she once said 
to a superior, "that no one knows who are the free pupils 
in your school, or who are those that are received at a lower 
pension. It is hard enough for the children to feel their 
dependence without being subjected to the humiliation of 
others knowing it." Meeting one of her proteges in a. 
shabby looking uniform she called the Sister charged with 
the wardrobe and rebuked her sharply for her neglect. 
Once, when a bazaar was being held in the school she sent 
for the Mistress who had charge of the little girls and gave 

159 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

her ten dollars in small change, saying, " Distribute this 
money among those who have none. I have been saving it for 
them to have the pleasure of spending it." Her heart seemed 
to expand and her energy to increase with each new claim 
upon her time or attention. Thus on one occasion she wrote 
to a superior, " I have been replacing the Mistress of the 
Third Class for several weeks, and, so far, I have managed 
to be at my post every day. It seems to me you could take 
a class in the school and give a few music lessons also. It 
is such a pleasure to be employed with the children." At 
Manhattanville it was her custom to visit the children dur- 
ing the hour of penmanship. She examined not only the 
writing, but the posture, deportment and neatness of each 
child. Nothing escaped her vigilant eye, and her few words 
of reprimand or of commendation were always remembered 
and treasured. One who had left the class room in an ugly 
mood, returned with a beaming countenance. " What has 
happened?" whispered her companion. "I met Rev. 
Mother," was the answer. "What did she say to you?" 
" She only smiled, but that smile meant everything to me ! " 
The years 1852 and 1853 were marked by trials which 
deeply affected her. Several of her daughters who were 
especially fitted to assist in the government of her wide- 
spread vicariate died in the midst of their duties. Con- 
spicuous among them was Madame Donnelly, one of the 
early pupils of Houston Street. She was richly endowed by 
nature and grace, and Mother Hardey had followed the de- 
velopment of her beautiful character as pupil, novice and 
professed, and had given her the care of the novices during 
Mother Trincano's absence in Detroit. She was a living 
Rule. Mortification and obedience were her characteristic 
virtues. The Divine Will which she so ardently loved was 
the only rule of her desires. During her long illness not a 
complaint ever escaped her lips. Her only wish was to 
obey. The privations of holy poverty were precious to 
her soul. She did not possess even a pious picture ; her 

1 60 




1 Former Convent, Seventeenth St., N. Y. 

2 The New Manhattanvllle 

3 Convent, Madison Ave., N. Y. 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

only riches were her Rule book, her crucifix and beads, and 
the notes of her retreats. A few days before her death 
Mother Hardey asked if she had made the sacrifice of all 
that was dear to her. " Yes, Rev. Mother," she answered, 
" except that of having you near me when I am dying." 
" What," exclaimed Mother Hardey, " would you refuse Our 
Lord so small a satisfaction. Give all to Him, who gave 
all for love of you ! " That same evening the dying religious 
said : " Mother, I have offered Our Lord the last desire of 
my heart, but He does not wish the sacrifice, and I am very 
happy." As the evening Angelus bell rang out on the iQth 
of November, Madame Donnelly began the prayer, and 
while the words " Ecce ancilla Domini " were upon her lips 
her beautiful soul went forth to contemplate forever the 
unveiled beauty of the Word Made Flesh. In announcing 
this death to Mother Peacock, Mother Hardey pays a touch- 
ing tribute to the memory of her deeply lamented spiritual 
daughter : " The Halifax novices have promised to give you 
details of this remarkable and holy death. It has left with 
each of us the persuasion, I may almost say, the conviction, 
that the Heart of Jesus, after having been Mother Don- 
nelly's All on earth, has become her everlasting reward in 
bliss. I ask but one favor for myself and all those who 
are near and dear to me, that our lives may have a similar 
end. When we consider that final moment, what are either 
trials or consolations, sufferings or pleasures? Unfortu- 
nately, we live as if we had been created only for time. 
Is it not so, dear Mother? We are troubled and easily 
fretted by things which are not to last. Let us gather up 
all the little crosses that bestrew our path, and bear them 
patiently, in view of the one thing necessary." When in- 
formed of the death of Madame Donnelly, Mother Barat 
suggested that Mother Trincano be recalled from Detroit 
to resume direction of the noviceship. Referring to the qual- 
ifications necessary for a Mistress of Novices, she says : 
" In general, my daughter, a solid religious education is 

ii 161 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

very difficult to impart and perfect. It is necessary to 
possess the spirit of prayer, constant zeal, a patience proof 
against any trial, invariable meekness, and, when requisite, 
a just firmness. This union of virtues is very rare, yet it 
should be possessed by all those who are called to train 
others. Ah ! how much I need your prayers, my daughter, 
that I, and all those in authority may not be found wanting 
in this respect." 

Mother Trincano was admirably qualified for the duties 
of her charge, and her return to Manhattanville was a great 
help to Mother Hardey, even in the direction of the school, 
as later the post of Mistress General was left vacant by the 
departure of Mother Boudreau for France, where she re- 
mained six months. 

We read in one of Father Faber's works that though 
" it is not easy to be a saint, yet saints are the easiest mas- 
ters we can have, because they are more like Jesus than 
other men." This was realized in Mother Hardey. From a 
letter written to Mother Peacock in January, 1853, we 
learn with what gentleness and firmness she desired to 
influence souls: 

" DEAR MOTHER : 

" Your letter of November 3Oth, though of ancient date, 
was more than welcome, so many weeks had passed since 
I had heard from the frozen regions. ... I am happy to 
know that Louise is doing well. I am certain that with 
proper formation she can be made very useful. She has 
eccentricities of character, it is true, but she has piety and 
talent and she can be encouraged to generosity in the dis- 
charge of duty and in the acquisition of virtue. But for 
that very reason you must never lose sight of her. Point 
out all the faults you observe in her conduct, and in propor- 
tion as she advances in the spiritual life give her oppor- 
tunities of practicing exterior mortification and humility. 
While thus helping her to become a true religious you will 

162 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

be performing- one of the most responsible duties of our 
terrible charge that of forming souls upon the model 
placed before us, the Adorable Heart of Jesus." 

Referring to a postulant whose vocation seemed doubt- 
ful, she continues: "I still feel reluctant to receive B., for 
I fear she will never make a good religious, though she 
may be of great service. 

" Everything goes on peacefully and quietly at Man- 
hattanville. It would be difficult to find a more united and 
devoted family. Pray that His blessing may always con- 
tinue. 

" Love to all and thanks to those who so kindly thought 
of me at the joyous season. I did not forget them, nor you, 
dear Mother, when I placed my petitions in the Heart of 
Jesus for 1853. 

" Your four novices are in perfect health, and they con- 
tinue to give entire satisfaction. Madame Phelan has some- 
thing very saintly about her, and she is noted among the 
novices for that spirit of perfect obedience, which she 
learned from our good little Mother Donnelly. 

" Good-night, dear Mother ; pray as often as your charity 
will prompt you for 

" Yours ever devotedly in C. J. M., 

"A. HARDEY, R.S.C.J." 

The year 1853 was made memorable by an effort of the 
Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX, to establish diplomatic rela- 
tions between the United States and the Court of Rome. 
His Grace, Monseigneur Bedini, Papal Nuncio to Brazil, 
was deputed to fulfil a complimentary mission to the gov- 
ernment at Washington, at the same time that he was 
charged to report to Rome his observations upon the 
Church in America. The calumnies circulated against him 
by infidel refugees from Italy, and the conspiracies that 
grew out of them, fill a dark page in our national annals. 
Monseigneur Bedini failed in his diplomatic errand, but he 

163 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

fearlessly traveled through a number of dioceses, visiting 
everywhere the educational establishments and institutions 
of charity. On his arrival in New York, his Grace an- 
nounced his intention of visiting Manhattanville. " Wish- 
ing to show my esteem and appreciation of the Religious of 
the Sacred Heart, I have decided to celebrate the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass in your chapel. I am fully persuaded 
that my petitions will be all the more acceptable to Our 
Divine Lord, when united to those of the ' Wise Virgins ' 
whose mystical lamps are always in readiness for the visit 
of the Heavenly Bridegroom." Accompanied by Arch- 
bishop Hughes and several ecclesiastics the Nuncio was re- 
ceived at Manhattanville with all the honor due to the En- 
voy of the Holy See, and after Mass his Grace addressed 
the pupils a few words on the excellence of Christian edu- 
cation. The most prominent feature of the reception given 
by the pupils was an Italian dialogue in which the struggles 
and the triumphs of the reigning pontiff were rehearsed. 
This was followed by a grand cantata sung by fifty voices, 
composed as a tribute to Pius IX at the time of his elevation 
to the Papal throne. The Nuncio was deeply moved by 
these expressions of loyalty to the Vicar of Christ, and at 
the close of the entertainment he addressed his audience in 
tones that betrayed his heartfelt emotion: "Thanks, a thou- 
sand thanks, my dear young friends, for the great pleasure 
you have afforded me. The beautiful address in my native 
tongue made me almost forget that I am in a foreign land. 
Ah ! how I long to make known to the Holy Father what 
I have witnessed in this favored spot where all hearts are 
truly devoted to him and to our Mother Church ! I trust 
you, my children, will respond to the designs of God and 
profit by the Christian education you are receiving in this 
renowned seat of learning and piety, this home of the Sacred 
Heart. When I return to my dear Italy I shall be able to 
tell the Romans that they cannot surpass you in loyalty 
and devotedness to the Holy See. If any of you should 

164 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

ever come to Rome I hope your Rev. Mother will notify 
me that I may have the pleasure of receiving you and pre- 
senting you to the Holy Father." The Archbishop con- 
cluded his remarks with several graceful allusions to the 
bouquet offered him, comparing the various flowers to the 
virtues that should distinguish a child of the Sacred Heart. 
Finally, the happiness of this visit for the pupils was 
crowned by the proclamation of three holidays to be given 
at Mother Hardey's option in honor of Pius IX, Monseig- 
neur Bedini, and Archbishop Hughes. 

A few days later the Nuncio again visited Manhattan- 
ville. " How sweetly," he said, " does the Heart of Jesus 
shed its benign influence upon all who dwell in this favored 
spot. If ever a papal nuncio is appointed for America, the 
nunciature should be established at Manhattanville." " And 
Monseigneur Bedini should be the nuncio," some one ven- 
tured to add. " No, no," he replied, " for in that case the 
nuncio would be dismissed. It is good, however, to be 
humiliated." This remark had reference to the plots formed 
against him soon after his arrival in the States. 

On the eve of his departure for Europe his Grace re- 
quested Mother Hardey to meet him at the i/th Street 
Convent, as he did not dare venture out to Manhattanville. 
He arrived in disguise, pale, worn and greatly altered in 
appearance. He expressed again his thanks for the kind- 
ness shown him by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, and 
asked for a copy of the beautiful verses with which the 
pupils had welcomed him to Manhattanville. Mother 
Hardey presented him with an album containing an illumi- 
nated copy. He was deeply touched by this last proof of 
her kindness. " I know," he said, " that placed as you are 
in the centre of the Heart of Jesus you have no desire to live 
in that of any creature ; yet all unworthy and miserable as 
I am, I venture to assure you that you shall always occupy 
a very high place in my profound respect and esteem." 
After a momentary pause he continued : " It is right, for so 

165 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the world goes. My arrival was greeted with Hosannas, 
my departure must ring with the ' Crucifige ! ' Yet, I am 
happy to resemble, even faintly, my Divine Lord and His 
Vicar on earth." After referring to the efficacy of persecu- 
tion and the happiness of being the object of the world's 
hatred, he arose, saying, " I must leave as quietly as pos- 
sible, lest the messenger from the Father of Christendom 
should disturb the public peace." 

At one of his visits to Manhattanville, Monseigneur Be- 
dini gave the papal benediction in the infirmary to two 
young religious who were nearing the end of their earthly 
career. Presenting to them his pectoral cross, he said: 
" My dear sisters, I give you this cross to kiss, not only for 
your own sakes, for it contains many precious relics, but 
that I may sometimes recall that it was touched by the 
burning lips of the Spouses of the Heart of Jesus when they 
were about to be united to the Bridegroom of their souls." 
These dying religious, whose serene aspect in the face of 
death so greatly impressed the Nuncio, were Madames Eliza 
Hogan and Fitzpatrick, two of Mother Hardey's most prom- 
ising subjects. At an early age both were pupils at Hous- 
ton Street, classmates, and later companions in the noviti- 
ate. They made their first vows together and were em- 
ployed in the school of Manhattanville, where they kept up 
a holy rivalry in self-sacrifice and fidelity to duty. At about 
the same time, their failing health gave tokens of an early 
death, and as a sea voyage was prescribed for both, they 
had the pleasure of going to France and of receiving to- 
gether the blessing of their venerated Mother General. 
They had fallen into rapid consumption and they returned 
home to die. After making a spiritual retreat, as a prepa- 
ration for death, Madame Hogan was permanently confined 
to her bed. Her desire now turned heavenward, her con- 
versations were all of Jesus. When asked if it fatigued her 
to talk, she would reply : " It never tires me to speak of our 
Lord, but other subjects weary me. Speak to me of the love 

166 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

of the Divine Heart, and of nothing but love." When 
Mother Hardey announced that she would have the privi- 
lege of making her profession, the dying nun was radiant 
with happiness. Christmas Day was chosen for the cere- 
mony, and Rev. Father Mignard, S.J., who officiated, spoke 
in touching terms of her share in the Passion of our Lord 
while she was nailed to a bed of suffering, and of her ap- 
proaching share in His glory, when she would join the rank 
of the choir of virgins who follow the spotless Lamb. Mean- 
while Madame Fitzpatrick saw, with holy envy, that her 
beloved friend and sister was to precede her to heaven. But 
the 2Qth of December brought a crisis in her sickness, and 
it was deemed prudent to have her anointed. As she was 
being carried from the room which she had occupied with 
Madame Hogan to another apartment, the two invalids 
spoke their adieux in loving raptures, as their separation 
was soon to be followed by a meeting in the embrace of Him 
they loved. After receiving the Last Sacraments and pro- 
nouncing the vows of profession, Madame Fitzpatrick ex- 
claimed in transports of joy : " I am strong with the strength 
of the cross ! Oh ! help me to thank my Jesus ! " She said to 
a Sister who asked her to obtain a special favor for her: 
" Pray, pray, Sister, and you will obtain all you wish. 
Prayer is the key that unlocks to us the treasures hidden 
in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I have obtained everything 
by prayer; yes, everything, even the great grace just re- 
ceived. Our Lord only asks that we persevere in prayer." 
To her novice sisters she recommended great generosity in 
the service of God. " Give Him all from the very begin- 
ning," she said, " and one day you will realize how sweet 
it is to have refused nothing to Him who loves you." The 
spirit of self-sacrifice was strong in the supreme hour. She 
sent Mother Trincano to the novices' recreation and begged 
that Mother Hardey should not be disturbed, as she was in 
retreat. This good Mother, however, hastened to the bed- 
side of her dying daughter, who joined in the prayers of the 
agonizing until her spirit went forth with boundless confi- 

167 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

dence in the mercy of the Sacred Heart she had loved and 
served so faithfully. When Madame Hogan was told that 
her sister had passed away, she said : " It is but just that 
she should enter heaven before me, she was so pure a soul. 
Alas! I have sinned, and I deserve to suffer longer, but I 
hope she will obtain for me the grace to follow soon." 
Three days later her summons came and she died pressing 
to her heart her profession cross, her rosary and her scapu- 
lar, as if her last thought had been, " In these three I place 
my trust ! " 

Only a few weeks had elapsed when Mother Hardey 
was called upon to prepare another daughter for the final 
journey. Madame Spink, formerly superior of a religious 
community in Kentucky, had lately entered the noviceship, 
where she edified her sisters by her humble demeanor and 
eager desire to be considered as the last and least in the 
house. After pronouncing her vows on her death bed, she 
was heard to say, in sentiments of deep thanksgiving: 
" This is the happiest day of my life. I can now die a Re- 
ligious of the Sacred Heart ! " Deaths such as these were a 
sweet consolation to the heart of Mother Hardey, who re- 
joiced in the joy of her privileged daughters ; but she could 
not fail to regret the loss of such subjects at a time when 
" the harvest was great and the laborers few." She herself 
was obliged to help fill the vacancies in the ranks of the 
religious, as we learn from her letter to Mother Peacock: 

" VERY DEAR MOTHER : 

" Now that I have become Mistress of Class, I have very 
little time for letter writing. I spend daily from three to 
four hours in the school. This necessity accords perfectly 
with my inclinations. It is far easier to teach than to com- 
mand. Do you not find it so, dear Mother? But, of course, 
in this, as in all else, the holy will of God be done. Your 
kind friend, Mr. Kenny, gave me a very favorable account 
of your house, and appeared disappointed that I could not 
accompany him on his return to your fair isle. I gave him 

1 68 



NEW YORK DAY SCHOOL 

several messages for you, some of which he will, perhaps, 
remember. If I should ever have an opportunity of render- 
ing a service to any one of his family, I should be only too 
happy to prove my gratitude for his kindness to you and 
your community. 

" No news yet of Madame Boudreau's return. The state 
of her health will decide whether she will accompany Mother 
Jouve or remain longer in France. It will be a disappoint- 
ment to us if she should not come next month. Your Hali- 
fax novices are doing well, in general. None are very bril- 
liant subjects, but they are good religious. That is their 
first requisite, for what are talents without virtue? In the 
parcel sent by Madame Phelan you will find the long ex- 
pected, revised and corrected ' Ceremonial,' with the re- 
quired approbation of the Holy See. Submit it to his Grace 
for inspection; he will, of course, permit you to follow it. 
I would advise you to study the new ceremonies and to put 
them into practice immediately. It requires a careful ex- 
amination to discover the several changes made." 

Mother Hardey attached the greatest importance to the 
least details of religious observances. She exacted the faith- 
ful accomplishment of the prescribed rubrics at Office ; she 
was always present in choir, and any negligence was sure 
to attract her attention. We find in one of her letters to 
Mother Barat an humble request to be dispensed from re- 
citing Office aloud, as her throat was not in good condi- 
tion, and she humbly begs pardon for having taken the dis- 
pensation before receiving the desired permission. It is 
not surprising that the humble dependence of this obedient 
soul drew down the blessings of God upon her labors for 
His glory and the welfare of souls. 



169 



CHAPTER XVI. 

FOUNDATION IN CHILE TROUBLES IN DETROIT 
1853-1854. 

While Mother du Rousier was making the visit of the 
convents in Louisiana, she received a letter from the Mother 
General informing her of the request of the Archbishop of 
Santiago for a foundation of the Sacred Heart in Chile. 
Thus a new continent was opened to the Society, and 
Madame Barat decided that the first missionaries should 
go from the United States. It rested with the Mother 
Visitatrix to select the leader of this important enterprise, 
and she at once looked to Mother Hardey as the one most 
competent to undertake a mission so hazardous and yet so 
promising in results for the good of souls. But such was 
not the Divine Will. Mother Hardey was to continue to 
extend the empire of the Heart of Jesus north of the equa- 
tor, while Mother du Rousier, who had seen the destruction 
of the houses in Italy in which she had labored during the 
first half of her life, was to receive the unusual privilege 
and glory of a second career, even more fruitful and im- 
portant than the first, in the untilled fields of South America. 
This good Mother told the Manhattanville community, that 
while praying for the guidance of Divine Light in her 
choice, an interior voice seemed to whisper, " I have ap- 
pointed you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and 
that your fruit should remain." What signified this utter- 
ance in the secrecy of her heart, save that the Divine Spouse 
called her to follow Him to the distant shores of Chile? 
Such was Mother du Rousier's interpretation, even before 
the voice of obedience authorized her determination. A 
letter from Mother Barat was received while she was in 
Buffalo, towards the end of July, telling her that a young 
Chilian priest had promised to take charge of the little 

170 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

band of missionaries and that she should leave with him 
from New York. Mother du Rousier at once prepared to 
start on her perilous journey. She was accompanied by 
Madame Mary McNally, a gifted young religious who had 
shared for twenty years the labors of Mother du Rousier, 
her varied accomplishments and knowledge of foreign lan- 
guages enabling her to render eminent services to the South 
American Mission. Sister Antoinette, who had come to 
America with Mother du Rousier, was the third of the little 
colony that embarked on the Georgia August 5th, 1853. 

Mother Hardey confided them to Don Joachim Lar- 
rain, who had been commissioned to treat with Mother 
Barat about the proposed foundation. After a voyage of 
eight days they landed at Kingston, Jamaica, where they 
had the happiness of hearing Mass and receiving Holy Com- 
munion. For two days more the Georgia sailed through 
the gorgeous scenes of the Antilles, and then entered the 
port of Aspinwall. The passengers landed and began their 
dangerous journey across the isthmus. We quote the fol- 
lowing account of a thrilling episode from the journal of 
Madame McNally : " As we wound along the brink of a 
precipice, a cry was heard which sent a shudder through 
every heart. Our good Mother du Rousier was nowhere 
to be seen. Her mule lay upon the border of the precipice 
and the guide, leaning over the abyss, shouted, ' The 
Senora has fallen ! ' God alone knows our agony at that 
moment, but His loving Providence watched over us. 
Mother du Rousier's mule had stumbled and thrown her 
over the brink of a declivity which was one hundred feet 
in depth. Happily she fell upon the trunk of a tree and 
had the presence of mind to clasp her arms around it, and 
there she hung over the yawning gulf below. A negro who 
was let down by means of ropes rescued her just as her 
strength was giving way. How heartfelt were our thanks- 
givings for her preservation. In their joy the Spaniards 
cried, 'How God must love her!' Indeed, none could fail 

171 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

to see in this marvelous escape the merciful protection of 
the Heart of Jesus." 

The adventures encountered then crossing the isthmus 
seem almost incredible now. Madame McNally's journal is 
filled with details of exciting incidents which marked the 
route, until they finally reached Santiago on the I4th of 
September, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. 
There they were most cordially received by the Arch- 
bishop, who gave them hospitality in a Convent of Poor 
Clares. The Government offered to confide the chief nor- 
mal school of the city to them, and undertook to repair the 
Convent of St. Isidore and adapt it to the purposes of an 
academy. Five months elapsed, however, before they were 
in possession of their new home. In writing to Mother 
Hardey of this delay, Mother du Rousier says: "Things 
are not accomplished here by steam, as they are in the 
States. It is impossible to hasten the preparations for our 
opening. Pray that Our Lord may bless the labors for 
which He called us to this southern land, where it is easy 
to do good on account of the faith of the people. Forty 
pupils have been already promised, and, to judge from ap- 
pearances, a great field lies open to the zeal of all who may 
be chosen to cultivate this vineyard of the Lord. Madame 
McNally has given you the details of our journey. Happily, 
our religious will not be exposed to such dangers in future, 
for before others come from North America the railroad 
will probably extend across the isthmus and thus render 
traveling there as easy as elsewhere." Mother McNally 
told Mother Hardey in her letter of a promise made by 
Mother du Rousier when she found herself in such imminent 
danger, namely, that if rescued she would have a chapel 
built in honor of Saint Joseph as a token of gratitude for 
his protection. At once Mother Hardey offered to fulfill 
the promise, and she erected, at a cost of $500, the modest 
little shrine near the convent in Manhattanville known as 
Saint Joseph's Chapel. While more stately monuments of 

172 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

her zeal and generosity have suffered destruction, this lowly 
edifice has stood for more than half a century a silent wit- 
ness to her piety and gratitude. During the fire which de- 
stroyed the Manhattanville Convent in 1888, though ex- 
posed on all sides to the devouring flames, it was not even 
blackened by the smoke, or singed by the falling sparks, yet 
the fences beyond were charred by the burning heat. 

Some months later Mother du Rousier wrote again, that 
a colony had arrived from France to aid them in their labors, 
and in conclusion she says: " The Divine Master has blessed 
this new foundation beyond our brightest hopes. Besides 
the government scholars, we have now seventy boarders in 
the academy, making in all over one hundred boarders, and 
for this ' little world/ none of whom are over twelve years 
of age, there are only five Mistresses. Mother du Lac 
would like to steal Madame Tommasini from you, but I 
tell her she must give up the desire, as this good Sister is 
usefully employed where she is. If, however, you could 
spare us a few missionaries how grateful we should be." 
Mother Hardey generously responded to this appeal, and 
for many years she recruited from the ranks of her daugh- 
ters zealous souls ready and willing to devote themselves to 
the interests of their beloved Society under the Southern 
Cross. 

Before the close of 1853 she had the sorrow of hearing 
that grievances, both spiritual and temporal, threatened the 
existence of the convent in Detroit. After the death of Mr. 
and Mrs. Beaubien the religious had moved their academy 
to a more favorable location, thereby arousing the animosity 
of the Beaubien heirs, who maintained that the change of 
residence was illegal. Bishop Lefevre had also taken of- 
fense because day scholars were not admitted among the 
boarders in the new school, and because some points of 
discipline had been introduced contrary to his wishes. He 
evinced his displeasure by withdrawing from the com- 
munity the services of a chaplain, and depriving them of 

173 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

all spiritual help. For three months the religious were 
obliged to leave their enclosure to attend Mass in the parish 
church, and they were subjected to what was, for them, the 
most bitter of all trials, the privation of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment in their chapel. Such a state of affairs necessitated 
Mother Hardey's presence in Detroit. Her arrival was a 
source of consolation to her daughters. So tranquil was 
her demeanor that it infused courage and confidence into all 
hearts. " The solution of these difficulties," writes one of 
the religious, " detained our Mother with us for several 
weeks. She told us that Our Lord had permitted these trials 
in order to make us depend on Him alone. When obstacles 
are thrown in our way by those to whom we look for help, 
let us turn to Him for support and counsel." She frequently 
repeated, "If God be for you, who can be against you?" 
It was a delicate matter to settle, as Mother du Rousier had 
given the decisions which offended the Bishop. Mother 
Barat came to the rescue by writing to the Bishop. The 
letter is so touching that we transcribe it in full for the 
edification of our readers: 

" MONSEIGNEUR : 

" The news I have lately received from Detroit is of a 
nature calculated to cause me deep sorrow. I learn that you 
have deemed it your duty to withdraw from the Community 
of the Sacred Heart the only consolation which religious 
can enjoy in their life of labor and self-sacrifice, namely, the 
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and the spiritual suc- 
cor they should find at home. No other reason has 
been assigned for this punishment than the wish expressed 
by your Lordship that we should open another house in 
the same city for the purpose of receiving day scholars. A 
previous letter must have failed to reach me, for I learned 
at one and the same time this desire of your Lordship and 
the cruel trial to which our Sisters have been subjected. I 
cannot believe that they would neglect to explain to your 

174 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

Lordship the motives which necessitated their change of 
residence, or act without your approval. 

" Our constitutions, which have been approved by the 
Holy See, and which must have been presented for your 
inspection, do not permit us to leave our enclosure either 
for Church services or works of zeal. Have our Mothers 
failed in their duty to your Lordship, by any want of that 
respect and submission which our holy rules prescribe to- 
wards ecclesiastical authority, and have they thus merited 
to be the first examples of their present painful position 
which the Society has yet witnessed? I ask myself with 
anxiety all these questions, and I know not what to con- 
jecture. If your Lordship will deign to inform me of the 
cause of your displeasure, I shall earnestly seek to remedy 
it. In the meantime, I venture to appeal to your charity in 
behalf of my daughters. If they have failed in their duty 
to your Lordship, I unite with them in imploring pardon. 
. . . I beg you to consider that it is not in my power 
to permit them to infringe their rules of enclosure, so that 
if you will not restore to them the spiritual help which is 
ordinarily granted, they will be placed under the necessity 
of giving up their mission in your diocese, for I do not see 
how we could maintain two houses, both money and sub- 
jects being equally wanting. Believe me, Monseigneur, it 
would be a pleasure for me to second your zeal, and, within 
the limits of the rule, we shall do all we can to carry out 
your wishes. . . . Your Lordship knows well that these 
rules have been wisely ordained, and that they are the safe- 
guards of the religious spirit. I am convinced that you 
would not wish us to set them aside and thereby open the 
door to abuses, which would be doubly deplorable in a 
Protestant country. Permit me, then, to renew the ex- 
pression of my sincere regret for anything that may have 
wounded your Lordship's feelings, together with my pro- 
found grief for the present state of one of the families which 
the Heart of Jesus has confided to my care, notwithstanding 

175 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

my unworthiness, and deign to be favorable to my prayer 
in restoring to it your fatherly protection. In the hope 
of obtaining this favor, which I humbly solicit, permit me 
in advance to assure your Lordship of my sincere gratitude 
and to sign myself with profound veneration, 

" Your humble and obedient servant, 

" M. L. S. BARAT, R.S.C.J." 

This letter, breathing at once the solicitude of a mother, 
the vigor of a foundress and the humility of a saint, made a 
most favorable impression upon Bishop Lefevre, while 
Mother Hardey's readiness to yield as far as possible to his 
wishes so completely disarmed him that he promptly re- 
stored to the community the spiritual blessings of which 
they had been deprived. He sanctioned Mother Hardey's 
proposition to erect an academy in a favorable location 
where all the works of the Society might be carried on with- 
out detriment to any, and he himself started negotiations for 
the purchase of a property opposite the pro-cathedral and 
adjoining the Beaubien homestead. 

Mother Hardey's relations with the Beaubien heirs pre- 
sented greater difficulties. They disputed the right of the 
religious to sell property bequeathed to the Society, and 
engaged the best lawyers in the city to plead their claim. 
Here again Mother Hardey's knowledge of business and 
sound judgment overruled all obstacles. Every concession 
which she claimed was declared to be just. The Beaubiens' 
legal adviser declared that he " would rather contend with 
ten lawyers than with one Madame Hardey." On one oc- 
casion he inquired of his friend General Scammon, " Are 
you acquainted with Madame Hardey?" "Yes," was the 
reply. " Have you the same honor? " " I am sufficiently ac- 
quainted," he answered, " to know that she has missed her 
vocation. If Madame Hardey were a partner in my firm I 
should be a rich man, for she is the cleverest woman I have 
ever met." After relating this incident, General Scammon 

I 7 6 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

mentioned another circumstance which shows the estimate 
placed upon Mother Hardey's business capacity by the 
ablest lawyers in the country. " When Mother Hardey had 
decided to purchase the present property on Jefferson 
Avenue," said the General, " she requested me, as I was 
going to New York, to take the deeds to the famous Charles 
O'Conor for examination. When I presented them Mr. 
O'Conor asked, 'Has Madame Hardey seen them?' 
'Yes/ I replied. 'And has she examined them?' 'Yes/ 
' Then you may roll them up and take them back to her, 
for if she has examined them it is needless for me to do so/ 
I realized then what an 'extraordinarily gifted woman 
Madame Hardey must be, since two of the most noted law- 
yers of the day had given such testimony of her ability." 

Before leaving Detroit Mother Hardey had the consola- 
tion of knowing that she had secured for her daughters not 
only their lost privileges, but the good will of all those who 
had recently been hostile to them. There was a general re- 
awakening of interest in their success, on the part of both 
laity and clergy. Bishop Lefevre seemed most anxious to 
make amends, by lavishing favors upon the community. 
He took an active interest in the erection of the new con- 
vent, and one day sent to the religious superintending the 
work a handsome gas fixture and a marble mantel piece, 
with the request that they should be placed in the room 
destined for Madame Hardey when she visited Detroit. 
The religious assured his Lordship that Mother Hardey 
would refuse to occupy an apartment so ornamented, but 
with his approval she would have them placed in one of the 
parlors, which they would name " Mother Hardey's parlor." 
The erection of the Detroit convent added greatly to the 
financial difficulties already weighing on Mother Hardey, 
and of which she speaks in a letter written to the Superior 
of Halifax shortly after her return to Manhattanville : 
" Madame Kearney has just handed me a letter addressed 
to you, which I cannot seal without adding a line of apology 

13 177 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

for my past neglect. I feel that you have good reason for 
complaint, and though I could give satisfactory excuses for 
my long silence, I will only say, ' Mea Culpa/ and promise 
to sin no more. I was truly thankful for the cheque, which 
could not have come at a more appropriate time. I was in 
need of $10,000, and I assure you that were it not for the 
necessity of aiding the other houses I would not have called 
upon you. The communities of Detroit and Buffalo re- 
quire money, for both are building. The latter cannot de- 
lay, for they are occupying the Bishop's house, which must 
be vacated in the fall, when the grand Buffalo cathedral 
will be consecrated. You see, dear Mother, I have much to 
contend against. Poor nature often murmurs, but it has to 
submit and try to bear the cross graciously, if not lovingly. 
. . . Mother Thompson is doing admirably in the city. 
What would please you most there is the parish school, 
which numbers upwards of six hundred children. They do 
credit to their teachers by their progress and good conduct. 

" Mesdames Jones and Tommasini are in retreat. They 
are to make their profession on Ascension Day. It will be 
a grand ceremony. The Archbishop will, of course, officiate, 
as Madame Jones is one of his dearest children. 

" I presume you have heard of the promise which Bishop 
Connolly has received of a foundation in Saint John. I can- 
not tell you how happy this news has made me, for only a 
short time before his request was refused. But when God 
wills anything, who can oppose His designs? . . . Ex- 
cuse this nocturnal scratch. I fear you will not be able to 
make it out. The clock has struck eleven. Pray for me, dear 
Mother, I do not forget you even when I do not write." 

It would be difficult to form an estimate of Mother Har- 
dey's correspondence, as comparatively few of her letters 
have been preserved. This dearth is owing to her oft re- 
peated orders that her letters should be destroyed. Writing 
at one time to a young superior to whom she had sent 
almost daily communications, she said : " I am told that 

178 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

you are carefully preserving my letters. This is the last 
you will receive until I hear that you have burned all those 
now in your possession." The time devoted to correspond- 
ence was of necessity taken from her hours of repose, and 
withdrawing to her room after night prayers, she seated 
herself at her desk, to guide, strengthen, console or, per- 
haps, chide her absent daughters. She wrote the following 
lines to a young religious who was having her first experi- 
ence in the classroom : " Do not let your exterior occupa- 
tions interfere with your habitual union of heart with your 
Divine Spouse, else you will become a simple school mis- 
tress and not a true Religious of the Sacred Heart. I am 
longing for the vacation, when I hope to have you with me 
for a few weeks at least, and I hope your good superior will 
be able to give me satisfactory accounts of your progress. 
I promise to give you a few moments every day while you 
are here, provided you are in earnest with your perfection. 
As to your little difficulties with your Sisters, never let them 
weaken that sweet union of mind and hearts which is our 
distinctive characteristic. We are all prone to fall into the 
same defects that they commit. They bear with our faults, 
why should we not bear with theirs? You are right in be- 
lieving that distance does not change my feelings towards 
you. It only makes me uneasy that my dear child should 
forget what Our Lord expects in return for all that He has 
done for her." 

The following reminiscences have been given us by an 
old Sister, who for many years slept in Mother Hardey's 
room and had ample opportunities of observing her closely : 
" Our Reverend Mother rose at half-past four in the morn- 
ing to preside at our meditation. Her days were always 
full, and it was often late when she came to her room at 
night. She often wrote letters until after midnight. Before 
retiring she used to go to an adjoining room to take the 
discipline. I was afraid to move lest she should know that 
I heard her. The very sight of her instruments of penance, 

179 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

which I sometimes came across, made me shudder. I could 
not bear to call her so early in the morning, and once when 
I found her sleeping very soundly I had not the courage to 
waken her. After breakfast she inquired why I had not 
called her at the right time. On hearing my explanation, 
she said : ' Very well, I shall put another Sister in your 
place, who will be more obedient ! ' When I promised to be 
faithful in future, she forgave me. One night I took her a 
cup of hot milk, saying, ' Mother you are very tired, please 
take this.' ' Sister,' she answered, ' you are tired also, sit 
down and drink it yourself,' and to my great confusion she 
made me obey. She then warned me that I must leave her 
as well as myself to the care of the infirmarian, and if ever 
I brought her a drink of my own accord she would make 
me take it myself, so I never dared to do it again." 

One might be tempted to ask whether those days and 
nights of constant toil were not wasting to the spiritual life, 
or at least detrimental to the union of her soul with God. 
" From some points of view," says Father Faber, " an 
active saint is a more complicated work of grace than a 
contemplative one. In nothing is the worth of real spiritu- 
ality more tried than in the performance of outward works. 
In Mother Hardey's case, we have to believe that in pro- 
portion to the demands of her ever increasing responsibili- 
ties she gave herself up more fully to the claims of the in- 
terior life. In the following letter from her holy director, 
Father Barelle, S.J., we are permitted to see behind the veil 
which concealed the sanctity of her soul, how she was ad- 
vancing in the way of perfection, even in the midst of the 
most arduous occupations: 

"AVIGNON, April 17, 1854. 

" Praise be to God, my dear daughter ! I am delighted 
with Him and with you! With Him for giving you such 
sensible signs of His love, more abundant now than in the 
past, when He concealed His tenderness for your soul. To- 
day He reveals His mercy and makes you feel it in a more 

1 80 



FOUNDATION IN CHILE 

sensible manner. ... I am likewise pleased with you, 
on account of the many victories you have gained over your- 
self, aided by the increase of grace which your amiable 
Spouse has given you. What must you do now? One thing 
only, follow the path upon which you have entered. Let 
yourself be led interiorly by the spirit of our Lord, in con- 
formity with the rules of your Institute and the virtues 
which it demands, and exteriorly by those same rules and 
the Minister of Our Lord to whom obedience has confided 
the direction of your soul. Courage, my child, you must 
continue to walk bravely and generously in the path of 
humiliation and self-abandonment in imitation of Him who 
espoused humility in His Incarnation, was faithful to it dur- 
ing life, and died within its arms. ... I am pleased 
with your state of indifference and the abandonment which 
it supposes to all the designs of God in your regard. It re- 
quires more energy than you give yourself credit for, to live 
always in this state. Your letter makes me very happy, for 
it reveals your whole soul to me. Your contempt of your- 
self will render you more meek and gentle with others, more 
willing to bear with their defects, and more devoted in your 
service to souls, even when they are most ungrateful and 
undeserving. Remember that Jesus should be our all. Not 
Jesus only, but our spouse Jesus crucified, surrounded by 
all kinds of tribulations and contradictions. He underwent 
all this for us. How can we refuse to take our share for 
His sake? Let your heart, then, be united to His. Consider 
it a great honor and consolation to resemble Him in any 
way. Love contradictions, but, above all, love the chan- 
nels through which they come to you. Then every circum- 
stance will be profitable, war as well as peace, pain as well 
as pleasure, failure as well as success. 

" May Our Divine Lord grant you this grace ! I will ask 
it for you and all your daughters, to whom I wish so great 
a knowledge and love of Jesus Christ that they may love 
Him with a passionate love, and make Him known, loved 
and imitated by the souls confided to their care." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

FOUNDATIONS: ST. JOHN, N. B. ROCHESTER LONDON 
SAULT-AU-RECOLLET HAVANA 1854-1858. 

When the cholera invaded New Brunswick in 1854 
Bishop Connolly of St. John fearlessly exposed his life in 
caring for the plague stricken. He took that occasion of 
dedicating his diocese to the Sacred Heart, and when the 
sickness ceased he made a touching appeal to Mother Har- 
dey in behalf of his flock. While vicar general of the See 
of Halifax he had devoted himself to the welfare of the con- 
vent at Brookside, and it was partly in the name of his past 
services that he now claimed a house of the Religious of 
the Sacred Heart for his diocese. In writing on the sub- 
ject to Mother Barat, he says: 

" Although it is not becoming to boast of services ren- 
dered, you will judge of my motive in mentioning that for 
three years I consecrated more than half of my time in look- 
ing after the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Halifax. I 
was chaplain, confessor, architect and business agent of the 
Ladies. It has pleased God to change the scene of my 
labors to the Bishopric of St. John. From the moment of 
my nomination I resolved, with the help of God, to secure 
for my diocese a community of the Religious of the Sacred 
Heart. On arriving here I was strengthened in my resolu- 
tion by finding that at least eighty Catholic children of the 
most respectable families were attending Protestant schools. 
I succeeded in persuading the wealthiest parents to send 
their daughters to the Halifax school, promising them that 
within two years I would have a Catholic academy here. 
For this purpose I applied to Madame Hardey, and she 
graciously transmitted to me your answer, that in 1855 my 
desires should be realized. In the meantime it has pleased 
Our Lord to afflict us with cholera; in the space of six 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

weeks more than six hundred families were attacked by it, 
leaving seventy orphans on my hands." 

The great-hearted prelate went on to say that it was this 
urgent necessity which led him to apply to Mother Hardey 
for immediate assistance, and that he did so in the convic- 
tion that neither she nor Mother Barat would refuse his 
request. The cry of the orphans touched at once the hearts 
of Mother Barat and Mother Hardey, and hastened the 
preparations for the new foundation. When Mother Trin- 
cano and her little colony arrived in September, 1854, they 
were cordially welcomed by the vicar general, who con- 
gratulated them on being the first nuns to set foot on the 
soil of New Brunswick. A small house had been prepared 
as a temporary residence, and they took charge at once of 
the orphans. Some months later these dear children were 
confided to the care of the Sisters of Charity, whom Bishop 
Connolly introduced into the diocese. The Religious of the 
Sacred Heart then opened an academy for boarders and day 
scholars. In the spring of 1855 Mother Hardey went to 
visit her daughters in their new home, and the cheerfulness 
with which she found them accepting privations and labors 
led her to speak of this house as a veritable Nazareth. 
Though her stay was brief, it abounded in consolations for 
the little family. 

We read in the annals : " Nothing could be more de- 
lightful than to listen to our dear Mother's spiritual con- 
ferences, especially the parting one in which she urged us to 
find our strength and joy in imitating the life of Jesus in 
the Sacrament of His love." Mother Hardey always took 
a special interest in the prosperity of this house, and when, 
in later years, local difficulties and the limited resources of 
the community seemed to warrant its suppression, she 
strongly advocated its preservation. The convent was at 
last closed and in 1897 the religious bade farewell to a mis- 
sion in which they had lovingly labored for forty-two years, 
feeling that they had been more than amply repaid for their 

183 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

hardships and sacrifices by the solid good that had been 
effected, especially among the poor. 

As early as 1852 Mother Barat had expressed to Bishop 
Timon her fears that Buffalo would not prove a fruitful 
field of labor for her Congregation. Her letter drew from 
the saintly prelate the following reply : " All are aston- 
ished at the rapid growth of Buffalo and the progress of 
religion in my diocese. If I am not mistaken, there are few 
of your American houses which will procure greater glory 
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus than this establishment is 
destined to accomplish, if you will only have patience to 
wait until our people shall have recovered from the effects 
of the terrible scourge which has diminished our popula- 
tion." 

After referring to the death of Mother Cruice and the 
words of sympathy and gratitude addressed to him by 
Mother Barat, his Lordship adds : " I was greatly touched 
by all that you have written. I have always admired and 
loved your holy Institute. Indeed, I could not help taking a 
lively interest in the religious here. I beheld in Mother 
Cruice a soul wholly given to God. During their affliction 
I did all in my power for their relief, but I did no more than 
God had a right to expect of me, and I trust He may give 
me the grace to act in the same manner if other misfortunes 
should visit them. I believe, however, that the time of trial 
is past." 

This touching letter appealed strongly to the heart of 
Mother Barat, who shrank from the prospect of grieving the 
good bishop. Hence, in reference to the subject, she wrote 
to Mother Hardey : " I neither counsel nor command any- 
thing in this matter. I have learned how difficult it is to 
give a judicious decision when one knows neither the place 
nor the circumstances. Do what you think is for the best, 
after consulting those whom the Good Master has given to 
assist you. I suffer extremely in realizing that I have only 
simple compassion to offer you, for I know what a feeble 

184 




1 Detroit Convent 

2 Rochester, N. Y. 

3 Grosse Pointe, Mich. 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

solace it is. But Jesus is our refuge. He will never fail us 
if we place our trust in Him and strive to serve Him with 
love and fidelity." 

Mother Hardey submitted her views to Bishop Timon 
with the utmost delicacy, asking his permission to transfer 
the community from Buffalo to Rochester. He consented, 
and while deploring the departure of the religious from his 
episcopal city, he wrote to Mother Barat that he found a 
certain compensation in the fact that her daughters had not 
been withdrawn from his diocese. Rochester was erected 
into a separate see in 1868, with the Right Rev. Bernard 
J. McQuaid as its first bishop. The removal to Rochester 
took place on June 26, 1855. This change proved to have 
been a wise one, for the academy soon became very flourish- 
ing, and after a few years a free school was opened for the 
children of the neighborhood. The blessing of God rested 
visibly on this house in the extraordinary number of re- 
ligious vocations it gave to the Society year after year. 

In the summer of 1856 we find Mother Hardey in 
Canada, her presence being necessary to settle the affairs 
of the convent at Saint Vincent, Isle Jesus. For several 
years the patrons of the academy had maintained that the 
necessity of crossing the river during the winter season was 
a serious obstacle to the success of the Institute, and, in 
view of this difficulty, many had withdrawn their daugh- 
ters and for the same reason others were deterred from 
patronizing the school. Ever ready to consider the repre- 
sentations laid before her, Mother Hardey, after due reflec- 
tion, determined to remove the academy to the immediate 
vicinity of Montreal. After a long and laborious search she 
found a desirable location near the village of Sault-au- 
Recollet, which owes its name to the martyrdom of Father 
Viel, a devoted Recollect, who was slain by the Hurons 
while on his way to Quebec. The place selected as the site 
of the new convent was on the banks of a branch of the 
Ottawa, and at the time of Mother Hardey's visit was more 

185 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

or less of a wilderness. It has since been transformed, and 
the surroundings are very beautiful and picturesque. A 
stately Gothic church now stands beside the river, a smiling 
village clusters round the house of prayer, while upon an 
eminence within sight rises the novitiate of the Jesuits. 
Towards the west may be seen the Gothic turrets and 
handsome dome of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. 
Mother Hardey was present at the laying of the corner 
stone, August 17, 1856. That the event excited universal 
interest is shown by the following extracts from a Montreal 
newspaper of the day: 

" Our citizens displayed the greatest zeal in their efforts 
to make the ceremony imposing. Along the route from the 
church of Sault-au-Recollet to the site of the new convent 
banners waved and garlands of green and arches of flowers 
made a beautiful scene. Towards noon an immense throng 
assembled on the spot to receive Monseigneur Bourget, who 
had recently returned from Europe. Many strangers were 
present, among them the elite of the surrounding country, 
and a large number of our separated brethren, who are 
always attracted by the pomp and solemnity of our re- 
ligious ceremonies. Suddenly the bells rang out, the can- 
non boomed, music was heard, and a squad of cavalry gaily 
caparisoned announced the coming of his Lordship. On 
arriving Monseigneur blessed the assembled multitude with 
paternal pride. Very Rev. Mr. Granet, Vicar General and 
Superior of St. Sulpice, pronounced an eloquent discourse, in 
which he depicted in glowing terms the advantage of pos- 
sessing a house of education under the direction of the 
Ladies of the Sacred Heart. The words of his text, ' This 
is the House of God and Gate of Heaven/ were developed 
in accents of the deepest piety, and the orator concluded by 
expressing the hope that from generation to generation 
bands of virgins would succeed one another in this favored 
sanctuary about to be raised to the glory of that Heart, 
whose blessed title they bear. 

1 86 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

" After the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which 
was sung by the pupils of the Sacred Heart, the procession 
moved towards the spot where the corner-stone was to be 
blessed. The strains of martial music, the floating banners, 
the brilliant uniforms of the military and the lines of bishops 
and priests wearing the insignia of their offices, all com- 
bined to make the scene both solemn and memorable." 

Such were the favorable auspices that marked the foun- 
dation of " the Sault." In 1858 the building was completed 
and the pupils transferred to the new home. St. Vincent's 
ceased to exist, but before leaving it Mother Hardey ani- 
mated her daughters to a deep sense of gratitude in a touch- 
ing conference in which she rehearsed the blessings that had 
rested upon the home they were about to abandon, and the 
bright promises which the future seemed to hold for them 
in the new abode. By the appointment of Mother Trincano 
as Superior of " the Sault," Mother Hardey was deprived 
of the valuable assistance of one who for ten years had 
proved so efficient in organizing foundations, training the 
novices and governing the most important house of the 
vicariate. But when there was need of a sacrifice Mother 
Hardey never considered her personal loss or inconvenience, 
though in the present instance she acknowledged that in 
giving up Mother Trincano she was losing her right arm. 

At the solicitation of Monseigneur de Charbonnel in the 
year 1852, Mother Hardey established a house in Sandwich, 
then included in the Diocese of Toronto. In 1856 the diocese 
of Mgr. de Charbonnel was divided into three, Toronto, 
Hamilton, and London, with Mgr. Pinsonnault as incum- 
bent of the last named see. For a time this convent shel- 
tered the orphans from Detroit, by the request of their 
benefactress, Mrs. Beaubien, but later the heirs to the 
estate raised objections to this measure and the children 
were sent back to their first home. As the place offered 
but limited resources for the support of 'a first-class acad- 
emy, Monseigneur Pinsonnault begged for the transfer of 

I8 7 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the community to London, his episcopal city. As the bishop 
in taking possession had promised his people to introduce 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart into the diocese, he wrote 
as follows to Mother Barat : " I have pledged my word to 
my people. Would you oblige me to break it, and thereby 
draw upon myself the disagreeable consequences that would 
surely follow? " 

Again it became Mother Hardey's duty to decide the 
important question of breaking up an existing establish- 
ment, in order to make a venture in a new field. For sev- 
eral reasons her position was difficult, yet she recognized 
the impossibility of supporting the house in Sandwich and 
the obligation of placing her daughters in a sphere where 
they might be better able to succeed. She decided, there- 
fore, to abandon Sandwich, and open an academy in Lon- 
don. An estate called Mount Hope was secured as a tem- 
porary residence, and on August 18, 1859, the little com- 
munity started for their new home. Mourning and weeping 
followed their departure, for the good people among whom 
they had labored for seven years had become sincerely at- 
tached to them, yet they generously gave every assistance 
in their power, even transporting to London all the furni- 
ture belonging to the nuns. 

The following lines from one who was a pupil at Sand- 
wich will show how much Mother Hardey was loved and 
revered by the children : " I remember especially one of her 
visits, when the pupils received her with a joyful greeting, 
in which our sentiments were expressed in poetry and song. 
When our little entertainment was over, she graciously in- 
quired the names of all present, addressing to each in turn 
words of kindness and encouragement. I was then eleven 
years of age, very homesick and unhappy because of the 
separation from my parents. I remained at school only to 
keep my promise to my Catholic mother that I would not 
ask my father, who was a Protestant, to take me home. 
Mother Hardey's sympathetic heart divined the cause of 

188 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

my sadness. That same evening she sent for me, and be- 
gan at once to speak to me gently, but with such earnest- 
ness that I can never forget her words. She told me it was 
my duty to acquire a Catholic education, that later I might 
be able to assist my mother in the training of her younger 
children. Her kind advice appealed so strongly to my spirit 
of faith that I became reconciled for a time to my school 
life. After some months, however, my longing for home 
returned and I left the convent. When the academy was 
opened in London, Mother Hardey's words came back to 
me so forcibly that her appeal to my sense of duty left me 
no peace, and I asked and obtained permission to enter the 
school. No one could have been happier than I was during 
the remainder of my schooldays. When I next saw the 
dear Mother I had heard the call to a higher life, and she 
strengthened and encouraged me to be faithful to grace. 
Her every word was full of light and consolation. When, 
some years later, I arrived at Manhattanville, she welcomed 
me with that warmth of affection which made me feel that 
I was the special object of her solicitude. How often since 
that happy day have I received proofs of the goodness of 
her heart, which, like the heart of Our dear Lord, was 
boundless in its charity." 

While Mother Hardey was occupied in promoting the 
welfare of the houses of her Vicariate, the Manhattanville 
Novitiate was increasing in numbers even beyond her most 
ardent hopes. Within the space of a few months nineteen 
postulants had entered, three of whom had come from 
Cuba, where a house of the Sacred Heart was about to be 
opened under the most favorable auspices. Senora Espino, 
a lady of remarkable faith and piety, had earnestly prayed 
for years for the conversion of her husband, a man distin- 
guished for high moral excellence, but estranged from the 
practice of his religious duties. The faithful and devoted 
wife determined to win from Heaven a favorable answer to 
her prayers, by dedicating a portion of her wealth to a work 

189 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

to promote the glory of God and the welfare of souls. 
She submitted to her husband her plan of establishing a 
house of education for the young girls of their native city, 
and received his most cordial sanction. About this time 
Mother Hardey received another offer from a Miss Hen- 
riquetta Purroy, the principal of a select school in Havana, 
to transfer her pupils to the Religious of the Sacred Heart 
and to become herself a member of the Society. 

When Mother Hardey laid these advantageous offers 
before Mother Barat the latter hesitated to accept them. 
" I am told," she wrote, " that foreigners are especially 
liable to take the yellow fever, which annually visits the 
island, and that, consequently, we must be ready to lose 
many of our subjects. What a prospect ! I do not shrink 
from it, for God is all-powerful, and though I dread the 
consequences, I cannot refuse the opportunity of procuring 
His glory. The fact that He has sent you, in so extraor- 
dinary a way, those twenty subjects, should excite our con- 
fidence and our abandonment to the Divine Heart." Writ- 
ing again on the subject to Mother Hardey, inspired by the 
twofold sentiment of apprehension for her daughters, and of 
zeal for the glory of God, the Mother General concluded 
by giving the signal for departure in these simple words: 
" It is with a trembling heart that I say to you, ' Go, my 
dearest Aloysia ! ' " 

Mother Hardey, who had eagerly awaited the consent 
of her superior, prepared at once for the voyage, and em- 
barked at New York for Cuba on December 27, 1857, ac- 
companied by Mesdames Tommasini and Fowler. Before 
leaving they assisted at Mass in the chapel of the Seven- 
teenth Street Convent, and, after Holy Communion, the cel- 
ebrant, Rev. Father Gresselin, S. J., unexpectedly delivered 
a brief exhortation, taking for his text the passage from the 
Acts of the Apostles : And they fell upon Paul's neck weep- 
ing for the word which he had said to them, that " they 
should see his face no more." These words seemed to fore- 

190 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

bode a great sorrow, and his audience was deeply affected. 
Surprised by the emotion he witnessed, the preacher sought 
to turn the thoughts of his hearers into a new channel, but 
it was in vain. There remained in all hearts a vague fear 
and tears, and sobs filled the parting hour. Mother Hardey 
maintained her wonted tranquillity and unshaken trust in 
Him for whose glory she was prepared to give even life 
itself. 

The voyage was uneventful. On the third of January, 
1858, the vessel entered the harbor of Havana, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Espino came on board to welcome Mother Hardey, 
whom they looked upon as an angel bearing the blessings 
of the Heart of Jesus to the young generation of their 
native city. A government vessel, manned by sailors in bril- 
liant uniforms, conveyed the travellers to the shore, and 
they were conducted by their benefactors to their new 
home, where everything had been prepared for their re- 
ception. Mother Hardey began to make at once arrange- 
ments for the opening of the school, as Miss Purroy was 
already prepared to transfer her pupils to the new-comers. 
She hastened also to fulfil the requirements which business 
and etiquette demanded by calling on the Captain General 
of the Island. Her visit to this functionary was attended 
with the most satisfactory results. But, as usual, trials were 
awaiting her. 

On the fifth of February, while walking in the garden 
with Madame Tommasini, she was suddenly attacked with 
violent pains in her back and other alarming symptoms of 
serious sickness declared themselves. The consternation 
was general ; a physician was hastily summoned, and he 
pronounced her illness a case of yellow fever. The patient 
received the news with perfect tranquillity and an entire 
resignation of herself and her mission into the hands of 
God. The end seemed to have come, for the remedies 
applied were of no avail. Her strength was rapidly failing, 
and a fatal termination of the disease was apprehended, 

191 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

when a young girl named Rafaela Donosa, called at the 
convent to solicit admission as a lay sister. Having learned 
with deep regret of Mother Hardey's dangerous illness, she 
believed, in the simplicity of her guileless nature, that it 
was possible to obtain her cure. Hastening to the Jesuit 
church, she prayed long and lovingly for the recovery of 
the Mother upon whom her entrance into the Society de- 
pended, and entering into a compact, as it were, with Our 
Lord, she offered to spend three extra days in purgatory 
after her death, if Mother Hardey were restored to health 
and she was admitted as a postulant. Was it the prayer of 
faith from that innocent soul which wrought the miracle? 

While Rafaela was pleading before the tabernacle, Miss 
Purroy heard of Mother Hardey's illness, and hastened to 
offer her services as nurse. She suggested that almond oil 
should be tried as a last resource, but Mother Hardey ob- 
jected that the doctor had not prescribed it, and she was 
bound by rule to obey his orders. Miss Purroy appealed 
to the Superior of the Jesuits, who was then in the house, 
asking him to put Mother Hardey under obedience to take 
the proposed remedy, as her case was a matter of life or 
death. The priest went immediately to the bedside of the 
invalid, spoke to her briefly of her dangerous condition and 
urging the use of the remedy proposed. Mother Hardey 
calmly replied, " Reverend Father, the doctor has not or- 
dered it." Prepared for this objection, he answered: "I 
know your Rule enjoins upon you obedience to the pre- 
scriptions of your physicians, but I ask you in obedience to 
your confessor to take the oil, and allow Miss Purroy to do 
for you whatever her judgment and experience may sug- 
gest." Looking upon her confessor as the representative 
of God, Mother Hardey at once consented. The priest 
blessed the medicine, and the effect was marvelous, after 
several doses had been taken. In a few days the crisis was 
passed, and the patient pronounced out of danger. 

The admirable equanimity with which she had resigned 

192 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

herself to die, marked also her acceptance of returning 
health. This perfect self-possession hastened her recovery, 
and after the lapse of a few weeks she was again actively 
employed in preparing for the arrival of the little colony 
which she had summoned from Manhattanville. The acad- 
emy was opened with forty-five boarders on the Feast of 
Saint Joseph, the patron of the Captain General, who had 
expressed a desire to be present on the occasion, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Espino offered to do the honors of the reception. 
About eleven o'clock the pupils arrived, accompanied by 
their parents, and a large number of the most distinguished 
citizens of Havana. Then, when all had assembled, the 
sound of military music announced the advent of the Cap- 
tain General. Having testified his great pleasure in being 
permitted to attend the ceremonies, he listened with deep 
interest to a discourse on Christian education delivered by 
the most eloquent preacher in the city, and before leaving 
he renewed his offer of service to Mother Hardey, with the 
assurance that he would consider it a pleasure to protect 
the interests of the Academy of the Sacred Heart. 

As soon as the pupils of Miss Purroy's school had been 
received and the classes organized, Mother Hardey felt that 
her mission in Havana was accomplished, and confiding the 
charge of the house to Madame Justina Casanova Lay, who 
had taken her first vows at Manhattanville only a few weeks 
previous, prepared to depart. 

A brief account of Madame Casanova Lay may be of 
interest to our readers. God had seemed to predestine her in 
a special manner for His service in the Society. From her 
earliest childhood she was noted for the most amiable qual- 
ities, but that which particularly distinguished her, was an 
unbounded charity towards the poor and suffering members 
of Jesus Christ, a virtue which was an inheritance from her 
parents, whose house was a place of refuge for the afflicted 
of every class. At the age of twenty-two Justina married, 
but hardly had she begun to enjoy domestic bliss when a 

13 193 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

threefold sorrow fell upon her, in the death of her husband, 
father and mother. From that time she devoted herself ex- 
clusively to prayer and works of charity. She determined to 
enter a convent, but eleven years were to elapse before the 
fulfilment of her holy purpose, for it seemed that she had 
yet to accomplish a great mission of charity in behalf of 
others. 

In 1852, when the cholera swept over her native city, 
Santiago de Cuba, she spared neither her strength nor her 
fortune in ministering to the victims of the scourge. She 
entered the homes of the plague-stricken, prepared them 
for the reception of the Last Sacraments, and when those 
who succumbed to the epidemic were poor, she paid the 
expenses of their burial. It is not surprising that Madame 
Lay was revered by rich and poor alike as an angel of bene- 
diction. After the cessation of the cholera she resolved to 
go to Europe in order to execute her long cherished plan lo 
become a religious, but Divine Providence guided her steps 
to Manhattanville. She went to New York to visit her 
brother, who resided there, and by him she was presented 
to Reverend Mother Hardey, and, later, admitted by her 
into the Novitiate. 

It was soon evident that Madame Lay was well fitted 
for positions of trust in the Society, and Mother Hardey 
took special pains to initiate her into the true spirit of the 
Sacred Heart, with the view of confiding to her the new 
foundation to be made in Havana. Her expectations were 
fully realized. Under Madame Lay's gentle government 
and enlightened experience the new establishment prospered 
beyond her most sanguine hopes. The first act of Madame 
Lay's administration was a solemn promise made to our 
Blessed Lady that on every Saturday for one year both 
religious and pupils would unite in singing the " Mag- 
nificat " in their little chapel, in thanksgiving for Mother 
Hardey's recovery. With this affectionate farewell Mother 

194 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

Hardey sailed from Havana on the thirtieth of March and 
reached New York on Easter Sunday. 

Wishing to spare her daughters any anxiety she had 
given orders during her illness that the news should not be 
communicated to the houses of her Vicariate, but while the 
Manhattanville community was preparing to greet their 
loved Mother with a joyous welcome, a letter was received 
from the father of one of their Cuban pupils, the first words 
of which were : " Thank God, Madame Hardey is out of 
danger." Mother Boudreau read the startling news at the 
noon recreation, and the consternation of all present can 
be better imagined than described. The happiness of seeing 
their beloved Mother again in their midst can be measured 
only by the intense grief which the unexpected news of her 
illness had caused. Her presence to her dear family seemed 
like a resurrection, and it added a deeper note of thanksgiv- 
ing to the Easter joys. 

Mother Boudreau, the Mistress General of Manhattan- 
ville, in token of gratitude for Mother Hardey's recovery, 
fitted up a beautiful sanctuary in honor of our Blessed Lady, 
long known as the Chapel of Mater Admirabilis. In it 
she placed a painting of the famous fresco of the Madonna 
in the convent of the Trinita in Rome. The Virgin of the 
Temple appealed forcibly to the hearts of the children, as 
with her spinning wheel, open book, and lily by her side, 
she is held up as a model of a life of purity, prayer and labor. 
This exquisite painting is still preserved at Manhattanville 
as a precious relic of bygone days, days of Mother Hardey, 
Mothers Boudreau, Jones and Tommasini, and their de- 
voted pupils. During the destruction by fire of Manhattan- 
ville Convent in 1888, it was rescued from the flames, and 
it now adorns the Lady Chapel, the affectionate tribute of 
the Alumnae of the Academy in memory of the Golden Ju- 
bilee of 1894. 

Mother Hardey herself had made a promise during her 
illness that if restored to health she would undertake some 

195 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

special work for the increase of devotion to the Sacred 
Heart. In her profound humility she failed to see that her 
whole life had been devoted to that object. Her first care 
on her return home was to ask advice as to the best means 
of fulfilling her promise. A Jesuit Father suggested the 
translation of Gautrelet's " Month of the Sacred Heart." 
The work was begun and soon after given to the press. 
It was the first publication of the kind issued in the United 
States. Mother Hardey was also the first promoter of the 
Association of the Holy Childhood in New York, as we 
learn from the following account from the pen of Reverend 
Father Daniel of Montreal, Director General of the Asso- 
ciation : 

" At one of my visits to Manhattanville I availed my- 
self of the opportunity to solicit the help of Mother Hardey 
in establishing the work of the Holy Childhood in the 
United States. She readily consented, and I returned home 
proud and happy in the promise of her assistance, and lov- 
ing the Society of the Sacred Heart more than ever. Some 
weeks later, I received a letter from Rev. Francis Mc- 
Neirny, Secretary of Archbishop Hughes, informing me 
that his Grace preferred to wait two years before authoriz- 
ing the foundation of my work, in order to establish more 
firmly the Propagation of the Faith in his diocese. Frus- 
trated in my plans, I turned again to Mother Hardey. 
Touched by my letter she answered, ' Do not be troubled. I 
shall arrange matters to your satisfaction.' Oh, what a 
marvelous mind she had, and how rich in resources ! She 
at once set Madame Catherine White the task of composing 
thrilling drama, picturing the desolation and anguish of a 
hinese mother, whose child was torn from her arms and 
rown to the dogs. The most pathetic part in the drama 
as given to the niece of Archbishop Hughes, and his 
Grace was invited to witness the play. As had been antici- 
pated the tender-hearted prelate was affected even to tears. 
Availing herself of the most favorable moment, Miss An- 

196 



ST. JOHN, N. B., ROCHESTER, LONDON 

gela, still robed in her Chinese costume, knelt before her 
uncle, and begged him to sanction the work of the Holy 
Childhood. ' With all my heart/ the Archbishop answered, 
' let Mother Hardey inaugurate it ! ' The cause was gained. 
The Association was started in all the schools of the Sacred 
Heart, and soon by request of the Archbishop himself the 
work was begun in nearly all the churches of the New 
York diocese." 

It will perhaps be proper to close this chapter with a 
brief sketch of Rafaela Donosa, the young candidate who 
had made such a heroic sacrifice to obtain Mother Hardey's 
speedy recovery from yellow fever. Having been re- 
ceived as a lay sister in the community, she was remark- 
able during her short religious life for her faithful observ- 
ance of rule, and her ardent love for Jesus in the Blessed 
Sacrament. A few months before her death, as the Sisters 
were telling at recreation on what days they would prefer 
to die, Sister Rafaela declared she would choose the Feast 
of the Assumption. 

" But that would deprive us of the Exposition of the 
Blessed Sacrament," remarked one of the Sisters. " Oh, 
no ! " replied Sister Rafaela, as if assured of the fact, " I 
will die only after the Blessed Sacrament has been exposed. 
My corpse will be carried to the chapel after Benediction, 
and I shall be buried next morning after Mass." Her pre- 
diction was literally fulfilled. Some days before the Feast 
of the Assumption she became dangerously ill. Her suffer- 
ings were very great, and the fever so intense that those 
who approached her bedside felt something of the extreme 
heat which was devouring her frame. For three days she 
lay motionless, her hands joined in an attitude of prayer, 
her lips silent, save to hold occasional colloquies with Jesus 
and His Blessed Mother. On the I5th of August, while the 
chaplain was exposing the Blessed Sacrament after the 
Mass, she surrendered her beautiful soul into the hands of 
her Creator. After Benediction her body was borne to the 

197 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

chapel, and the following morning, after the requiem Mass, 
it was consigned to the tomb. She left behind her the pious 
belief that the three days of agony preceding her death were 
the three days of suffering which she had so generously 
offered to undergo if Mother Hardey's life were spared. 



198 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS LETTERS OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 
AND MOTHER BARAT SOJOURN OF THE BISHOP OF 
PUEBLA AT MANHATTANVILLE FOUNDATION AT KEN- 
WOOD 1858-1860. 

The years which immediately follow Mother Hardey's 
restoration to health are so full of her active zeal in extend- 
ing the reign of Christ, and so rich in good works, that we 
are necessarily obliged to omit many events which would 
be of interest and edification to our readers. 

In the summer of 1858, she began the work of enlarging 
the chapel of Manhattanville, a measure necessitated by the 
rapid growth of the boarding school, which numbered over 
two hundred pupils. Within that year she had the con- 
solation of seeing twelve of the children received into the 
Church, with the full consent of their parents. Among 
these converts was Mary A., a young girl endowed with 
more than ordinary gifts of mind, who had entered the 
academy strongly prejudiced against the Catholic Faith. 
Its tenets were repugnant to her intellect and many of its 
practices and devotions offensive to her ideas of propriety. 
After a year spent in the school she was still so bitterly 
opposed to the Church that on Good Friday, while assisting 
at the Way of the Cross she suddenly quitted the chapel, 
condemning within herself the solemn devotion as a species 
of idolatry. 

For some time she wandered alone through the adjacent 
parlors, left to her own bitter reflections, but, strange to say, 
the hour of her greatest repugnance became the time of 
God's visitation. The Faith, which a few moments before 
had seemed so false and meaningless, now rose before her 
in all the brightness of a divine revelation. A few months 

199 



MARY ALOYS1A HARDEY 

later she became a Catholic, and Mother Hardey had the 
happiness of seeing her changed into a zealous apostle of 
the true Church. Full of joy in the possession of her new- 
found treasure, Mary sought to convert her much loved 
friend, Ultima M., a young girl of her own age. She prayed 
and obtained prayers of others, adopting various practices 
of devotion and penance, all having for their object the con- 
version of her friend. Her zeal was rewarded, for some 
months later Ultima became a most ardent child of 
the Church. Both young girls were the pride and honor of 
the Manhattanville school, and their influence for good was 
equally felt in their own home circles. 

Mary A.'s father had been baptized a Catholic, but hav- 
ing married a Protestant he abandoned the Church and 
allowed his children to be reared in their mother's religion. 
Mary had the consolation of seeing her father return to the 
Faith of his childhood, and of bringing her mother and three 
sisters into the Church. After fulfilling a mission of useful- 
ness at home, she entered the Novitiate of Manhattanville, 
whither she was followed a few years later by her younger 
sister Blanche. Ultima M. married and settled in Cuba. 
She became a model wife and mother. During the insurrec- 
tion in 1868, Mr. S., her husband, was forced to give hos- 
pitality to the officers of a Spanish regiment, which had 
been quartered on his plantation. Through their unwel- 
come guests it was learned that fourteen young men, be- 
longing to the best families in Havana, were held prisoners 
in the camp, and had been condemned to be executed. Mrs. 
S. resolved to make an effort to save them. She invited the 
officers to a sumptuous banquet, which was followed by a 
musical entertainment. The commanding officer was so 
entranced by her magnificent voice and superb execution 
on the harp, that he swore in true cavalier style he was 
ready to grant any favor his fair hostess might do him the 
honor to ask. After a moment's pause, Mrs. S. called upon 
her guests to witness the declaration, then, throwing her- 

200 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

self on her knees before the officer, she begged him to 
grant her the life and liberty of his prisoners. 

Though startled by the request, the Spanish soldier was 
too chivalrous to break his word. The prisoners were re- 
leased, but before their departure, at the earnest solicitation 
of their gracious deliverer, they made their peace with God 
in the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy 
Eucharist. A few years later this noble woman died a mar- 
tyr to her charity. While nursing a sick slave she con- 
tracted the disease of the sufferer, and, realizing that her 
days were numbered, she exacted from her husband the 
promise that her two daughters should be educated at Man- 
hattanville. It was one of these young girls who was chosen 
to read the touching panegyric of Mother Hardey at the 
closing exercises of the scholastic year, June, 1886. 

Another interesting conversion was that of Leila R., a 
child only seven years of age, whose heart had been touched 
by grace, and inspired with the desire of becoming a Catho- 
lic. Every day the innocent child spent a part of her recrea- 
tion in making visits to the altars of Jesus, Mary and Joseph 
to implore the desired favor. The first time she asked her 
mother's permission to be baptized it was positively re- 
fused. Again and again she repeated her request, at each 
succeeding visit, but without success. One day the mother 
having been kept waiting a long time in the parlor for the 
child, asked her the reason of the delay. Leila answered that 
she had gone first to the altar of the Blessed Virgin to ask 
her to touch her mother's heart. Profoundly moved by the 
piety and perseverance of her little girl, Mrs. R. answered: 
" Well, Leila, if it will make you happier, I am willing you 
should be a Catholic." At these words Leila rushed out of 
the parlor to the Mistress General, whom she brought by 
the hand to her mother, saying: "Mamma, please tell 
Mother Boudreau what you have just said, for she might 
not believe me!" The happiness of the child was at its 
height, but no sooner had she been regenerated in the waters 

201 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

of Baptism than she turned all her efforts towards obtaining 
the same favor for her mother. Her pleadings were directed 
to the Heart of Jesus in the Eucharist. 

Once when she had passed a whole hour upon her knees 
before the Tabernacle, being asked how she could find 
enough to say for so long a time, the child answered with 
charming simplicity : " I do not know how to say beautiful 
prayers, but I just talk to Jesus. Perhaps I do not say just 
what I should, but I tell Him over and over again not to 
let mamma die without Baptism." The health of Mrs. R. 
soon became impaired. During the Christmas holidays Leila 
taught her all she knew of the little Catechism, and, in the 
month of January, the sick woman, seeing death was not 
far off, wrote a very touching letter to Mother Hardey, 
begging her to come to visit her, since she was unable to go 
to Manhattanville. In an affectionate reply, Mother Hardey 
wrote that the Rule did not permit her to visit, but she 
would send a friend, much better able to give her peace and 
consolation. 

She asked a Jesuit Father to call upon Mrs. R., and 
he prepared her for her abjuration and reception into the 
Church, and baptized her younger daughter for whom little 
Leila was sponsor. Shortly after this touching ceremony 
Mrs. R. breathed her last, in sentiments of peace and con- 
fidence in the mercy of that God whom she had only known 
and loved at the eleventh hour. This triple baptism was a 
great joy to Mother Hardey, whose only desire was the con- 
quest of souls. She never lost an opportunity of doing good, 
and God seemed to take pleasure in multiplying the works 
of zeal and charity so lovingly undertaken and so gloriously 
crowned. 

One day, while walking with the community at the re- 
creation, she met a poor negress who had come to beg food 
and clothing for her family. Mother Hardey questioned her 
about her religion and occupation, and learning that neither 
she nor her children had ever been baptized, she told the 

202 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

woman to bring her children the next day. Finding that the 
two youngest were very frail and sickly, she decided to have 
them baptized as soon as possible. The pupils were in- 
formed of the ceremony, and godmothers selected among 
the Children of Mary, who, appreciating the privilege, at 
once prepared suitable clothes for the occasion. At the ap- 
pointed time three candidates for Baptism appeared, one, a 
little boy of seven years, for whom they had to take an 
acolyte's surplice to cover his rags. The father of this in- 
teresting family remained in a corner of the chapel observ- 
ing everything very attentively. His good wife, greatly 
touched by the charity and gifts bestowed upon herself and 
her little ones, after a bountiful repast declared her intention 
of " getting religion " herself as soon as she could. 

Before long she was sufficiently prepared to be baptized, 
and even to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation 
with the older children. Her two youngest died in their 
baptismal innocence. Strong in her faith, the good mother, 
notwithstanding the reproaches of her husband, refused to 
have the children buried in a Protestant graveyard, though 
the burial was offered her gratis. As soon as Mother Har- 
dey was informed of the condition of affairs, she charged 
herself with the expenses of the funeral, and continued to 
bestow so much kindness on the family that she had the 
happiness of seeing the husband baptized and the marriage 
ceremony performed in the Manhattanville chapel. 

By request of Archbishop Hughes, in 1858, Mother Har- 
dey offered hospitality to Mgr. de la Bastida, Bishop of La 
Puebla Mexico, the first victim of a violent persecution of 
the Mexican hierarchy by the government of the country, for 
refusing to endorse the sequestration of property belonging 
to the Church. He had been seized by the soldiery and 
forced to leave not only his palace and his diocese, but even 
his country, without time to say farewell to his sisters who 
lived in his palace, and to whom he had been a father and 
protector. After three years of exile in Rome, he set out 

203 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

for America, having learned that the clerical party in 
Mexico had triumphed. He arrived too late, for ere he 
reached New York the Liberals had been returned to power. 
Unwilling to be at a great distance from his flock in case of 
an opportunity to return to his diocese, the bishop grate- 
fully accepted the offer of a home at Manhattanville, where 
the stone house on the grounds was fitted up for his accom- 
modation. 

Mother Hardey refused to yield to others the super- 
intendence of the preparations for his arrival. " I feel," she 
said, " as if we were about to receive one of the twelve 
Apostles." She always spoke of the bishop's sojourn as a 
time of special blessings to her house. We find in her letter 
written to Mother Barat on the eve of the bishop's de- 
parture for Europe, the following lines : " The exiled bishop 
from Mexico, who occupied the cottage on the grounds, will 
probably be the bearer of this letter. He will give you news 
of us, but he will not be likely to tell you that he has beer. 
a channel of benedictions to your family of Manhattanville. 
During the past twelve months he has given the veil to ten 
choir postulants, and six others are to be received on the 
Feast of St. Stanislaus. When he arrived here there were 
no postulants in the Novitiate. The school has also been 
the object of his special interest. Eight of our Protestant 
children have received Baptism at his hands." 

The bishop had fully appreciated Mother Hardey's kind- 
ness. One of the religious gave him lessons in English, she 
herself taught him French, and everyone endeavored to 
make him forget the bitterness of exile. Twenty-four years 
later, when the venerable prelate was restored to his 
country and appointed Archbishop of Mexico, he in- 
vited the Religious of the Sacred Heart to establish a con- 
vent in his episcopal city. It was Mother Hardey's gracious 
hospitality which thus opened the way to this new field of 
labor, where the Institute so dear to her in life is at present 
reaping a plentiful harvest of souls in four of the principal 

204 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

cities of the republic. During the bishop's sojourn at Man- 
hattanville an unfortunate incident occurred, which shows 
how trials were wont to be mingled with Mother Hardey's 
joys. The chaplain of the convent was afflicted with an in- 
curable disease, which was gradually undermining his men- 
tal faculties, though the fact was not then suspected. 
Strange as it appeared at the time, he showed annoyance 
whenever the ceremonies in the chapel were performed by 
the bishop, and one Sunday afternoon as the prelate was 
entering the sanctuary to give Benediction of the Blessed 
Sacrament, he hastily stepped forward and proceeded to 
officiate, while the bishop withdrew to his priedieu, sur- 
prised and mortified at the insult offered him. On leaving 
the chapel the first person he met was President Comon- 
fort of Mexico, whose two daughters were pupils at Man- 
hattanville. The bishop naturally inferred that in deference 
to this official Mother Hardey did not wish him to officiate 
at the Benediction, as it was Comonfort who had banished 
him from Mexico. 

Unconscious of this interpretation of his Lordship, 
Mother Hardey, who felt keenly the insult offered to the 
bishop, went to the cottage to apologize as best she could 
for the chaplain's conduct. To her consternation she was 
told that the bishop refused to see her. No explanation was 
given for several days, and by mere chance she learned that 
the bishop's displeasure was directed against herself. For- 
tunately, the explanation of his secretary, and new freaks 
on the part of the chaplain, soon made the truth clear. It 
is needless to add that his Lordship made touching repara- 
tion to Mother Hardey for his unjust suspicions, which at- 
tending circumstances seemed to justify. 

Before leaving this subject, we shall mention an inci- 
dent which illustrates Mother Hardey's delicacy of feeling. 
Mgr. de la Bastida, realizing the heavy expenses entailed by 
the erection of new buildings at Manhattanville, wished to 
pay his board and that of his secretary, but Mother Hardey 

205 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

refused to receive any remuneration. Finding, however, 
that a package of gold coins, carefully sealed, was sent to 
her every month, she ceased to allude to the subject, and 
his Lordship believed he had succeeded in overcoming her 
objections. When the bishop left for Europe Mother Har- 
dey confided to his secretary a small box, saying it con- 
tained a few articles for the use of his Lordship, and re- 
questing that it should be opened only after the vessel had 
sailed from port. The injunction was obeyed, and on their 
arrival in London the box was opened. Underneath some 
toilet articles were found the packages of gold coins, each 
one bearing its seal yet unbroken. The bishop's letter of 
thanks was the outpouring of a heart deeply touched by this 
last proof of Mother Hardey's generosity, and in writing to 
one of his friends in New York, he said : " I consider Mother 
Hardey the Saint Teresa of this century." 

The trials of the Holy Father in 1859 developed among 
the pupils of Manhattanville a very tender attachment to 
the Holy See. Prayers for the triumph of the Church and 
the Vicar of Jesus Christ were publicly offered, and the 
enthusiasm of the children knew no bounds when there 
was question of helping the good cause with their alms or 
their good works. One of the little girls wrote to Mgr. de la 
Bastida, after he had left for Rome : " Poor Holy Father ! 
How he must suffer! Will your Lordship please tell him 
that, if he has to leave Rome, he shall be joyfully welcomed 
at Manhattanville. His little children of the Sacred Heart 
are now offering ever so many acts of silence and self-denial, 
that he may triumph over his enemies." It afforded the 
bishop great pleasure to transmit this artless message to 
Pius IX, and the tender heart of the Pontiff was so deeply 
touched by the simple expression of childish loyalty that he 
sent a special benediction across the seas to strengthen the 
little flock in the love of the Church and its Chief Pastor. 

In the month of June of that same year Archbishop 
Hughes announced that a collection for the Holy Father 

206 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

would be taken up in all the churches of the diocese, and 
that he wished even the school children to contribute their 
share. The request found a generous response at Manhattan- 
ville. The sum of three thousand dollars was collected and 
presented to the Archbishop in an artificial rose, at the clos- 
ing exercises of the scholastic year. His Grace expressed his 
deep appreciation of the gift of the " Golden Rose," promis- 
ing to assure the Holy Father that there were none more 
loyal and devoted to him than the children of the Sacred 
Heart. The knowledge that the Holy Father was aware 
of that loyalty was communicated to Mother Hardey in a 
letter of one of her old pupils, written just at that time : 
" MY DEAR MADAME : 

" Had you been able to foresee the consolations I was to 
enjoy in Rome, you would certainly not have tried to dis- 
suade me from taking the journey. I can say for once that 
I am glad I did not follow your counsels. I could not make 
up my mind to tell you of the project which I had formed 
in making this visit to Rome with my two dear children, 
namely, that of having them receive their First Communion 
from the hands of the Holy Father. I confided my secret 
to no one save our Blessed Mother and good Saint Joseph. 
Mary and Josephine are their children rather than mine, and 
you shall hear how my hopes were realized. When I arrived 
in Rome, I asked whether the Holy Father was likely to say 
Mass in any of the churches where ladies might be per- 
mitted to receive Holy Communion. I was told that in a 
few days His Holiness would celebrate in the church of 
Saint Agnes. I was presented to Cardinal Reisach, to whom 
I made known my desire. He assured me there would be 
no difficulty in regard to its execution, and promised to 
arrange the matter for me. He took our names and told 
me what was to be done to prepare the children for the 
grand ceremony. 1 mentioned my fears in regard to 
Josephine's age, which, as you know, is only eight years. 
After examining her well, he relieved my anxiety on that 

207 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

point. I then went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, 
where I had already been received with much goodness by 
our dear Mothers. Madame de Fonsbelle offered to give my 
children a little retreat, for I was uneasy lest they should 
not be sufficiently prepared, and yet in my heart I felt that 
they would never be purer or better disposed. Their desire 
to be united to Our Lord was so ardent, I was, as it were, 
carried away almost against my will. You would not have 
blamed me if you had seen them. 

" They were so impressed with the solemnity of the 
act that their father was moved to tears. I myself prepared 
them for their general confession, and let me tell you, dear 
Mother, who love my children as I love them myself, the 
great consolation of a Christian mother: that of believing 
my daughters presented to Our Lord souls that had never 
been tarnished by a grave sin. The eve of the great day 
was so stormy that it was said the Holy Father could not 
go to St. Agnes' church. Our prayers were redoubled and 
fine weather was granted. When we arrived we found such 
a crowd, besides the hundred students of the Propaganda, 
that it seemed impossible for us to get near the altar. My 
children were dressed in their First Communion robes, 
which contrasted strikingly with the black dresses that 
etiquette required every one else to wear. Just when we 
thought it impossible to pierce through the crowd, Mon- 
seigneur Bedini spied us. His Eminence sent a cameriera to 
give us places close to the altar facing the Holy Father, the 
children in the center, Mr. F. and myself on either side. 
How can I describe to you, my dear Madame, the senti- 
ments that filled my soul, when I saw Our dear Lord car- 
ried by His Vicar upon earth, descending into the hearts 
of my dear children, and then coming to my husband and to 
me ! I no longer saw anything, nor was I conscious where 
I was! After Mass the Holy Father assisted at a second 
Mass, as did all present. When the Holy Sacrifice was 
ended, his Holiness and the Cardinals withdrew. We also 

208 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

prepared to leave, when Bishop Bacon, of Portland, came to 
tell us that the Pope asked to see the children. I gave them 
to His Lordship almost unwillingly. Taking a hand of 
each, he told us that we also were invited. 

" We were conducted to a room where the Holy Father 
was seated at table. On seeing u& enter, he exclaimed, ' Ah ! 
here comes the Bishop of Portland with his two American 
angels.' The sight of the venerable Pontiff made me melt 
into tears. I could see nothing for some moments, but when 
I was able to distinguish objects around me, what a sight 
met my eyes ! My two children were seated on either side 
of His Holiness, who waited upon them, making them eat 
cake, fruit and bonbons. I am far from thinking my chil- 
dren pretty, though a mother always finds beauty in her 
offspring, but I assure you that at that moment they ap- 
peared really lovely in their white dresses, so fresh and 
simple. They looked like the protecting angels of Pius IX. 
May they be so in reality and ward off from that blessed 
head all the evils which these unhappy days threaten! 
Those present were so impressed by the spectacle that they 
asked for a photographer to reproduce the scene. 

" My turn was to come. The Holy Father inquired, 
' Where is la Madre? ' I threw myself on my knees before 
him. He asked where I had been educated, as also my chil- 
dren. The name of the Sacred Heart caused him to smile, 
and then he spoke of the good done in your schools. He 
placed his hands upon the heads of my children, repeating, 
Oh ! the children and grandchildren of the Sacred Heart 
are true children of the Church.' I profited of this mo- 
ment to obtain the blessing of His Holiness on all who 
are dearest to me in this world, our venerated Mother 
General, all our Mothers of the Sacred Heart, and you 
especially, dear Madame. Mr. F. also prostrated himself 
at the feet of the Pope and received his share of encour- 
agement and compliments. Oh ! what a beautiful day ! 
Can I ever forget it ! In the afternoon we had an audi- 

14 209 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

ence with the Holy Father, who asked for the Americans. 

" Bishop Bacon presented their gifts by the hands of my 
two little angels, who stood on either side of his Lordship 
while he read the address. When they presented the offer- 
ings in the name of their countrymen, His Holiness replied 
in the most touching manner, saying that his late crosses 
had been mingled with so many consolations he could hard- 
ly say which of the two had been most numerous. Ad- 
dressing my dear children, His Holiness told them never to 
forget this day, to preserve the whiteness of their souls 
which had been washed in the blood of the Lamb, for, he 
added, ' You are the sheep whom I have fed with Bread 
from Heaven, and even with material bread.' 

" I am sure you are astonished, dear Madame, by all 
these graces granted to your poor Lizzie. I ask myself, 
what have I done for God, that he should thus favor me? 
I owe it all to the Sacred Heart, and to my good friend, 
St. Joseph, whom I love so much. Yesterday we gave a re- 
ception to Monseigneur Bedini and Cardinal Antonelli. The 
former is kindness itself. He presented us with a magnifi- 
cent rosary from the Holy Father, who has promised to 
give us a private audience on Monday next. In the after- 
noon I went with my children to the Sacred Heart. We 
knelt before the painting of Mater Admirabilis to thank our 
heavenly Mother for the graces of the day. There another 
family feast awaited us. Madame de Fonsbelle and the 
Mother Superior conducted us to the chapel, where every- 
thing was prepared for the renewal of the Baptismal Vows 
and the Consecration to the Blessed Virgin ; the little cere- 
mony closed with a canticle and the Magnificat. Thus, you 
see, dear Madame, it is the Sacred Heart which begins and 
ends for us all joys and all feasts." 

This interesting and consoling letter was so much appre- 
ciated by Mother Hardey, that she forwarded it to Mother 
Barat, who was equally pleased with its spirit of loyalty 
and affection for the Society and the Holy See. She ordered 

2IO 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

copies to be sent to all the convents, that the pupils might 
derive benefit from the example set before them of a model 
Christian mother and true child of the Sacred Heart. 

The year 1859 was marked by a consolation of another 
kind. Through the instrumentality of the Very Rev. J. J. 
Conroy, Vicar General of the Albany diocese, she obtained 
possession of a magnificent estate, the property of Mr. 
Joel Rathbone, overlooking the little village of Kenwood. 
The situation commands an extended view of the Hudson 
River, and of the hills and meadows lying along its banks 
on one side, while on the other the eye beholds the blue 
outline of the Heidelberg Mountains. On the estate itself 
a long picturesque drive, between hills crowned with ma- 
jestic trees, wound from the porter's lodge to the mansion, 
while thickly wooded hills, the gardens, orchards, meadows, 
fields and groves afforded that pleasing variety so desirable 
for students within a convent enclosure. The dwelling, 
which was pulled down later to make room for the grand 
conventual buildings, was unique in style. Antique carv- 
ings and stained glass windows lent to some of the apart- 
ments an aspect which was almost monastic. These were 
made to serve for chapel and parlors, while the bright 
sunlit rooms were converted into study and recreation 
halls. The religious were enraptured with the beauty of 
their surroundings, which formed a striking contrast with 
the modest little country house which they had been occu- 
pying on the Troy Road. The pupils were enthusiastic in 
their admiration of the house and grounds. Never were 
children more devoted to their Alma Mater than the happy 
band of Kenwood's first pupils, who made the woods and 
groves resound with their songs of joy, and in the evening 
twilight, from the beautiful terrace, the sweet strains of 
the " Ave Sanctissima " floated over the hills and mead- 
ows and down the beautiful river. 

Mother Hardey was justly proud of this new conquest 
of the Sacred Heart. She sent there those of her daughters 

211 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

whose health required rest or change of air, and, from the 
very beginning, she took special interest in the prosperity 
of Kenwood, which later, was to owe its great development 
to her. But her deepest solicitude was the advancement of 
her daughters in the spiritual life, and notwithstanding her 
multiplied labors, she found time to write letters of counsel 
and encouragement to them, such as the following: 

" MY DEAR CHILD: 

" Mr. Patrick is in the parlor waiting for letters and 
messages before leaving for Albany. I am very busy just 
now, but I could not let him leave without a line for my 
oldest, and, I wish I could say, my best daughter. But you 
will try to become the best, will you not, during my ab- 
sence, that God may bless me and my mission. First of 
all, I beg you to be faithful to your exercises of piety. Our 
holy Rule tells us that we should love meditation. Strive, 
therefore, with all your energy to become an interior soul. 
You have the necessary dispositions, and, believe me, your 
present difficulties come from neglecting to develop them. 
Promise me that you will go direct to Our Lord when you 
want to speak to me. I have given Him all my messages 
for you. If you have recourse to His Sacred Heart you 
will overcome your sadness, for this feeling comes from your 
ardent desire to be united to Him. No need of asking me 
to pray for you. I never fail to do so. Your happiness is 
as dear to me as my own." 

And in another letter to the same religious she writes: 
" Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. 
Yes, even in this world, for Our Lord dwells in hearts that 
are watching and praying. Our difficulties come from our 
too great eagerness for the things of this world, and our 
desire to see and hear all that is going on. Our divine 
Spouse is jealous of our affections, and He cannot tolerate 
in our hearts anything that does not belong to Him." 

It was thus that Mother Hardey sought to form souls to 

212 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

solid religious virtues without interfering with the action 
of divine grace. To one who had caused her great sorrow 
by a serious fault, for which she came to beg her pardon, 
she simply answered : " I knew that you had not the light 
to see your mistake," and not another word of reproach 
passed her lips. So much calmness and peace in her ex- 
terior deportment could only be the fruit of long and perse- 
vering struggle in a character like hers. When necessary 
she knew how to reprimand severely, but her voice was 
never raised above its natural tone, her countenance never 
altered, and never did an unmeasured word escape her lips. 
As one of her daughters said, " She concealed a hand of 
iron in a velvet glove, but her strength was so well tem- 
pered with meekness that we never experienced the salu- 
tary effects of the one without feeling the consolation of the 
other." 

In the beginning of the year 1859, a rumor was circu- 
lated that Mother Hardey was to be removed from Manhat- 
tanville. It probably originated from the fact that she had 
offered herself to the Mother General in answer to an ap- 
peal for subjects for the South American missions. Her 
confidential friend, Mother Trincano, became alarmed lest 
the offer might be accepted, and she communicated her ap- 
prehensions to Archbishop Hughes. His Grace entered 
fully into her sentiments, and, in order to avert such a loss 
to his diocese, he addressed the following lines to Mother 
Barat : 

" REVEREND AND DEAR MOTHER BARAT : 

" I heard yesterday, from Mother Trincano, and with 
very deep regret, that Madame Hardey is likely to be re- 
moved in the spring from Manhattanville. After eighteen 
years, since the first community of the Sacred Heart was 
established in my diocese, I can say, that I have never in- 
terfered with its internal regulations, and have been entirely 
content in knowing that the community has lived strictly 

213 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

according to its rules, which are always the best safeguard 
for fervent religious ladies. But, under the present circum- 
stances, I am compelled by zeal, not only for the interests 
of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart in this city, but through- 
out the United States, to present to you, with sincere re- 
spect, the reasons why, in my opinion, Mother Hardey 
should be left where she is: 

" i. The flourishing community of Manhattanville has 
grown up and persevered in strictest religious fervor under 
her wise, constant and judicious direction as Superior. 

" 2. From the same establishment many branches have 
been taken and planted in Albany, Rochester, Philadelphia, 
Detroit, Montreal and even Halifax. The Superiors of these 
houses have for the most part received their training at 
Manhattanville, and the regularity and order of that house 
they have everywhere endeavored to imitate. Madame Har- 
dey has been their model. In cases of difficulty they have had 
recourse to her wise and prudent counsel, nor do I think 
these institutions are yet sufficiently established, or their 
Superiors so confirmed in the whole knowledge and spirit 
of their state, especially as Superiors, as to be able to dis- 
pense with the great advantage of sometimes returning to 
the Mother House at Manhattanville, and at all times of 
consulting by letter the wise and excellent Mother Superior, 
under whom they have been trained, and in whom they have 
such unbounded and well merited confidence. 

" 3. The removal of Mother Hardey at this time would 
be a very great shock to the Catholics ; indeed, I might add 
also, to the Protestants of New York. The respect and 
veneration which both Catholics and Protestants entertain 
for Madame Hardey are such that they would regard it as 
a public calamity. I fear also that it would diminish to 
some extent the confidence of the public in the Society of 
the Sacred Heart. 

"4. I would call your attention to the convent itself. 
There everything is organized and going on in the simplic- 

214 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

ity of fervent religious life, just the same as it has done for 
the last eighteen years. But what I think deeply deserv- 
ing of your consideration is, that the number of young 
ladies who have been educated at the Sacred Heart is very 
great indeed. Many of them have returned home, sending 
back younger sisters, and, in not a few instances, their own 
daughters. The tie that binds all these, scattered as they 
are all over the country, to Manhattanville is Madame Har- 
dey. To them it will not be the same institution if she is 
removed. No doubt, another Superior, perhaps equally 
capable might be appointed, but she will be as a stranger. 
If Madame Hardey were removed by death it would not, in 
my opinion, injure the school, but to send her to some other 
place, where she cannot do more good, will be looked upon 
as if her Superiors did not value the friendship and patron- 
age of the Catholic community, or of the pupils that have 
been educated in the institution. 

" 5. The school is exceedingly flourishing. The number 
of boarders is at this moment, I believe, two hundred and 
six, of these about thirty-five are Protestants. Now, of the 
Protestants in the school last year, fifteen became Catho- 
lics and were baptized with the full consent of their parents. 
And why did they give their consent? Because of their 
confidence in Madame Hardey. These parents knew but 
little of the Catholic religion, but they all believed that 
whatever Madame Hardey would recommend for their chil- 
dren must be necessarily good. Let a new Superior be put 
in her place, and probably some of these would withdraw 
their children. Even Catholics would not feel the same 
security which they do now, for they have no anxiety as 
long as their daughters are under the protection and wise 
guidance of one who is so well known as the present Su- 
perior of Manhattanville convent. 

" Reverend dear Mother, in my position as Archbishop 
of New York, I have deemed it but discharging the duty 
of conscience both as regards my own flock and as regards 

215 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

your excellent community, to write to you as I have done. 
God forbid that either on this side of the ocean, or on the 
other, I should interfere or disturb the constitutions, rules 
and discipline of any religious society, and I pray you to 
understand that in case it should be necessary to remove 
Mother Hardey I shall regret it exceedingly for the reasons 
I have mentioned, but I shall submit to it without a mur- 
mur, as an evidence of the will of God in her regard. I 
beg of you, however, to reflect on what I have written, and 
I would beg further that if the rules require that Madame 
Hardey, after so long a service, be changed to another post, 
you would either by your own authority, or by authority 
obtained from the proper source, direct her, under dispen- 
sation, as an act of obedience, to remain where she is. The 
community of the Sacred Heart has grown most rapidly in 
the high estimation of the people of this country. But, after 
all, it is still young, and it would be well to let its roots sink 
deeper and become stronger in the American soil, before it 
shall be tried by such a test as the removal of Madame 
Hardey, at this moment, would expose it to. 
" I have the honor to remain, 

" Your obedient servant in Xt., 

"JOHN HUGHES, 
" Abp. of New York." 

We have been fortunately able to secure the following 
reply of Mother Barat, which is still preserved in the 
archives of the cathedral in New York : 

" MONSEIGNEUR: 

" I have received the letter which your Grace did me 
the honor of writing, and I thank you sincerely for the kind 
interest manifested towards our Society, and especially to- 
wards those of our establishments confided to your pastoral 
care. 

" It is impossible for me to understand how you could 

216 




Mother House at Paris 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

have been informed of a project which I have not enter- 
tained, and of which, consequently, I have not spoken to 
any one. Your Grace may have been told that Mother Har- 
dey would be called to France for our General Council, 
which probably will be assembled in the Spring of next 
year, for I cannot foresee being able to convoke it at an 
earlier period. This will not be the first time that she will 
repair hither, and her visit does not indicate that she will 
be changed from the post which she occupies at present. It 
is true, that she has greatly exceeded the time which our 
Constitutions have fixed for the exercise of authority in the 
same place, and it is possible that this fact has given rise to 
the conjecture in regard to her removal. But there is no 
rule without an exception, and it is understood that a 
thousand motives authorize this one, on account of the 
peculiar position in which our houses in America are placed. 
I know well the capabilities and devotedness, as well as 
the virtues of our good Mother Hardey. No one can appre- 
ciate them more than myself, and it is a consolation for me 
to see that your Grace entertains a similar opinion of her 
worth. I beg you therefore to believe that your letter and the 
reasons which are therein exposed, have been fully under- 
stood, and will be taken into consideration ; and that, more- 
over, if I were obliged to decide upon a measure of such 
importance I would be the first to inform your Grace of 
the reasons which demanded such a measure, as I am in 
duty bound. 

" Permit me, Monseigneur, in expressing my lively grat- 
itude for the powerful concurrence and protection which 
our Society has always found in you, to solicit the continua- 
tion of your favor, and deign to accept the homage of the 
profound veneration with which I am, 

" Your most humble servant in C. J. M., 

"M. L. S. BARAT, 

" Sup. Gen." 
217 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

This answer fully satisfied Archbishop Hughes that 
Madame Hardey would not be removed from Manhattan- 
ville, nor was there question of a change of residence for 
her during his lifetime. We shall see later on how this 
obedient religious took the initiative herself in reconciling 
the Archbishop's successor to her transfer to Kenwood. 

It is natural to suppose that Mother Trincano was held 
responsible for the alarm of the Archbishop, and we find 
the following allusion to the subject in one of her letters 
of that period to Mother Hardey : " I know, my dear 
Mother, that I deserve a good penance for my indiscretion, 
and I shall gladly perform it in the hope that it may render 
me more prudent in the future. Oh ! do not fear to trust 
your Therese, and I promise you will never have cause to 
doubt her again." In another letter she writes : " The 4th 
of April, the anniversary of your return from Havana, re- 
called many sweet remembrances. My Communion was 
offered for you, and I presented you anew to Him who gave 
you back to us with such loving tenderness, when He was 
about to take you to Himself. I am sure my sacrifice of 
being separated from you, must be agreeable to our dearest 
Lord, since he continues to prolong it. In moments of 
trial, it is a comfort to know that there is something I can 
give Him in return for the signal favor He has granted 
me. For the preservation of my dear Mother I would will- 
ingly accept any sacrifice, expose myself to any danger. 
I hear that I am blamed for my remark to the Archbishop, 
and I fear you will try to exonerate me. Do not seek to 
justify me in the eyes of our venerated Mother General. 
Such precious occasions of humiliation are rare, and I con- 
sider it a great grace to suffer something in so good a 
cause." 

We learn from Mother Trincano's letters, which Mother 
Hardey preserved until her death, how strong were the ties 
of friendship uniting these two great souls, and the mutual 

218 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

support resulting from so close a union in the Heart of 
Jesus. 

The pecuniary assistance which Mother Hardey gave 
during the erection of the new convent of " the Sault " is 
made evident in this correspondence. She was a visible 
Providence to Mother Trincano, who, burdened with debt, 
informs her dear Mother of her anxiety in one letter, and in 
the next gives expression to her gratitude in the following 
words : " It is with tears in my eyes that I write to you 
to-day. They are not tears of sadness, but of gratitude for 
your goodness towards this little family. A thousand dol- 
lars ! O my dear Mother, what a help this amount will be ! 
What shall we do to prove our appreciation of so much 
goodness, so often bestowed upon your Canadian family. I 
know not what to say; but we shall apply to the Heart of 
Jesus to pay our debt of gratitude, and from that Source 
of Grace floods of benedictions will be poured upon our be- 
loved Mother, and the many works of zeal in which she is 
engaged for the glory of the Divine Master." 

Mother Hardey's resources seemed to be multiplied in 
proportion to the generosity with which they were employed 
in relieving the wants of others. One of her daughters 
writes : " My uncle and guardian handed me a cheque on 
Christmas day, telling me to use it as I pleased, as it was 
his Christmas gift to me. Immediately on leaving the par- 
lor I went to Reverend Mother's room to offer my gift to 
her, for I knew how many things were needed at Manhat- 
tanville. She smiled and thanked me with her usual gra- 
ciousness, and I was happy to know that she was pleased. 
Next morning when I went to her room she said : ' I have 
just received a letter from Mother Eugenie telling me she 
has no money to pay her workmen. Will you not be glad 
to have me send her your cheque? ' When I looked a little 
disappointed, she added : ' You see, three of us will be made 
happy by your uncle's gift. You in having it to give to me, 

219 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

I in being able to give it to Mother Eugenie, and that dear 
Mother's Christmas joy in being able to pay her men.' " 

In a letter dated July 12, 1859, Mother Barat expressed 
the hope of seeing Mother Hardey in Paris at an early date, 
and of showing her the new mother-house, which had just 
been completed. Although she makes allusion only to the 
holding of the General Council, her words seem prophetic : 
" I hope, if nothing happens, that you will soon share with 
us this new home, which is yours also. I trust that before 
going to God, I shall have the happiness of seeing the head 
superiors of the Society, for now that we have a home of 
our own, it is a great joy for your Mother to welcome in 
turn those dear daughters who come to seek from us the 
counsel and aid of which they have need. I long to see you 
and dear Mother Jouve with us. Prepare in advance for 
this visit. We have a great deal to do and the work be- 
comes heavier every day." 

A little later Mother Barat writes again to thank her for 
a gift which is to this day a souvenir of the beloved donor : 
" I thank you, my dear daughter, for the beautiful and grace- 
ful Holy Water font, with which you have adorned our 
chapel. I hope you will soon have the consolation of visit- 
ing this Mother House, which is truly your home." 

Under date of May 28, 1860, Mother Barat writes again : 
" DEAR AND GOOD DAUGHTER : 

" I have not the heart to let the present occasion pass 
without sending you some lines for my own consolation, 
as also to thank you for your offerings. I cannot express 
how grateful I am, and I shall ask the Heart of Jesus to ap- 
ply to you the merit of the good works to which your gift 
will be destined. 

"When will it be given me to see you again? Alas! 
circumstances have retarded the holding of the General 
Council, but, while awaiting the desired epoch, draw nearer 
than ever to the Heart of our Good Master, for I see you 
have great need of His help, now especially when certain 

220 



MANHATTANVILLE PUPILS 

subjects give you so much anxiety. Alas! I acknowledge 
to you that this is also my cross of crosses ! None so pain- 
ful! Yet, we superiors must be resigned to bear it. We 
are born to live with creatures who are not angels, so we 
must be patient with them. 

" Having at present nothing worth offering you, I 
thought you might appreciate this chaplet from Jerusalem. 
The sister of two of our nuns gathered the grains herself 
in the Garden of Olives, where Jesus underwent His Agony. 
The beads have also touched the most noted sanctuaries of 
the Holy Land, and I enclose the list of Indulgences. I 
wish I could find out what would give you pleasure. 
You must let me know when we meet, a happiness which 
I hope from the goodness of the Divine Heart, in 1861." 



221 



CHAPTER XIX. 

MOTHER HARDEY'S VISIT TO PARIS ON HER RETURN SHE 
VISITS THE HOUSES OF THE VICARIATE FOUNDA- 
TION IN MONTREAL 1860-1861. 

In the Spring of 1860, Mother Trincano was deputed by 
Mother Hardey to make the regular visit of the convent in 
Halifax. Although the community were rejoiced to wel- 
come this good Mother, general disappointment was felt 
at not seeing Mother Hardey, especially as the rumor of 
her approaching removal had traveled thither, causing great 
alarm. Mother Peacock, the superior, wrote a letter full 
of regrets and anxious forebodings, to which Mother Har- 
dey sent the following reply : 

"Mv DEAR MOTHER: 

" I have detained Mother Thompson's letter much longer 
than I intended, but I could not make up my mind to let it 
go without scribbling a few lines to prove how untrue is 
your dream. There is no foundation for your fear of my 
removal, so far, I mean, as I can tell. My reason for send- 
ing good Mother Trincano was the danger of my leaving 
for France without knowing the needs of your house, as it 
was supposed the Council would take place this Spring. 
Now you have the explanation. 

" Your devoted bishop has probably given you the Man- 
hattanville news. We were truly happy to see him, and to 
hear from him that your family, and you, especially, are in 
good health, and that yours is ' the best community in the 
country.' I was obliged to stop writing. Rheumatism and 
the cold have tried my patience, and prevented me from 
using hand or arm, but this must be expected in old age. 
It is probable the Council will be convened this year, but 
not until the fall. This delay will doubtless enable me to 

222 



VISIT TO PARIS 

see you this Summer, if I am not compelled to change my 
plans; I mean, if I do not receive other orders. 

" Our Novitiate is daily increasing, two pupils entered 

on Ash Wednesday. I shall be happy to see Mary C , 

if she still perseveres in her good intention. Madame Phelan 
will make her profession on Easter Monday. 

" Good-night, dear Mother, pray for 

" Yours devotedly in C. J., 

A. HARDEY, R. S. C. J." 

In the month of June, Mother Jouve, the Vicar of Louis- 
iana, was called to New York on business, and while there 
she received a letter from Mother Barat, bidding her hasten 
to Paris. Mother Hardey's summons did not arrive, but 
the previous letters of Mother Barat lead her to believe 
that she was likewise expected, so with the advice of her 
counsellors she prepared at once for departure. In July 
the two superiors sailed, accompanied by the Countess of 
Villanova, a true benefactress of the convent in Havana. 
This estimable lady had lost her eyesight completely, and 
she was going to Spain for the purpose of ending her days 
in one of the convents of the Sacred Heart, a favor which she 
counted upon receiving through the influence of Mother 
Hardey with Mother Barat. The favor was graciously 
granted. 

Mothers Hardey and Jouve crossed the ocean with their 
hearts filled with the joyful anticipation of laying down their 
burden of care and responsibility at the feet of their " first 
Mother " and making known to her their success and fail- 
ures. Mother Hardey's happiness was for a moment clouded 
on her arrival at the mother-house to find that she had not 
been expected, but her embarrassment was of short dura- 
tion, as Mother Barat expressed her gratitude to the Heart 
of Jesus for having Himself arranged this long desired meet- 
ing. We learn from a letter of the secretary of the Mother 

223 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

General, received at Manhattanville after the travellers had 
sailed, the explanation of the matter : 

" Rev. Mother Jouve has written of her arrival in New 
York, and the details have greatly interested our Very Rev. 
Mother; another letter reached us yesterday, in which she 
says, she is waiting to learn from you the date of depar- 
ture. Our Mother fears there is some misunderstanding, for 
she would not be at ease to have both of you absent just 
now from her dear America." 

It was in the designs of God that Mother Hardey should 
not receive this letter, as He intended her to enjoy a brief 
respite from the cares and anxieties of her life of active zeal 
in the peaceful haven of the mother-house, where under 
the maternal guidance of the saintly Foundress she laid up 
a fresh stock of grace for the period of trial and suffering 
upon which she was soon to enter. By a happy dispensa- 
tion of Providence we have been able to learn much of 
Mother Hardey's interior life through the letters of her 
saintly director, Rev. Father Gresselin, S. J. They were 
written during the course of five or six years preceding the 
death of this good Father, and were saved from destruction 
by a fortunate circumstance. We quote the following extract 
from a letter written in reference to this visit to Paris: 
" MADAME : 

" Those enterprises which are destined to succeed al- 
ways begin with the Cross. St. Ignatius augurs no good 
from such as had a prosperous beginning. I have been told 
by Madame Boudreau that a letter has been received since 
your departure stating that you are not expected in Paris. 

" Well, if you have not been received with open arms 
so much the better! God will be glorified by your humilia- 
tion, and when you have acquired thereby your share of 
merit you will be able to obtain what you have gone to seek 
for the welfare of others. Make your Mothers in France 
realize the importance of your Society in America, and the 
vast field of usefulness awaiting it here, where, from many 

224 



VISIT TO PARIS 

points of view, civilization is more advanced than in Europe. 
I hope you will not be so unfortunate as to meet with those 
of my compatriots who think you have come from a coun- 
try of savages. 

" As your one desire is to procure the glory of the Sacred 
Hearts of Jesus and Mary you will surely experience the 
effects of their assistance. In silence and patience you 
must draw all the closer to God, because from Him alone 
will come the strength you need. Meditate for some time 
every day upon the destinies of your Society in this New 
World, and when you have understood the immense good 
it should accomplish you will see that such gain cannot be 
too dearly purchased. If your Mother General does not at 
first realize the importance of your mission, continue to 
make your representations, and, ere long, this admirable 
Mother will bless God for having given her in your person 
so powerful an aid in extending the reign of Jesus Christ. 

" I could not resist the desire of sending you a few words 
of encouragement, which I beg you to communicate to 
Mother Jouve, as they apply equally to her. All is going on 
well here. The English retreat is now being given. I shall 
commence the French retreat on the i8th of August, to end 
on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I beg your 
good prayers for those eight days." 

Mother Hardey's sojourn in Paris was restful to both 
mind and heart, and she returned to resume her burden 
somewhat strengthened in health, and greatly refreshed in 
spirit. One of her first acts of zeal on arriving in New York 
was to forward to Mother Goetz, the Superior of the Gen- 
eral Novitiate at Conflans, a sewing machine, the first of 
its kind introduced into a European convent of the Sacred 
Heart. She received in acknowledgment the following let- 
ter of thanks: 

" CONFLANS, November 2, 1860. 

" How can I express my thanks, clear Reverend Mother, 
for your great charity. The precious sewing machine ar- 
15 225 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

rived safely. Reverend Mother Henriette tried it at the 
mother-house and was enchanted. To-day it was installed 
in the linen room of Conflans, where it works marvelously, 
thanks to the good Sister you sent, who manages it so ad- 
mirably. Accept, dear Rev. Mother, a thousand thanks 
from myself and all the novices. This saving of time and 
labor will secure to us more leisure to pray to our dear 
Lord that He may bless you and the works in which you 
are engaged, and this debt of gratitude we shall discharge 
with all our hearts. 

" Your humble little sister in C. J., 

"JOSEPHINE GOETZ, R. S. C. J." 

As soon as the scholastic year was well started at Man- 
hattanville, Mother Hardey began the visitation of all the 
houses in her vicariate, starting new works of zeal, or 
giving fresh impetus to those already in operation. Once 
again at Manhattanville, she began an extension of the con- 
vent buildings, and devoted herself with increased vigor to 
the welfare of the school and the spiritual advancement of 
her daughters. In this last work she was greatly assisted 
by her holy and enlightened director, at that time confessor 
of the community. While suggesting precepts for the 
guidance of her religious, Father Gresselin sought to form 
in the superior, herself, a model, whose bearing might at 
every moment say : " Behold, I have given you an ex- 
ample ! " We read in one of his letters : 

" You have a great mission of charity to accomplish ; 
you must, therefore, become a living image of the meekness 
and suavity of the Heart of Jesus. Let the exercise of this 
virtue be a part of your cross. I mean that charity which 
consists in spending oneself and in being spent for the 
welfare of others. To make yourself 'all to all,' thereby to 
gain all to Jesus Christ is not according to the inclinations 
of nature." 

.These general counsels are mingled with special recom- 

226 



VISIT TO PARIS 

mendations for the exercise of charity. " I enjoin upon 
you," he writes, " not to forget your invalids, particularly 
on holidays, when the community and pupils are enjoying 
themselves. Speak to them on such occasions of the happi- 
ness awaiting them, of the vision of Jesus and Mary. Make 
them realize how precious are the closing days of life. Sug- 
gest to them heroic acts of charity. Dilate their hearts, 
encouraging them to gain higher degrees of merit by 
frequently renewing the sacrifice of their lives and by ador- 
ing the will of God, who is about to call them to Himself. 
They should each day unite themselves more intimately to 
Jesus and Mary, in order to love them more perfectly 
throughout all eternity. Oh ! how terrible an evil it is to 
lose one degree of that love." 

We find an indication in these letters that Mother Har- 
dey sometimes reproached herself for the faults of others. 
Hence in answer to one of these touching evidences of 
humility, her director says : " Do not attribute to yourself 
the imperfections which may still be found in some of your 
daughters. You condemn yourself too much, though it is 
possible if you had possessed a more effusive spirit of char- 
ity some faults might have been prevented. The practice 
of that charity is difficult, it is true, but if it were not diffi- 
cult, where would be the Cross?" 

The wise director sometimes saw fit to mingle humilia- 
tions with his strengthening counsels. " I find," he writes, 
" it natural for you to take a haughty air, of which you are 
wholly unconscious. You have a certain coldness of manner 
which keeps strangers at a distance. This you have partly 
corrected, but it is yet noticeable, and on certain occasions 
you would have been able to do more good if you had been 
more condescending. 

" We must often take the initiative in seeking to gain 
hearts, and place ourselves on their level. However, a cer- 
tain reserve is sometimes advantageous, for it inspires a 
salutary respect. The other extreme of being too affable 

227 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

and familiar would perhaps be even more injurious. I 
would like you to show the charity of Jesus, while preserv- 
ing the nobility of His intercourse with others." 

Writing at the period when Mother Hardey had com- 
pleted the fiftieth year of her age, Father Gresselin places 
before her the Cross, and the burning words of the great 
Apostle of the Gentiles. " The moment has come for you 
to enter into the third and last period of your life," he says. 
" The period not so much of progress as of perfection. You 
must die to all that you may live only in Jesus Christ. Re- 
flect seriously upon these words of St. Paul : ' I die daily ! ' 
Try to fathom their meaning, for they signify death to all 
desires, all fears, all affections merely natural. There is 
no time for you to lose. Perhaps the number of your days 
is limited. Make then to your spouse, Jesus, the sacrifice 
of all to which your heart clings life, your community, 
your Order! He is the Father of your family, the Protec- 
tor of your Society; do not hesitate to make to Him the 
sacrifice He demands of you, and in return He will give you 
what He holds most precious, His Cross and His Blessed 
Mother." 

These words seem to have been a preparation for the 
sacrifice which Mother Hardey was one day to make of her 
Vicariate and of her native land. We find in another letter 
words of encouragement : " The past is irreparable only 
after death. As long as we live on earth the grace of God 
is ours without measure, enabling us to repair lost oppor- 
tunities, and to obtain anew the merits which we had for- 
feited by failing to co-operate with the inspirations of grace. 
You are a Mother in your community, have then all the 
solicitude and tenderness of a mother who divines when 
there is a slight illness, or heaviness of heart in her child. 
You have remarkable penetration on that score. Remem- 
ber the resolution you took when that Spanish novice had 
not the courage to ask for what she needed. Her impru- 
dence cost her her life, or, at least, shortened her days. 

228 



VISIT TO PARIS 

" Perhaps it was better for her to fly then to the bosom 
of God, but this does not regard us. It is our duty to 
delay such departures as much as possible. Be particularly 
solicitous for those who have lately come from the world. 
Protect especially those who do not shine as much as the 
others. Sometimes these quiet persons have their hearts 
all the more full, because they speak less. Beware of for- 
getting that the Heart of Jesus preserved you in Cuba, in 
order that you might make Him known and loved more than 
you had ever done before. 

" If there had been negligence in the past, He gives 
you powerful means for reaching this end. He has given 
you remarkable influence over the religious, of whom you 
are the Superior and the Mother. They all respect and love 
you, as much as it is possible for them to love and reverence 
a human being. He confides to you thousands of children 
to fashion for Him according to His designs over them. 
Any negligence, or indifference that might be noticeable in 
you would produce great voids in their lives. Seek the 
most striking motives with which to inflame all hearts with 
love for the Heart of Jesus. See how His passion is an- 
nulled, how His blood is trampled under foot ! Say to your 
dear religious, the spouses so tenderly loved by Jesus, that 
they have been chosen by Him in order to console and love 
Him superabundantly in order to share His sorrows at the 
sight of the loss of souls, and that, if they do not feel this, 
they are greatly to be pitied. Tell them to meditate often 
upon the admirable words of their office and the Mass 
of the Sacred Heart, these especially : ' My Heart hath 
suffered reproach and abandonment, and I looked for some 
one to console me and I found none.' Their life should be a 
continual holocaust of love offered to the Divine Heart of 
Jesus. There is no place anywhere for mediocrity in the 
Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus ! " 

In addition to the foregoing instructive exhortations 
our readers will pardon us, we hope, for quoting one 

229 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

more extract from these letters before resuming the events 
which mark the opening of this last period of Mother Har- 
tley's life, a period of just twenty-five years of labor and 
prayer and suffering. 

In the following lines her director invites his willing 
disciple to enter more fully into a life of intimate union 
with God : "There is a point upon which I have not touched 
sufficiently, it is the direct communication with God, which 
must be the mainspring of all your actions. One cannot be 
always occupied with the neighbor, nor in thinking of 
others, but one may become exclusively absorbed in God. 
When we look at an object we see more than the object 
itself. Our sight embraces a large circle around the prin- 
cipal object, but our attention is fixed upon the central point. 
Thus should we contemplate God, considering ourselves in 
that general way which suffices for us to know what passes 
within us. You give too much time to self-introspection. 
You are too easily affected by the many casual accidents 
of life. Nature is stronger within you than you believe, 
otherwise you would be more independent of things that 
are annoying and disagreeable. I know that you aspire 
to freedom of spirit and death to nature that you may live 
wholly to God ; and you have made progress in this state, 
but you are not yet perfectly established therein, and Jesus 
Christ loves you too much to be satisfied with half measures, 
weak efforts and partial success." 

Then, in a tone akin to prophecy, the writer speaks of 
approaching trials, when he says: "Thick darkness will en- 
velop your soul, and God will entirely withdraw His sensi- 
ble presence, and the enemy will cause tempests to rise up 
around you. Your virtue needs such trials, to grow accord- 
ing to the will of your Divine Spouse. This is the third 
period of which I spoke to you in a former letter, the period 
of perfection. You must enter therein with all the ardor of 
which you are capable, aided by divine grace. You must 
begin to long for Jesus and His Mother Mary, and His 

230 



VISIT TO PARIS 

Cross, with such strength of will and glowing fervor that 
the voids of your past life may be completely filled." 

These vigorous counsels served to prepare Mother Har- 
dey for a period of great physical suffering and subsequent 
mental trials. Her soul had to pass through the crucible 
to which Father Gresselin referred, and we find her writing 
to Mother Barat of the interior suffering which she endured : 

" It is a sweet consolation to me to be your daughter, 
although so unworthy, but your charity reassures me in the 
midst of my interior dryness and torpor of soul. Oh! my 
venerated Mother, how you would pity me if you knew 
how much I suffer, and how hard it is for me to bear with 
myself and my miseries. If I could only love Our Lord 
with tenderness ! But all I can do is to throw myself upon 
His Mercy, and try to resign myself to my sad condition, 
trusting that with His grace I will overcome the obstacles 
to my union with Him." 

Early in 1861 she was attacked by an illness, the symp- 
toms of which were truly alarming, and for several weeks 
but faint hopes were entertained of her recovery. Though 
she requested that the other convents should not be informed 
of her condition the sorrowful news rapidly spread through- 
out the Vicariate filling all hearts with anguish, and giving 
rise to a veritable crusade of prayer and penitential works 
in behalf of the beloved invalid. Mother Trincano ex- 
presses her grief in these touching lines: "Your tender 
charity, dear Reverend Mother, has led you to hide from us 
the misfortune with which we were threatened, but I have 
just heard from one of our Sisters of your dangerous illness. 
We are deeply grieved to learn of your sufferings and the 
anxiety of our Mothers and Sisters of Manhattanville. I 
try to be hopeful, but at your age, dear Mother, such a sick- 
ness becomes more serious, and the results may be very 
grave if you do not take the necessary precautions. I am 
no longer in the position which gave me the right to watch 
over your health, but my filial and unchanging affection 

231 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

certainly gives me the privilege of imploring you, my be- 
loved Mother, to have pity on your children and spare your- 
self for their sake. It is needless to say that I am with 
you in spirit, that the thought of you never for a moment 
leaves me. How painful this separation is, and how much 
I feel the distance from you ! May my entire submission 
to the will of God hasten your cure, and bring you before 
long to your Canadian family, whose prayers, penances and 
other good works are daily offered for the preservation of 
life far dearer to us than our own ! " 

Mother Hardey's holy director writes to her in a very 
different strain ; evidently he felt that the hand of God had 
been laid heavily upon His faithful spouse and she was to 
remain humbled and resigned under its blessed weight: 

" We heard from a letter of Madame Jones, that you 
have been seriously ill. This should be taken as a new sign 
of God's Providence. I told you that you must become a 
sanctuary of charity, where the odor of sacrifice continually 
ascends before the throne of God. Our days are short and 
numbered. Let us not lose the least portion of them. Of 
himself, man cannot love God enough. He must despoil 
himself of himself, change himself into Jesus Christ, real- 
izing more and more that astonishing word of St. Paul, ' I 
live now, not I, but Jesus Christ lives in me ! ' You must 
transform yourself into Jesus Christ whom you receive so 
often. Let Him become the soul of your soul, putting aside 
your own individuality, and letting Jesus Christ alone be 
henceforth your being. This is the way to fill up the voids 
of your life, and if you do this, death may come when it 
pleases." 

Fortunately for her daughters and the souls whom she 
was to help on in the way of perfection and salvation, death 
did not come then to Mother Hardey. Fervent prayers and 
skillful nursing obtained in time the result so ardently de- 
sired. The invalid rallied, but her convalescence was pro- 
tracted and variable. Change of scene, entire rest and free- 

232 



VISIT TO PARIS 

dom from all anxiety were prescribed as essentials to com- 
plete recovery. Obedient as ever to the orders of her phys- 
ician, Mother Hardey consented to go for a brief change to 
Kenwood. Her respite from the duties of her office was, 
however, of short duration. Having gained sufficient 
strength for a longer journey, she went to London, Ontario, 
in compliance with the request of Mother Barat, as there 
was question of suppressing the convent there, for Mgr. 
Pinsonnault had transferred the seat of his bishopric to 
Sandwich, and many Catholics left the city and withdrew 
their daughters from the Convent of the Sacred Heart. 
After investigating the state of affairs, Mother Hardey was 
convinced that the good seed already sown awaited only the 
coming of a new Spring to produce an abundant harvest; 
and so she begged for further delay. Some months later, 
through the intervention of Cardinal Bofondi, the Protec- 
tor of the Society, the question of suppression was dropped. 

From London Mother Hardey went to Montreal, not 
to seek health, but to continue her mission of zeal in behalf 
of the Society and of souls. For several years Bishop Bourget 
had renewed his request to have a day school established in 
the city, urging that it would prove a more convenient cen- 
tre than the Convent of the Sault for the meetings of the 
Children of Mary and the extension of their admirable works 
of charity. The Mother General accordingly appointed 
Mother Hardey to act in her name and decide upon the 
question, as we learn from a letter dated April 28, 1861 : 

" I hardly know what answer to give regarding the 
offer made you by Monseigneur Bourget. If the Sault were 
out of debt I should not hesitate, provided you had subjects 
for the foundation. The good which our education accom- 
plishes in the boarding schools is in reality only begun, for 
it does not enable our pupils to resist the enticements of a 
worldly life, when they are surrounded by families infatu- 
ated with it. It is at this particular time that young per- 
sons, whether single or married, have need of the help of 

233 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

their religious teachers, and the pious congregations, which 
can be directed only in city houses, afford them this oppor- 
tunity. Notwithstanding the truth of these considerations, 
I dare not counsel you to undertake this enterprise, ham- 
pered as you are by debts and threatened by civil war. I 
trust, however, to your judgment and prudence to do what 
is for the best." 

After conferring with Bishop Bourget, Mother Hardey 
promised to provide at once for the new foundation, and she 
commissioned Mother Trincano to select a suitable location. 
The events which follow point to a confirmation of these 
words of Father Gresselin : " You are destined to promote 
the glory of the Heart of Jesus rather by suffering and the 
Cross than by those exterior works which the world may 
admire without knowing the secret of their success." 
Mother Hardey had indeed entered upon the third period 
of her life, the period of trial and consequent perfection. 
Soon after her return to Manhattanville, a workman, em- 
ployed on the new building, fell from a high scaffolding, 
and lived only long enough to receive the last rites of the 
Church. His wife and little children were crushed with 
grief, as the poor man died without being able to address 
to them one consoling word. Mother Hardey felt keenly 
this affliction, and provided for the destitute family until 
the eldest son was able to make a livelihood for his mother 
and two little sisters. Shortly after this accident two men 
were killed at the blasting of the rocks near the entrance 
to the convent grounds. Scarcely had she recovered from 
this shock, when she sustained another in the death of one 

of her pupils. Little Jessie R was as remarkable for 

her intelligence and precocious judgment as for the expres- 
sion of innocence which lighted up her beautiful features. 
Though her mother was a fervent Catholic, her father was 
still a Protestant. The diplomatic circles in Washington 
often met at his house, and during their discussions of the 
burning questions of the day Jessie frequently glided in 

234 



VISIT TO PARIS 

among them, stood beside her father, and manifested a 
lively interest in the conversation of the guests. She was 
not obtrusive, but, occasionally, she rebuked with an artless 
grace those who trespassed on the boundaries of charity 
or truth. The friends of the family gave her the title of 
the " Little Solomon." 

At school she won the esteem of her companions and 
edified them by an earnest piety, especially during the pu- 
pils' retreat, which was her final preparation for death. On 
the third day of the exercises she fell ill ; the following day 
the physician declared her case hopeless. When told she 
was to receive the last Sacraments the dear child said that 
her confession during the retreat had been made as a prepa- 
ration for death, and so she was not afraid to die. The smile 
that lit up her countenance seemed to give assurance that 
her soul hovered joyously on the confines of a better world. 
The parents had been immediately summoned, but just as 
they crossed the threshold of the convent their angel ex- 
pired in the arms of Mother Hardey. With genuine deli- 
cacy, even while broken-hearted over their loss, the be- 
reaved parents expressed their deep regret that the shadow 
of their cross had fallen upon the heart of the devoted 
Mother who had cared so tenderly for their child. Soon 
after they gave fresh proof of their gratitude by sending 
another daughter to be educated at Manhattanville. 

Other trials soon followed. One night Mother Hardey 
was aroused from sleep bj the cry, " Mother, the house is 
on fire ! " Without taking time to dress, she hurried from 
her room filled with anxiety for the safety of the pupils. 
To her great relief she saw that the fire was not in the 
house, but in the laundry, which was separated from the 
main building. She gave orders that the children should 
not be disturbed, and that the religious should observe pro- 
found silence. The firemen soon reached the spot, and aid- 
ed by the villagers who had hastened to the rescue worked 
hard to keep the flames from reaching the convent. The 

235 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

community and the novices were united in fervent prayer 
on the enclosed galleries opposite the burning building, and 
a deathlike silence reigned everywhere. It was not long 
before the firemen conquered the flames. With character- 
istic thoughtfulness Mother Hardey had hot drinks pre- 
pared for the men as the night was cold. This act of kind- 
ness touched them deeply, and before leaving they asked 
to express their gratitude to the good Mother Superior, say- 
ing they would ever be ready to risk even life to save the 
convent. 

This accident was attended with distressing conse- 
quences to Mother Hardey, who took cold that night and 
again became dangerously ill. She once more rallied, but 
her health was never completely restored. It was in vain 
she sought to withhold this news from her beloved Superior 
General. The tidings of her illness reached France, and 
Mother Barat hastened to express her deep anxiety. She 
writes : " Since receiving the last mail from New York, my 
daughter, I have been most uneasy in regard to your health. 
The details I have received have greatly afflicted me, and 
I am now watching for each mail, hoping it may bring 
better news. I trust some one will soon relieve my anxiety 
which continues day and night. If you, dear Mother, could 
add a few lines with your own hand, how happy I should 
be ! This uneasiness renders many other trials sent us by 
Divine Providence doubly hard to bear. . . . No sor- 
row can weigh so heavily upon me as your illness, hence 
I beg you will keep me informed." 

Mother Barat had then heard the worst features of the 
illness of her much loved daughter. Paralysis of the right 
hand was henceforth to incapacitate Mother Hardey for the 
accomplishment of a duty which she had always held sacred, 
that of carrying on, unaided, her large epistolary corre- 
spondence. For the future the task was to be performed by 
a secretary. Her last effort found expression in a few lines 
written with great difficulty to Mother Barat in 1862. Only 

236 



VISIT TO PARIS 

those who knew Mother Hardey intimately could realize the 
suffering that this infliction entailed. To be forced to ex- 
press her secret thoughts, and make known her hidden 
plans, through the medium of another's pen was a continual 
sacrifice, yet no one ever heard a regret, much less a mur- 
mur, escape her lips. The privation was the will of God, 
consequently her will also. For twenty-five years she bore 
this cross so patiently, we might almost say, so naturally, 
that she seemed to forget she had ever been able to write. 
It was her daughters who felt most keenly the privation, 
yet the misfortune proved to be a blessing in disguise. The 
physicians attested that the paralysis which had been grad- 
ually making progress, in forcing Mother Hardey to lay 
aside her pen helped to prolong her life, as the labor in- 
volved in her extensive correspondence would certainly 
have shortened her days. They had even forbidden her, 
several months before the fatal stroke, to write beyond 
twenty minutes at a time, and she, accepting the order in 
a spirit of obedience, had charged one of the religious to 
warn her when the prescribed interval had expired. Re- 
laxation from one duty afforded her wider scope for the 
discharge of others. She now devoted herself in fuller meas- 
ure to personal intercourse with her daughters, and to the 
general direction of the communities under her charge. 



237 



CHAPTER XX. 

CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES FOUNDATION OF 

SANCTO SPIRITU LETTERS OF REVEREND FATHER 

GRESSELIN, S. J., HER DIRECTOR 1861-1864. 

While some of the events recorded in the last chapter 
were transpiring, the United States entered upon one of 
the most critical periods of its history, namely, the secession 
of the Southern States, and the consequent struggle for the 
abolition of slavery, and the maintenance of the Union. 
The fall of Fort Sumter gave the signal for war, and within 
a few months a million soldiers had entered the field to 
wage a terrible conflict. In the peaceful seclusion of the 
cloister, as elsewhere, hearts throbbed with anguish for 
the fate of loved ones exposed to the dangers of the battle- 
field. Grave cares and bitter sorrows were thus added to 
the heavy responsibilities which Mother Hardey had to 
bear. Her own relations and early friends were in the 
South, her mission, devoted friends, and the religious com- 
munities subject to her were in the North. Conflicting in- 
terests and affections found place in her heart, but her out- 
ward calmness veiled from her daughters the inward suffer- 
ing she endured. Now, more than ever, she forgot her own 
grief to sustain the courage of those entrusted to her care. 

" I well remember," writes one of her religious, " the 
gloom that filled our hearts when the news reached us of 
the battle of Bull Run, and the overwhelming defeat of 
the Northern Army. We were at recreation, and as the 
account was read aloud the horrors of civil war, the wreck 
of the Union, visions of bloodshed and misery, rose so 
vividly before me that my brain seemed on fire, and my 
whole being was agitated with fear. Instinctively I left my 
place and seated myself on a low stool near Reverend 

238 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

Mother. I felt that by her side I should grow calm, nor 
was I mistaken. She read my thoughts, and quickly turn- 
ing the conversation, lifted up our hearts from the sad fore- 
bodings that oppressed them, to a childlike confidence in 
God." 

It required all Mother Hardey's energy, tact and pru- 
dence to maintain the Manhattanville school during the 
war. Like other prominent boarding schools of New York, 
it depended largely for its patronage upon the South. While 
the loss of their pupils ruined many other establishments, 
the convents of the Sacred Heart not only continued to 
flourish, but were enabled, by Mother Hardey's wise man- 
agement and great charity, to retain among the scholars 
the children of many Southern families impoverished by the 
ravages of war. The following lines from one who was a 
recipient of that bounty echo the sentiments of many an- 
other pupil of Manhattanville, similarly favored : 

" I am one of dear Mother Hardey's children of Man- 
hattanville. Received during the war as a gratis pupil, a 
little Rebel refugee, never shall I forget her delicate gen- 
erosity, and to-day, as a professed religious, one of my 
life's motives is to repay our dear Society for what it gave 
me through her. I was made to feel my position only by 
marks of particular kindness, a deeper interest, and more 
maternal dealings towards me. I was received a Child of 
Mary, after months of waiting and struggle, and on the day 
of my admission she sent me the coveted medal, with a 
little note of congratulation and her blessing. When cir- 
cumstances so shaped themselves that I was obliged to 
enter the Novitiate of another Province, rather than that 
of Kenwood, she again showed her exquisite delicacy of 
character. With her sweet words of approbation and en- 
couragement she removed my embarrassment, assuring 
me that she cordially ratified my decision. Though this is 
all personal, I feel that it would be unfilial not to drop my 
flower of gratitude on a tomb so loved." 

239 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

There are so many tributes to Mother Hardey's gen- 
erosity during this sad period that we are obliged to omit 
several. The following appears in the pages of " A Story 
of Courage," a history of the Visitation Convent at George- 
town, D. C. : " Rumors of possible fighting at Washington, 
when the civil war broke out, led to the general belief in 
some quarters that the community would have to disperse 
and look for shelter elsewhere. Thereupon Mother Har- 
dey, Superior of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, imme- 
diately planned that they should come to her at Manhattan- 
ville, and prepared for them all the rooms she had at her 
disposal. That these reports of dispersion were unfounded 
does not detract from the ready and admirable assistance 
offered by Madame Hardey, whose noble character made 
her beloved, far and wide. The Visitation Sisters of George- 
town wish her kindness and their keen appreciation of it to 
be recorded here in their annals." 

While watching zealously over the interests of her own 
family in the North, Mother Hardey was not less solicitious 
for those convents which were exposed to the chances of 
war. She obtained for them the protection of some of the 
Northern generals, whose daughters were pupils of Man- 
hattanville, and, as the struggle was prolonged, and devas- 
tation followed the tramp of the armies over the State of 
Louisiana her sympathy became more active. 

Mother Barat, alarmed for the fate of her families in the 
West, cut off as they were from communication with their 
Vicar, Mother Jouve, in Louisiana, and not appreciating the 
agitated condition of the country, requested Mother Har- 
dey to visit the Missouri convents and provide for their 
necessities. The Secretary of Mother Barat wrote : " Our 
Very Reverend Mother desires to know from you the state 
of affairs, and she hopes you will be able to give the neces- 
sary help to the family of St. Louis, now so sorely tried. 
Mother du Rousier is anxiously awaiting the help you have 
offered Chile, and of which she has the utmost need. You 

240 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

will be doing a work of charity by sending her assistance, 
but, at the same time, can you not do something for the 
house in St. Louis?" It was in vain that Mother Hardey 
was urged not to attempt the journey to St. Louis; her 
desire to fulfill the wishes of her superior and help those 
in need of her services, triumphed over the dictates of 
prudence. She set out in the middle of August, 1862, and, 
after encountering many dangers and delays, reached St. 
Louis in September. There, as elsewhere, her presence was 
a source of comfort and consolation, as many letters testify. 

The Secretary of Mother Barat wrote : " Our Mother 
was happy to know that you were able to make the journey 
to St. Louis. She thinks it advisable that the Western 
houses should correspond with you, while they are unable 
to communicate with Mother Jouve. You must, therefore, 
direct the changes that may become necessary, or useful. 
Your recent letter has relieved our Mother of a great anx- 
iety, since it assures her that the business difficulties of the 
Convent of St. Joseph have been satisfactorily settled. She 
begs me to tell you of her heartfelt gratitude for your good- 
ness to her Western families. They have expressed their 
appreciation of your visit, and Madame Galwey was espe- 
cially grateful and delighted." 

This letter was followed by one from Mother Barat: 
" How much I suffered, dear daughter, on learning of the 
feeble state of your health. Our Lord knows well that it 
has been shattered by the labors undergone for the wel- 
fare of His little Society. He will not forget your self- 
sacrifice, nor will your Mother be unmindful of your serv- 
ices. The news you have given has reassured us in regard 
to the convents in the West, but we have no tidings of our 
families in Louisiana. Naught remains for us but to pray 
and hope that Jesus will guard and protect them." These 
prayers were not offered in vain. A letter from Mother 
Jouve gives us an insight into the condition of affairs. 

" It would require the voice of a Jeremias," she writes, 

16 241 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

"to depict the desolation of this country, hitherto so rich 
and prosperous. The loss of slaves, cattle and crops, added 
to fire and pillage, have reduced the most opulent families 
to absolute want. Thanks to the protection of the generals 
of both armies, or rather of the Heart of Jesus, our lands 
have been respected, and guards were appointed by the 
officers to protect us against the pillagers who infested the 
neighborhood. Three armies have passed over this part of 
the country within a year and the most complete devasta- 
tion is the result. During the vacation of 1862, our pupils 
remained with us, as their parents considered the convent 
the safest place for them. Foreseeing the future awaiting 
these dear children we determined to teach them to do with- 
out the service of slaves. We divided them into bands and 
taught them all kinds of manual labor. Some of them even 
learned to milk the cows, and to do all the dairy work. 
Their earnestness in this novel education equalled the cour- 
age and energy which their mothers manifested at home in 
the most grievous reverses of fortune." 

Several of the Manhattanville community had near rela- 
tives in the army. How maternal was Mother Hardey's 
sympathy when the papers announced a battle and recorded 
among the killed or wounded those near and dear to her 
daughters. She caused Masses and general suffrages to be 
offered for the departed, and assisted the bereaved families 
with her alms whenever help was needed. She also took a 
lively interest in the spiritual welfare of the soldiers. " How 
often," writes a sister, " I helped Reverend Mother to pack 
boxes of useful articles for the seat of war. Quantities of 
lint, rolls of linen, boxes of ointment and bottles of medi- 
cine. Everything that her charity could suggest was 
brought into requisition. A supply of altar bread and Mass 
wine was always provided for the chaplains." The following 
extract is taken from a letter of Reverend Father Nash, S. 
J. : " Madame Hardey sent to me for distribution among 
the troops forming the Army of the Gulf (Nineteenth Army 

243 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

Corps), of which I was chaplain, a large supply of devo- 
tional articles, such as rosary beads, medals, prayer books, 
and scapulars. In the name and by the request of the 
soldiers, who appreciated the thoughtful remembrance of 
their spiritual wants, I wrote to the Reverend Mother some 
letters from the seat of war. She took a special interest in 
our little drummer boys, to whom she sent particular marks 
of favor. The little fellows, with noble pride, exhibited 
through the camp these presents which they received, as 
they informed us from ' the Mother of all Nuns.' One of her 
little proteges died, whilst regretting that he was not spared 
to go home and give ' the Mother of all Nuns ' the pleasure 
of hearing how many beats he could play on his drum." 

During this period of widespread suffering and trials, 
Mother Hardey had the sorrow of losing some of her most 
promising religious, whom death snatched from their ac- 
tive labors in the school, but a loving Providence was rapid- 
ly rilling their places with new candidates. Within the 
space of four years fifty pupils from the schools in the Vicar- 
iate entered the Novitiate, and with two exceptions all per- 
severed. She was singularly blessed in securing for her 
religious and pupils the ministry of such Jesuits as Fathers 
Gresselin, Doucet, Tissot, Beaudevin and others equally 
zealous and spiritual. We get some idea from Father Gres- 
selin's letters of the fervor and peace which reigned at Man- 
hattanville, in marked contrast with the rancor and bitter- 
ness which raged throughout the country during the Civil 
War. On account of failing health he had gone to Kingston, 
Jamaica, whence he wrote to Mother Hardey on January 
i, 1863: 

" MADAME: 

" I wish you in particular, and all your community, a 
Holy and Happy New Year. I know of no place where a 
soul can enjoy greater peace and glorify God more abund- 
antly than at Manhattanville. This house remains in my 

243 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

memory as something heavenly, an edifice which Our Lord 
and his Blessed Mother and St. Joseph have built with 
their own hands, in order to dwell there as at Nazareth, and 
to attract there souls that will be devoted to them. In that 
favored spot, there should be no limit to generosity. The 
true and practical knowledge of Christian piety consists in 
recognizing that we are only poverty and nothingness, and 
not to be discouraged because we find ourselves full of de- 
fects and miseries, notwithstanding our obligation of tending 
to perfection. Tell your daughters to be simple with God, 
who knows all our weaknesses and yet wishes us to call 
Him ' Our Father/ Let them bear in mind this truth, that 
since Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, a single Mass 
heard, a single Communion received, will procure more 
glory to God than all our sins put together could deprive 
Him of. They must desire perfection in order to please 
God, not for the sake of pleasing themselves. Banish from 
your home all low spirits, all mean-spiritedness. Inflame 
hearts with an enthusiasm for their vocation. Dilate the 
hearts of your daughters, pour joy into them, otherwise 
you are not a good superior; but, thank God, I know the 
contrary ! Love your children as the pearls of Jesus, as the 
roses and lilies of the garden of Mary. What an angelic 
house you have to govern! It is the most beautiful image 
of heaven we can see on earth ! " 

In the beginning of the year 1863, thanks to the repu- 
tation which the convent in Havana had acquired, a new 
field of labor was offered to Mother Hardey's zeal in the 
city of Sancto Spiritu, Cuba. The Board of Directors of the 
St. Vincent de Paul Society invited the Religious of the 
Sacred Heart to take charge of the education of thirty or- 
phan girls, for whose maintenance the association would pro- 
vide a house and $30,000, giving the religious the privilege 
of establishing a boarding school and carrying on all the 
works of their Institute. Spiritual aid would not be want- 
ing, as the Jesuit Fathers were already settled there. 

244 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

Mother Barat accepted these conditions and in Feb- 
ruary, 1863, Mother Hardey sailed for Cuba. The voyage 
was rough and stormy, but it bore no comparison to the 
fatiguing journey from Havana to Sancto Spiritu. As the 
railroad had not yet been completed, the first day's journey 
was made in a small boat, exposed to the rays of a tropical 
sun. The night was passed in a miserable cabin, without 
sleep or rest, and the next day was spent in driving through 
wild woods in a jolting wagon, with noisy half-clad negroes 
leading the horses. The little band of foundresses met 
with a cordial welcome on their arrival. Mrs. Natividad 
Yznaga, wife of General Acosta, gave one of her finest resi- 
dences in the principal street of the city for the use of the 
religious and the best families considered it a duty to offer 
their services and gifts. The furniture, pianos, harmonium 
for the chapel, were all donated by devoted friends and 
patrons. The boarding school was opened with pupils from 
Sancto Spiritu, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and other neighboring 
cities. As usual, all were won by Mother Hardey's at- 
tractive manner. Even the negro servants were touched 
by her kindness, and one poor fellow, especially, followed 
her around, watching her every movement. When some 
one complained of the annoyance, she quietly answered, " If 
it gives him pleasure, why deprive him of it? " 

It was while occupied with this foundation that she re- 
ceived news of the death of her venerable father, which 
occurred on December 29, 1862. Owing to the difficulty of 
communication between the North and the South, the sor- 
rowful tidings were first received in Canada and transmitted 
by Mother Trincano in a letter dated March 27, 1863 : 

" MY DEAR MOTHER : 

" We have heard from Rev. Father Sellier of the death 
of your beloved father. In this hour of suffering my heart 
shares your grief as well as your consolation in learning of 
the last moments of so precious and cherished a life. It 

245 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

appears that the Reverend Fathers Ardus and O'Reilly as- 
sisted him during his last illness and received his last sigh, 
and that they were greatly edified by his truly Christian 
virtues. You will have the consolation of hearing the de- 
tails from Reverend Father O'Reilly, who accompanied the 
remains of the dear departed to their last resting place. He 
has also brought letters for you from your dear family. We 
have already fulfilled the sweet obligation of having Masses 
offered for the repose of the soul of your dear father, and 
we trust that he now enjoys the happiness of the Blessed." 

Mother Hardey kept this sorrow buried in her own heart, 
not wishing to burden her daughters with it. She merely 
asked for suffrages to be offered for a departed soul, and 
it was only after she had left Cuba that the religious learned 
of her loss. 

When the new foundation had been ^satisfactorily or- 
ganized she bade adieu to her daughters and sailed for New 
York, accompanied by four postulants from Havana. 
Shortly after her return to Manhattanville she made her an- 
nual retreat. Her spiritual director, Reverend Father Gres- 
selin, probably realized the need she had of complete rest for 
soul and body, so he wrote her the following counsels, 
which were no doubt obediently observed : " In regard to 
your retreat, I believe you must absolutely follow the plan 
of the last. The retreat is a time of sweetness and peace, 
not of agitation and sadness, as too many of your previous 
retreats have been. This one must be a continual act of 
charity, in which you will taste the suavity of the Hearts of 
Jesus and Mary. Take no particular resolution. In passing 
eight days with Jesus and Mary, your soul will receive an 
increase of light and strength sufficient for all future needs. 
If God should will you to give Him something special, He 
will speak to your heart with clearness. Whatever is doubt- 
ful or cloudy comes not from Him. Do not be surprised if 
I hold very little to your having fixed hours for anything. 
I prefer even that you should not fix any. I ask of you 

246 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

something far better, eight entire days in the midst of the 
Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Do not leave them to make 
reflections on yourself, forget yourself entirely and live and 
breathe for those Sacred Hearts. Such a retreat will be a 
delightful and a divine relaxation. 

" Read only the Canticle of Solomon, but read it atten- 
tively. There you will see the ineffable love of Jesus for 
Mary, and Mary for Jesus. That is the proper subject and 
proper sense of the Canticle. Have neither pen nor paper 
in the room which you select for your solitude, that you may 
not be tempted to try to write. I approve strongly that you 
choose the Tribune. The beautiful picture of Mary which 
you will find there before your eyes will radiate much light 
and joy into your heart. Never forget the extraordinary 
grace that was given you on that memorable eighth of De- 
cember, when you understood and were fully convinced 
that you must go to the Heart of Jesus through the Heart 
of Mary. It was a grace of choice, in the sense that few 
persons receive it; but it is not extraordinary in the fact 
that God wills to give it to many souls, but only a few find 
the way which leads to it. In your case it was a recompense 
for your earnestness and zeal in making Mary known and 
loved." 

After a few more personal allusions to the special graces 
with which Mother Hardey had been favored, he concludes 
his letter with the following injunction : " During May I 
wish you to give an instruction every week to all your 
children of the community, postulants included, and another 
instruction to all your children in the school. If they cannot 
be assembled together, then go to each division in turn, 
even if you have to speak each night about the Blessed Vir- 
gin during twenty minutes or half an hour. There will be 
no great harm in that ; rather there will be no harm at all. 
The preparation will cost you nothing. You will speak 
from the abundance of a heart that breathes only for Mary, 
and because not studied, what you will say will be all the 

247 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

more valuable. I except only the case in which it might 
be too fatiguing, but only that. I would be pleased to have 
your retreat begin April 22, to close with the dawn of the 
month of May." 

Mother Hardey faithfully carried out the programme laid 
down for her, and not satisfied with the instructions which 
were given them, her daughters sought to profit likewise 
by their Mother's touching instructions to the children. The 
love of our Blessed Lady was carried to enthusiasm, and 
her altars were besieged by both religious and pupils, in 
prayerful love and supplication for those near and dear to 
them. We regret not being able to find any of the valuable 
notes which were taken on some special conferences, but 
we can believe that the suggestions of Father Gresselin 
formed the subject of them. 

The following extracts from one of his letters will be 
equally beneficial to Mother Hardey's daughters of the 
present day: "Here is another point upon which I insist 
very strongly, and I desire you to insist upon it strongly 
also. Cultivate the natural virtues in your children, that is 
to say, let the mistresses in all the convents study to give 
noble ideas upon everything to their children, and let them 
pursue without relaxation everything small or mean that 
they remark in them. Develop generosity in the children, 
that grand virtue of the heart, which drives out all selfish- 
ness and cupidity. Let them ever maintain a grand, in- 
flexible uprightness in their dealings with others. Let 
them learn how to combine the independence of a soul that 
is free with the most amiable modesty and simplicity. I 
really do not know why, but it is an historical fact, that the 
elevation of woman has always been the infallible sign and 
the measure of the whole race. Woman is the safeguard of 
virtue, and of the dignity of the family. This is her privi- 
lege which she has received from God. It is also a fact 
that vice in a woman is more shocking than in a man. 
Tenderness, goodness, devotedness, nobility, purity, are 

248 




1 Former House at Atlantic City, N. J. 

2 Arch Street Convent, Philadelphia 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

virtues that belong to her, and when she does not possess 
them, she falls much lower than the man in whom they are 
lacking. 

" Man is more active, woman more contemplative. Man 
acts in the world and upsets nature. Woman has more 
heavenly instincts and rises more towards God. All this is 
not the effect of prejudice, it is founded upon nature and 
comes from God Himself. Let nothing be pardoned in the 
children, absolutely nothing, which betrays the most im- 
perceptible degree of baseness. Now the most efficacious 
means of developing their nature is to penetrate them 
with true ideas of the supernatural life ; for this I have 
nothing to say, and in regard to this point of view nothing 
is omitted in your houses. But in regard to the direct per- 
fecting of the natural, there may be occasionally a little re- 
missness. Combat energetically all melancholy, weariness, 
disgust, all that comes forth from the soil of nature. An 
ardent devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is the 
assured preservative against these noxious weeds. If your 
religious understand the first elements of their vocation, 
they will always be in the holy inebriation of enthusiasm. 
Voluntary captives of Jesus and Mary, consuming your 
days in their service and love, cultivating the flowers with 
which Jesus and Mary will one day crown themselves, what 
more can you desire, what is still lacking to you? If your 
houses are not a paradise, they are nothing, they have no 
raison d'etre! 

" I said above something very honorable about woman. 
Let us now say a word about the defects of her character. 
She is reproached with a mixture of littlenesses, vanities, 
jealousies, meannesses, etc., and it is said that she is more 
accessible to these than man. It is not that man is exempt 
from these defects. He has them in a higher degree, and 
because in a higher degree, they change their names imme- 
diately. They are called in him, hatred, vengeance, rapine, 
treason, etc. Now in regard to these defects, it is abso- 

249 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

lutely necessary that your religious should be free from 
them entirely. They must rise to the highest level, like 
those straight and sublime plants which receive immediately 
from heaven the dew and light which give them life. Let 
them be very attentive and very sensitive in noticing these 
same imperfections in the children, as well as indefatigable 
in correcting them. 

" Here is another point which I do not wish to omit. 
Dissipate beforehand the terror of the children in regard 
to the last Sacraments. If you do not do that now, no one 
else will do it later. It is necessary in their tender years 
to give them a contrary impression. I notice that you are 
a little afraid to frighten them by speaking of death, that 
you try to hide from them the knowledge that death has 
come to take an angel from your house. It would be far 
better to let them know of his approaching visit, that they 
may be prepared for it, and profit by his coming to entertain 
them with the happiness which death brings, of being united 
with our Sovereign Good, and of the efficacy of the last 
Sacraments, which inundate the soul with consolation. 
I mention this to you. See if there is not something to re- 
form in this matter. You see I have not spared you. Per- 
haps I am meddling in what does not concern me. If what 
I have written comes from God, He will know how to render 
it fruitful ; if not, there is no harm done save waste of time 
in writing. My one desire is to do good, and I believe if 
there is any to be found in these pages you will put it to 
profit." 

We will conclude this chapter with a few more extracts 
from Father Gresselin's letters, feeling assured they will not 
fail to interest our readers : " Do not give up your subscrip- 
tion to ' Brownson's Review/ His last number has a num- 
ber of pitiable sentences, but let us not forget the eminent 
services which he has rendered to religion and those which 
he is yet able to render. If the good man is wrong on many 
points, those who pursue and abandon him are still more 

250 



CIVIL WAR IN THE UNITED STATES 

guilty. It is thus that poor human nature acts. We forget 
so easily former merits, considering only present faults. 
I consider it as an ignoble narrowness of mind to give up 
one's subscription, because for once, by chance, he was mis- 
taken. And who is there in this world that does not make 
a mistake? Who is there that has not his days of darkness 
and misery upon earth? The human heart is too often 
hard, ungrateful and selfish. Oh, let us guard ourselves 
carefully from these shameful defects." 

In another letter : " Alas, Madame, human miseries are 
to be found everywhere. When anything disagreeable hap- 
pens, you begin, at once, to suffer and to complain to the 
good God, perhaps you forget to simply pray. Pray then 
and the good God will hear you more readily than if you 
complained to Him. Where can you seek refuge in your 
difficult moments if not in the Heart of Jesus crucified? 
Patience then, Madame, and see in all vexations the ador- 
able will of Jesus, and calmly submit to His guidance, which 
is always so full of love for you and yours." So anxious was 
her spiritual director to see her perfect in all things, that 
writing in reference to a remark that she had made that she 
" had given two religious to the Western Vicariate," he 
says : " Banish, I beg of you, far from your mind the 
thought that you can give your religious, were it even the 
youngest novice, to other Mother Vicars or Vicariates! 
Merchandise is given or exchanged in this way, but not 
reasonable beings." 

It was decided that the novice referred to in the 
following letter should be sent home, as her health appeared 
too delicate for the religious life. Mother Hardey had 
placed her at Eden Hall, hoping that the mild air there 
would arrest the progress of lung trouble with which she 
was threatened, but it seemed that the patient was 
doomed. Her father, Professor Aiken of Baltimore, 
was notified to come for his daughter, but the very 
morning of his arrival at Eden a letter was received from 

251 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Mother Hardey giving permission for the novice to make 
her vows. The prayers and pleadings of that faithful soul 
had been graciously heard by our Blessed Lady, under 
whose statue she had placed a little note, begging that she 
might die in the Society of the Sacred Heart rather than 
return to the world. Father Gresselin writes : " Lately 
Father Ardia received two letters from Madame Ambrosia 
Aiken. In the first she tells him she is going to make her 
vows, in the second that she has made them. I really 
doubt if two more admirable letters could be written. 
Father Ardia gave them to me to read, but I shall take care 
not to return them to him. What a happy inspiration you 
had to keep that angelic soul ! May the good God send you 
a number of subjects like her." 

We may add that Madame Aiken realized all the hopes 
that had been founded on her. She lived nearly five years 
longer at Eden Hall, where she passed as an angel of peace 
and charity, working and suffering with all the ardor and 
love of a soul which sought and longed for nothing but her 
God. The motto which she had placed on her desk and 
which was constantly before her eyes, expressed the senti- 
ments of her heart : " Angels may love God better, but they 
can never suffer for Him." Madame Aiken was only one 
of the numerous band of grateful daughters of Mother Har- 
dey who were indebted to her for their happiness in the 
religious life and their blessedness in eternity. 



252 



CHAPTER XXI. 

DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES EIGHTH GENERAL COUNCIL 
DEATH OF MOTHER BARAT 1864-1867. 

For several months Mother Hardey had the sorrow of 
realizing that the end was drawing near for the father and 
friend whom she held in tender and grateful veneration. 
It was evident that the illustrious Archbishop Hughes was 
hastening to his eternal home. His last public utterance 
was heard by an infuriated mob, that, on account of the 
Conscription Act in July, 1863, made New York a scene of 
lawlessness and bloodshed. The event has passed into his- 
tory. It has a mournful interest for us, because of its asso- 
ciation with the great prelate, who, through his long career, 
was an able champion of civil and religious liberty. The 
city authorities appealed to him to assume the office of 
peacemaker, and though at the risk of his life, the arch- 
bishop fearlessly assented. He caused a notice to be pla- 
carded throughout the city, inviting the rioters to meet him 
at his residence. " I am not able," he said, " to visit you, 
owing to rheumatism in my limbs; that is no reason 
why you should not visit me, in your whole strength. I 
shall have a speech prepared for you. There is abundant 
space for the meeting around my house, and I can address 
you from the corner of the balcony. If I should be unable to 
stand during the delivery, you will permit me to address 
you seated, my voice is much stronger than my limbs." 
The invitation was accepted, and for more than an hour he 
addressed more than six thousand men, who listened with 
respectful attention, while he gently but forcibly urged them 
to refrain from violence and return to their homes. " They 
cheered me all the time," said the archbishop in describing 
the event, " and went home in the most peaceable manner. 

253 



Many of those who were Catholics lingered around to get 
my blessing, after which they soon dispersed." 

The strong voice hushed the storm, and then lapsed into 
silence forever. The archbishop's health continued to de- 
cline during the autumn. When in December he was told 
that the end was near, he made no further reference to busi- 
ness, but thought only of preparing to give the last account 
of his stewardship. He awaited with calmness the hour of 
his summons, for he had no fear of going forth to meet the 
Creator, whom he had faithfully sought from the days of 
his youth. On January 4, 1864, he passed away, leaving to 
his flock the sacred memory of a champion who had bravely 
defended the stronghold of the Church during the troubled 
days of the nineteenth century. His death cast a gloom 
over the whole country, but nowhere was it more sensibly 
felt than at Manhattanville. He had been Mother Hardey's 
prudent adviser and truest friend for over twenty years, and 
his paternal goodness and unflagging interest in the welfare 
of her religious family had animated her courage in many 
an hour of trial. 

Archbishop McCloskey, his successor, was no stranger 
to her, and she knew that in him she would ever find a wise 
and prudent counsellor, although the strong arm upon 
which she had leaned with so much confidence had been 
withdrawn forever. After his installation, the first visit of 
the new archbishop was to Manhattanville, and when he 
entered the convent, attended by a large number of the 
clergy, Mother Hardey knelt at his feet and reverently pre- 
sented to him the keys of the house. He graciously returned 
them, saying : " It would be impossible to find a more trust- 
worthy custodian, in both a temporal and spiritual sense. 
Years of devotion, of labor, of signal success have crowned 
your guardianship, and I trust that many more may be 
added to those, so justly celebrated on earth, so rich in 
merit for heaven." The principal feature of the reception 
given by the pupils was an allegorical representation, in 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

which angels brought from heaven flowers so arranged as 
to form the name of John, the Shepherd appointed to guard 
the little flock. This tribute was followed by an address, 
and the presentation of a crozier wreathed with flowers. 

In response, the archbishop spoke of the greeting as " a 
welcome tendered in the eloquent language of poetry and 
prose, the melodious language of music and song, the silent 
yet expressive language of fresh and fragrant flowers, flow- 
ers brought from Heaven by angels and strewn at my feet 
by little less than angel hands." Then referring to the ad- 
dress and the tribute paid to Archbishop Hughes, he dwelt 
at length upon the virtues of his illustrious predecessor. 
" I love," he said, " to see your devoted remembrance of 
the Shepherd now passed away. Though conspicuous in 
the eyes of the world, he endeared himself to you by his 
tender, affectionate heart, permitting you to cluster around 
him, as you would around a beloved parent. Indeed, I know 
of no title which this great prelate cherished more than that 
of the devoted and loving father of his little children. Oh ! 
what a pleasure it is to fly from the cares and anxieties of a 
great, though sacred, responsibility, and find oneself in 
the midst of cheerful, happy children. Our Blessed Lord 
delighted to be with the little ones. Is it not just, then, that 
those who hold His place should feel it a privilege to be 
among the little lambs of His fold? " Alluding to the flower 
entwined crozier, his Grace said : " It is only in the Sacred 
Heart that the crozier is wreathed with flowers. Ah! yes, 
in the outer world, it is too often encircled with sharp, cruel 
thorns. Indeed, dear children, I would rather carry the 
crozier here than in the grand Cathedral of New York, if 
you will only promise me that it will always be crowned 
with flowers." 

Yielding to the request of the archbishop, Reverend 
Father Hitzelberger, S.J., addressed the pupils: "It was 
an old Roman usage," he said, " for an honored guest to be 
accompanied to the banquet hall by a person called his 

255 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

umbra, a mere shadow of the splendor which preceded him. 
In view of his unsubstantiality, what can a shadow do? 
In the present instance he yields to obedience, and the mute 
speaks. If permitted me, as one of an older generation, to 
speak in memoriam of the just and good who have gone 
to their rest, I will beg of you to join to the names of the 
past and present another John, who was father to both, the 
venerable John Dubois, from whose fountain of knowledge 
John Hughes and John McCloskey drew their first lessons 
of piety and wisdom. Let the three Johns be a garland 
around your hearts, that you may testify in the future your 
appreciation of the past, by a faithful correspondence to the 
numberless graces constantly within your reach. Let me 
also express my delight, in union with your archbishop, at 
the dignity and grace displayed in your beautiful entertain- 
ment, as well as the modesty and simplicity always char- 
acteristic of the pupils of the Sacred Heart." 

This memorable event was soon followed by Mother 
Hardey's departure for France, to assist at the Eighth Gen- 
eral Council of the Society. She was notified of the ap- 
proaching convocation by the following letter, the last she 
received from the venerable Foundress: 

" If no extraordinary event takes place in the Old or the 
New World, we shall hold our general Council either in 
May or June. If God gives me life until then, I shall have 
the much desired consolation of seeing you once more. 
Let us hope that Mother Jouve may be able to accompany 
you. What a privation not to hear from this dear Mother ! 
We are at a loss to know whether she is even alive ! How 
earnestly we pray that these calamitous times may soon end. 
Ah! dear Aloysia, how many frightful things have I wit- 
nessed since my young days, and of how many of them I 
have been the victim. How much these remembrances help 
one to become detached from the things of this world ! One 
hope alone enables me to keep up ; it is the joy of being per- 
mitted to labor for the salvation of even one soul ; and there 

256 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

are so many on the verge of destruction. Let us then steer 
our little bark courageously to the end. The Heart of Jesus 
is guarding us, because we desire to save souls. The 
more useless and unworthy we are, the more we should 
rely upon Divine assistance. The great Saint Paul said, 
' When I am weak, then am I strong ! ' After this blessed 
Convocation, your Mother will be ready to say her Nunc 
Dimittis. Yet she must always add, Fiat Voluntas Dei! 

" While awaiting this desired moment, let us redouble 
our efforts in preparing and helping souls to correspond to 
the designs of God, training them with zeal and constancy 
in the practice of their religious obligations. In this age, 
when everything tends to freedom and the enjoyment of 
life, how difficult it is to obtain even from souls of good will 
the obedience and self-denial necessary in the spiritual life. 
Yet how can we be true religious of the Sacred Heart with- 
out the constant practice of mortification, which must be- 
gin in the Novitiate, grow through the years of aspirantship, 
and attain its full development in the professed, of whom it 
should be the distinguishing mark until death." 

Referring to a superior who had asked to be relieved of 
her charge, she says : " I hope she will never again plead 
to be put in a corner, there to prepare for death. A religious 
of the Sacred Heart should die at her post, working to the 
end of her life, if God gives her strength." 

In the month of June Mother Hardey embarked for 
France, accompanied by Mothers Jouve and Trincano. The 
Council was opened on the i/th of June, and was presided 
over by the venerable Superior General. It was evident that 
she was adding the last links to the golden chain of her 
long and laborious mission. " Let us quicken our pace," 
she said, " for when the sun is declining it brightens with 
its rays a greater number of countries than at noon." She 
was adding fresh fuel to the fires of zeal burning in the 
hearts of those around her, and shedding upon them the 
rays of her wisdom to illumine the Institute in every land. 

17 257 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Several measures were adopted by the Council in reference 
to the American missions. The convents in Canada, St. 
John, Halifax, London and Detroit were erected into a 
vicariate, of which Mother Trincano was named vicar. 
Mother Hardey was left in charge of the houses in the 
eastern part of the United States and in Cuba. The South- 
ern Vicariate was likewise divided, Mother Galwey being 
appointed Vice-Vicar of Missouri and Mother Shannon 
Vice- Vicar in Louisiana. Mother Jouve was henceforth to 
remain in France. 

Before the close of the Council the aged Foundress en- 
treated the Councillors to accept her resignation. Their 
refusal led to the appointment of a vicar-general in the per- 
son of Mother Goetz, to aid her in the general government 
of the Society. " By this nomination," says the historian 
of Mother Barat, " the past was linked with the future, and 
what the Foundress had not done, but still wished to do, 
was now decided and described in documents, which have 
left to her successors the simple task of carrying out her 
wishes." 

The Council closed on July 21, the eve of St. Mag- 
dalen's feast. The pupils of the rue de Varennes gave 
an entertainment in honor of the Mother General. Besides 
the usual good wishes, they presented her with fifteen pas- 
toral staffs, entwined with flowers, typical of the fifteen 
vicariates of the Society, all being linked to the one which 
designated the true shepherdess of the flock. She distributed 
them to the superiors surrounding her, who represented the 
three thousand five hundred religious, then forming what 
she loved to call her " little family of the Sacred Heart." 
(Life of Mother Barat, Vol. II., page 383.) All felt that it 
was the pause before the final separation, and as they 
listened to the touching words addressed by Mother Barat 
to the children she loved so well, the silent language of 
tears revealed how deep was the emotion of every heart. A 
few weeks later Mother Hardey knelt at the feet of her 

258 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

venerated Mother to receive her farewell blessing for her- 
self and her American daughters. Then, accompanied by 
Mother Trincano, she embarked on the Scotia and arrived 
at Manhattanville on the 8th of September, Feast of the 
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. 

The joy of welcome was clouded by the news of the 
death of Rev. Father Gresselin, S.J., her saintly director. 
He died at Fordham on the Feast of the Assumption, August 
15, 1864, after a lingering illness, borne with the love and 
fortitude of a saint. A few moments before he expired, he 
sent his blessing to his spiritual daughters of Manhattan- 
ville. Immediately after the evening office, the whole com- 
munity made the Way of the Cross for the repose of the 
dear departed, though all felt that he was already pleading 
for them before the throne of that Immaculate Queen whom 
he had loved so intensely that he could never speak or write 
without seeking to inflame hearts with her love. Mother 
Hardey felt his loss keenly, but her grief found expression 
only in prayer and generous suffrages for the venerated 
deceased. 

A few days after her return she made known the de- 
cisions of the late Council, and spoke to her associates of 
the touching examples of virtue given by their saintly 
Foundress. She referred again and again to Mother Barat's 
exhortations on humility, charity, the practice of poverty, 
and the observance of the Rule of Silence as the means best 
adapted to keep up the spirit of the Institute in its primitive 
fervor. " Our Mother Foundress," she said, " holds so 
strongly to silence, especially to the solemn silence after 
night prayers, that when questioned about the necessity of 
sometimes speaking during it, her reply was, ' Under no 
circumstances should three words be spoken, when two 
will suffice." 

On the 8th of October we find Mother Hardey at Eden 
Hall, where she gave her daughters a touching conference, 

259 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

some extracts of which we quote from the journal of the 
house : 

" You all know the object of the Eighth General 
Council of our little Society, which closed a few months 
ago, and for whose success you prayed so fervently and 
perseveringly. Like all our Councils, it was held for the 
purpose of examining whether any abuses had crept into 
the various convents during the intervening years, but our 
Mother Foundress says this meeting had the special pur- 
pose of consolidating and strengthening the work of all the 
preceding ones. In the preparatory retreat which we made, 
the Rev. Father Provincial of the Jesuits constantly re- 
iterated this text, ' Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.' 
Seek God first in all your undertakings and He will supply 
the rest. I repeat to you the same injunction. Let the Mis- 
tress of Class seek first to strengthen her pupils in solid 
piety, for science, human science, is only a secondary aim. 
If you are Mistress of Parlor, show by your religious ex- 
terior that you are not of this world; evince no idle curi- 
osity in regard to what is happening outside the convent 
walls ; prove by your conversation that you have little in- 
terest in anything save the advancement of the kingdom of 
God. 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. 

" At our meetings we examined the dispositions of the 
religious of the present day, and compared them with the 
members of earlier times. We came to the conclusion that, 
in many cases, the spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice 
which so eminently characterized the latter no longer exists, 
at least in so striking a degree. There is at present a tend- 
ency to self-seeking, a certain dread of self-immolation, an 
inclination to complain of having too much to do, instead 
of offering and desiring to do more than we are required. 
We found, too, that the spirit of humility is giving place 

260 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

to the spirit of pride, and in a few cases but, thank God, 
they are the exception to a spirit of ambition. Our Con- 
stitutions say that ' each one must consider herself the last 
of all and be content with the lowest employments,' but now 
some consider first places desirable, and they are not pleased 
when they are put in subordinate offices. Our Mother Gen- 
eral says that her greatest personal trials are caused by the 
want of humble submission in those who seek themselves 
in place of God, and seem to ignore the obligation of deny- 
ing themselves, taking up their cross, and following our 
Divine Lord in the practice of those virtues of which He 
gave us the example from His birth to His death on the 
Cross. It has been remarked, that as soon as aspirants have 
made their profession, or novices have taken their vows, 
they become less submissive to authority ; hence, in future, 
no one can be admitted to profession or first vows without 
the express consent of the Mother General. Hitherto, in 
foreign countries, the decision rested with the local coun- 
sellors, but facilities of communication with first superiors 
render this concession unnecessary and undesirable." 

Other points of discipline and maternal recommendations 
were treated of in this memorable conference. Like her 
Divine Master, Mother Hardey went about doing good. 
She encouraged the project of establishing a day school in 
the city of Philadelphia, and gave her sanction to the plan 
of a new wing at Eden Hall, to be erected as soon as pos- 
sible. She later visited the convents of Kenwood and 
Rochester, renewing the fervor of her daughters and ani- 
mating their zeal in behalf of souls. She had the painful 
task of reconciling the communities in Canada and the prov- 
inces to their withdrawal from her jurisdiction. In some 
places the ecclesiastical authorities protested against the 
change of government, but then, as ever, a brief explanation 
on her part inclined minds and hearts to the belief that wis- 
dom had dictated the measures adopted for the greater good 
of all concerned. 

261 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

At " the Sault," she opened a novitiate for the new 
vicariate, having brought six of the Manhattanville novices 
to form the nucleus of this important undertaking. From 
Montreal she went to London and Detroit, inspiring in both 
houses her own spirit of resignation and submission to the 
Divine Will. The Superior of Detroit, Mother Eugenie 
Desmarquest, felt it her duty to represent to the Mother 
General the difficulties of that house in regard to the Beau- 
bien heirs, and that, in her opinion, it required Mother Har- 
dey's knowledge and prudent management of the question 
at issue to cope with the situation. To this request Mother 
Barat acceded, and requested Mother Hardey to keep the 
Detroit convent under her jurisdiction. 

On her return to Manhattanville, Mother Hardey de- 
voted herself in a special manner to the training of the 
novices. Her conferences and individual counsels filled 
them with ardent zeal for their spiritual progress. Once 
when a passing comment was made on the fervor of her 
" white veils," she said : " Ah, t'lis should be the abode of 
fervent, generous souls. A thought came to me the other 
day, which I will repeat to you. Adam and Eve are said to 
have conversed familiarly with God in the terrestrial para- 
dise. While you were kneeling before me in the chapel, I 
said to myself, the heart of every novice should be a para- 
dise, wherein Jesus may enter and converse familiarly with 
His Spouse. If Our Lord does not take delight in the heart 
of a novice of the Sacred Heart, where can He do so? " 

At the beginning of Advent, she said to them : " 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. Let your fast 
consist before all else, in denying your passions. Let the 
excitable control their impulses, the tepid become more 
fervent, the slothful more active, the self-seeking more de- 

262 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

voted, the procrastinating more prompt to obey the voice of 
duty." 

Speaking of fervor she said : " 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." She then pointed out the means they should em- 
ploy to mortify the imagination, the memory, the affections, 
and above all the will, so that they might prepare in each 
heart a palace for the new birth of the King of Kings. On 
Christmas Eve she made the words, " He came unto His 
own and His own received Him not," the text of a very 
impressive conference. " In Bethlehem," she said, " 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 Messias. Our hearts are moved 
with sorrow and indignation as we read these words ; yet 
how often may they be applied to us. Jesus presents Him- 
self 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." 

In the early part of December, 1864, Mother Hardey had 
the pleasure of forming the acquaintance of her stepmother, 
Mrs. Hardey, and her daughter, a child of thirteen years. 
They had come from Louisiana, and were going to reside 
on the old family estate of Rosecroft in St. Mary's County, 
Maryland, which had been settled on them by Mr. Hardey. 
Two of their former slaves, old Washington and his wife, 
Caroline, had clung to their mistress and were accompany- 
ing her to Rosecroft. On their arrival Mother Hardey 

263 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

noticed that the aged negress was too lightly clad. She left 
the parlor and soon returned with a shawl which she 
wrapped around the old woman's shoulders. Touched by 
her goodness, old Washington broke forth into words of 
praise and admiration : " O Miss Mary, de Lord bress you ! 
You just like ole Massa! You his true chile sure! " 

Mr. Hardey's second wife was Miss Elizabeth Millard 
of Baltimore, a gentle attractive lady, whom Mother Har- 
dey always treated with filial respect and delicate considera- 
tion. Pauline, the daughter of this second marriage, became 
later on the object of her most affectionate solicitude. 

On the 1 5th of February, 1865, Mother Hardey sailed for 
Cuba. Before leaving Manhattanville, she gave as practice 
to her daughters : " Great fidelity to community exercises, 
and the serious practice of meekness and humility." More- 
over recommending vigilance in regard to the pupils, she 
recalled the words of St. Francis de Sales, " More flies may 
be caught by a drop of honey, than by a barrel of vinegar " 
and added, " you may do more good to a child by one kind 
word, than by a whole day of scolding." The times were 
critical and there existed grave necessity for gentle firmness 
in the school. 

After strengthening and confirming her Cuban families 
in their arduous labors for souls, she returned to Manhat- 
tanville in time to take part in the offices of Holy Week. 
Good Friday, the I4th of April, 1865, is memorable as the 
date of a tragedy that thrilled the nation with horror, the 
assassination of President Lincoln. The announcement 
reached Manhattanville as the pupils were leaving for the 
Easter holidays. Those who remained at the convent were 
principally the children of Southern families ; and the wise 
superior, in order to check party feeling, prolonged the 
vacation until the national demonstrations of mourning 
were over. She further gave orders that the pupils who 
returned wearing mourning badges should lay them aside 
before entering the class room. 

264 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

In one instance, the command was disregarded. The 
daughter of a noted politician (Horace Greeley) refused 
to remove her badge, so it was quietly unpinned by one of 
the mistresses. The act was considered an insult to patriot- 
ism. Loud protests were heard at the following recreation, 
and two inexperienced mistresses tried to pacify the 
aggrieved parties by their silent sympathy. This circum- 
stance only intensified the excitement. Mother Hardey's 
firmness, however, soon restored tranquillity. She called to 
her room the mistresses engaged in the school at the time 
of the uproar, and inquired of each in turn what had taken 
place. In some of the departments there had been no dis- 
turbance whatever. " I thought not," said Mother Hardey, 
" the children are quick to discover who are the political 
religious." This was her only reproof to the imprudent 
mistresses, who humbly begged her pardon, and asked what 
they should do when the children asked them to which side 
they belonged. " Tell them," she said, " that you belong 
to the Sacred Heart." 

Mother Hardey's great prudence and gentle firmness 
secured for Manhattanville an ever increasing prosperity. 
It is not, therefore, surprising, that the fame of the academy 
was associated in the public mind with the gifted superior. 
The following tribute to her worth appeared in a New York 
newspaper of 1865 : " Few persons have been more instru- 
mental under the blessing of God, than Madame Hardey, in 
propagating conventual life and conventual education in 
America. Her administrative talent, strong good sense, and 
that discernment of spirit, so needful in determining re- 
ligious vocations, combine in her character, to adapt her 
for her work and for her age ; and when the Catholic his- 
torian comes to gather up the material of our period, a con- 
spicuous chapter will recount the works of Madame Hardey 
and her convents." 

Mother Hardey was wholly absorbed in promoting the 
welfare of her religious families, when in the month of June, 

265 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

1865, she received the sad news of the death of the venerated 
Foundress. At the first announcement of the threatened 
danger, she assembled her daughters, and gave expression 
to her grief in a touching conference, of which we give the 
following extracts : " You know already, the contents of 
the three circular letters which have brought us the saddest 
news, for no calamity could be greater than the loss of cur 
sainted Mother. Although our fears are not yet confirmed, 
I feel that on Ascension day, our Mother ended her pilgrim- 
age here below. When one that is dear to us has left us, 
it is natural and at the same time consoling, to recall her 
words and her desires. Let us do so now. We know that 
our Very Reverend Mother Barat was a model of every 
virtue, but that which characterized her, and was her dis- 
tinguishing mark, was her humility. She demonstrated its 
necessity at the last council, and made it a duty, so to speak, 
for the Mother Vicars to inculcate it in their different 
families. ' Remind them/ she said, ' that with humility they 
can do all things for the Glory of God, while without it, 
they can do nothing. We may then be confident, that the 
last wish of our Mother is, that we should practice this vir- 
tue, and I am certain, that if she were able to speak in her 
last moments, her recommendation to the entire Society, 
would have been an exhortation to humility." Then point- 
ing out to her daughters the means of acquiring this virtue, 
Mother Hardey urged them to labor seriously to overcome 
the obstacles, reminding them that one proud religious may 
sometimes prevent the blessing of God upon a whole house. 
Mother Barat went to her reward on the Feast of the 
Ascension, May 25, 1865, in the eighty-sixth year of her age. 
On the Sunday previous, as she entered the recreation room 
where all her daughters were assembled, she said : " I have 
come to spend a little time with you to-day, because on 
Thursday I must leave you for Heaven ! " Was this a 
prophecy? At any rate, the next day, Monday, was to be an 
eventful one. The venerable Mother rose, as usual at five 

266 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

o'clock, made her morning meditation, assisted at Mass and 
prolonged her prayer in the chapel until half past eight. She 
went back to her room and was quietly reading her letters, 
when the Sister brought in her breakfast. She was 
about to begin, when she said to the Sister, " I am not well 
this morning," then, holding her head in her hands, she ex- 
claimed, " Oh, my head, my head ! " Courageous to the end, 
she, at first, refused to go to bed, but was soon obliged to 
yield to it. When a blister was suggested, she answered, 
" You would do well." These were her last words, her 
tongue lost the power of utterance and the physicians ascer- 
tained that there was congestion of the brain, which nothing 
could relieve. 

During the days which followed, she seemed to retain 
consciousness. At the administration of the last Sacra- 
ments when she received the Holy Viaticum, a beau- 
tiful expression of heavenly fervor illumined her counte- 
nance. She answered the questions addressed by a pressure 
of her hands quickly and energetically made, and it was 
evident that her soul had its entire freedom, and, in con- 
sequence, the full merit of the sacrifice she was offering to 
God. When asked to bless the Society her hand was raised 
with an eagerness which moved all to tears, but when her 
physician asked, "Will you not also bless your doctors?" 
she made no sign. Humble to the end, she did not feel that 
it belonged to her to bless anyone but her own daughters. 

On the anniversary of the day on which her Divine 
Spouse had left this earth, she went to that eternal rest, 
where thirteen hundred and sixty eight of her daughters 
were waiting to lead her to the Heavenly Bridegroom, 
whom she longed to see face to face. The loss of her saintly 
Mother, who had ever been a pillar of light in guiding her 
labors, was the greatest sorrow of Mother Hardey's life. 
Some weeks later she was called to Paris to take part in the 
election of a new Mother General. Before leaving she made 
the necessary preparations for the opening of a day school 

267 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

in Philadelphia, by request of Archbishop Wood, and also 
of the Children of Mary, who for several years had formed 
a numerous and zealous congregation, under the direction 
of Rev. Father Barbelin, S.J., meeting once a year at Eden 
Hall. She sailed on the gih of August, with Mothers Gal- 
wey and Shannon, and a novice from Manhattanville. We 
are indebted to the pen of the last mentioned for details of 
the voyage and the sojourn in Paris. The letter is dated 
from Amiens, where the travellers stopped for a short time. 
" At Amiens, dear, delightful Amiens," writes the novice, 
" we received the warmest welcome. I do not believe there 
is another house in the Society like it for genuine kindness 
and simplicity. Mother Roger is superior, and Mother 
knew her well, so it was a meeting of old friends, and every- 
one seemed to vie with one another as to who should be the 
kindest. Every inch here is hallowed ground. Unfortu- 
nately they had to demolish the original house, so long 
sanctified by the presence of our Mother Foundress, but 
they have done their best to preserve all the recollections of 
the past. There is an exquisite chapel built where our 
Mother was first named Superior General. It is entire- 
ly white and gold, and the altar of white marble with gold 
ornamentation is the most simple and beautiful I have ever 
seen. The stained glass windows casting a warm rich glow 
over the whole, relieve the chapel of any effect of coldness. 
The statue of Notre Dame du Berceau is lovely. It stands 
in an alcove behind the altar, and on either side are St. Jo- 
seph and St. Aloysius. The little tribune, facing the altar, 
is upheld by two colossal angels, everything being, as I 
have said, of white and gold. In the wall is a large white 
marble tablet, just sent from Rome, beautifully set in a 
border of colored marbles, with a Latin inscription in gilt 
letters, telling that on this spot, Madeleine Louise Sophie 
Barat, Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, was 
named Superior General, on the 25th of November, A. D. 
1802. 

268 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

" The morning after our arrival we had Mass in this 
cherished and holy spot. It is only on great occasions that 
they have Mass here, but the Superior obtained this privi- 
lege for our Mother. At first this heavenly little sanctuary 
was called Notre Dame des Souvenirs, but at its consecra- 
tion the Archbishop of Amiens in his sermon said, that every 
house might have such a chapel, as each one had its own 
'souvenirs/ but not another one could claim to be the cradle 
of the Society, therefore the title must be ' Notre Dame du 
Berceau.' On the 25th of every month all the religious as- 
semble there to recite the Miserere and Te Deum, and it is 
there that the renewal of vows takes place. .. .Everything 
we saw delighted us, and Reverend Mother could not con- 
gratulate herself sufficiently, for having decided to visit this 
hallowed place." 

In alluding to the arrival in Paris, the writer says, " We 
found the Custom House officers very polite. They inquired 
if we had any cigars, and were so much amused by Rev- 
erend Mother's answer, ' I forgot to bring some,' that they 
returned the keys without opening a trunk." Again re- 
ferring to Mother Hardey she says : " If in America I 
always thought her a saint, I am sure of it now. Her 
humility and self-forgetfulness lead her to seek always the 
last place and to act as if she was the least of all. She 
misses our Mother Foundress very much. I think she feels 
her loss all day long. Every morning she goes to her little 
room to pray, and I love to kneel just behind her, for I think 
our venerated Mother cannot fail to listen to me, when I am 
near one of her dearest and holiest daughters. Reverend 
Mother prays for everyone while there, and with the great- 
est fervor, so wrapt, so intense, that it seems as if she was 
in sensible communication with our departed Mother. She 
says that she tells her all her troubles, all her difficulties, 
and her projects, and then she is satisfied ; and truly, when 
she leaves the room, the peace on her countenance is 
heavenly." 

269 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

The little room alluded to was the apartment which had 
been occupied by Mother Barat for some years before her 
death. The American novice gives the following descrip- 
tion of the spot, now so sacred to Mother Barat's daughters : 
" Where the bed formerly stood, is a simple altar of white 
and gold, the tabernacle surmounted by a large gilt crucifix, 
and above, a painting of the Sacred Heart. The furniture, 
with the exception of a few kneeling chairs, is just as it was 
during her lifetime. Her little table and footstool, her chair 
and priedieu, are all there. On the mantel stands her little 
statue of the Blessed Virgin, with a smaller one of St. Jo- 
seph, and two little vases of flowers on either side; while 
above, hangs a colored photograph of our venerated Mother 
herself. Her cross and ring, her little brass crucifix, the 
constant companion of her faithful life, which never left her 
hand during her illness, the spoon in which she received the 
Holy Viaticum are framed in a glass case, together with 
the white wreath which crowned her, and the branch of 
lilies she held in her hand after death. Do you know that 
our Mother has already worked several miracles? One is so 
striking that I must tell it to you. 

" One of our religious at Lille had suffered for a long 
time with a painful ulcer on the knee. She went about on 
crutches, unable to do any work, and suffering excruciating 
pain. After our Mother Foundress's death, she determined 
to make a novena to her, in which every one in the com- 
munity joined. The very first day, on touching her knee 
with a picture which had touched the body of our Mother, 
it was entirely healed. The doctor who was attending her 
at once declared the cure miraculous and supernatural, but 
waited a month to see if the conditions would continue. 
He then gave his attestation of the miracle. The family of 
the religious sent, in token of gratitude, a pair of silver 
crutches, as an ex-voto offering, for the altar in our Mother's 
room. Here they hang, a proof of one of her first miracles. 

" The atmosphere of the mother-house seems to breathe 

270 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

of Heaven. I am almost expecting to see Our Lord Himself, 
in person, at every turn of the long corridors, and the re- 
ligious silence is so profound, that it is really palpable. Our 
Mothers, when you meet them, have such an interior recol- 
lected appearance, and greet you at the same time with such 
a winning, gentle courtesy, that they seem like angels pass- 
ing on their way. Here one sees the active life combined 
with the full enjoyment of the contemplative. The gardens 
are beautiful. The tree, planted by our Mother Foundress, 
overshadows with its widespreading branches a lovely 
statue of Mater Admirabilis in sorrow. It is in a little 
grotto, covered with vines and ivy, and it is so touching in 
its attitude of profound grief, with the nails in the hands, 
instead of the spindle, and the lance and the crown of thorns, 
instead of the lily, that it is hard to tear oneself away. It 
goes to the heart, to mine at least, even more than the Vir- 
gin in the Temple, but you should pass from one to the 
other, so alike and yet so different. At the foot of the grotto 
are two inscriptions, one stating that the statue is an offer- 
ing to the memory of their venerated Mother by the pupils 
of the rue de Varennes, and the other as follows: 'This 
cedar was planted in 1820 by our venerated Mother Gen- 
eral. Under its shadow she often rested. She did not labor 
for herself only, but for all that seek out the truth,' Ecclus. 
xxiv, 47 ; ' The root of wisdom never faileth,' Wisdom 
iii, 15." 

At this momentous period, prayer was the urgent need 
of the Society of the Sacred Heart, but especially of the 
members called to take part in the coming election. The 
choice of a successor to the Foundress was a matter of the 
gravest importance. The four assistants general, and the 
fifteen vicars entered into a spiritual retreat, and at its close, 
Mother Goetz, the youngest member of the council, was 
unanimously elected Superior General. The novice scribe 
thus relates the event from the information given her: " At 
seven o'clock on the morning of our Lady's Nativity, M, 

271 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

1'Abbe Surat, Vicar-General and ecclesiastical Superior, rep- 
resenting the Archbishop of Paris, said the Mass of the 
Holy Ghost, at which all the Mother Counsellors communi- 
cated. At 8:30 they assembled in the council hall, each 
vicar taking her place according to seniority of profession. 
Mother Goetz presided, assisted by the other two Mothers, 
who were to examine, with her, the votes. Mgr. Surat 
was present, seated on a low platform on the Gospel side 
of the altar, placed in the room for the occasion. The 
Council opened by the ' Veni Creator/ and Mgr. Surat 
then addressed the assembly a few words of exhortation 
appropriate to the occasion. A folded paper ballot was 
passed to each one, upon which she inscribed the name of 
the one she deemed most worthy. Then, in procession, all 
went to the altar, where they deposited their papers in an 
urn, reciting the formula prescribed for the occasion. The 
urn was then carried to Mother Goetz, who turning to Mgr. 
Surat, unfolded each paper, then handed it to one of the 
Mothers, who read aloud the name, while the other regis- 
tered it on the paper before her. They say that as she 
opened each paper, one after another, Mother Goetz grew 
paler, but she was perfectly calm and mistress of herself. 
When the last vote was opened, she threw herself at Mgr. 
Surat's feet, while Mother Prevost, the oldest member of 
the Council, announced that by the unanimous vote of the 
Society, Mother Josephine Goetz was elected to the office of 
Superior General. ' What/ said Mgr. Surat, ' do you still 
doubt, when the unanimous voice of the Society calls you to 
govern it, that light and grace will be wanting to you in the 
fulfillment of your charge? ' He then blessed her, and she 
was led to her chair, where the Mothers came forward to 
pay her the homage of their filial submission, kneeling and 
kissing her hand. 

" After this ceremony, which, they say, was touching in 
the extreme, they all proceeded to the chapel in procession, 
the youngest first and Mother Goetz the last, followed by 

272 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

Mgr. Surat, reciting the ' Benedictus.' The moment the 
new Mother General appeared at the chapel door, the whole 
community being, of course, assembled there, the organ 
gave the note of the Te Deum, which all sang, while Mother 
Prevost led our new Mother to her stall, that stall which 
had been vacant since our venerated Mother's death. Mgr. 
Surat then gave a beautiful instruction on the authority of 
superiors, which always comes from God, alluding very 
feelingly to our Mother Foundress, in a manner so delicate 
that it could only comfort and console the one chosen to 
take her place. He also addressed a few words to her of 
encouragement and congratulation, speaking of the pleasure 
it undoubtedly gave her venerated Mother to see her in that 
place. A second Mass was then said, after which the com- 
munity assembled to pay homage to their Mother." 

The new Mother General manifested the most maternal 
interest in the welfare of the American houses, and decided 
upon several important changes in the New York Vicariate, 
among others, the project of transferring the novitiate from 
Manhattanville to Kenwood. Mother Hardey returned to 
New York about the end of September. She visited the 
little foundation in Philadelphia in November, and was 
much pleased to find already forty-five pupils in the school. 
With the first cold days of winter, an accident occurred at 
Manhattanville, which gave her a terrible shock. During 
the hour of meditation, about 6 a. m., as she was praying in 
the chapel, the noise of an explosion shook the house, and, 
hastening from the chapel, she found that the boiler in the 
engine house had burst and the engineer was buried in the 
ruins. Her first words were, " Send for the priest ! " 

The noise of the explosion and the flying pieces of iron 
and debris through the air attracted the attention of the 
villagers, who hastened to the spot and helped to extricate 
the poor victim in time for him to receive absolution before 
he expired. Mother Hardey 's energy and management were 
equal to the exigencies of the moment. The cold was in- 

18 273 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

tense, and the repairs required in the engine house would 
necessitate many weeks, so she ordered from the city a suffi- 
cient number of stoves, which were set up before evening 
throughout the building. The pupils' parents had such con- 
fidence in her care for the welfare of the children that not 
one was withdrawn from the school while the privation of 
steam lasted. 

Some months after she had experienced this dreadful 
shock a catastrophe of another nature occurred, causing for 
several days intense anguish as to the fate of some of her 
daughters. After the Civil War, the convents of the Sacred 
Heart in Louisiana were in great need of lay Sisters, as 
vocations to the humble life of Martha were very rare, 
owing to the fact that manual work had been done almost 
exclusively by the slaves. Mother Shannon, in her distress, 
appealed to Mother Hardey for help, offering to pay the 
traveling expenses of as many Sisters as she could send to 
Saint Michael's. Naturally the request found a ready re- 
sponse in the heart of Mother Hardey, who set about select- 
ing generous souls, able and willing to devote themselves 
wherever obedience ordained. A band of six courageotts 
Sisters sailed for New Orleans on September 22, 1866, full 
of trust in Mary Star of the Sea, who did not fail to give 
them a striking proof of her protection. In the middle of 
the night they were suddenly startled by the noise of a 
frightful crash and cries of terror around them. The steamer 
had struck a rock off the coast of North Carolina, and, to 
add to the danger, a terrific wind extinguished all the lights 
on board. The news of the disaster was known only many 
days after, but the account given in the papers was harrow- 
ing in the extreme. We can picture Mother Hardey's an- 
guish for the fate of her daughters, as the report announced 
that only a few lives were saved. At last, after vain at- 
tempts to get reliable information, she received the follow- 
ing letter from a former pupil of Manhattanville residing in 
Petersburg, Virginia: 

274 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

" DEAR MADAME : 

" I hasten to relieve your anxiety in regard to our dear 
Sisters, who were wrecked off the coast of North Carolina 
last Sunday, in the steamship Evening Star. Three days 
ago as I was sitting down to my dinner Mr. Young handed 
me the newspaper, in which I read these lines : ' Several 
Religious of the Sacred Heart were on the wrecked ves- 
sel going to New Orleans. They have just arrived at 
the Hotel B., and are in the greatest destitution.' There 
was no appetite for dinner that day! I begged Mr. Young 
to order the carriage at once, and we both set out imme- 
diately with provisions, clothing and money, everything that 
could be of service to the dear sufferers. It was a real dis- 
appointment to find on our arrival that we had been fore- 
stalled by Col. Lee, in whom the dear Sisters found a most 
devoted protector. They were well nigh exhausted, having 
had neither sleep nor sufficient nourishment for six days. 
The steamer had left New York with three hundred pas- 
sengers on Saturday morning. It met with a fearful tempest 
on Sunday. Night added to the horrors of the situation, 
for the wind extinguished the lights, leaving all in the 
vessel in complete darkness. About one in the morn- 
ing there was a terrible crash which caused indescrib- 
able terror and confusion among the passengers. In a 
few moments the steamer lurched to one side, and the water 
rushed through the open holes, for the ship had struck a 
rock. It was a desert spot for miles around, so that no 
help could be expected from shore, nothing but the Provi- 
dence of God and their own efforts could save them from a 
watery grave. The danger was imminent, and the only al- 
ternative left was to climb up on the side of the vessel 
which was out of the water and wait there until daybreak 
would enable them to get into the life-boats. 

" This was no easy task, as the side of the vessel was 
very high, and, in order to reach the boats, each passenger 
had to be tied around the waist and let down the length of 

275 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the vessel to the frail bark below. The sea was so rough 
that not one of the passengers was willing to take the risk. 
It was then that the captain, who had noticed the self-com- 
posure of the Sisters, appealed to them to set the example 
of courage. The youngest Sister asked to be let down first, 
then the others followed, while tears and cries of terror 
resounded all around them. Others soon followed their ex- 
ample, but the greater number fell into the raging waters 
and were drowned. In fact out of the three hundred on 
board only twenty-eight were saved. From the life-boat 
the Sisters were transferred to a fishing smack, where 
they remained all day and the following night exposed to 
the winds and waves, but still calm and courageous, full of 
trust in God's fatherly care, and by their heroic example 
inspiring their own spirit of peaceful resignation into the 
hearts of those around them. Many of the rescued passen- 
gers declared they owed their lives to the example of the 
good Sisters. I was told by Sister N. that, when they were 
leaving the life-boat, some one put into her hand a little 
traveling bag, saying, ' here is some medicine for you ! ' 
On opening the bag she found a flask of brandy, which she 
was happy to share with her companions in the fishing boat. 
When the frail bark reached the shore, the inhabitants treat- 
ed them with great kindness, but they had three days more 
of privations of all sorts before they reached Petersburg. 
Here they received every attention. The parish priest con- 
ducted our good Sisters to the church, where they poured 
out their thanksgiving to God for their miraculous deliver- 
ance. I wanted to bring them to my home, but they in- 
sisted on starting by rail on their journey, as soon as they 
were sufficiently rested. The railroad officials gave them 
free tickets to New Orleans, and I feel sure they will want 
for nothing during the journey." 

To the credit of Colonel Lee, one of the passengers on 
board the Evening Star, be it said, that no father could 
have been more solicitous for the comfort of his children 

276 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

than he was for these Sisters. He insisted upon accompany- 
ing them all the way to New Orleans, and only relinquished 
his guardianship when half way en route he met a priest 
who promised to see them safely to their destination. 
Mother Hardey's gratitude for the preservation of her 
daughters was sincere and heartfelt, and their noble exam- 
ple amid such trying scenes was a source of great consola- 
tion to her. It was gratifying also to receive these details 
from one of her former pupils, whose affection and devoted- 
ness was so strikingly manifested to those whose claim 
upon her charity was their title of Religious of the Sacred 
Heart. 

The erection of the new convent at Kenwood, necessi- 
tated Mother Hardey's frequent visits there during the 
Spring and Summer of 1866. The Rathbone mansion had 
to be demolished to give place to an edifice three hundred 
and thirty feet long, with three wings, each one hundred 
feet in length, and as the undertaking was an important one, 
especially in regard to the transfer of the noviceship, Mother 
Goetz thought it expedient for Mother Hardey to take up 
her abode there. She summoned to Paris Madame Bou- 
dreau, the Assistant Superior and Mistress General of Man- 
hattanville, for the purpose of seeing whether she could re- 
place Mother Hardey as superior, and some weeks later she 
wrote to Mother Hardey as follows : 

"PARIS, July, 1866. 
" MY DEAR MOTHER : 

" Would it be in accordance with your views to name 
Mother Boudreau Superior of Manhattanville? Our 
Mothers here favor this appointment, but they desire to 
know your opinion before coming to a decision. If the 
choice meets with your approval, you can thus, in addition 
to your office as vicar, assume the charge of the house at 
Kenwood." 

After dwelling upon the wisdom of providing a home fcr 

277 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the novices, far from the immediate vicinity of the great 
metropolis, Mother Goetz adds: 

" Our Mothers Assistant appreciate, as I do, all that our 
convents in America owe to you, dear Mother. You have 
consecrated to their welfare your health, your strength, 
your very life, establishing wherever you have been, the 
true spirit of the Society. Hence you have a right to our 
confidence and esteem. Be sure that you may always count 
upon my sincere affection." 

Some weeks later Mother Goetz wrote again: 

" Yesterday I signed and handed to Mother Boudreau 
her letter of obedience. I am convinced that she will do 
all in her power to accomplish successfully the duties of 
her position, and to carry on the good work, so firmly estab- 
lished by you at Manhattanville." 

Mother Hardey was then to leave the religious family 
which she had governed for over a quarter of a century. 
Though her heart suffered at the prospect of separation, 
she showed no sign of regret. The will of the Superior Gen- 
eral was the expression of the will of God, consequently 
her will also, but the announcement of the change was made 
known to the community only on the return of Mother Bou- 
dreau, who was immediately installed as superior. 

When Archbishop McCloskey was notified of her trans- 
fer to Kenwood, he expressed his disapproval, and handed 
Mother Hardey a letter from Mother Barat to Archbishop 
Hughes, promising that she would never withdraw Mother 
Hardey from Manhattanville. The letter had been pre- 
served in the archives of the Cathedral. With her usual 
adherence to authority, Mother Hardey answered, " Both 
the archbishop and Mother Barat have passed away, and 
the promise in no way binds Mother Barat's successor." 
The archbishop then declared that he would solicit a sim- 
ilar promise from Mother Goetz, but in her own gentle, per- 
suasive way, Mother Hardey assured his Grace, that it was 
a happiness for her to give this proof of her submission to 

278 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

higher authority, and that, while she appreciated the arch- 
bishop's regard for herself personally, she would consider 
it a subject for lifelong regret were his influence to change 
the orders of obedience. Needless to add that she succeeded 
in reconciling the archbishop to her departure. To her 
daughters she spoke of the merit of obedience and the price- 
less value of sacrifice. After the opening of the school at 
Manhattanville she went to Kenwood on September I4th, 
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She apprised 
the Mother General of her arrival in the following words: 
" The sacrifice is accomplished, and, although bitter to the 
heart, it has been sweetened by the thought that in making 
it I have rilled an important rule. How grateful I am to 
you my Very Reverend Mother for having given me the 
opportunity to obey." 

If Mother Hardey rejoiced in the sacrifice which obedi- 
ence demanded, she was also happy to feel the privation of 
holy poverty awaiting her in her new home. The con- 
vent wing was not completed until the twelfth of January, 
1867, and, in the interval, there were many hardships to 
endure. She refused to take a room for her use, sleeping on 
a cot wherever it was convenient to place it, and occupying 
during the day some corner where she would not incon- 
venience others, always carrying with her from place to 
place a little satchel containing her correspondence. She 
was the first at each community exercise, and the first to 
respond to every call for help in the domestic employments. 
She was frequently found in the laundry, helping the Sis- 
ters, and she often joined the novices occupied on the lawn 
in picking hair for the mattresses. Her presence made 
their work a joyous pastime, for, on these occasions, 
she was truly a mother in the midst of her children. The 
greater part of her time was given to the inspection of the 
building, and the cultivation of the farm. Passing one day 
where the workmen were taking their lunch, she noticed 
that they were drinking cold coffee, and at once gave or- 

279 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

ders, that, in future, their cans should be sent to the kitchen. 
After some days the cook complained that so many cans 
encumbered the range. Mother Hardey gently reproved 
her by saying, " Sister, you should be happy to be incon- 
venienced in order to serve the poor." 

Repeated calls to the parlor found her always ready to 
receive her visitors, whatever their station, with that gra- 
cious courtesy which put them at once at ease. If a work- 
man, or poor person, asked to see her, she went all the more 
promptly, warning the portress, " never to keep a poor per- 
son waiting, for with them time is money." 

It grieved her to see the children of the neighborhood 
growing up without the benefit of religious instruction, 
and as soon as possible she opened a free school for them. 
One of the novices was trained to take charge of this good 
work, and when the classes were formed Mother Hardey 
often assisted at the lessons, examined herself the writing 
books, and took a lively interest in all that concerned the 
children's welfare. Wishing to inspire them with devotion 
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she sought to make the first 
Friday of the month a red letter day. Nor were prayer and 
instruction the only feature of her programme. A little 
feast of dainties was always prepared for the children 
before they returned home. Their numbers increased so 
rapidly that after a few years a fine school house was 
built for their accommodation and there was a usual at- 
tendance of over three hundred children. She also or- 
ganized sodalities for both young girls and married women. 
The distance from Albany seemed, at first, an obstacle to 
the success of the work, but her energy surmounted every 
difficulty. The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin opened with 
five members; at the time of her death it numbered more 
than two hundred. 

In 1867 Mother Hardey put on a firmer basis another 
of her early works. As the children in the parochial 
school had become too numerous to be accommodated in the 

280 



DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP HUGHES 

Seventeenth Street convent building in New York, she do- 
nated the three lots facing on Eighteenth Street for the site 
of a suitable school building, the expenses of which were to 
be defrayed by the parish. Later, however, she was obliged 
to assume the entire cost, over ten thousand dollars, as the 
Jesuit Fathers found it impossible to raise the money. The 
letters of Rev. Father Fleck, S.J., director of the parish 
schools, express in glowing terms his gratitude to Mother 
Hardey, whom he playfully styles, his " Fairy Godmother," 
so promptly did she come to his assistance when each pay- 
ment came due. The proceeds of a concert and sundry col- 
lections in the parish were appropriated to the furnishing of 
the class rooms and other incidental expenses. The con- 
tinued prosperity of this school was a life-long consolation 
to Mother Hardey. 

On the nineteenth of May, 1867, Right Rev. Bishop Con- 
roy laid the corner stone of the Kenwood Chapel. Mother 
Hardey watched over the progress of the building with the 
deepest interest, happy in being able to provide a fitting 
sanctuary for the King of Kings. Another ceremony took 
place on the eighth of September, the blessing of a chime 
of bells. When the news of this event reached Paris, 
Mother Goetz wrote, that the introduction of chimes into 
a convent of the Sacred Heart, seemed to her contrary to 
the spirit of poverty, which had been handed down by the 
Mother Foundress. Mother Hardey, submissive as ever to 
the voice of authority, wrote immediately to the Mother 
General : 

" I return you heartfelt thanks, my Very Reverend 
Mother, for your charitable warning. It is true, that the 
pupils of Manhattanville made a gift to this house of four 
bells, destined for the church, the community, the school 
and the clock. They were made according to notes which 
form a chime, but they have not been hung for that pur- 
pose, nor will they ever be used for chimes, now that you 
have had the goodness to let me see how contrary it would 

281 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

be to our spirit of poverty ; and, if you prefer that we should 
not apply them to the purposes for which they are des- 
tined, they shall be removed at once. I cannot tell you, my 
Very Reverend Mother, how grateful I am for your kind 
warning, and I beg you will always be equally frank with 
me in like circumstances." 

A few years later Mother Hardey gave three of the bells 
to the Church of St. Anne, in Albany. The Kenwood com- 
munity never knew why the chimes were not used. We 
may well believe that the obedience of a faithful, docile 
heart, made sweeter music in the ear of God, than the 
melody of joyous bells. 



282 



CHAPTER XXII. 

DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA DEATH OF MOTHER TRINCANO 
MOTHER HARDEY VISITS THE POTTOWATOMIE MIS- 
SIONS ATTENDS RETREAT OF SUPERIORS 
IN PARIS 1867-1869. 

On taking possession of the See of Havana, in 1865, 
Bishop Martinez assumed an unfriendly attitude towards 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart. His Lordship, though 
zealous and saintly, was devoted to Spain and to Spanish 
customs, and he looked with suspicion on a religious com- 
munity introduced from the United States, and governed by 
a superior over whom he had no control. Moreover, he 
found that the " Royal Order " of approbation had not been 
obtained from Spain, and hence the convents were not 
canonically established. Neither the Captain General 
Concha, nor the former bishop, had deemed this formality 
necessary, but the new bishop, imbued with Spanish ideas 
of Monasticism, looked upon the Religious of the Sacred 
Heart as " Fillibusters," and began at once to denounce 
them in public and in private. He set at naught certain privi- 
leges guaranteed to the Society by the Holy See, censured 
the form of cloister observed, objected to candidates for the 
Congregation making their novitiate outside of his diocese, 
and finally withdrew the English speaking Jesuit confessor, 
and appointed a Capuchin father who could not understand 
a word of English. The consequence was that for several 
months, five of the religious were deprived of the Sacra- 
ments, being unable to make their confession in Spanish. 
Among these was a Sister in the last stages of consumption. 
At the suggestion of Mother Hardey, Madame d'Abreu, the 
Superior, wrote the following urgent appeal to the bishop: 

" I cannot express to your Lordship how intense is my 
grief, when these souls, bathed in tears and crushed with 

283 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

sorrow, speak to me of their anguish. Having left home 
and country in obedience to the call of God, they now find 
themselves denied even the means of salvation. Great was 
my astonishment to learn from our confessor that there 
was no remedy ; we have only to obey, for he does not be- 
lieve your Lordship will pay any attention to my petition. 
Moreover, he tells me that you will not return home before 
Holy Week. Are these religious to be deprived of Confes- 
sion and Communion until then? And must our dying Sis- 
ter appear before God, without the grace of the Last Sacra- 
ments, so necessary at such a moment? I cannot believe 
that your Lordship will turn a deaf ear to my appeal, and 
I feel confident you will authorize an English speaking 
priest to minister to the needs of these five religious. Hop- 
ing to receive a favorable reply, I remain, with profound 
respect and filial submission, 

" Yours, etc., 

" ROSA D'ABREU, R.S.C.J." 

The bishop did not deign to reply to the appeal, and as 
soon as Mother Hardey learned that Sister Anne was in a 
dying condition, she started immediately for Havana, hop- 
ing she might succeed in propitiating his Lordship. She 
sailed so promptly that there was no time to notify the com- 
munity of her coming, and their surprise and joy may be well 
imagined when she appeared at the door of the convent. 
Her first question was, " How is Sister Anne? " " She left 
us for heaven this morning," answered the Superior. An 
expression of anguish passed over Mother Hardey's face, 
and she asked to be taken immediately to the dead Sister. 
There she knelt in fervent prayer, her tears coursing down 
her cheeks, and her whole demeanor betokening the most 
intense grief. 

" This was indeed a memorable visit," writes one of her 
daughters. " Our hearts were divided between joy and 
sorrow, joy to have our Mother with us, and sorrow because 

284 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

of the painful circumstances which brought her. Deter- 
mined to do all she could for us, our Mother solicited the 
favor of a visit from the bishop. It was flatly refused. 
Through the intervention of mutual friends, she negotiated 
for an audience at the episcopal palace, but when she pre- 
sented herself at the appointed hour, she was informed that 
his Lordship had left the city, as he was determined not to 
meet her. That evening at recreation, we told our Mother 
we had prayed fervently for the success of her visit. With 
a peculiar smile she thanked us, adding, ' You obtained for 
me a great grace/ then pausing a moment, she said, ' You 
obtained for me a humiliation, and a humiliation is always 
a great grace ! ' ' 

Having learned that his Lordship was going to Sancto 
Spiritu, she left immediately in the hope of meeting him 
there. To the bishop's dismay she was the first to greet 
him on his arrival at the convent. He seemed much im- 
pressed by her gracious and humble acceptance of his 
wishes in regard to that house, and before his departure, he 
restored nearly all the privileges he had withdrawn from 
that family, but he was inflexible in regard to the Havana 
house. Mother Hardey was forced to return to New York, 
feeling that in part her mission to Cuba had been a failure. 
She made known the result to the Superior General and 
her Council, who decided to refer the matter to Rome, with 
a request for permission to suppress the Cuban houses. 
His Eminence, Cardinal Bofondi, Protector of the Society 
of the Sacred Heart, sent the following reply to Madame 
Lehon, one of the Assistants General: 

" VERY REV. MOTHER ASSISTANT GENERAL : 

" The Holy Father, having been solicited to authorize 
the suppression of the two houses which your Society has 
in Cuba, does not favor this measure, as it would deprive 
that country of the great spiritual good which is being ac- 
complished there, as elsewhere, by the religious of your 

285 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Institute. An academy, which according to the bishop's 
own letter contains more than one hundred and fifty pupils, 
must enjoy the esteem and confidence of the public, and 
thereby refutes most triumphantly certain assertions made 
by Monseigneur in his famous letter. His Holiness has ex- 
pressed himself in the most benevolent manner in regaid 
to the Institute of the Sacred Heart. He sympathizes with 
the religious who must remain in Havana, but he reminds 
them that, in order to acquire any merit, we must be dis- 
posed to suffer something for it. In the meantime, the 
Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars will write 
again to his Lordship, the bishop, requesting him, in the 
name of the Holy Father, to have all possible regard for the 
welfare of the religious, and to procure for them the means 
of accomplishing what is prescribed in their Constitutions, 
which have been approved by the Holy See, and also of 
conforming to the particular usages established. The Holy 
Father trusts that the religious, on their side, will strive 
to correspond to the wishes of the bishop in such matters 
as do not affect the fundamental points proper to the whole 
Institute. 

" I cannot say whether the letter to the bishop and the 
wishes of his Holiness will have the desired effect. How- 
ever it may turn, a new attempt will have been made, and, 
in accordance with the result obtained, we shall with greater 
certainty come to a definite decision. 

" I request your maternity to keep me informed of all 
that may take place, in order that I may be prepared to 
answer the questions that may be addressed to me. Beg- 
ging you to present my respects to the Very Reverend 
Mother General and to accept for yourself the assurance of 
my profound esteem and veneration, I remain, etc., 

"J. CARDINAL BOFONDI." 

Mother Goetz bowed before the decision of the Holy 
See. She requested Mother Hardey to make a second at- 

286 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

tempt at reconciliation with the bishop. " Humble your- 
self," she wrote, " throw yourself at the feet of his Lord- 
ship, and beg pardon for the pain we have caused him, as- 
suring him that we have no other desire than to be his most 
humble and dutiful daughters." 

Mother Hardey set out again for Havana, on the third 
of February, 1868. This time the bishop consented to an 
interview. At first, he was cold and uncompromising, b'lt 
the humble readiness with which Mother Hardey acknowl- 
edged his authority and yielded to his demands, com- 
pletely disarmed him, and he granted many concessions 
before she left. Towards the close of the year 1868 she 
again visited Cuba. This time it was her painful duty to 
suppress the house in Sancto Spiritu. War with Spain had 
broken out, and the hostile armies stood face to face, 
almost at the threshold of the convent. There was little 
hope for the future of the school, as the principal families 
fled from the city. But although it only lasted five years, 
this interesting mission was fruitful in blessings to the poor 
especially, and to the many souls who were led to a holier 
life. There were several vocations to the Society from 
among the pupils. 

On account of his political views, Monseigneur Martinez 
was obliged to return to Spain. Before his departure, he 
manifested very friendly sentiments towards the religious 
of the Havana convent and, in his letters from Spain, he 
frequently sent a special blessing to his " daughters of the 
Sacred Heart." The days of tribulation had passed, and the 
gain to Mother Hardey and her daughters was noted in the 
eternal records of God. 

During the summer of 1867, Mother Hardey went to 
Canada to assist at the ceremony of the dedication of the 
new church of the Sault-au-Recollet. The happiness of 
meeting again her former daughters was marred by the 
state of health in which she found Mother Trincano. She 
obtained permission to remove the invalid to Kenwood, and 

287 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

left nothing undone to prolong so useful a life. In a few 
weeks Mother Trincano recovered sufficiently to be able 
to write to her family at " the Sault." In one of her letters 
she says : " I take daily walks in the garden of abandon- 
ment to the will of God, and at times I weave together 
again the threads of my wasted years. If God gives me 
strength to return to my dear family, I shall strive to repair 
the past, by an increase of fidelity to our holy rules, and of 
devotedness to the welfare of your souls." 

The slight relief in her sufferings was, however, only 
temporary. Her infirmities increased with the approach of 
winter, and Mother Hardey had the sorrow of realizing 
that her beloved friend was soon to hear the supreme 
" Veni." On the 25th of April, 1868, Mother Trincano re- 
turned to " the Sault " and these devoted friends parted to 
meet again only in another world. 

We have already mentioned in previous chapters what 
efficient aid Mother Trincano had rendered to Mother Har- 
dey, especially in the training of the novices and probation- 
ists, and in the organizing of foundations. Her brilliant 
talents enabled her to exercise an extraordinary influence 
for good, but it was chiefly by the practice of her humble 
virtues, that her life was a shining light to the souls whom 
she led on to perfection. From the year 1840, as we learn from 
" Notes of her retreats," abandonment to the will of God 
was the spirit that characterized her entire life. In her own 
words, " Trifling difficulties as well as great trials are like 
visiting cards upon which is written the name of Jesus." 
Her life was a continual war against self; but even to the 
end, God left enough of nature in her for all to recognize 
the triumph of grace in her soul. Her spirit of mortification 
led her to deny herself the least enjoyment, and to practice 
the most severe penances. These were multiplied even to the 
shedding of blood, during the seasons of carnival, Lent and 
spiritual retreats. After the example of her patroness, St. 
Teresa, she had made a vow " to do always what was most 

288 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

perfect." Its faithful observance was manifested in her 
every action. She often repeated to her daughters, " Our 
love for our Rule should be so grounded in us, that were the 
Society suppressed, each one should be able to say, I am the 
Society, for the Rules and Constitutions are so engraven in 
my heart, that they shall live there forever." 

Mother Trincano's sanctity was held in high repute, 
even beyond the circle of her own congregation. Seculars 
regarded her as a woman filled with the Spirit of God, and 
few could resist the power of her eloquence, or the influence 
of her holy example. Bishop Bourget once playfully re- 
marked to her : " Why, Mother, they say you are a born 
orator ! " With a glowing countenance she eagerly, but 
modestly, replied, " Ah ! Monseigneur, a religious could not 
be otherwise than eloquent, when she speaks of God." 
After her return to " the Sault " she redoubled her zeal for 
the perfection of her daughters. The eve of the Feast of 
the Sacred Heart, she was helped to the door of her room 
to give her blessing to the community assembled outside. 
Supported by two religious, she addressed them the follow- 
ing words : " This is a fitting time to apply to the Society 
the text, ' Israel arose as one man,' since to-morrow all 
hearts, united in the Heart of Jesus, will rise to proclaim 
their fidelity to their Divine Spouse. Renewed in His Spirih, 
all will set out once more to win souls to His love and 
service. Oh, yes! let us labor at the expense of health, of 
earthly joys, of our very life let us sacrifice to this dear 
work our inclinations, our faculties, our entire being." 

In the month of September it was judged prudent for 
Mother Trincano to receive Extreme Unction. During the 
touching ceremony, her soul was flooded with joy and con- 
solation. Before the community withdrew from the room, 
she said to them : " Nothing will be hard for you, if you 
look upon your crucified Spouse fastened to the cross for 
love of you. Let your crucifix be the sacred volume, in 
which you will study the price of souls, and having lcarne-1 

19 289 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

your lesson well, go and devote yourselves to their salva- 
tion, imitating the life of sacrifice of those who have pre- 
ceded you in the sublime career." 

Death came in the early dawn of the twelfth of No- 
vember. After receiving the last indulgence, the dying 
mother gathered up all her strength, to express once more 
to her devoted daughters, the sentiments of her grateful 
heart. " In heaven," she said, " if God be merciful to me, 
I will think of you, watch over you, and plead for you, with 
a mother's tender love." Her face became radiant and she 
seemed to be contemplating some ravishing spectacle, as 
with the words, " Father, into Thy hands I commend my 
spirit," she yielded up her soul to God. 

When the telegram announcing her death was received, 
Mother Hardey went at once before the Tabernacle to give 
vent to her grief for the loss of her loyal friend and coun- 
sellor during their close intimacy of over twenty years. On 
leaving the chapel she assembled the community, and in 
touching words requested their prayers for the dear de- 
parted, who had so many claims upon their affection and 
gratitude. 

We have seen in one of Mother Hardey's early letters 
to Mother Barat, in 1835, how earnestly she pleaded for the 
foundation solicited by Bishop Purcell for Cincinnati. As 
Bishop Dubois had made a similar application for New 
York, previous to this, that diocese received preference. 
The Sisters of Notre Dame from Namur were introduced 
into the Diocese of Cincinnati, in July, 1840, by Bishop 
Purcell, and the daughters of Blessed Julia Billiart, who 
have exercised a most successful apostolate in the education 
of young girls have been especially successful there. Al- 
though from time to time the question of establishing a 
convent of the Sacred Heart in the diocese was agitated, it 
was only in the year 1869 that the project was seriously con- 
sidered. Mother Hardey received the following letter on 
the subject from the well-known convert, Mrs. Sarah 

290 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

Peter, whose zeal in behalf of the spread of Catholicity in 
Ohio has left lasting monuments to her memory : 

" CINCINNATI, April 22, 1869. 
" MY DEAR MADAME HARDEY : 

" It is so long since I have seen you that I fear I have 
become almost a stranger; still I am sure you have not for- 
gotten one who has so long loved you and so well. You 
would perhaps laugh, if you were to know how many ef- 
forts I continue to make to bring your dear congregation 
and yourself also into our neighborhood. I have only de- 
sisted when my attempts seemed hopeless. Yet now, just 
now, for it is not a half hour since I left the archbishop, all 
my hopes are renewed. Without any hint from me, or 
even the thought of it, his Grace mentioned that a magnifi- 
cent property, beautifully situated, two or three miles out 
of the city, had been offered him and he thought it would 
be altogether suitable for a convent of the Sacred Heart, 
and to my surprise he requested me to write to you about it, 
saying that it is his wish to have your Institute here, for 
we have room enough for all ! " 

The good lady then gives details of the property and en- 
larges upon the success to be expected and the apostola^e 
awaiting the religious of the Sacred Heart in Cincinnati : 
" How many years I have longed for your coming ! How 
much it is to be regretted that there is no house of your 
Society from St. Louis to Philadelphia ! " A little later she 
wrote again : " It is delightful to me to find the archbishop 
and Father Purcell so very zealous for your coming. I have 
never known either of them to express so strong a desire 
for any other religious order. Father Hill, the Rector of 
the Jesuits, has just been here to inquire about your move- 
ments, and there seems to be a general awakening of good 
wishes for your coming." 

About the time these letters were received, Mother Hai- 
dey was requested by the Mother General to visit the Indian 

291 



Mission of the Pottowatomies in Kansas, with a view to its 
suppression. She was also to examine certain financial af- 
fairs of the convent in St. Louis, and to contribute aid, if 
possible, towards the erection of the new convent at Mary- 
ville. In answer to this appeal, she suspended at once the 
building of one of the wings at Kenwood, and gave the 
funds destined for it to the western vicariate. On her way 
to St. Louis she stopped in Cincinnati, to confer with Arch- 
bishop Purcell on the proposed foundation, promising to 
refer the matter to the Mother General. After a brief stay 
at the convent in St. Louis, she proceeded to Saint Mary's, 
Kansas. We give an account of this interesting visit from 
a letter written by her secretary: 

" Here we are in Kansas, at the Mission of the Pottowa- 
tomies. We arrived at 2 P. M. yesterday, and were cor- 
dially welcomed by the Rector of the Jesuits, who con- 
ducted us through his garden to the convent grounds, where 
Mother Milmoe and the community were awaiting us. The 
convent, a frame building in the rear of the Jesuit College, 
might be taken for one of the out-houses. There is no 
plastering in any part of the house, the ceilings and walls 
are of whitewashed muslin. In the parlor and next best 
room the muslin is covered with colored paper, and the floor 
is of rough planks. After taking dinner, we went to the 
church, which is about one hundred and fifty feet distant, 
to make our adoration. The interior is rather pretty, con- 
sidering the place. There are two side chapels, one for 
the college boys, the other for the Sacred Heart Community 
and pupils. After our devotions Mother Galwey took us 
through the grounds. Our first visit was to the barnyard, 
where we saw fifty cows and at least two dozen calves. I 
asked the Sister how many cows the Fathers had. ' Why,' 
she answered, ' these are the Fathers' cows and ours also/ 
It seems that everything here is common property. We 
visited the class rooms, where we found about sixty 
girls of every hue and grade, from the full-blooded Indian 

292 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

up to whites. Near the convent are two little huts, I cannot 
give them any other name. In one we found the kitchen 
and the pupils' refectory. Of course, I did not expect to 
find white tablecloths and napkins, but the tin plate and 
cup, iron spoon, fork and knife set at each place, surprised 
me not a little. In the second hut was the refectory of the 
community. The room was rather miserable looking, but 
we had white stoneware instead of tin, and everything 
looked neat and clean. The next apartment was the com- 
munity dormitory, containing four beds. In the middle of 
the room is a little altar, on which is a statute of the Blessed 
Virgin, resembling a squaw, and pasted on the wall are 
four angels in gilt paper and cut in most fantastic shapes. 
We named it the ' Chapel of the Angels/ After meals the 
community go there for the accustomed visit, the church 
being too distant, especially in bad weather. 

" The next room, in the same cabin, is the pupils' in- 
firmary, in which there are two beds, and here seven or 
eight ' Indian ladies ' sometimes lodge, the extra number 
reposing on the floor. After supper we took a walk to the 
wash-house, about half a mile distant, near the river, and 
on returning we had a view of the tents in which the Indians 
were encamped on the brow of the hill, having come many 
miles to assist at the Mass on Sunday. There are five choir 
religious and seven sisters in the community. Among them 
Reverend Mother was delighted to find Sister Mary Lay- 
ton, who was a Grand Coteau when she was a pupil there. 
In fact, the Sister went from Saint Louis with Mother Aude 
to make the foundation, so you can imagine her joy in meet- 
ing Reverend Mother again. 

" On Sunday morning, at half past five, we went to the 
church, where we heard two Masses. The community and 
pupils were present at the second, and quite a congregation 
was in the church, the men on one side, the women on the 
other. We had singing during Mass, even while Holy Com- 
munion was being given, and as soon as the Mass ceased, 

293 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

two or three babies struck up a chorus, which, strange to 
say, they stopped at the first sound of the organ. Two In- 
dian men sang canticles in their native tongue. It was 
really very devotional. At this Mass, we communicated. 
The Communion railing is divided into two parts, on one 
side of which the men communicate, on the other side the 
women. After Mass, the priest read points of meditation 
for the month of May, and concluded with a nice little in- 
struction on the Blessed Virgin. The Sacred Heart pupils 
were dressed in calicoes and muslins of every color. Their 
only uniform consists of pink muslin sunbonnets and shoes, 
for you must know the young Indian maidens go barefoot 
on week days." 

Having made herself thoroughly acquainted with the 
resources and necessities of the mission, Mother Hardey de- 
cided upon plans for the erection of a new convent, which 
was to serve as a boarding school for the daughters of the 
white settlers, while a section was to be appropriated to the 
use of the day pupils, the half civilized Indian girls living in 
the neighborhood. A question of a rather delicate nature 
now presented itself for solution. The property up to this 
time had been held as a joint possession by the Jesuits and 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart, but Mother Hardey 
deemed it expedient to divide the land as well as the 
pecuniary resources of the mission. The settlement was 
made easy by the disinterestedness of all parties concerned. 
After the deeds were drawn up, they were taken to Leaven- 
worth and signed at the episcopal residence in presence of 
Bishop Miege, S.J. Years after, in alluding to this trans- 
action, this prelate expressed his esteem and admiration for 
Mother Hardey, whose business capacity amazed him ; but 
more than all was he impressed by her deep religious vir- 
tues, and that just appreciation of things temporal and 
eternal, which characterized all her dealings with other?. 
" To my mind," he said, " she is a finished type of a true 
Religious of the Sacred Heart." 

294 



DIFFICULTIES IN HAVANA 

Mother Hardey's interest in the welfare of the Western 
houses was not confined to this visit. After her return to 
Kenwood, she continued to send help and advice when 
solicited, as we learn from the letters of the religious 
charged with the superintendence 1 of the new buildings at 
Maryville. ''Had you not come to our assistance, dear 
Reverend Mother, by sending us the five thousand dollars, 
I know not what we should have done. Our Mother Gen- 
eral told me in her last letter that all her hopes for Mary- 
ville rest upon you. I, also, trust to your charity, for, as 
you know, we have no resources in this vicariate." 

Some months later this same religious writes : " Permit 
me to offer my heartfelt thanks for the money you have so 
generously sent us. Our Divine Master and our Mother 
General know how I long to prove to you my filial and re- 
ligious gratitude. I beg Our Lord to reward you a hundred- 
fold for all you have done for Maryville, and I trust that all 
who dwell in this house will remember the debt of grati- 
tude they owe you for helping to build their beautiful home." 

On June 23, 1869, Mother Hardey, accompanied by her 
secretary and Reverend Mother Cornelis, the new Vicar of 
Canada, sailed for France to attend a spiritual retreat for 
Superiors at the Mother House in Paris. The voyage was 
very stormy, the Cuba being at the mercy of the winds 
and waves for fifty-two consecutive hours. Mother Cornelis 
was so very ill the party was obliged to land at Queenstown. 
They proceeded to Dublin and were cordially welcomed at 
the convent of Mount Anville, where they remained until 
the invalid had recovered sufficiently to continue their jour- 
ney. Mother Hardey marked her visit by the gift of a 
sewing machine, and the promise of sending a Sister to show 
them how to use it. 

The retreat at the mother-house was given by Rev. 
Father Olivaint, S.J., the future " martyr of the Commune." 
It was a period of rest and signal graces for Mother Hardey, 
and the prelude of a great sacrifice for herself and her 

295 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

American daughters. Mother Goetz made known to her the 
project she entertained of calling her to Paris in the near 
future to fill the office of Assistant General. We read in 
the French biography of Mother Hardey : " Strong reasons 
justified this decision. The Decrees of the Congregation 
advise that the Counsellors of the Mother General be chosen 
from the nationalities represented in the Society, and no 
one seemed so well qualified for this position as Mother 
Hardey, by reason of her virtue, ability, and thorough ac- 
quaintance with the needs of the Society in North America." 
With this sacrifice in prospect, and the secret buried in 
her own heart, Mother Hardey returned to her post, to con- 
tinue a while longer her mission in her native land. She 
arrived in New York on the ninth of September, and two 
days later her Kenwood family gave her a joyful " Welcome 
Home." 



396 



- il I'l I i i 




1 Maryville, Missouri 

2 Clifton, Cincinnati 

3 St. Charles', Missouri. (New House) 

4 St. Joseph's, Missouri 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI MOTHER HARDEY RESUMES 
THE GOVERNMENT OF MANHATTANVILLE FOUNDA- 
TION OF ROSECROFT, MARYLAND 1869-1871. 

Mother Hardey's first duty on her return from France 
was to carry out the decisions of Mother Goetz respecting 
the change of superiors in the Vicariates of New York and 
Missouri. Mother Gauthreaux was appointed Vicar of the 
Missouri province, in place of Mother Galwey, who was 
named to succeed Mother Boudreau as local superior of 
Manhattanville. The latter went to Eden Hall to replace 
Mother Tucker, who was transferred to the convent in St. 
Louis. It is unnecessary to add that these changes, which 
occasioned so many sacrifices and heart sufferings to the 
religious families concerned, were accepted with a deep 
religious spirit of submission. 

A sweet consolation was afforded to Mother Hardey by 
the dedication of the beautiful gothic chapel of Kenwood, 
on October 20, 1869, feast of Mater Admirabilis. Bishop 
Conroy officiated, assisted by a large number of ecclesiastics, 
and the admirably trained choir of St. Joseph's Church, 
Albany, and two years later, he consecrated the exquisite 
marble altar, his own generous gift to Mother Hardey for 
the new chapel. It remains as a fitting memorial of his 
loyal friendship and of his loving zeal for the House of God. 

Mother Hardey's next work was the arrangement of the 
necessary details of the foundation in Cincinnati. Owing 
to the absence of Archbishop Purcell at the Vatican Coun- 
cil, she thought it prudent to await his return, but let- 
ters from his brother, Very Rev. Edward Purcell, V. G., 
induced her to undertake the foundation at once. Father 
Edward writes: " You appear to have doubts, dear Madame 
Hardey, about your foundation in this diocese. The arch- 

207 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

bishop has told you, and written to you, of his desire that 
you should come to Cincinnati, and even if I were not 
equally anxious on the subject, the fact that it would be a 
pleasure to him, would make it a law for me. Your founda- 
tion does not depend upon any special spot in the diocese, 
but you are welcome to choose over all its territory. I hope 
you will find this sufficiently explicit. Whatever service I 
can be to you, I will cheerfully perform. I may probably 
write again in a day or two to tell you the exact position 
of things here, and what you may expect for your school." 

A few days later he recommends the purchase of a cer- 
tain property just then in the market : " If you could secure 
the place for your Order it would be the best you could 
procure here. I take it for granted that you wish to be 
near the city. The Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of 
Charity monopolize the northern and western sections of 
the country, which lie within a few miles of the city, so 
that Cincinnati would alone be exempt from competition, 
which I think should be avoided if possible. 

" Now, Madame Hardey, I place these plans before you 
that you may ascertain the Divine Will, which you know it 
is your duty to do. I can give only a poor human judgment 
in the matter. The Ursulines have a splendid place forty 
miles from town, which is crowded with pupils, two-thirds 
Protestants. This proves that distance from the city makes 
no difference to the prosperity of an institute. I acknowl- 
edge I would like to have you in, or near, Cincinnati. As 
I said before, I now repeat, that no previous consideration 
and no regard for other Religious Orders in the diocese 
will permit me to hesitate a moment in doing all I can to 
advance your interests. I will do as much from a sense 
of duty in this matter, as I would from impulse of heart in 
any other, and I can assure you that both, poor and insuf- 
ficient as they are, are at the service of your community." 

The desire expressed in these friendly letters seemed of 
itself an indication of the Divine Will, so Mother Hardey, 

298 



FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI 

accompanied by her secretary, left Kenwood for Cincinnati 
in the closing days of October, and was hospitably enter- 
tained by Father Purcell in the episcopal residence. He 
himself accompanied her in quest of a suitable location. 
They found a desirable residence on West Sixth Street, 
which was purchased, and Mother Hardey and her secretary 
took possession on the first of November, under the pat- 
ronage of All Saints. The little band of foundresses was 
summoned from Kenwood, and preparations were begun 
for the opening of the school. It would be needless to 
dwell at length on the part taken by Mother Hardey in 
the domestic work of the foundation. Then, as on former 
occasions, she was in the midst of her daughters, making 
their labors a pleasing pastime, and gently teaching them 
how to interweave pious thoughts with the toil of busy 
hands. 

A loving annalist has left us records of those early days : 
" Our dear Reverend Mother was the life of our happy cir- 
cle, sharing all our occupations, and inspiring us with a 
high sense of our privileges as foundresses. Once while 
we were picking hair and husks for mattresses, she turned to 
me and said, ' Sister, for every leaf you pluck, ask our Lord 
to pluck away a leaf of your imperfections.' It was easy 
to see that her heart was in close union with Him, whom 
she wished to teach us to serve with a generous spirit. 
Mass was celebrated for the first time in our little chapel 
on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, and, on the Feast of the 
Presentation, the aspirants renewed their vows. A few 
days later our Mother gave us a beautiful conference, in 
which she sought to impress us with the nobility and obli- 
gations of our mission. The very word ' foundation,' she 
said, conveys its own meaning. When masons build a 
strong edifice, intended to stand the wear of time, they dig 
a deep trench, place within it massive stones, which they 
cement firmly together. So should it be with this founda- 
tion. Those chosen to be its first members are its founders, 

299 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

and they should strive to be such in spirit and in truth, 
laying deep in their hearts the solid virtues of humility, 
obedience, charity and zeal. Upon the strength of your 
virtues will depend the religious spirit which you will trans- 
mit to your successors. If those who in future years live in 
this house be wanting in humility, it will be because the 
founders have not laid the foundation stone of this beau- 
tiful virtue, dearer than all others to the Heart of Jesus. 
If they be wanting in obedience and fidelity to rule, it will 
be because the founders have not labored with a true love of 
the rule in their hearts. A grave responsibility then rests 
upon you, and how is it to be discharged? By living in 
the presence of God, working for His glory, not your own 
satisfaction, and laboring with all the earnestness of your 
soul to become perfect as your Heavenly Father is per- 
fect." At the moment of her departure for Kenwood, she 
said, " I leave you to the care of good Mother Hogan, but 
especially to that of the Divine Guest in the Tabernacle 
who must henceforth be your Light, your Joy, your All ! " 
In the Spring of 1870 Mother Hardey had great anxiety 
in regard to the property of Manhattanville. Heavy assess- 
ments were levied for the surrounding improvements made 
by the city, and a division of the property was threatened. 
Mother Galwey, the superior, was in a poor state of health 
and incapable of coping with existing difficulties. She herself 
realized the condition of affairs, and at one of Mother Har- 
dey's visits to Manhattanville made known her desire to be 
relieved of responsibility. Her edifying letter on the sub- 
ject will no doubt interest our readers: 

" REV. AND DEAR MOTHER : 

" Seeing your constant occupation all day long, the idea 
presents itself of writing to you, so that while en route to 
Kenwood you may read my sentiments. If our Very Rev. 
Mother should in charity release me from the terrible re- 
sponsibility of superiority, may I simply state my mind? 

300 



FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI 

For many years I have felt a desire to be placed in a position 
where I might try to edify by a life of humility and submis- 
sion. I have often heard that the head superiors of religious 
communities frequently find subjects unwilling to retire to 
hidden life, and I have thought, if God granted me the 
opportunity, I should prove by example my real apprecia- 
tion of my vocation. If withdrawn, may I beg of you, my 
first Mother, to employ me in an office without title? I 
am fully conscious how incapable I am at my age, sixty- 
six, to fill efficiently the higher charges. I have no knowl- 
edge of the Sisters' employments, and none for the school, 
either for studies or discipline. In fact, I feel I could only 
aid under an official, and I ask as a favor, that neither 
my age nor my former employments shall be considered. 
Let me simply take my place of profession, without consid- 
eration. I am urged to prepare for eternity, and I long to 
avail myself of the time granted me to repair the past and 
be assured, dear Mother, the last place in the Society would 
be happily accepted by me. I am now, what think I was 
in 1836, when I asked for admission into our Blessed So- 
ciety, and I can never do too much, nor even enough, to 
prove my gratitude to God for the precious blessing. You 
will not, dear Mother, I trust ever have cause to regret hav- 
ing given a helping hand to your first daughter. I will with 
God's help be submissive and devoted. Ever your grateful 

daughter in C. T. ** T / r> c /- T 

M. J. GALWEY, R.S.CJ. 

Mother Galwey expressed her desire likewise to the Su- 
perior General, who, in view of the exceptional difficulties, 
accepted her resignation and appointed Mother Hardey 
once more to the government of Manhattanville. The ic- 
turn of their beloved Mother was a great joy to her daugh- 
ters, and a great benefit to the temporal prosperity of the 
house, while it added greatly to her own cares and respon- 
sibilities. For several years the rapid growth of the city 
had encroached upon the seclusion of the convent, and the 

301 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Board of Public Works was now about to execute a plan 
for cutting streets through the convent property. One day 
a party of public officials called to notify Mother Hardey 
of the improvements in project. As soon as they were 
seated in the parlor, they began to discuss their plans, when 
one of them prudently reminded the others to be on their 
guard against the influence of Madame Hardey. " Gentle- 
men," he said, " do not permit yourselves to be magnetized 
by Madame Hardey! Be determined not to yield an inch 
of the ground mapped out. She has a wonderful power of 
bringing every one into line with her views." All declared 
their firm purpose of adhering to their decision, one gentle- 
man remarking no woman could ever make him change his 
mind. At this moment Mother Hardey entered. She gra- 
ciously saluted her visitors, then waited for them to make 
known their business. She listened in silence to their plans 
and projects, appeared much interested in the remarks of 
each one, but gave no utterance to her own sentiments 
until they had concluded their explanations. 

When they manifested their desire to hear her opinion, 
she quietly answered in a firm, but pursuasive tone of voice, 
" Surely, gentlemen, you cannot intend to carry out the 
extreme and ill-advised measures which you propose?" 
One of the party handed her the drawings of the projected 
improvements in that section of the city, claiming that their 
decision was the result of thorough investigation and abso- 
lute necessity. His statements were supported by the argu- 
ments of his colleagues. After listening calmly and atten- 
tively to the exposition of their plans and examining 
carefully the map before her, Mother Hardey pointed out 
here and there several serious obstacles which they had 
not foreseen. Then she suggested other measures and plans 
far more advantageous, and when she saw that her judgment 
had prevailed, she called for pen and paper, and in less than 
ten minutes she secured their written promise that the con- 
vent property should not be touched. Refreshments were 

302 



FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI 

then offered and very soon the merriment of the party gave 
evidence of their good feeling when the spokesman ex- 
claimed, "Did I not warn you, gentlemen? No one can 
resist Madame Hardey's will ! " 

In the autumn of 1870, anxieties of another nature 
weighed upon Mother Hardey's heart. The Sovereign Pon- 
tiff was a prisoner in the Vatican to the great grief of every 
true child of the Church, and the Franco-Prussian war was 
a deep solicitude to the members of the Society of the 
Sacred Heart. The convents in France were exposed to 
all the dangers of war, and many of them had been con- 
verted into hospitals for the sick and wounded of the con- 
tending armies. As the victorious troops advanced towards 
the capital the Mother General, yielding to the advice of 
her council, withdrew to Laval, where she hoped to be able 
to keep up communication with the houses of the Society. 
Mother Hardey sent her the following expression of sym- 
pathy : " You cannot imagine, my Very Rev. Mother, our 
intense anxiety of the past few weeks. Your letter of 
September i/th is doubly precious, since it gives me the 
assurance that you have left Paris for Laval. May Our Lord 
protect you and all our houses in France. Prayers are be- 
ing offered throughout this vicariate for your preservation 
and that of our loved Society." After suggesting the 
thought that it might be the Divine Will that the Mother 
General should leave France during these troubled days, to 
visit her American families, Mother Hardey adds, " Will 
you permit me, my Very Rev. Mother, to make the voyage 
to France and bring you to our American shore? " 

Writing again, at the close of the war, Mother Hardey 
says : " O my Very Rev. Mother, how deeply our hearts 
shared in your trials during the sad times through which 
you have passed ! How ardently we longed to contribute 
to the necessities of our dear Mothers and Sisters during 
the period of their cruel suffering! Be assured of our 
filial sympathy in your great affliction at the loss of our 

303 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

saintly Mother Prevost. Our heartfelt thanks have been 
offered to God for your preservation, and it will be a great 
happiness for us to fulfill your vow." Mother Goetz had 
made a promise that throughout the Society on every Fri- 
day of the coming year Acts of Consecration and Repara- 
tion should be read in presence of the Blessed Sacrament, 
in thanksgiving for the protection which had been vouch- 
safed to her convents during the disastrous war. But 
hardly was the siege of Paris raised when the city was at 
the mercy of the Communists, who threatened to renew the 
horrors of the great revolution. Again Mother Hardey 
wrote : 

" I cannot tell you how anxious we are in regard to our 
houses in France, especially those in Paris. The only details 
we have received have reached us from England, and how 
far they are from reassuring us! We trust that you are still 
at Laval, for it would increase our anguish if we thought 
you were in the midst of the Paris riots. This letter will 
reach you about the Feast of the Patronage of Saint Joseph. 
How gladly would I offer my good wishes for your feast- 
day, but during these sorrowful times we can only plead 
with Saint Joseph to show himself the true patron of the 
Church and of the venerated Mother, so dear to all otfr 
hearts." 

Mother Hardey's sympathy found expression in a prac- 
tical form, for when assured that her gifts would reach their 
destination she sent to the Mother General all the money 
she could spare. Mother Goetz was moved to tears by this 
generosity, and was heard to exclaim, " Ah ! what charity 
reigns in the Society." 

Cuba was at this period scourged by civil war, and the 
sorrow that filled its desolate homes was felt by many a 
heart in the schools of Manhattanville and Kenwood. Al- 
most every family suffered the loss of a loved one, torn 
from wife and children by imprisonment, exile or death. 
Many of the Cuban pupils were left dependent upon Mother 

304 



FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI 

Hardey's bounty. They found in her a Mother ever ready 
to console them in their grief, and to supply the needs of 
those whose fortunes were wrecked by the war. In the 
winter of 1871 she was about to visit the community of 
Havana, when her physician opposed the voyage on account 
of a serious indisposition from which she was suffering. 
She appointed Mother Tommasini to go in her place, and 
to assure her daughters that her heart was with them in 
the midst of their great trials. 

In April she made the visitation of the convents in 
Rochester and Cincinnati. She rejoiced to find in the latter 
about fifty pupils. Writing to the Mother General she 
says : " The Cincinnati foundation prospers beyond our most 
sanguine hopes. Mother Hogan is very successful, and she 
manages remarkably well. She has won general confidence, 
and has enlarged the building for the accommodation of 
the pupils, defraying all the expenses herself. His Grace, 
Archbishop Purcell, takes a lively interest in the welfare 
of the new convent, and manifests on all occasions his de- 
light in possessing a convent of the Sacred Heart in his 
episcopal city. We must try to get a house in the country, 
for the confinement in the city would soon prove injurious 
to the health of the community. There is another founda- 
tion, Very Rev. Mother, which I venture to propose to 
you. My young sister, having decided to enter the noviti- 
ate, her mother offers us her home for an Academy. I 
felt that you would approve of my visiting the place on my 
way from Cincinnati, in order to give you a description of it. 

" The property is beautifully situated on the Saint 
Mary's River, one hundred and twenty miles from Balti- 
more, and consists of three hundred acres of land, one hun- 
dred and fifty of which are dense forests, the remainder 
being corn fields, pastures, etc. As it is almost surrounded 
by water the place offers all the advantages of sea bathing, 
which would be very beneficial to our invalids, and there 
is always abundance of fish and oysters. The house, though 



20 



305 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

not large, is commodious, and of sufficient size for a begin- 
ning; the expenses of the foundation will be small. The 
Rev. Jesuit Fathers have a residence at a short distance 
and they promise us spiritual help. They are very anxious 
to see a convent of the Sacred Heart at Rosecroft, for they 
realize how much good a house of education would accom- 
plish in that part of the country. 

" I may add, that this place is regarded as the cradle of 
Catholicity in Maryland, as the first Catholic colony landed 
here in 1634. The Archbishop of Baltimore remarked 
the Catholics of Maryland would be delighted to see the 
Sacred Heart established in this consecrated spot. I submit 
to you this offer of my step-mother, who, through respect 
for the wishes of my venerated father, desires to transfer the 
property to a Religious Order, and, since her only daughter 
has chosen the Sacred Heart, it is to the Sacred Heart that 
she gives the preference. In closing, let me assure you, 
Very Rev. Mother, that your decision respecting the pro- 
ject, whether favorable or otherwise, will be accepted as 
coming from God." 

In passing through Baltimore Mother Hardey visited 
Archbishop Spalding, in order to confer with him on the 
subject of the proposed foundation. The impression left 
upon his Grace by Mother Hardey's wise judgment and 
administrative ability was so profound, that he remarked to 
one of his priests: " Madame Hardey is a woman created by 
God for the accomplishment of a great work, and there will 
never be another like her/' 

The foundation of Rosecroft was accepted by the Mother 
General, and in September, 1871, the homestead was trans- 
formed into a convent of the Sacred Heart. It may interest 
the reader to know that in colonial times Rosecroft was the 
residence of the Collector of the Port of St. Mary's, and 
that it was also the home of Blanche Warden, the heroine of 
John P. Kennedy's novel, " Rob of the Bowl." The garden 
was literally a parterre of roses, several varieties blooming 

306 



FOUNDATION IN CINCINNATI 

as late as Christmas, hence the name Rosecroft, " A field of 
roses." Scarcely was this new school established on a firm 
basis when difficulties arose which led Mother Hardey to 
fear for its future. 

In January, 1872, she wrote to Mother Goetz : " With 
regard to the Maryland foundation an unexpected circum- 
stance makes me think that perhaps it does not enter into 
the designs of Providence that the Sacred Heart should be 
established at Rosecroft. I have already written you that 
the Jesuit Fathers have a residence near the place, and that 
two priests being there, they would willingly attend to our 
spiritual needs; since that time, the new provincial has 
withdrawn one of these fathers, and he refuses to permit 
the other to serve us. The Archbishop of Baltimore cannot 
give us a chaplain, as that part of Maryland is under the 
exclusive jurisdiction of the Jesuits. Happily, no definite 
arrangements have been made in regard to the property, as 
my sister is not yet of age, so we are at liberty to abandon 
it if future difficulties render our stay there impracticable." 

Hoping that events might take a more favorable turn, 
the Religious of the Sacred Heart continued their mission at 
Rosecroft, Mother Hardey having secured a chaplain from 
the New York diocese to minister to their wants, but as we 
shall see later on, the deprivation of spiritual aid forced 
them to abandon Maryland. 

The year 1871 is memorable for the terrible conflagra- 
tion that swept over the city of Chicago, reducing over two- 
thirds of the city to a heap of ashes. Over ten thousand 
families were left homeless, but the convent of the Sacred 
Heart escaped destruction, as if by miracle, for the wind 
turned the flames in a contrary direction just as they had 
begun to destroy the section in which it was located. The 
religious were thus enabled to give shelter to other com- 
munities whose convents had been destroyed. On hearing 
of the disaster, Mother Hardey organized bazaars in all her 
houses and sent the proceeds to be distributed to the most 
need sufferers. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

MOTHER HARDEY APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL AND Vis- 

ITATRIX OF THE CONVENTS OF NORTH AMERICA 

DEPARTURE FOR FRANCE 1871-1872. 

When the troubled days of 1871 had drawn to a close 
and the Mother General had returned with her counsellors 
to Paris, Mother Hardey was appointed Assistant General, 
and deputed to visit the convents in North America. At 
that time the Vicariates of the United States and Canada 
numbered twenty-five houses and to visit them, as Mother 
Goetz wrote in December, 1871, would require about three 
or four months. " Therefore," she added, " we shall expect 
to welcome you at the Mother House about the end of 
August." 

Although she had been prepared for the summons, dur- 
ing the retreat in Paris in 1869, Mother Hardey hoped to 
escape the dignity and its consequent sacrifices, but the 
call was received with that spirit of obedience and sim- 
plicity which had always marked her response to the voice 
of authority. In her reply to Mother Goetz she says: 
" Your letter of December I2th has overwhelmed me. My 
first exclamation on reading it was, ' My poor Mother Gen- 
eral ! She is increasing her burden by choosing an aid who 
is incapable of giving her assistance. Yet obedience is 
everything to me, my venerated Mother. I am ready to 
go.' " Alluding to the regrets expressed by Mother Goetz 
on being obliged to remove her from her country, and the 
works which she had established there, she continues : " As 
to the sacrifice of my native land, I can say in truth, that I 
have always considered the Society as my country and my 
home. With regard to my works, I know full well, that God 
has need of no one." 

After making a detailed statement of the affairs of her 

308 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

vicariate, she represented the advantages of delaying her 
departure until she had settled certain pecuniary matters, in 
order to lighten the burden of her successor, and then con- 
cludes as follows : " Permit me to renew the assurance that 
I place myself in your hands. I have given you the details 
of everything, and I will accept with submission whatever 
you will decide." Again, in answer to a letter received from 
Mother Goetz in January, 1872, she says : " I have no other 
desire than to submit my views to your judgment, and to 
show my gratitude for your maternal goodness. To be sta- 
tioned near you, and to learn at last how to obey, after hav- 
ing been so long obliged to command, will be to me a real 
happiness, and it will sweeten the trial which this change 
may cause nature to suffer." 

Mother Goetz proposed to make known immediately the 
nomination of Mother Hardey to the post of Assistant Gen- 
eral, but the humility of the latter shrank from the addi- 
tional honors which this announcement would have secured. 
She pleaded for permission to travel in quality of Visitatrix, 
and having obtained the consent of the Mother General, she 
started on her journey early in February. Her first visit 
was to Havana, where her unexpected arrival gave great 
joy to her Cuban family, and her stay of two weeks afforded 
them multiplied graces and consolations. The visit seemed 
truly providential, for they were sorely harassed by various 
measures of the government, which threatened to compro- 
mise their rights and privileges. As a citizen of the United 
States, Mother Hardey was not qualified to take the initia- 
tive in seeking to obtain a redress of grievances, but the 
wisdom of her counsels directed her daughters to act with 
that prudence which eventually conciliated the government 
and preserved intact the rights of the convent. When free 
from other duties, she took her place beside the bed of 
Mother Byrne, the superior, who was dying of cancer. 
" Come with me," she said one morning to her secretary, 
" and see how courageously a saint can suffer." She as- 

309 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

sisted while the attendants were dressing the wounds, for 
the purpose, she said, of gaining strength for her own soul. 
Although she knew her adieu was final, no word or sign 
betrayed her emotions on parting with her daughters, con- 
sequently they had no suspicion of the sacrifice which she 
offered on the altar of obedience. On her return to Man- 
hattanville Mother Hardey presided at the semi-annual ex- 
aminations with as much interest, as if she had no other 
duty to fulfill. Her stay at home was brief, for early in 
April she resumed her travels, but so admirably had she 
maintained silence respecting her new mission it was 
only after she had started on her Western tour that it be- 
came known that she was Visitatrix. On reaching Chicago 
she found the community mourning the loss of their be- 
loved Superior Vicar, Mother Gauthreaux, who, on the 
twenty-fifth of March had yielded up her soul to God. In 
offering condolence to the afflicted family Mother Hardey 
dwelt upon that incomparable charity which had always in- 
clined their deceased Mother to palliate the faults of others, 
and to exaggerate their virtues. 

The illness and death of Mother Gauthreaux necessi- 
tated certain changes. Mother Hardey recommended the 
removal of the novices to Maryville, which was better fitted 
for their accommodation than the restricted quarters of the 
Taylor Street convent. The suggestion received the ap- 
proval of the Mother General, and a few months later the 
transfer of the novitate was effected. 

From Chicago Mother Hardey journeyed to Saint Joseph, 
Missouri, and here again her presence was a source of bene- 
diction to the community. They were suffering at the time 
from a financial embarrassment, which she enabled them to 
overcome, and a new era of prosperity began at once for 
the Academy of St. Joseph's. To save time by travelling 
during the night, she set out on the evening of April 
I5th, for Saint Mary's, Kansas. Arriving at three o'clock 
in the morning, she was disappointed to find neither car- 

310 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

riage nor messenger awaiting her. " We have only to sit 
on our trunk," she said to her secretary, " and remain here 
until morning. Meantime, let us ask St. Joseph to come to 
our aid." Their prayer was soon answered, for after a few 
minutes they saw a feeble light in the distance. 

Hoping that it gave promise of shelter from the cold and 
darkness, they advanced slowly and cautiously, until they 
reached a small house which proved to be a variety store. 
Their loud rapping at the door seemed to cause consterna- 
tion within for they could hear the cry, " Joe, Joe, come 
quick ! " After prudent inquiry the good German storekeeper 
admitted them willingly, and apologized for the delay, say- 
ing a party of drunken Indians had held carousal at the 
station the night before, and he feared they might give him 
trouble that night. " He invited us into his best room," 
wrote Mother Hardey's secretary, " and made a fire in the 
big stove, which seemed to be the chief article of furni- 
ture. Learning that we were from New York, he plied 
Reverend Mother with questions about trade, stocks, poli- 
tics and every imaginable subject, and in spite of her fatigue 
she entertained him, while I dozed in a chair. A mes- 
senger was dispatched to the convent, and at about five 
o'clock the farm wagon and team took us to our journey's 
end. The telegram announcing our coming was received 
only after we had breakfasted." The annals of Saint Mary's 
mention this visit as a most signal blessing. We quote the 
following extracts : 

" The temporalities of our house were in a distressing 
condition. This dear Mother obtained for us the loan of 
$10,000, which enabled us to meet the most urgent demands, 
but her efforts were especially directed towards establishing 
us in supernatural riches, which are our safest treasures. 
She showed the greatest kindness towards each one, trying 
in every way possible to make us as comfortable as our 
surroundings would permit. Finding that our wardrobes 
and bedding needed replenishing, her charity found means 

3" 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

of providing us at once with a generous supply. Having 
heard how much we suffered from the cold during the past 
winter, she authorized us to have the house heated by 
steam before the next season. May God bless her, is the 
cry that comes from the depths of our grateful hearts." 

The next pause in the itinerary was at Saint Charles, 
where she had the sweet consolation of praying at the tomb 
of the holy Mother Duchesne. She could give only two 
days to this little family, but according to the testimony of 
one of the religious, " she captivated all hearts." We can 
readily believe that in this cradle of the Society in America, 
Mother Hardey found strength and courage for her own 
approaching sacrifice, and recommended earnestly to the 
prayers of the saintly Mother Duchesne the important mis- 
sion with which she was charged. 

On April 22, she went to St. Louis and thence to Mary- 
ville. The meeting with old friends and the making of new 
ones, was a pleasure afforded by the visitation. Madame 
Tucker, the superior, sums up its blessings in these lines 
to the Mother General : 

" I might almost say, that Mother Hardey has been the 
salvation of this vicariate. She has effected great things 
everywhere, but especially at St. Joseph, where she put 
their accounts in order, and at St. Mary's, to which house 
she advanced funds necessary to discharge their debts. She 
has gained the confidence of all by her goodness, her de- 
votedness and her love for the Society." 

Mother Hardey left St. Louis on April 30, for New Or- 
leans. Her secretary wrote : " The journey was fatiguing, 
but at each delay our dear Mother said : * Let us thank 
God, it is His Holy Will.' That thought was no doubt 
her spiritual bouquet, for she accepted every disappointment 
as coming directly from the hand of God. Always on the 
alert to render service to others, Rev. Mother noticed that 
the conductor frequently dropped his eye-glasses because 
they had no string. Taking a shuttle from her bag, she 

312 




1 Convent, London, Ontario 

2 Halifax 

3 Sault-au-Recollet 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

made a cord in a very short time, and you may imagine 
how pleased he was to receive it. After a journey of three 
days and three nights on the train, we reached New Orleans 
at last, and were met by a young gentleman who intro- 
duced himself to Reverend Mother as the son of one of her 
former pupils at St. Michael's. We arrived at the convent 
at one A.M., and to the great disappointment of the com- 
munity, left the same day for Saint Michael's, as a friend 
had advised Reverend Mother to take that evening's boat, 
which was the best and safest on the line. Soon after start- 
ing a gentleman came forward exclaiming, ' Well, well, 
is this indeed Madame Hardey?' It was Mr. Devlin, the 
brother of our good friend in New York. Others advanced 
and also claimed acquaintance, either personally or through 
friends. It was easy to see that Reverend Mother's name 
had lived among the scenes she had left more than thirty 
years ago. 

" We reached St. Michael's about ten o'clock, and not 
being expected there was no one at the landing to meet us. 
Old Black John having heard the steamer whistle rushed 
down calling out, ' Is Madame Hardey here? ' Upon receiv- 
ing an affirmative reply he gave loud, joyful cheers, which 
echoing in the distance announced our arrival. During 
three nights the faithful old man had watched for her com- 
ing, and when another negro offered to replace him he 
answered : ' No, no ; if ole John watch three weeks he must 
be there to meet Madame Hardey, she knew me ever since 
I'se born.' 

" Reverend Mother Hardey remained only one day at 
St. Michael's, as the boat was leaving for Natchitoches, ever 
bearing in mind the necessity of gaining time, in order to 
fulfill her mission within the period appointed by the Mother 
General. Owing to the low tide of the Red River the jour- 
ney lasted three days. The greater number of the passen- 
gers were ' colored ladies,' who seeing Mother Hardey 's 
secretary busy writing during the day, were very curious 

313 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

to know what she could have to write about. One of 
them ventured to ask, ' Is that daughter of yours writing 
a newspaper?' 'No/ said Mother Hardey, 'she is writ- 
ing letters.' ' Lor' sakes! ' exclaimed the woman, ' I'd give 
a heap of money to have a letter wrote to my Sam ! ' ' She 
will write the letter for nothing,' said Mother Hardey, 
whereupon Sarah Ann sat down beside Mother Hoey, and 
confided to her that Sam was going to be her husband and 
she must tell him how much she missed him, and how 
he must behave until she came back again. The news 
soon spread through the negro colony that letters were 
being written for nothing, so one after another came 
to claim the favor. The ' Secretary of the Blacks ' wrote 
on all imaginable subjects. As soon as a letter was finished 
it was handed by the happy owner to Mother Hardey with 
the request, ' Please read it again.' The amiable Mother gra- 
ciously complied, then sealed and stamped the envelope so 
that it might be ready to be posted at the next stopping 
place. Needless to say that she made many hearts glow 
with pride and joy, and it was with unfeigned regret that 
they departed from her, expressing the earnest hope that 
she and that smart daughter of hers would come along their 
way again some day." 

The visit to Natchitoches was very brief, but it abounded 
in consolation for the little family which had been sorely 
tried during the Civil War. The school was so depleted 
that Mother Hardey recognized the need of a more prom- 
ising field of labor elsewhere. This establishment was 
closed a few years later. On May 12 she returned to St. 
Michael's. This convent, associated with so many happy 
memories of her early religious life, had been sadly changed 
by the fortunes of war. The prospects of the school, once 
so flourishing, were far from assuring, but in a very touch- 
ing conference Mother Hardey lifted up the hearts of 
her daughters with the watchword of Father Varin, " Cour- 
age and confidence ! " Here, as everywhere else, the sick 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

were the object of her maternal solicitude. On learning that 
one of the religious was very ill, she went immediately to 
visit her, and every day during her sojourn in the house 
she repeated this act of charity, although she had to mount 
a long staircase to reach the cell of the invalid. As the 
fever could not be broken, she decided to try change of air 
and take her to the North. 

One of the Sisters, very expert in making shoes, put 
one of her nicest pairs in Mother Hardey's room, hoping 
she would wear them. Disappointed at not seeing or hear- 
ing anything about them, she ventured to ask if the shoes 
did not fit her. " Oh, my good Sister," replied Mother Har- 
dey, " I did not try them, because I have two pairs already 
and a third would be against holy poverty ; but I noticed 
Sister X. had broken shoes, so I gave them to her." Then, 
inspired by her tender charity for others, she added : " Sis- 
ter, I have examined some of the Sisters' shoes, and I find 
they are very badly mended. Try to be more careful in 
future. Our dear Sisters are on their feet all day long at 
their employments, and if their shoes are not comfortable, 
they must necessarily suffer very much. Now promise me 
you will do your best to make this act of charity for the love 
of the Heart of Jesus." 

Mother Hardey's goodness was very marked to the for- 
mer slaves of the convent. One especially, " old Liza," was 
in an ecstasy of joy on seeing again her dear " Madame 
Aloysia," whom she had known from the early days of the 
foundation. The history of this noted character may be of 
interest to our readers. At the age of seven she was given 
to Mother Duchesne by Archbishop Dubourg. When St. 
Michael's was opened, she was sent there to aid in the do- 
mestic employments, and her admiration for Madame Aloy- 
sia, then a novice, grew with each succeeding year. The 
regret of her life was that she was black and therefore de- 
barred from joining the Society of the Sacred Heart. One 
dav Madame Aloysia found the poor girl crying to break 

315 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

her he?rt. When asked the cause of her grief, Liza an- 
swered she had been told that she would turn white when 
she had shed a hogshead of tears. The assurance that if she 
were very obedient and humble she would be with the re- 
ligious in Heaven made Liza very happy, but her repug- 
nance to the " Blacks " was never wholly overcome. She 
declared she was an Indian, and therefore superior to the 
negroes around her, and no persuasion could make her 
assist at any of their services in the parish church. 

After Madame Aloysia went North Liza kept up a cor- 
respondence with her " spiritual Mother," as she called her. 
Every year before the Feast of Pentecost, Mother Har- 
dey sent her a new dress, fichu and bandana. Liza mar- 
ried twice. Her second husband treated her badly, and 
when, a few weeks after their marriage, he disappeared 
with all her belongings, she drew a sigh of relief and 
thenceforth devoted herself entirely to the service of the 
nuns. She took a vow to nurse all the sick in the house. 
The conditions were fulfilled when she washed their clothes 
or remained with sick children during Mass on Sunday. 
The heroism of her sacrifice was manifested in her attend- 
ance at the Mass in the parish church among " the common 
folk," for did she not belong to the Sacred Heart? The 
renewal of her promise was made with great ceremony every 
year on the Feast of Pentecost. After receiving Holy Com- 
munion in the morning, Liza came at an appointed hour 
to the Lady Chapel, clad in her new attire, the gift of her 
beloved Madame Aloysia, and wearing a white veil and 
with a candle in her hand, there before the altar, in the 
presence of the assembled community she placed the for- 
mula of her consecration in the hands of the superior, re- 
questing her to read it aloud " so all could understand it." 
When the superior had finished reading the act, the Mag- 
nificat was intoned, and during the singing Liza passed 
around shaking hands and receiving congratulations. 

On one occasion the superior was a foreigner. For days 

316 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

previous to the feast Liza was greatly troubled in mind, 
lest the reading should not be properly made. At last she 
went herself to the superior and asked to hear her read the 
act, so that she might judge whether she would be under- 
stood. The amiable Mother de Sartorius, later the fourth 
Superior General of the Society, entered fully into Liza's 
feelings on the subject, and read the formula as best she 
could. Liza made her repeat certain words over and over 
again, so that the proper emphasis might be given them. 
At last she seemed satisfied, but just as she was leaving the 
room she remarked : " I 'dvise you to read it once more 
before one of them children who listened to it last year! " 
Liza's letters are specimens of old plantation literature, that 

is now but rarely found. When Madame M went to 

Mexico to open a house there, Liza became uneasy at her 
prolonged absence, so one evening she called one of the 
religious to her cabin, told her to light a candle and write a 
letter for her to that Spanish town over yonder. Here is 
what she dictated: 

" DEAR REVEREND MOTHER : 

" You'se a long time in that Spanish town, and its time 
now to come home. You're needed here, for what's a home 
without a Mother? You don't know them people over there, 
and you'll get yourself into trouble with them. Instead of 
coming home you're going backer and backer. You're send- 
in' for them children here to go there and soon you'll empty 
the house here. I've begged the Sacred Heart and Saint 
Joseph to hold their arms over you, but they're tired now, 
and can't do it no more, so take my Vice and come home, 
you'se been away long enough." 

" You know," she said to the scribe, " that chile has a 
mighty 'tractive face, and she'll draw all them people to 
her, and they'll make her b'live they're going to do much 
and they don't do nothing." 

This letter found its way into print, so with it we close 

317 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the history of Liza, whose remains are now peacefully rest- 
ing in the little cemetery of Saint Michael's. 

Mother Hardey's sojourn at St. Michael's abounded in 
blessings for all ; for herself it revived happy memories of 
her early religious life, and the varied joys and sorrows 
which had left their impress on the years between 1825 and 
1841. It would be monotonous to rehearse the benefits 
which marked her passage in each house. She took pains to 
explain to her daughters that she had come simply to see 
and make known to the Mother General what would be of 
service to them. She had noted in a little book, admirably 
arranged, whatever she deemed useful or necessary for each 
house, so that the good she planned was realized later on, 
and lived after her. As Mother Hardey desired to shorten 
her trip to Grand Coteau, she resolved to venture across 
the Mississippi in a rowboat. Hardly was the frail bark 
midway in the river when it was caught in an eddy, the 
water threatening to sweep over them. She saw the 
peril of the situation, yet neither word nor sign betrayed 
her apprehensions, as she sat with tranquil mien reciting 
over and over again the " Salve Regina." The oarsman 
made superhuman efforts to keep on his course, and when 
they reached the shore he thanked God for their preserva- 
tion, as only a week before a boat had been engulfed in that 
fatal spot. 

Taking the train for Grand Coteau, Mother Hardey 
found herself on the way to the home of her childhood, the 
scenes of her school days and the cradle of her religious 
life. Forty-seven years had elapsed since the memorable 
day of her departure with Mother Aude for the foundation 
at Saint Michael's. We can well believe that a nature so 
strong in its attachments and so sincere in its friendships 
must have been deeply moved by the sacred recollections 
that rose at every turn, yet we are told that save on one 
occasion her outward demeanor showed no signs of 
emotion. Innumerable changes had taken place in the con- 

318 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

vent, giving evidence of years of prosperity in the past, 
and also of traces of the blighting touch of war. Wishing 
to give her an agreeable surprise, the religious had trans- 
formed into an oratory the room which had served as a 
chapel during her school days, and had been the scene of 
her consecration to God as a novice of the Sacred Heart. 
The following extract is taken from the journal of the house : 

" One day Mother Martinez invited the Reverend 
Mother Visitatrix to visit the old house, where her happy 
school days had been spent. She gladly acquiesced, but 
great was her surprise on entering the corridor leading to 
our improvised chapel, to find the community assembled 
there and to hear the joyful notes of the Magnificat. For 
a moment she paused, greatly affected, then passed into 
the oratory and knelt on the prie-dieu before the altar. On 
this occasion her emotion was visible, but when the song 
of thanksgiving ceased, she turned towards us with her 
usual composure, saying : ' Yes, it is here that I took the 
veil, but in those days we had neither prie-dieu nor Mag- 
nificat.' " 

After a visit of eight days to Grand Coteau Mother Har- 
dey returned to New Orleans, and three days later she bade 
farewell to the South. She arrived in Cincinnati on June 4, 
eve of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and that evening she 
gave a very impressive conference on the words, " Behold 
this Heart which has loved men so much ! " " Your best 
reparation," she said, " will be an unreserved devotedness 
to the education of the pupils whom our Lord has confided 
to you to be molded according to the spirit of His Sacred 
Heart." Touching upon the mission of other Religious 
Orders, she remarked, " Let us emulate them by striving to 
instil into our children true Catholic principles, that the 
spirit of the Sacred Heart may enter into their lives, and 
enable them to resist the spirit of the world, which seeks 
to destroy in souls the reign of Christ ! " 

In order to secure for the community a healthful 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

change during the summer, she rented a small property in 
the country where they could spend their vacation. On the 
ninth of June she left them with her farewell benediction 
the counsel, " Be zealous and humble and God will bless 
you and your works." 

The convents in Detroit and London, Ontario, had each 
a visit of a few days, and after an absence of three months, 
Mother Hardey returned to Manhattanville in time to assist 
at the closing exercises of the scholastic year. A few days 
afterwards she resumed her travels, going first to Kenwood, 
where her young sister Pauline received her medal of gradu- 
ation at the commencement exercises. Montreal, St. John 
and Halifax rejoiced in seeing once more the Mother so 
dearly loved. Although the steamer reached the harbor of 
Halifax at midnight, Archbishop Connolly was waiting to 
welcome and accompany her to the convent. The pupils 
had dispersed for the vacation, but as soon as they heard 
of her arrival they returned to the convent, and in a very 
touching dialogue expressed their joy and gratitude at meet- 
ing the Mother to whom they owed so many blessings. 

Mother Hardey was again at Kenwood on the fifteenth 
of August, when she had the happiness of admitting to the 
novitiate her sister Pauline, then nineteen years of age. 
During this visit she gave a conference to the community, 
which was an outpouring of maternal love, and a strong 
exhortation to fidelity to the obligations of religious life. 
One of her daughters thus describes her impressions : " It 
was as a novice that I listened to that never to be forgotten 
conference, on ' Earnestness in the Service of God.' The 
truths, the entreaties, the hopes that she expressed, fell like 
words of fire upon my soul, and since then have ruled and 
shaped whatever there has been of effort or of worth in my 
religious life." 

While she was still at Kenwood Bishop Hendricken 
came to confer with Mother Hardey on the subject of a 
foundation in Providence. He persuaded her to accom- 

320 



APPOINTED ASSISTANT GENERAL 

pany him thither, in order to examine the handsome estate 
of Elmhurst, which was offered for sale. Mother Hardey 
found the property admirably adapted for an academy, and 
she promised to submit his request to the Mother General. 

On her return to Manhattanville she made out the plan 
of organization for the houses of her vicariate, and concluded 
some important business matters demanding her personal 
attention. The communities of New York and Manhattan- 
ville, comprising about one hundred and fifty religious, were 
assembled for the vacation. She granted to each one a 
private interview, and at the close of the annual retreat ad- 
dressed to her reunited families the farewell counsels in- 
spired by her affection and zeal. Who can fail to realize that 
it would have comforted her heart to communicate to her 
daughters, at least to those most intimately associated 
with her, that a separation was at hand, which was to be 
broken only, if at all, for brief periods and at distant in- 
tervals of time? 

In guarding the secret of her sacrifice, Mother Hardey 
denied herself the consolation which the love of her daugh- 
ters would have offered, but she looked only to the Divine 
Friend, and in His loving Heart found strength to bear 
her heavy cross alone. Her silence and simplicity fill us 
with admiration, yet, as if under the influence of her own 
reserve, it is an admiration that turns in praise to Him who 
formed in Mother Hardey a heart so like His own. She 
embarked for France with her secretary and two postulants 
for the Conflans Novitiate on the eleventh of September, 
leaving to her daughters the example of her entire self- 
forgetfulness, " as a lamp to their feet, and a light to their 
path," while they walk in the way to heaven. 



21 321 



CHAPTER XXV. 

MOTHER HARDEY ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS FOUNDA- 
TION OF ELMHURST, PROVIDENCE VISIT TO AMERICA 
RETURN TO FRANCE APOSTOLIC SCHOOL 1872-1876. 

The appointment of Mother Hardey to the office of 
Assistant General was announced by Mother Goetz in a 
Circular Letter to all the convents, in the beginning of 
October. We quote the following extract : " I feel keenly 
the sacrifice which the withdrawal of Mother Hardey will 
impose on the houses that have been long the special object 
of her solicitude; but in calling her to the centre of the 
Society, I have had in view the welfare of all our houses in 
America. Being thoroughly acquainted with their re- 
sources and necessities, she will represent their interests in 
our councils, and will follow with us the development of 
their works. Thus will she continue the mission of de- 
votedness, the effects of which all have experienced during 
the course of this year." 

The news of Mother Hardey's permanent transfer to 
Paris filled her daughters with consternation and grief, yet 
their loyal acceptance of the decision showed how truly they 
had profited by her life-long example of submission to the 
voice of authority. Numerous letters were sent to the 
Mother General voicing the sentiments of her American 
families. We quote the following from the Mother Assist- 
ant at Manhattanville : "We were far from expecting the 
painful trial which the Heart of Jesus has imposed upon us. 
It was difficult to believe the words of your letter, my Very 
Reverened Mother, that you are going to keep our Rev- 
erend Mother Hardey with you. However, I repress all 
that our hearts feel at the prospect of this separation ! 
The community have shown a true religious spirit, in their 
submission to the decision of obedience and have proved 

322 



ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS 

themselves worthy of the Mother whom they so justly 
mourn. It is not merely a superior to whose guidance we 
were confided, that we weep over; it is a mother who has 
watched over our early religious life, soothing our sor- 
rows, and smoothing our difficulties, a consoling Angel who 
was ever near to give us strength and courage to persevere, 
in spite of every obstacle. But with the example of her 
abnegation and spirit of sacrifice before us, how could we 
hesitate to obey. Her own heart must feel the sacrifice of 
her daughters and her country, but we know her grand, 
noble soul too well to believe that she will ever mani- 
fest her feelings. We also must make our sacrifice cour- 
ageously, for were we to consider our personal loss, we 
should be unworthy of the example which our beloved 
Mother has constantly given us. The thought that we are 
laboring in union with her will stimulate us in overcoming 
all obstacles." 

It was thus that Mother Hardey's daughters struggled 
against the promptings of their own hearts ; they laid at the 
feet of their Mother General the " Fiat," which was the most 
agreeable tribute of gratitude they could render to the 
Mother whose loss they so justly mourned. Painful as 
the separation was, they learned by degrees to appreciate the 
blessings which the presence of their Mother at the centre 
of the Society secured for them and their works. The one 
most appreciated was the privilege enjoyed by the younger 
religious of making their probation and profession at the 
Mother House, and of acquiring at the fountain source the 
true spirit of the Society, which they in turn would trans- 
mit to their successors. In the beginning of Mother Har- 
dey's sojourn in Paris, there was little to vary the monotony 
of her daily life. As writing was impossible on account of 
her paralyzed hand, her extensive correspondence was dic- 
tated, or given in notes to her secretary, hence, apart from 
the community exercises, her days were divided chiefly be- 
tween prayer and reading, but her inaction was no less 

323 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

fruitful for the glory of God and the good of souls, since 
recompense is proportioned to merit, and true merit is found 
in a will submissive to that of God. 

The Mothers who surrounded her were deeply impressed 
by that profound calm, that apparent forgetfulness of the 
power she had wielded and the honor in which she had been 
held in the wide sphere of her apostolate. Never by word 
or look did she testify the least regret. Though she held in 
faithful remembrance the needs of her American families, 
and continued to watch over the souls she had guided, and 
the works which were the outgrowth of her devotedness 
and zeal, she gave herself entirely to the duties of the new 
position in which God had placed her. Mother Goetz soon 
learned to appreciate the worth of her new Assistant, and 
sought to profit by her experience and her judgment in 
determining matters of importance. 

In the month of January, 1873, Mother Hardey was re- 
placed as Vicar by Rev. Mother Jones, so well known and 
appreciated by both religious and pupils. Her government 
was a faithful copy of that of the Mother to whom she was 
so loyally attached. She started the foundation of Elm- 
hurst, for which Mother Hardey had obtained Mother 
Goetz's permission, in January, 1873, and shortly after took 
up her residence at Manhattanville. 

In a previous chapter we mentioned with what pleasure 
Mother Hardey had opened a foundation in Maryland, and 
the difficulties which soon threatened its existence. The 
privation of spiritual help still continuing, it was decided 
to close Rosecroft and transfer the community to Elmhurst. 
The following letter from Archbishop Bayley was received 
too late to avert the decree of suppression : 

" BALTIMORE, Oct. 17, 1873. 
" MY DEAR MADAME HARDEY : 

" You must excuse me for troubling you about our 
affairs here, but I want you to beg the Mother General not 

324 



ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS 

to allow the establishment at Rosecroft to be broken up. 
I regard it as a very important matter in the interests of 
religion, especially in that part of the state, that it should 
be maintained and permanently established. You know 
how much the Catholics in the southern counties have suf- 
fered, and how neglected they are. Rosecroft is a great 
comfort to them. The very fact of the presence of a body 
of religious ladies there, even if they had no school, would 
serve, and does serve, to keep up the tone of things and do 
great good. But in fact their school is getting along very 
well. The place is beautiful and perfectly healthy; some 
of the ladies who went there in poor health are now quite 
well. Then it is, historically, a most interesting place, one 
of the outposts of Catholicity, and I should feel ashamed to 
have it given up, as if we had retreated before the 'enemy. 
Now what I want, as I have already said, is for you to beg 
of the Rev. Mother General, in my name, and as a special 
favor which I ask of her, in the name of our Blessed Lord, 
not to break up the place. I was, as you remember, one of 
your first chaplains in New York. I was the cause of your 
obtaining Manhattanville, and I think I have always taken 
a lively interest in your Institution. I believe I have a right 
to ask a favor. Rosecroft is a place that will draw a blessing 
upon you, because it is a humble work that does good, as it 
were, in secret. I could say a great deal more about the 
matter, but it is not necessary. 

" Please present my most profound respects to the 
Mother General and believe me to be, my dear Madame, 
with sincere regard, 

" Your devoted and sincere friend, 

" JAMES ROOSEVELT BAYLEY. 

"Abp. of Baltimore." 

It may seem strange to our readers that this heartfelt ap- 
peal from the Archbishop failed to secure the desired effect. 
The reasons are given in Mother Hardey's reply to the 
Archbishop: , 2 c 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

" PARIS, November 7, 1873. 
" MOST REV. FATHER : 

" Under other circumstances, a letter from your Grace 
would have been heartily welcome, but the thought of the 
disappointment which my answer will cause you, mars all 
the pleasure of its receipt. Rev. Mother Jones must have 
already informed you that Rosecroft's fate was sealed before 
your letter or hers reached me. How could I plead for its 
existence, dear Archbishop, when aware of the many priva- 
tions our little community have suffered and would still be 
exposed to suffer? The appointment of an aged chaplain, 
who is authorized to offer the Holy Sacrifice only four times 
a week at the convent, and on condition that his colleague 
is not absent (and health and weather permitting), far from 
offering any security for the future, is another proof of the 
serious inconveniences to which the community would 
always be more or less subject in their present location. I 
can assure you that our good Mother General deplores even 
more than I do, the necessity of withdrawing our religious 
from Rosecroft, for nothing would give her greater pleasure 
than to have the Sacred Heart established in the archdiocese 
of Baltimore, if it were only under more favorable circum- 
stances. 

" With deepest gratitude, I recall our early days in New 
York, when you were truly our friend, and the remembrance 
of your constant devotedness will never be effaced from my 
mind. 

" Recommending myself to your prayers and presenting 
Mother General's best respects, I remain, Most Reverend 
Father, with profound esteem, 

" Most respectfully and faithfully in C. J., 

" A. HARDEY, R. S. C. J." 

The brief sojourn of the Religious of the Sacred Heart 
on the historic banks of the Saint Mary's River had not 

326 



ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS 

been fruitless for the glory of God. Of the pupils educated 
there, some are exerting an influence for good in their social 
circles, handing down to a new generation the teachings 
which they received in their convent home ; others are serv- 
ing God in various Religious Orders, a good proportion as 
Religious of the Sacred Heart. When the transfer was 
made to Elmhurst about fifteen of the boarders accompanied 
their mistresses thither. 

Mother Goetz, appreciating the sterling qualities of her 
new Assistant, resolved that her wide experience should be 
turned to account for the welfare of the French houses. For 
this purpose she sent her to visit several of the convents. 
Mother Hardey's first journey was to Orleans, where she 
had the happiness of meeting again her old friend and 
daughter Mother Jouve. We find in one of her letters to 
Mother Barat the following passage, which shows how 
much she felt the loss of this good Mother, when sent 
to the Southern Vicariate : " She was my confidant, my only 
support; I could not make a greater sacrifice than that of 
losing her, but, my venerable Mother, say only the word 
and I will give you all the others." This visit was a mutual 
consolation for the two friends and a great pleasure for the 
Orleans community, so happy to make the acquaintance of 
the American Assistant General. 

In the month of May the ill health of Mother Goetz 
necessitated a visit to the south of France, and she took 
Mother Hardey with her to Pau, in the Pyrenees, where 
a foundation had been recently made. Mother Har- 
dey devoted herself to lighten the burden of her Superior 
General in every way possible, and she was the life of the 
recreations, relating in the most charming way amusing and 
interesting anecdotes which sometimes brought tears of 
laughter to Mother Goetz's eyes, even when her suffering 
was intense. An unlocked for blessing was granted them in 
a pilgrimage to Lourdes. As the restrictions of enclosure 
were not yet fully enforced the Bishop of Bayonne made 

327 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

them visit Lourdes to plead for the restoration of the health 
of Mother Goetz, whose condition gave cause for alarm. 

It afforded the pilgrims unspeakable joy to pray on the 
spot once hallowed by the visible presence of the Immacu- 
late Virgin, and to witness the spectacle of devout throngs 
drawn thither by their unbounded trust in the power of our 
Lady of Lourdes. Mother Hardey's most fervent petitions 
were in behalf of the Mother General, but the latter was not 
inspired to ask for a prolongation of life, her aspirations all 
turned heavenward. However, the prayers of her daugh- 
ters obtained an amelioration of her sufferings, and Mother 
Hardey had the consolation of bringing her back to Paris 
much improved in health. The respite from pain was, how- 
ever, of short duration. Worn out prematurely by excessive 
work and suffering, Mother Goetz expired on January 4, 
1874. Her death was deeply felt by Mother Hardey, who 
had become very much attached to her. Mother Lehon was 
elected third Superior General, May 6, 1874. 

One of Mother Lehon's first acts was to send Mother 
Hardey to America to attend to business matters of great 
importance for the Manhattanville property. Early in 
July Mother Hardey left Paris, and her arrival in New 
York was hailed with unbounded joy by her religious 
families and devoted friends. The two years of separation 
were forgotten in the happiness of her presence, as each 
house in the vicariate welcomed the Mother so dearly loved. 
She took pains to impress upon her daughters that her mis- 
sion to America was to make known and revered the new 
Superior General ; the task was an easy one, we may well 
believe, since this Very Rev. Mother had given such a strik- 
ing proof of her love for her American families. 

A painful accident somewhat marred the joy of this 
visit. In January, 1875, while calling to see one of the 
pupils in the Manhattanville infirmary, a vessel of boil- 
ing oil, which was near "the bed of the little sufferer, was 
upset on Mother Hardey's foot, burning it to the bone ; but 

328 




1 Convent Elmhurst, Providence, R. 1. 

2 Former Convent, Massachusetts Ave., Boaton 



ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS 

although the pain was excruciating, with her usual self- 
possession, she would not move until cloths had been 
brought to wipe off the oil, so that her foot might not stain 
the couch prepared to receive her. This accident kept her 
confined to her room for several weeks, but she utilized this 
period of inaction in making the acquaintance of the 
younger members of the community, to whom she gave 
counsels of instruction and encouragement, bestowing on 
them special marks of maternal interest. Mother Hardey's 
words of advice were few, but always to the point. They 
have been treasured by her daughters and collected in a 
little book of Maxims, which will serve to perpetuate her 
memory to succeeding generations. 

It was during this visit to America that she established 
the Tabernacle Society, in connection with the Sodality of 
the Children of Mary. Having been invited to preside at one 
of the meetings, she spoke to the ladies of the good accom- 
plished by the society in the European convents and urged 
upon them to come to the relief of poor churches by devot- 
ing their time and their money to the making of vestments 
and altar linen. The suggestion at first met with opposition, 
as the interests of the Society centred in their efforts to re- 
lieve the poor, as far as their resources would permit, but 
she was not discouraged. With a limited number who en- 
tered into her views, she opened the first sewing meeting, 
having supplied the materials and confided the direction 
of the work to Madame Lieber, a religious fully competent 
to insure its success. She continued to assist at the weekly 
reunions, until she felt that it was established upon a per- 
manent basis. The Annual Reports of the Society show its 
marvelous growth, and the vast extension of its benefits to 
needy missions. 

In March, 1875, Archbishop McCloskey was raised to 
the dignity of the Cardinalate, to the great joy of the Amer- 
ican Catholics. Celebrations of a social and religious char- 
acter followed and, before the close of April, Manhattan- 

329 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

ville became the scene of an ovation in honor of his Emi- 
nence. In the address, delivered by one of the pupils, a 
vivid picture was presented of the struggles and triumphs 
of the Church in America, " since the day when the op- 
pressor's hand was lifted from the nation's heart, and from 
the heart of the Bride of Christ we look fondly back," said 
the speaker, " to that day of small beginnings, heroic deeds, 
blessings granted, and dangers passed. Ah ! well may we 
blend religion's note of praise with our country's triumphant 
song, for in the glad retrospect we see but the shining links 
of hope fulfilled, of brave endeavors crowned, of sacred 
memories which have blossomed and borne their golden 
fruit." 

In replying to the filial expressions offered him Cardinal 
McCloskey said, with characteristic grace and suavity, 
that a part of the history of the past was left for him to 
retrace, that of recounting the works of Mother Hardey 
and her daughters, since the day of " small beginnings " for 
the Society of the Sacred Heart in the Archdiocese of New 
York. The delicate allusions of his Eminence to Mother 
Hardey's share in the good accomplished called forth an 
outburst of applause from the reverend clergymen present, 
and it was some minutes before the general enthusiasm sub- 
sided. The event left an unfading memory ; but even amid 
the joys of the occasion, hearts were sorrowing, for the 
Mother, so worthily honored, was soon to leave for her dis- 
tant home. 

On the twentieth of April she bade farewell, her own 
heart weighed down by the additional sacrifice of leaving 
behind her the faithful secretary and companion of her 
travels for nearly a decade of years, and as the steamer was 
slowly receding from the shore, she clasped the hand of her 
new secretary with maternal goodness, and in silent sym- 
pathy as if to say, " Let us be generous in our sacrifice." 
On her return to France Mother Hardey became greatly 
interested in the founding there of a good work, known 

330 



ASSISTANT GENERAL IN PARIS 

as " Oeuvre des Apostoliques," or Apostolic Schools. Its 
object was to provide for the education of young girls who 
desired to embrace the religious state, but whose families 
were unable to defray the expenses of their education. 
Mother Hardey's design was to educate subjects, not only 
for her own Institute, but for any of the Congregations de- 
voted to the instruction of youth. For this end she sent a 
certain number of young girls to the convent at Beauvais, 
and they became in very truth her adopted children. She 
provided for their needs, rejoiced in their success, and en- 
couraged their efforts to prepare themselves for their ex- 
alted mission. Funds were needed, however, to carry on 
the good work, so she applied to the houses in New York 
to assist her in raising the required amount. 

" I cannot tell you," she wrote, " how much I take this 
work to heart, nor how truly I shall appreciate your efforts 
to contribute to its support." She suggested a variety of 
ways by which aid might be secured, and accepted with 
grateful joy every gift that could be utilized for her 
cherished enterprise. In the selection of the applicants 
Mother Hardey was sometimes deceived, for several young 
girls on the completion of their studies relinquished their 
aspirations for a higher life, and a few even caused keen 
sorrow to their benefactress. Though her plans were never 
fully realized, she persevered in carrying on the good work 
and had the consolation of knowing that over twenty of 
her dear " Apostoliques " had devoted themselves to the 
service of God in various religious orders. 



331 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

MOTHER HARDEY VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN HER GOLDEN 
JUBILEE SECOND VISIT TO AMERICA 1876-1878. 

As Mother Hardey was familiar with Spanish, she was 
sent by the Mother General, in 1876, to visit the convents 
in Spain. She left Paris with her secretary on the nine- 
teenth of February, and after a brief halt at several of the 
houses in France, arrived at Perpignan, where they took the 
diligence which was to convey them across the Pyrenees, 
" Reverend Mother was so enchanted with the grand spec- 
tacle of the mountains," writes her secretary, " that she for- 
got the fatigue of the journey, but I think her heart was all 
the time lifted up in prayer, and even on the heights of the 
Pyrenees the sad story of a lost cause enlisted her deepest 
sympathy. The army of Don Carlos had just surrendered, 
and detachments of the conquered troops passed us on the 
way, fleeing across the frontier to seek refuge in France, or 
some other foreign country. Spain was in a state of political 
agitation and a rigid inspection of luggage was therefore 
enforced on the frontier village of Jungera, but our trunks 
were not opened, owing to the kind intervention of our trav- 
eling companions, chief among whom was an officer in the 
army of King Alphonso. Whenever a halt occurred in the 
journey he was at her side to offer assistance, and seeing 
this other officials pressed forward with added courtesies. 

"On arriving at the hotel in Figueras we were conducted 
to the handsomest apartment, and served as travelers of 
the highest distinction. The next day we heard that Rev- 
erend Mother was believed to be Queen Christina trav- 
eling in disguise, and so the honors she received were marks 
of respect intended for the grandmother of the Spanish 
King. She reached Barcelona on the twenty-eighth of Feb- 
ruary, and was joyfully welcomed at Sarria by Mother Al- 

332 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

entado, one of her former daughters in Cuba and Manhat- 
tanville. Mgr. Lluck, Bishop of Barcelona, whom she had 
known in Cuba, hastened to join his greetings to those of 
the family of Sarria, saying, it afforded him great pleasure 
to meet in Spain one who had done so much good for the 
interests of religion in the New World." 

After a visit of three days she went to Saragossa to open 
a house in that city. The account of the share which she 
took in the inconveniences attendant upon a foundation, 
reads like a page from the annals of her houses in America. 
She was most earnest in her exhortations to the commu- 
nity to rejoice because all around them was a silent in- 
vitation to love and honor holy poverty. The journal of the 
house records that the pupils were delighted with the nov- 
elty of meeting an American Mother, and were deeply 
impressed by her great kindness and interest in their wel- 
fare. From Saragossa she went to Madrid, where she vis- 
ited the palace of the Duke of Pastrana, as there was ques- 
tion of establishing a second convent in that city. Seeing 
she was much pleased with the property His Highness 
graciously presented it as a gift to the Society, and the fol- 
lowing year the foundation was made. In a short time this 
establishment became the centre of numerous good works. 

" Returning to Sarria," continues the secretary, " we 
passed near Manresa and made a pilgrimage in spirit to the 
spot sacred to the memory of Saint Ignatius. An incident 
of this part of our journey alarmed me greatly. A man 
wearing the uniform of a cavalry officer, revolver and sword 
at his side, forced his way into the coach reserved for us. 
His sinister glances seemed to imply that he was no friend 
of religious. I remarked in an undertone to Rev. Mother 
that the weapons he carried must have dealt many a fatal 
blow. What was my astonishment to hear him mutter in 
English a comment on my words. I was terribly frightened, 
but Rev. Mother kept her usual composure, though she 
afterwards acknowledged she had been somewhat afraid. 

333 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

It was then dark, but providentially we soon came to a halt 
and a party of English tourists entered and were our travel- 
ling companions for the rest of the journey. Before our 
departure from Sarria the children of Mary of Barcelona 
assembled at the convent to offer Rev. Mother their good 
wishes and present her with some handsome gifts for the 
altar, as a memento of her visit to Spain. On the twenty- 
seventh of March, after the choir had sung Quid Retribuum 
in thanksgiving for the blessings of this visitation, we start- 
ed on our homeward journey." 

Many beautiful testimonies to Mother Hardey's worth 
show that her character was appreciated, and her kindness 
held in grateful memory by the religious in Spain. " I shall 
never forget," writes one, " that great simplicity and strong 
religious spirit which Mother Hardey united in so high a 
degree. There appeared in her two qualities, which at first 
seem contradictory, a childlike candor, with the intelligence 
and experience of age, and the ripest virtues. She made our 
recreations delightful, as she spoke of America, of Havana, 
of our Mother General, and the ' dear Centre.' " 

Another says : " I had long known Mother Hardey by 
reputation, having heard of the impression she made in 
Havana. Once a Mexican gentleman, while praising her 
great qualities, said to me, ' If Madame Hardey were only 
the Minister of our poor distracted country, how soon she 
would restore order there.' Another writer, referring to 
her extraordinary memory, says : ' A former pupil of the 
Havana convent then a religious in Spain, expressed her joy 
at meeting our Reverend Mother, who, recognizing her, 
addressed her by the familiar name she had borne in her 
family and made inquiries for her sisters.' Many were 
impressed by the affability and gaiety of her conversation 
and the spontaneity with which she introduced at short in- 
tervals a thought that lifted the heart to God, and all found 
her eager to render a service, when it was in her power 
to do so." 

334 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

On her return to France she stopped at Perpignan and 
assisted at a meeting of the Children of Mary, who had 
prepared for the occasion a display of their work for poor 
Churches. She examined the exposition with marked inter- 
est and made notes of certain features which might prove 
suggestive to the Children of Mary in New York. After a 
brief visit to the convents of Toulouse, Bordeaux and Poi- 
tiers, she reached Paris on April 4, after an absence of seven 
weeks. In the month of May she received news from Man- 
hattanville of the sudden death of her young sister, Madame 
Pauline Hardey, a novice, whose health had given cause for 
uneasiness, though there was no serious apprehension of 
danger. When the cable came announcing the sad news 
it was a great shock to her, but the sorrow was accepted 
with that profound submission to the will of God, which she 
manifested in every circumstance of her life. As in all 
such trials she went to the chapel, passed an hour with the 
Divine Consoler, and then quietly returned to her accus- 
tomed duties. To those who offered sympathy she calmly 
said : " Lena's death is not a cause for sorrow, but rather 
for joy, for I know she is now united to the Society in 
Heaven." 

During July she accompanied Mother Lehon in her 
visits to the houses in Brittany, going first to Saint Brieux, 
to assist at the dedication of the new convent church, 
thence to Rennes and Laval, and finally to Quimper. The 
annual letters of these houses mention in glowing terms 
the impression given by her affability and devotedness to 
the Society. During the Christmas holidays she contracted 
a severe cold, which resulted in gastric fever and kept her 
confined to her room during the winter, but she had re- 
covered sufficiently to assist at the celebration of her golden 
jubilee of first vows, on March 15, 1876. Mother Lehon 
expressed her desire that the event should be fittingly com- 
memorated, and as Mother Hardey was now well known 
in Europe, the jubilee was of general interest throughout 

335 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

the Society. The preparations went on so quietly that the 
beloved jubilarian believed the day would happily pass 
unnoticed. Her surprise was therefore very great when, on 
the evening of the fourteenth, Mother Lehon presented 
her with eleven cablegrams from America. Her first ex- 
clamation was, " All this money wasted." The following 
are some of the messages received : 

" Warmest congratulations and blessing. Cardinal Mc- 
Closkey." 

" United by love and gratitude, America and France hail 
your Golden Jubilee. Fifty years of virtue, sacrifice and 
noble works will ever shed lustre on the name of Madame 
Hardey. Bishop Conroy." 

" Congratulations from all, and fifty Masses from Rev- 
erend Friends." 

" Heartfelt congratulations and earnest wishes for every 
blessing. J. L. Spalding." 

" We sing the glories of thy fifty years ! Professor Car- 
mody." 

" Your children's hearts are with you. New York Chil- 
dren of Mary." 

" Respectful congratulations from your loving children. 
the pupils of Manhattanville." 

" The love and gratitude of Kenwood blend in the heart- 
felt greeting your children send. Kenwood pupils." 

The American probationists having arrived about the 
end of February, all the vicariates were represented except 
Louisiana. By request of the Mother General Rev. Mother 
Jouve, the former Vicar of Louisiana, was present from 
Orleans at the celebration. All enjoyed Mother Hardey's 
surprise at seeing her. The American novices from Con- 
flans and the American pupils at the rue de Varennes were 
present at the Mass next morning. At nine o'clock there 
was a grand family reunion in the probation hall. Mother 

336 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

Hardey was deeply moved by the address in French, but 
when the " Greeting from America " was read by an Amer- 
ican probationist, she could not restrain her tears, At the 
conclusion of the address another advanced and presented, 
as a donation for the Apostolic School religious, a chaplet 
of gold coins, each coin representing some good work of the 
half century just completed. We give in full this heartfelt 
expression of her children's devotion as described in the fol- 
lowing lines : 

America to France a greeting gives, 

Tis sent by loving hearts across the widespread lands, 

And borne across the widespread seas by loving hands; 

A greeting joy and triumph make so sweet, 

That it should fall like music on your ear, 

And lie like festal flowers round your feet! 

O Mother ! all our heart is with you on this day, 

And all our soul is in the words we say: 

Praise and glory be to God for fifty sacred years! 

Yes, fifty years, whose record writ in gold 

Is traced along the realm from deep Canadian snow 

To where the tropic island's balmy blossoms blow, 

And all the shining letters tell of toil and prayer 

Of souls redeemed to Jesus' love again. 

Of hopeful faith and endless patience everywhere ! 

We read the record through our happy tears to-day, 

And all across the sea our voices make their way 

Praise and glory be to God for fifty sacred years ! 

A lifetime chaplet clasps around our God 

Its fifty sparkling beads so softly, gently told, 

Each counted by its prayers, each made of thrice tried gold. 

Each " Gloria " some monument to Jesus' Heart ; 

Your life, dear Mother, was all " Aves " to His love 

The glory His, the sweetness ours, the pain your part. 

Not cloisters only, countless Christian homes 

" 337 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

Should bless the hand that gave them life's celestial ray 
Praise and glory be to God for fifty sacred years! 

Unseen we all are kneeling by your side, 

Mother, whom our love forever calls our own, 
The best and truest Mother we have ever known. 
Each heart among your children in your native land, 
Bows joyful, tearful down in spirit here, 

To ask the tender blessing of your voice and hand. 
The seas divide us not, O Mother, on this day, 
Our hearts and yours are one, as we together say, 
Praise and glory be to God for fifty sacred years. 

It was not at the Mother House only that a celebration 
was held. Innumerable friends in two hemispheres united 
in the joy of the day. In the American convents, the 
most significant feature of the occasion was the Sacrifice of 
Thanksgiving offered upon the altars raised by Mother 
Hardey to the honor of the Sacred Heart. Everywhere 
a holiday was granted to the pupils. At Manhattanville 
Rev. J. L. Spalding, later Bishop of Peoria, delivered a 
panegyric in which we find an admirable delineation of 
Mother Hardey's character. 

" We have been drawn together to-day," he said, " my 
sisters and my children, by our affection and admiration for 
one who has consecrated her whole life to the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus, of whom, were it not for the day and the occasion 
which constrain me, I should not presume to speak, know- 
ing how displeasing to her is even the sincerest praise. Yet, 

1 will speak, for absence gives in a measure the privilege 
of death, and in the sanctuary of the family, surrounded by 
the friends and children whose hearts outstrip my words, I 
may be allowed a certain liberty, and even though I prove 
unskillful, yet shall I be excused for my good will. 

" We are thanking God for a life which has had no 
other object than His honor and glory. Why do fifty years 
seem so long and so worthy of special commemoration, but 

338 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

because life is so short? And thus in the midst of gladness, 
a sad thought comes to us, and our joy reminds us of 
our misery. What a heavenly privilege to have given all 
those years to Jesus! In the very first blush of maiden- 
hood to have turned from the world, in all the freshness of 
a mind and heart untaught by sorrow, from the earliest 
dawn until evening, to have watched for the coming of Him 
who alone is worthy ! 

" What changes have come over the world in these fifty 
years ! When Reverend Mother Hardey brought her youth 
and all her hopes and laid them at the foot of the Cross 
religious life was scarcely known in this country. There 
were but few religious communities and they were poor, 
their life seemed cold, for here and there only was found 
a heart strong enough to lean on God alone. Forty years 
before her entrance into the convent there was not one 
religious woman in all this broad land who had devoted 
herself to God's special service. What a benediction to 
her to-day is the thought of the change which has come 
over religion in this country. This in itself is a recompense 
of no small value to know that God has blessed the labor 
in which she has taken so important a part. Yes, a hun- 
dredfold, a thousandfold, His blessing rests upon the work 
of His Servant. When the venerated foundress of the 
Society of the Sacred Heart sent Madame Galitzin to 
America she said : ' There will be many crosses for you in 
America, but be patient, firm ; gentleness and patience are 
especially necessary.' Such were the words of Mother 
Barat. Certainly she could not have described more per- 
fectly the character of that woman who was chosen to be 
the chief instrument in building up the Society of the Sacred 
Heart in America, Reverend Mother Hardey. 

" She has that firmness which springs from a character 
naturally just ; from that strong good sense, which is often 
genius, yet better than genius. She has a soul that scorned 
all that is low and unworthy. These natural qualities trans- 

339 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

formed and purified by grace have made her a power, a 
force of divine efficacy in organizing the Society which is 
leading many of the best and noblest souls in America to a 
higher life. She is a strong woman. To know her is to 
feel her strength. That the religious life is made for feeble 
souls no one in her presence would dare even to imagine. 
The gentleness with which her firm rule is tempered comes 
from strength. The strong know how to be patient. They 
know, too, that the great power to influence men is love and 
sympathy. In the Church, above all in religious life, love 
only attains the highest. Not force, but the charity of the 
Heart of Jesus, warms the souls of men. This has been, as 
all who know her can testify, one of the marked character- 
istics of Mother Hardey's dealings with those over whom 
she has had authority. She was born to rule, but to rule by 
the power of love and gentleness. A particular knowledge 
of men and affairs is one of her most remarkable gifts, as 
it is most essential to all who are called to the difficult 
mission of directing others. She is rarely mistaken in her 
estimate of character, and as seldom fails to grasp all the 
details of even the most difficult enterprise. Hence, what 
she undertakes to do is done. 

" She inspires confidence and always finds willing help- 
ers. Full of courage herself, she makes others brave. Her 
sense of justice is so strong that no one questions her judg- 
ment, or hesitates to abide by her decisions; while the 
generous devotion of her children is the best evidence of 
the warmth and sympathy of her maternal heart. Absence 
is the severest test of friendship, but you, my sisters and 
my children, will bear me out when I say that it has no 
power to cool the ardor of your love for Reverend Mother 
Hardey, and this, while it is most honorable to yourselves, 
is the noblest testimony to her own true worth and exalted 
virtue. One who though absent for years is still present 
by the respect and veneration she inspires, needs no eulogy. 
Let us, therefore, kneeling around this altar, before which 

340 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

she has so often prayed, unite with those, who in two hem- 
ispheres, are keeping this festival. Prostrate before the 
Heart of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, let us 
thank Him for all the graces with which He has 'endowed 
her, and supplicate Him to render her still more worthy 
of His love and to preserve her yet many years to those 
who love her, that she may continue to be a minister of 
blessing to those who love Him." 

This joyous feast left lasting memories on both sides of 
the Atlantic, and for the beloved jubilarian it was fraught 
with consolation. Alluding to all that had taken place she 
said with her accustomed simplicity, " Truly, this day was 
so touching that I would have liked to weep, if you had 
given me the time." 

Fifty years of labor, zeal and devotedness to the good of 
others had passed and gone, but who can measure the store 
of merits laid up in the treasury of Heaven, and though her 
future will be less active in appearance it will not be less 
fruitful in its mission of prayer and sacrifice. Her apostle- 
ship now included the European houses, in whose welfare 
she took a maternal interest, and she ably seconded the 
Mother General in her visitation of the houses of Conflans 
and the rue de Varennes, where her kindness to the Sisters 
completely won their hearts. 

In September, 1877, the Mother House witnessed one of 
those assemblies which, from time to time, make it a faint 
image of the " Upper Room " in Jerusalem, where the 
Apostles awaited in silence and prayer the coming of the 
Holy Spirit. The superiors from sixty houses in vari- 
ous parts of the world met for the purpose of making a 
spiritual retreat, under the guidance of Rev. Father Fes- 
sard, S.J., well known for his wise and enlightened direction 
of souls. Mother Hardey followed the exercises, but it was 
painfully evident to her American daughters that her health 
was rapidly failing. They begged the Mother General to 
let her return with them, assuring her that the voyage and 

341 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

a sojourn in her native air would restore her vigor. Anx- 
ious to prolong the life of her devoted assistant, the Mother 
General gave her consent, though it cost her much to part 
with her. 

Mother Hardey and her party sailed from Liverpool on 
the 2Oth of October in the Russia, and after a stormy voy- 
age of fourteen days landed in New York. " When a hun- 
dred miles from port," writes her secretary, " we encoun- 
tered fierce head winds and cross seas, which continued 
with unabated severity for eight days. On the ninth day 
our ship narrowly escaped foundering owing to a hurricane 
which sprang up towards nightfall and lasted more than 
twenty-four hours. The scene was appalling. Great foam- 
ing waves towered around us, struck the vessel with ter- 
rific force, and threatened to engulf it within a grave of 
angry waters. There was no rest for Reverend Mother 
during the passage, yet each morning she rose early and 
began the day with an hour's meditation. Indeed, the 
greater part of the day was given to prayer, while her per- 
fect calmness and self-possession inspired courage into 
many a sinking heart. When asked how she could be so 
tranquil in presence of imminent danger, her reply was, 
' God rules the sea as well as the land ; on both sides of the 
Atlantic prayers are ascending to Him for our safe journey; 
why, then, should I be afraid? ' ' 

The sad forebodings which had filled the hearts of her 
daughters by the delay in arriving, gave place to unbounded 
joy and thanksgiving when the news of the Russia's ar- 
rival was announced. The telegram was received at Man- 
hattanville while the religious were reciting Matins in choir. 
At the close of the Office, Rev. Mother Jones entoned the 
Te Deum and all understood that their loved Mother had 
safely reached the American shores. In spite of the dangers 
and fatigue of the past fortnight, the indefatigable Mother 
did not give herself time for rest. The morning after her 
arrival at Manhattanville she was in her accustomed place 

342 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

in the chapel at half-past five, and was present all day at 
the community reunions, saying that life in common with 
her daughters was the best means for recovering her health. 
However, an order from the doctor imposed the rest so 
much needed, and at once she submitted with childlike obe- 
dience. But the sequel proved that it was in labor, not 
repose, that she was to regain her health. 

To the younger members of the community she de- 
voted an hour each day, placing before them the high 
ideals of their sublime vocation. " Look beyond the things 
of sense," she said, " and see the spirit created to the 
image and likeness of God. Our holy rule tells us that 
' the children are the most precious treasure that the 
Heart of Jesus can confide to us,' that we should be as 
' mothers to them.' How earnestly a true mother seeks the 
highest interests of her child ! With what devotedness we 
should fulfill our part in the education of our pupils. With 
what care and solicitude we should form their character, 
correct their faults, develop their intelligence, train their 
hearts, in a word, labor to mould them into true children of 
the Sacred Heart. 

" ' Beware of yielding to a repugnance to your duties in 
the class-room. Put your whole heart into your work, and 
thank God for your privilege in laboring for souls. The 
most dreaded punishment Our Lord can impose upon a 
Religious of the Sacred Heart is to withdraw her from 
apostleship with the children, and we may bring this pen- 
alty upon ourselves by our lack of devotedness, our in- 
efficiency, or even our inequalities and asperities of charac- 
ter. Be of the number of those convenient religious who 
can be used by superiors in any capacity, whose glory it is 
to wear out, not to rust out ! ' ' 

These and similar counsels were repeated by Mother 
Hardey in her visits to the other convents. Indeed, it 
seemed that the purpose of this second visit to America was 
" to prepare for the Lord a perfect people," to mould the 

343 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

new generation in the spirit and rules of the Institute. The 
Congregations of the Children of Mary in New York and 
Philadelphia were also the objects of her interest, and she 
gave a new impetus to all their good works, especially that 
for the relief of poor churches. After spending some time in 
each house of the New York Vicariate, she went to Canada 
in the month of May. Here, again, it was a mother return- 
ing to her daughters, and her farewell was a rallying cry 
of " Love of the Heart of Jesus," " Fidelity to Rule." " You 
have in these," she said, " a pledge of happiness in this life, 
and for that better one where partings are unknown." 

During the triduum, before the Feast of the Sacred 
Heart, Mother Hardey gave several beautiful instructions 
to the Manhattanville community. We give some extracts. 
Speaking of the necessity of " Renovation," she says : 
" Everything in the world has need of renewal, because 
everything has within itself the germ of decay, hence the 
necessity of a religious renovation, which means a renewal 
of fervor, of fidelity in pursuing the end of our vocation. 
The law of sterility, of advancing age, is attached to per- 
sons and things, and leaves its impress all too soon. So is 
it in the moral order. There is a decline which fastens itself 
upon our thoughts, our desires, our sentiments, even our 
holiest resolutions. Hence the necessity of having spiritual 
things presented to us in a novel manner, because novelty 
makes a stronger impression on us. In the physical world 
there are particles of dust constantly settling upon every- 
thing. These atoms at first are invisible, but after a time 
they are plainly seen. Something similar takes place in the 
moral world. If we penetrate deeply into our souls, we 
shall see them tarnished by the dust of nature, or the dust 
of the world, even though we have given a portion of time 
daily to the removal of this dust, nay, even if we abhor its 
approach. Hence the necessity of occasionally making a 
more thorough examination of our spiritual condition, our 
actions and their motives, that we may cleanse our hearts 

344 




Convents in Havana and Porto Rico 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

from all that may displease the eye of Our Lord and Master." 

In another instruction, she made a very detailed exam- 
ination of conscience, as follows : 

" Upon the exact observance of the Rules and Constitu- 
tions depends the success of the Society. Let us see how 
far we have contributed to this success since our last reno- 
vation. We will go through the daily regulation : 

" i. Do we obey the call for rising, lovingly, promptly? 
Our Rule is one of love. There are no punishments im- 
posed on those who break it, except the remorse of their 
own conscience. 

" 2. Do we make our meditation in the spirit of the So- 
ciety and of the Rule, spending the hour exclusively with 
Our Lord, studying His Divine Heart, learning from Him 
especially the great lessons of meekness and humility? 
After our meditation are we more zealous, more humble, 
more submissive to God's will? 

" 3. Do we assist at the Holy Sacrifice, the greatest act 
of the day, in the spirit of the Church? 

" 4. Are we faithful to the spirit of God and do we act 
for His love and glory? 

" 5. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is the essence of our 
vocation; it should be our only passion. Do we instil it 
in the hearts of our children, and is it our means of gaining 
souls ? 

"6. Are we mothers in our dealings with the children? 
Do we reprove them in a motherly way? 

" 7. Have we a real zeal for science, as well as for 
sanctity? Are we mistresses of what we teach? Do we 
ever disedify our children by an exhibition of temper, of 
worldliness, of sarcasm, of vanity? 

"8. Do we obey in a spirit of faith, seeing God in our 
superiors, and His will in their commands? Have we any 
dispensations that are not necessary, from any rule or cus- 
tom of the Society. Do we lead the common life in regard 
to food, clothing, lodging, careful to guard against the in- 

345 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

clinations of nature to seek satisfaction rather than religious 
discipline? 

" 9. Is holy poverty really treated as a mother, and do 
we give it marks of our esteem and of our affection when 
opportunity offers? Are we careful of the goods of the 
house, faithful to ask the necessary permissions for things 
in our use, for giving, lending, borrowing, etc.? Do we 
waste things ourselves, and permit the children to waste 
food, materials, paper, etc. ? Do we permit them to destroy 
or injure the furniture, waste time, neglect the proper care 
of articles given for their use, money, stationery, clothing, 
etc., etc.? All these points come under our vow of poverty, 
or at least under the exercise of the virtue. 

" 10. If we wish to do good to the souls of our children 
we must begin by being fervent, obedient and faithful ob- 
servers of our own obligations. 

" ii. Is our heart free, detached, or do we cling to nat- 
ural affections, whether of blood or of friendship? Purity 
of heart requires the sacrifice of particular affections. Our 
hearts are made to love. If we do not love Our Divine 
Lord wholly and without reserve we will seek for the love 
of the creature, and when we yield to that weakness we run 
great risks. Particular friendships have been the cause of 
nearly all the defections in the Society. Other reasons may 
be given, but when the case is well examined it is usually 
found that lack of obedience, failures in poverty, have all 
taken their rise in the gratification of natural affections, 
which neither superiors nor the rules could sanction, hence 
dissatisfaction with religious restraints, and at last disgust 
with religious life. 

" 12. How do we keep silence? Our Mother Foundress 
says where there is no silence there is no recollection, no 
interior life. This liberty of the tongue is the cause of end- 
less evils, murmuring, complaints, criticisms, remarks 
against charity, etc. Examine whether it is really ' with 
your whole heart ' that you are going to renew your vows. 

346 



VISITS HOUSES IN SPAIN 

You must not merely recite the formula, you must realize 
its meaning. Take each word in turn and reflect seriously 
before Our Lord upon its import. Who am I? What am 
I about to do? Then, continue with the words which fol- 
low and do not forget that you have taken your vows ' ac- 
cording to the spirit and rules of the Society,' not according 
to your views nor your spirit." 

It is not surprising that this blessed visit of Mother 
Hardey was looked upon as " the passage of the Lord," for, 
like her Divine Spouse, she had come to cast the fire of her 
own ardent zeal into the hearts of her daughters. The 
day of departure came all too soon. On the eve she gave a 
conference, in which she seemed to pour out the sentiments 
of her loving heart. " I will give you but three words," 
she said, " but with these three we shall be able to go very 
far in the way of perfection. The first is ' Love of the 
Sacred Heart/ a generous, trusting love, hopeful of obtain- 
ing all that it asks ; a love which will lead us to have recourse 
to that Heart in every necessity, for we naturally apply to 
one we love, whom we know to be able and willing to assist 
us. Love of the Sacred Heart is our vocation. Love means 
sacrifice, and sacrifice cements friendship, and friendship 
makes of two hearts but one ! 

" Our second word is, ' Love of the Rule ' ; that Rule 
which has been approved by the Holy See, so highly praised 
by the masters of the spiritual life, so faithfully practiced 
by our Mother Foundress and her first companions. By 
the Rule we shall be judged. Therefore, we should refer 
all to it; measure the value of everything by its standard. 
Consult it in doubt or perplexity, be guided by it in all our 
undertakings and occupations, and in every circumstance, 
before every action ask ourselves, Is this according to Rule? 

" The third word is also ' love,' ' love for one another.' 
The Rule tells us that ' Charity is the bond which unites 
among ourselves and with those in authority.' This love is 
the consequence of the first two. We must love one an- 

347 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

other as Our Lord loves us. Ah ! if He loved only the per- 
fect, He would love very few. Therefore, let charity unite 
us all as one in the Heart of Jesus. To assist us in attaining 
this blessing Our Lord has sent us to-day a precious book, 
the ' Life of Mother Duchesne.' You will find there the 
spirit she brought to this country. You will see what her 
sufferings and her love of the Cross have purchased for us. 
It is my desire and my earnest prayer that you may learn 
from her heroic example to labor generously for the love and 
the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by your love for the 
Rule, and your love for one another." 

Like the Apostle of Charity Mother Hardey left to her 
daughters an adieu of love. She sailed for France on the 
1 8th of July, bearing with her the regrets, the veneration 
and the devoted affection of her religious families and 
friends. 



348 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

MOTHER HARDEY CHARGED WITH THE PROBATIONISTS VISIT 

TO BELGIUM DEATHS OF RELIGIOUS IN 

AMERICA 1878-1880. 

It was always with additional joy that Mother Hardey's 
return to France was welcomed. She had identified herself 
so completely with the interests of those around her, that 
her absence was keenly felt. One of the Sisters who had 
lost her father some months previous, was deeply touched 
when, on alighting from the carriage, the Reverend Mother 
called her aside, saying, " I heard of your sorrow, and I 
prayed and asked prayers for the soul of your dear father.'' 
The sorrows and joys of others always found a place in her 
faithful memory. Soon after her return Mother Lehon 
gave her a new proof of her confidence, by confiding to her 
the charge of the probationists of the September term. 
Though Mother Hardey pleaded her unfitness for the re- 
sponsible position Mother Lehon judged differently, so, 
obedient, she humbly submitted. 

The period of probation preparatory to the final vows, 
or profession, forms, as it were, a long retreat of six months, 
during which the probationist reviews the past, and, under 
the direction of an experienced guide, gathers strength for 
the future, in recollection, prayer and profound study of the 
Rules and Constitutions of the Society. We find an echo 
of Mother Hardey's teachings in " the notes," which one of 
her probationists collected day by day during those blessed 
months. We give a few extracts: 

" The probation is the school of the heart, a time of prep- 
aration, but first of all of reparation. At the end of five 
years or more of active duty in the school and elsewhere 
both body and soul are fatigued, it almost seems as if we 
can hold out no longer, then God calls us apart, the Society 

349 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

brings us to the ' centre/ in order to renew our strength, to 
mould us anew in the spirit of the Constitutions, to give us 
an opportunity to repair the past and to prepare for the 
future, where the combat will last without intermission 
until our arms rest in death. Do not desire perfection for 
its own sake, nor the correction of your faults in order to 
be rid of them; no, we must seek perfection through the 
supernatural motive of love, because it is the will of Him 
whom we desire to love above 'everything else. 

" Learn to know yourselves and all that has been lacking 
in your religious spirit hitherto. Souls that are soft and 
cowardly are a heavy cross to the Society. Light, frivolous 
characters cannot form others to virtue. Despondent char- 
acters are worse than all others. No one knows how to 
take them. If corrected they become discouraged, if left, 
to themselves, they are hurt. The best character is the 
generous, unselfish nature that lets itself be moulded in 
the spirit of the Society, and notwithstanding defects, con- 
tinues to grow daily in the love of the rule and the faithful 
observance of all it enjoins. Perfect obedience is impossible 
without complete indifference to persons, places, employ- 
ments. Have faith in the grace of obedience. It is often 
the fear of not succeeding that makes us allege our in- 
capacity." 

Among so many beautiful and practical explanations of 
the Rule, we find it difficult to make selections. Poverty, 
Obedience, and, above all, Charity are treated at length, and 
in so simple and convincing terms that one cannot fail to 
profit by the lessons taught. The notes on education are 
particularly helpful. Mother Hardey enters into the de- 
tails of daily intercourse with the children, pointing out 
the obstacles to be met with in the exercise of authority, 
maternal interest in the pupil's welfare, and the supernat- 
ural spirit which should animate all their dealings with 
souls. Speaking of the vow they are preparing to take of 
consecrating themselves to the education of youth, she 

350 



MISTRESS OF THE PROBATION 

says : " The first disposition necessary for this important 
work of the Society is the spirit of Faith. This disposition 
is indispensable in order to do good, but still more so, in 
order not to do harm, for the effect of our action is never 
indifferent. The children are a precious trust given us by 
Our Lord, and in our hands it must be a fruitful trust. When 
you have to deal with children who are difficult, ungrate- 
ful, repulsive even, do not forget that they are a sacred 
trust. Have with them a patience which nothing can alter, 
the same patience that Our Lord has with you. You must 
always approach souls with respect. 

" Purity of intention is your safeguard. In success it 
will make you attribute all to God; in failure, it will keep 
you from being discouraged and make you continue to 
work as earnestly as before. Your vigilance must be kind, 
straightforward, incessant and maternal. Be vigilant in re- 
gard to the studies and the health of the children, but, above 
all, in regard to their innocence. Vigilance should not be 
anxious or suspicious. Do not place sentinels everywhere. 
Inspire the children with the fear of God and love of duty, 
this will do much better. Vigilance that is suspicious vexes 
and wearies the children and tempts them to do the very 
thing you suspect, and which, perhaps, they had no previous 
intention of doing. 

" Sometimes, even while watching them, leave them a 
little latitude, let some things pass unnoticed. Do not re- 
prove them in public. Correction should never be bitter, nor 
should it be made when either mistress or child is excited 
or impatient. Wait, pray, place yourself under the action of 
God, then speak, but do not raise your voice. Never employ 
expressions that would make a child think you are hurt 
personally. Correction should never be haughty or con- 
temptuous. It should be grave, firm and kind. The child 
should always feel that it comes from the love of a mother. 
It is your duty to correct sometimes even with severity, but 
a child must never leave you without having herself recog- 

351 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

nized her fault, and your having spoken a word of kind en- 
couragement and affection. They must always be able to 
say of you, as was said of Mother Foundress, even after a 
severe reprimand, ' Oh ! how good she is ! ' 

" In your surveillance be straightforward, employ hon- 
orable means, never listen, never pretend anything in order 
to learn the truth, it were better to remain in ignorance of 
it. In general, unless you have seen a thing done, do not 
reprove a child until you have asked her, ' Have you done 
so-and-so?' If she denies it, do not insist even if you are 
almost sure she did it. If she deceived you she will come 
back and tell you so, especially if you have said to her kind- 
ly, ' I am glad you did not do it, and I hope you never would 
do such a thing/ If you go about it rightly you can save 
the children from committing many faults " 

We will close our gleanings from Mother Hardey's in- 
structions with her remarks upon this passage of the Rule : 
" By the grace of their vocation they are called to union and 
conformity of their hearts with the Heart of Jesus. It is 
from that Heart that they must draw the esteem and love, 
as well as the spirit and form of all the virtues, but more 
especially those that are the object of their vows. We 
must esteem what Our Lord esteems, and despise what He 
despises. Consequently, we must esteem poverty, chastity, 
obedience, mortification, charity. We must despise, or at 
least we must attach no importance to birth, wealth, or ex- 
terior gifts of mind or body. The spirit of the world is 
diametrically opposed to the spirit of our Lord. He did 
not come down to earth for the rich, but for the poor. He 
speaks rarely to the rich, He always speaks to the poor. If 
we do not esteem His virtues we will not love them, and 
if we do not love them we will not practice them. 

"A religious imbued with the spirit of the world, and 
destitute, therefore, of solid virtue, does much harm. A 
Religious of the Sacred Heart must be another Christ. She 
must possess His spirit and be directed always and every- 

352 



MISTRESS OF THE PROBATION 

where by it. Jesus was meek and gentle, He was modest 
and simple and humble. We must never speak in a man- 
ner that is arrogant or proud. There must be no levity, 
no affectation, no self-sufficiency in our manner. Why do 
we win so few souls? It is because we have not the spirit 
of Jesus, poor, humiliated, crucified, nor have we the form of 
His virtues, which is to be studied in prayer and exercised 
in practice, for then only shall we win hearts to His love." 

The last month of the probation is devoted to a spiritual 
retreat, during which the soul withdraws from creatures to 
be alone with God. Mother Hardey tells the probationists 
to make for themselves a solitude in the Heart of Jesus. 
" Let that Heart be your cell wherein you will dwell with 
your Divine Spouse and learn His will in regard to your 
future. The retreat must be for you a time of active, in- 
terior work, of deep self-introspection, of study of the great 
truths of salvation, of the life of Him to whom, as the Rule 
says, you " must be conformed in sentiment, affection and 
will." She urged the exercise of a practical judgment and 
great generosity in making the resolutions which are to 
shape their future lives. " Remember these resolutions must 
be sacred to you through life. They must be sufficiently 
strong to withstand temptation. Let them be based upon 
Our Lord's assurance of help. He is faithful to His word." 

In the month of June, 1879, she accompanied Mother 
Lehon in her visits to the houses in Belgium. One of these 
is situated near the village of Jette Saint Pierre, so called 
on account of a painting in the parish church, representing 
St. Peter casting his net at the command of His Divine 
Master. Advantage was taken of the name of the convent 
to heighten the charm of the welcome tendered to the 
Mother General. At the close of a dialogue, in which the 
history of the Society of the Sacred Heart was rehearsed, a 
little bark was seen moving over the billows of time steered 
by the Fisherman who guides infallibly the destinies of the 
Church. A sound rose upon the waves, a voice breathed 

2 3 353 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

low and sweet, " Jette Saint Pierre," a net was spread over 
the simulated waters and a fish caught in its meshes. It 
was carried to the Mother General, who found that it bore 
a veritable dispatch from the Vatican, the special blessing 
of Leo XIII. to the Mother General on her visit to Jette, 
the convent so dear to the heart of His Holiness, for while 
Papal Nuncio in Brussels Monseigneur Pecci took a special 
interest in the pupils of Jette, among whom he established a 
literary association, under the title of the Academy of 
Honor. 

According to the Statutes, which were drawn up and 
signed by his hand, the candidates for admission were re- 
quired to distinguish themselves by their piety, their assi- 
duity in study, in domestic economy, and their ability in 
treating the subjects proposed by the Academy. Mon- 
seigneur Pecci deigned to preside at the meetings and to 
constitute himself the judge of the literary merits of the 
essays presented. At the last meeting, before his departure 
from Brussels in 1846, the members offered the expression of 
their gratitude and their regrets in a simple dialogue, a copy 
of which was presented to him at his request. Nearly half 
a century later, three hundred representatives from the con- 
vents of the Sacred Heart in Rome assembled at the Vatican 
to offer their congratulations to Leo XIII. on the occasion 
of his Golden Jubilee. Towards the close of the audience, 
the Holy Father drew from his pocket a roll of manuscript, 
then called two of the pupils to stand before him, and hand- 
ing one a paper, said, " You will be Marie," and to the other, 
" You will be Helene, now read aloud your parts." It was 
the copy of the dialogue which had been recited at Jette 
Saint Pierre, and which His Holiness had preserved through 
all the eventful years that followed his promotion to the See 
of Perugia. How touching the tenderness and faithful 
memory of Leo XIII. ! 

After spending a fortnight in Belgium the Mother Gen- 
eral and Mother Hardey returned to Paris, and a little later 

354 



MISTRESS OF THE PROBATION 

Mother Hardey made a tour of the houses in the north of 
France. In the month of July, the Society of the Sacred 
Heart received with joy and gratitude the announcement 
that the first stage in the process of Canonization of their 
beloved Foundress, Mother Barat, had been reached. She 
had been declared Venerable by the Holy See on the i8th. 
Among all the first daughters of the saintly Mother Barat, 
few could experience such happiness as filled the heart of 
Mother Hardey. Her letters of this period to her Ameri- 
can families, are eloquent exhortations to the practice of 
those virtues so dear to the heart of their Venerable Mother. 
She took the greatest interest in the celebrations which 
were held throughout the Society on the centenary of the 
birth of Mother Barat, December 12, 1879, m accordance 
with the wishes expressed by a circular letter of the Mother 
General. In all the houses of the New York Vicariate im- 
pressive religious services were held, followed by social 
rejoicings in all the schools. Ingenious representations, 
literary and artistic, rehearsed the life of the Servant of 
God, and when the day ended, precious memories of its joys 
remained in the hearts of mothers and pupils throughout the 
Society. 

The following year, several of Mother Hardey's Ameri- 
can daughters were called to their final reward. First 
among them was Mother Boudreau, who, as we have 
already seen, shared Mother Hardey's labors in the Eastern 
States for over thirty years. She had been successively 
Mistress General and Superior of Manhattanville, and, later, 
of Eden Hall. In 1872 she was appointed Vicar of the 
Louisiana province, and four years later was named to fill 
the same position in the Missouri province. The earlier 
pupils of Manhattanville remember with gratitude her lov- 
ing care. Trained by Mother Hardey, her first effort was to 
make the pupils happy ; after that she set to work energet- 
ically to form their minds and characters that they might 
become pious, useful, cultivated women. Her great desire 

355 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

was to win hearts, but, in winning them, she passed them on 
to God. 

She often said to the mistresses, " Watch out for the 
good qualities of a child, spare no effort in cultivating them, 
and then her defects will die a natural death." An act of 
charity on the part of Mother Boudreau led to the estab- 
lishment of the Society in New Zealand. While superior 
at St. Michael's, La., she sheltered in a house on the 
convent grounds two Marist fathers who had been attacked 
by yellow fever. One of them, Rev. Father Goutenoir, 
being sent after his recovery to New Zealand, carried to 
his new home grateful recollections of his kind benefactress. 
When, a few years later, the question arose of founding a 
convent in Timaru, he proposed to Bishop Redwood of 
Wellington to invite the Religious of the Sacred Heart. 
The suggestion was favorably received and a petition was 
sent to Mother Lehon. The Mother General acceded to the 
request, and asked Mother Boudreau to select the little band 
of missionaries from the Missouri province. With un- 
bounded joy the latter, having obtained permission to ac- 
company her daughters, set sail on the centenary of the 
birth of Mother Barat. On February i, 1880, she assisted at 
the laying of the corner stone of the new academy in 
Timaru, and the next day she opened a free school under 
the auspices of Our Lady's Purification. This was her last 
work of zeal. She was already suffering from the pre- 
monitory symptom of a climatic fever, and in a few days her 
life was despaired of. When told by her sorrowing daugh- 
ters that the supreme hour was at hand, she exclaimed, 
" What a mystery, that I should have come here to die, and 
my mission not yet accomplished ! " Then she added with 
great earnestness, " If Our Lord sees that my death can 
avail aught for the good of this foundation, I willingly, 
gladly offer my life for its success." On the loth of Febru- 
ary, strengthened with the grace of the Last Sacraments, she 
renewed her vows, made an humble reparation for the 

356 



MISTRESS OF THE PROBATION 

faults of her life, blessed her daughters and the families of 
her vicariate, then yielded up her soul into the hands of her 
Creator. She had always an extreme fear of the judgments 
of God, yet when summoned to her last account, her spirit 
went forth with a childlike confidence in the mercy of Him 
whom she had faithfully served from the days of her youth. 

The news of her death was a great sorrow to Mother 
Hardey, and the loss of this dear Mother, so well known 
throughout the United States, was deeply deplored. An- 
other death, long and deeply regretted by Mother Hardey, 
was that of Mother Annie Keller, the loved and lamented 
Mistress General of Manhattanville. She was the sec- 
ond eldest of four sisters who consecrated their young 
lives to the Master's service in the Society of the Sacred 
Heart. Mother Annie's gentle virtues and enthusiastic de- 
votion to the Blessed Virgin, under the title of Mater Ad- 
mirabilis, gave her a happy influence in the schools of Ken- 
wood and Manhattanville, but it was especially in Phila- 
delphia, as Directress of the Children of Mary, where she 
exerted an apostleship of zeal, in promoting the good works 
of the Sodality, that her memory is held in religious venera- 
tion. 

The year following her decease, Manhattanville sus- 
tained another loss in the death of Mother Catherine White, 
who was noted for her scholarly attainments and her effi- 
ciency in promoting the educational interests of the New 
York Vicariate. Besides teaching and preparing the 
younger religious for the duties of the class room, she de- 
voted herself to the compilation of text-books, which have 
since been adopted, not only by the academies of the Sacred 
Heart and other Catholic institutions, but also by many 
secular schools throughout the country. As we close this 
chapter, still another name rises to our memory, that of 
Mother Elizabeth Tucker, one of Mother Hardey's most 
active associates in the early days of Manhattanville. All 
in her character reflected a grand type. Born in England 

357 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

in 1809, of an ancient Catholic family, she inherited the 
valiant spirit of her ancestors, who had clung to the Faith, 
through ages of persecution. 

From the time of her arrival in New York, in 1842, her 
name became identified with the progress of the Society of 
the Sacred Heart, in both the Eastern and Western States. 
Manhattanville, Eden Hall, St. Louis, Chicago, Philadel- 
phia, all bear witness to her energy, enterprise and execu- 
tive ability. Yet it was probably as an educator that 
Mother Tucker's influence was most sensibly felt and appre- 
ciated. Her superior gifts of mind fitted her in a special 
manner for the training of youth. She knew how to impart 
all that varied culture so necessary to adorn, elevate and 
sanctify social and domestic virtues. But her first care was 
to implant in the hearts of the children the solid foundation 
of faith, fear of God and horror of sin. She then led them 
gently to the love of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 
thereby preparing them to meet the dangers of the world. 
No matter how multiplied might be her occupations, she 
always reserved to herself the privilege of teaching the first 
division of Christian Doctrine. 

The Philadelphia priests of her day used to say that 
they could always recognize Mother Tucker's pupils among 
their penitents. Many houses of the Society are still reap- 
ing the fruit of her devoted labors, but nowhere is her name 
held in such veneration as at Eden Hall. All there brings 
to mind her zeal in behalf of education, and her love for 
the House of God. The academy, the beautiful Gothic 
church, the wayside shrines, the woodland cemetery, all 
are associated with Mother Tucker's memory, and when 
her earthly mission was accomplished, and the sudden sum- 
mons came, on the Feast of the Visitation, July 2, 1881, her 
mortal remains were laid to rest in the peace of that beau- 
tiful Eden home, so rich in recollections of her holy life. 

If we have dwelt upon the careers of the religious men- 
tioned in this chapter, it is because they seem to form 

358 



MISTRESS OF THE PROBATION 

a part of Mother Hardey's history. It was her training 
and example that stimulated them to labor generously in the 
service of their Institute. Space will not permit of our 
recalling the lives of many others who shared her noble 
aim, the drawing of souls to God, by the saving influence 
of devotion to the Sacred Heart. 



359 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

MOTHER HARDEY VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND SUPERIOR 

OF THE PARIS DAY SCHOOL LAST VISIT TO 

AMERICA 1880-1884. 

During the Paschal Season of 1880, Mother Hardey ac- 
companied Mother Lehon in her visits to the convents in 
England and Ireland. She acted as interpreter for the 
Mother General, and interested herself in all that concerned 
the welfare of the houses in the British Isles. She was 
particularly impressed by the faith and piety of the Irish 
children, and in her visits to the free school, she made the 
little ones supremely happy by her maternal goodness. The 
lay Sisters were the special object of her interest. She gave 
to each one the same devotedness and charity which ever 
marked her intercourse with her American daughters. 
Whatever could render their employments less laborious, 
was sure to engage her solicitude, and, whenever possible, 
she introduced the fruits of her wide experience in the do- 
mestic arrangements of the houses she visited. 

We are told by Very Reverend Mother General Digby, 
that a remark made by Mother Hardey during the visit to 
Roehampton left a lasting impression upon her. " When- 
ever you propose a difficulty to our Mother General," she 
said, " have the remedy prepared to offer her, in order to 
spare our Mother the fatigue of finding the solution." This 
advice reveals Mother Hardey's delicate consideration for 
her loved superior, whose burden she strove to lighten 
whenever it was in her power to do so. 

On their return to Paris, Mother Lehon requested 
Mother Hardey to take charge of the day school, adjoining 
the Mother House. Her government there, as elsewhere, 
might be summed up as a ministry of kindness and charity. 
One of her daughters writes : " Reverend Mother's guidance 

360 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

was a strong foundation for the beginning of my religious 
life. When I arrived at the Externat, she received me with 
maternal goodness, and assigned to me certain duties with 
the parlor boarders. I had many difficulties to overcome, 
but I felt that her desire for my success was proportioned to 
the obstacles that I met with. What she sought above all 
else was my progress in religious perfection, and she began 
by compelling me to overcome my timidity. Neither criti- 
cisms, nor reproaches, were spared, to form me for my posi- 
tion. Her own life was a revelation of the nobility of obe- 
dience. I was frequently edified on hearing her say : ' I am 
not able to give you an answer, I will ask our Mother Gen- 
eral. I am here only to carry out her wishes.' Her fidelity 
to the rule served as a living example to us, and by the 
delicacy of her kindness she soon gained all hearts." 

Another writes : " Seeing my eagerness to know more 
about American life and scenery, Reverend Mother tried in 
various ways to gratify my desires. If I made inquiries 
about any special writer, or noted places, she was sure to 
present me a few weeks later with a book containing the 
needed information. Her vigilance extended everywhere. 
During the recreation hours, she often assisted at the pupils' 
games, and called our attention to what should be exacted, 
or forbidden." 

Mother Hardey took a maternal interest in the parlor 
boarders. Indeed, it was owing to her initiative that this 
class of pupils had been admitted. The work was abnormal, 
and it presented unforeseen difficulties, but her patience and 
tact conquered the impediments to its success. The greater 
number of these pupils were Americans, and they loved 
Mother Hardey and trusted in her with filial confidence. 
She devoted herself to the formation of their characters, 
and, by her motherly counsels, encouraged and prepared 
them for future needs. 

Her charities were dispensed with a delicacy which in- 
creased their value. Hearing from a friend that a woman in 

361 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

great want was ashamed to ask for succor, she employed 
her as seamstress at the convent and managed to aid her to 
earn extra money by chaperoning the parlor boarders. 
Americans in Paris often appealed to her for help. On 
one occasion an afflicted youth from Syracuse, N. Y., made 
known to her his pitiable condition. He had crossed the 
ocean to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, hoping to obtain 
the cure of his paralyzed arm and leg. By the time he 
reached Paris his funds were exhausted, but he determined 
to continue his journey as best he could, feeling sure a 
miracle awaited him. 

Mother Hardey defrayed his expenses and occasionally 
sent him an alms during the weeks he spent at Lourdes. 
Letters, touching in their simplicity, reached her in return. 
"I keep calling on the Blessed Virgin," he wrote, " but she 
seems to be deaf to my appeal. I suppose I must believe 
what you say, that it will be for the good of my soul, if I 
am not cured." The hoped for miracle was not obtained, 
but the poor fellow received the grace of resignation to his 
painful cross, and through the charity of Mother Hardey 
he was enabled to return home. 

" When Reverend Mother wished to obtain a particu- 
lar favor," writes her secretary, " her charities were re- 
doubled, and when the favor was granted, her thanks 
found expression in new acts of benevolence." She did not 
like to see money spent on floral offerings, either to herself 
or to the religious. " They are very beautiful, it is true," 
she once remarked, " and they certainly speak to us of God, 
but how much better to give the price of them to God in 
the poor." In accordance with this, when the pupils 
gathered around her on the Feast of St. Aloysius to offer 
their greetings, they presented provisions for the poor, the 
fruit of their little sacrifices, and linen for the altar, the 
work of their own hands. 

As soon as she received a gift, her heart suggested its 
destination. The infirm and the aged were the special 

362 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

objects of her solicitude. The Sisters frequently re- 
marked, " Reverend Mother is just like our Mother Foun- 
dress, she can never do enough for the sick." " I was at 
one time suffering," writes one of the Sisters, " from a 
sprained wrist, which no remedy seemed to help. ' Since 
no one can do anything for you/ said Reverend Mother, 
' I will see what I can do.' She spent a quarter of an hour 
daily bathing and rubbing it, and in a few weeks it was 
cured. There were times when I hesitated to enter her 
room on account of the lateness of the hour, but she never 
failed to send for me, insisting that I must submit to the 
treatment until there was no pain left." 

" One who looks upon the sunset," we are told, " will 
have his face golden." As Mother Hardey's soul was ever 
turned toward the Sun of Justice, it is not surprising that 
her life reflected a charity all Divine. 

The earlier half of the decade from 1880 to 1890 was a 
period of rapid expansion for the Society of the Sacred 
Heart, especially in the New World. The foundation in 
New Zealand was followed by another in Buenos Aires. 
Academies were opened in Boston, New York City, Omaha, 
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, San Francisco, Porto Rico, Mex- 
ico and Australia. That of Mexico was of special interest 
to Mother Hardey, as Monseigneur de la Bastida, who in- 
vited the Religious of the Sacred Heart to Mexico, had been 
her guest at Manhattanville while in exile. 

In 1882 Mother Hardey was sent to New York, for the 
purpose of saving the Manhattanville property. The en- 
croachments of the city threatened to interfere not only 
with the privacy of the grounds, but even with the exist- 
ence of the buildings, as streets had been mapped out to 
pass through the principal entrance. It was evident that 
the realization of these plans -would force the religious to 
abandon Manhattanville, and many friends of the convent, 
seeing no alternative, advised an immediate purchase of 
property in another locality. This measure, however, was 

363 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

opposed by Mother Hardey. The Institution had kept pace 
with the growth of New York, and having acquired a na- 
tional reputation, she believed that change of name, as well 
as change of place, would prove detrimental to its interests. 

All instinctively turned to her, as the only one competent 
to avert the threatening danger. Mother Lehon shared this 
opinion, and when the necessity of action became impera- 
tive, she decided that Mother Hardey should return to New 
York. In her humility, the latter proposed another, as she 
foresaw that the undertaking would require the strongest 
personal influence. She alleged that the friends who had 
formerly assisted her were no longer there, and that she 
could not hope to win the favor of strangers. But the 
Mother General held to her decision. Mother Hardey then 
repaired to Conflans, to spend a day near the tomb of 
Mother Barat, in order to commend to her intercession her 
difficult mission. On the I2th of August she embarked at 
Liverpool, accompanied by her secretary, and other Ameri- 
can religious, and on the 2Oth reached New York. 

" If miracles are to be wrought," says an American 
author, " it will be by putting our hands to the work in a 
simple, undoubting frame of mind, without so much as 
knowing we are about to perform a wonder. And then the 
marvel is not so much made by us, as it grows under our 
hands and out of our hearts, God working thus through His 
creatures." It was in this " undoubting frame of mind," 
because her trust was in heaven, that Mother Hardey set 
about the accomplishment of her appointed mission. 
Scarcely had she arrived at Manhattanville when friends 
came forward with the most cordial proffers of assistance. 
They even tried to make her feel that the acceptance of their 
services would be a much appreciated favor. Those who 
had counselled the transfer of the academy now adopted 
her views, that every effort should be made to keep the 
property, and, if possible, induce the city authorities to 
change their plans. 

364 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

Long and wearisome negotiations followed, leaving at 
times but faint hopes of success. But the marvel was 
wrought. Mother Hardey decided upon a division of the 
land, opening streets through the lower end of the property, 
and building a row of cottages along the line of a street 
mapped out on the plan of the city. With her wonderful 
foresight, she proposed the sale of land on the three sides 
of the convent grounds, where streets and avenues would 
likely be opened, and by her judicious management the In- 
stitution she had founded was once more saved. 

Though occupied with the pressing business which had 
brought her to America at the opening of the scholastic 
year, she gave her customary explanations of the rules 
and regulations of the school for half an hour daily during 
two or three weeks. It was her last active service in the 
work she loved so much, the education of youth. This ex- 
planation, annually repeated in the presence of religious and 
pupils, secures discipline, and binds together mistresses and 
children as a family in the Sacred Heart. At her first con- 
ference, opening the volume before her, she said : " The best 
laws would be of no avail, if not observed, hence the title of 
this book, ' Rules and Regulations of the Academy of the 
Sacred Heart.' The rules are there, and the regulations are 
made to secure their observance. The rules of the school are a 
contract, between the teachers, your parents and yourselves. 
We promise your parents to watch over your health, to cul- 
tivate your minds, to correct your faults, and to teach you 
how to love and serve God. Your parents promise that you 
will be faithful to your part of the contract, otherwise we 
would not receive you. Your first obligation is to learn the 
rules, that you may know what is required of you ; and the 
second is that you observe the rules, for we require nothing 
that is not for your good. The book which I hold says, 
' By the exact observance of the rule, the children will 
merit the beautiful title of Children of the Sacred Heart.' 
Ah ! how you should prize that title ! Ask the former pupils 

365 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

of Manhattanville, ask the former pupils of any of our 
schools whether they are happy to be called ' Children of 
the Sacred Heart/ You know well what their answer 
would be." 

After other preliminary remarks, Mother Hardey said: 
" On entering the school of the Sacred Heart, the pupils 
become members of a large family. In a family, all is in 
common, so when you enter here, your interests become our 
interests, your joys our joys, and your sorrows, I hope you 
may have none, but if you have, you will find true mothers, 
ready to share them with you." The pupils were so touched 
by this assurance that two hundred voices cried out spon- 
taneously, " Oh, thank you, thank you, Reverend Mother." 

On this idea of a family she based her instructions. " To 
secure peace and sympathy in a family," she said, " it is 
necessary that all its members have the same manner of 
acting, of judging, and of viewing things. In order to do 
this, we are obliged to correct our defects. We are all born 
with passions which must be subdued, evil inclinations 
which must be controlled. The combat we are obliged to 
carry on against our fallen nature is often a terrible struggle, 
but it is meritorious in the sight of God, and of absolute 
necessity, if we wish to be members of a well ordered 
family." Dwelling upon the virtues essential to the forma- 
tion of character, she said : " Charity is the holy influence 
that should cast its spell over your lives, making you gentle, 
patient, forgiving, quick to see the virtues of others, ready 
to excuse their faults, strong to crush self-love and generous 
to sympathize in the joys and sorrows of others." She 
dwelt very impressively upon the evil of gossip, sarcasm, 
unjust criticism, all of which tend to wound the family 
spirit. She enjoined restraint of the tongue as a safeguard 
against sin, and a power in the acquisition of self-control, 
and finally showed how charity was the distinguishing trait 
of a true child of the Sacred Heart. 

In regard to the respect due to parents and those who 

366 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

hold their place, she said : " You do not know what you 
have cost your parents, nor what sacrifices they are im- 
posing on themselves for your sake. You will never be 
able to repay the debt of gratitude and love you owe them. 
Try, then, to be so docile while at school, that the habit of 
obedience may make you loving and dutiful children in your 
own homes." Commenting on the vigilance exercised over 
them, she said : " You are never alone ; your mistresses are 
with you day and night; like your Guardian Angels, they 
never lose sight of you." 

Dwelling upon the branches of study included in the 
plan of education, she showed how they tend to mold the 
character and enlighten the mind. She urged them to pur- 
sue their studies through high motives. " You will have to 
render an account to God of the talents He has given you. 
Study through a sense of duty, to please your heavenly 
Father, to gratify your parents and to become useful, happy 
women." 

" Religion," it has been said, " is man's supreme effort 
to rise above nature and his natural self; it gives him a 
definite aim and an absolute ideal." This was the grand 
truth which Mother Hardey endeavored to convey to the 
young souls looking up to her for light. " Let your religion 
be practical," she said. " Your faith must find expression in 
works. To the grateful heart prayer is a necessity, to the 
loving heart it is a joy." We find the sequel to these in- 
structions in the conferences which she gave about the same 
time to the mistresses. " Remember you are consecrated to 
the education of youth," she told them. " Your profession 
is not one that you are at liberty to take up or abandon at 
pleasure. Education begins with the heart. Never try to 
force or drive a child, lead her by means of gentleness and 
religion. Your rule tells you that you must instill into the 
hearts of your children the fear of God and horror of sin, 
a horror not only of grave faults, but of all that could tar- 
nish the beauty of their souls. Be living models of the vir- 

367 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

tues you seek to implant in their hearts. You must your- 
self love study, if you wish to give your children a love for 
it. We cannot impart what we do not possess. Understand 
well that your own education is never finished, therefore 
continue daily to cultivate your minds, that you may be 
better fitted to cultivate the minds of your pupils. They 
will be just what you make them, and you will make them 
just what you are. Such a mistress, such a child." 

At the opening of the year 1883, she gave her daughters a 
motto full of inspiration for souls that are pledged to glorify 
the Heart of Jesus : " Let all your actions during this year, 
be performed for the Sacred Heart, in the Sacred Heart and 
with the Sacred Heart. Devotion to the Sacred Heart 
should be your only passion." 

When the business affairs of Manhattanville permitted, 
Mother Hardey paid a brief visit to the other houses of the 
New York Vicariate. The joy of her welcome at Clifton was 
overcast, because two of her devoted friends came not, as 
formerly, to give her cordial greeting. The Very Reverend 
Edward Purcell had died the preceding year, and his vener- 
able brother, the archbishop, was nearing the close of his 
life at the Ursuline convent in Brown County, where he 
died on July 4, 1883. The sad events which had marked the 
closing years of these two friends, elicited Mother Hardey's 
deepest sympathy. 

Her tender compassion for the sick, led her to establish 
a convent at Atlantic City, where, under the influence of 
pure air and sea-bathing, her invalid daughters might re- 
cover health and strength. She herself opened the academy 
and attended to all the details of the foundation. As there 
was no Catholic school on the island, she made plans for 
the erection of a free school, which later on was so well 
patronized that about one hundred and fifty pupils were in 
attendance. 

As the year advanced Mother Hardey seemed to grow 
more and more eager to render service to others. Briefly, 

368 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

but impressively, she sought to animate her daughters to 
ardor in the service of God, exhorting them " to glorify the 
Sacred Heart of Jesus in word and work. Be faithful to the 
duties of your vocation, kind and gentle to your sisters, 
mothers to the children, and serious in the pursuit of your 
perfection." Her acts of kindness and charity were daily 
multiplied. Wherever there was good to be done, or hearts 
to be made happy, she was sure to seize the opportunity. 
The following characteristic letter of Reverend Father Ful- 
ton, S. J., shows the writer's appreciation of Mother Har- 
dey's worth : 

"DEAR REV. MOTHER: "BOSTON, Jan. 11, 1884. 

" Coming home this afternoon I found your splendid gift 
of altar cloths of which I had heard nothing previously. I 
think you mean them for St. Inigo's. I shall therefore send 
them to the place upon which you have already showered 
benefits. It will please you to learn that our enterprise 
there is well carried out by the incumbent, Father Walker, 
that St. Inigo's will bloom once more. According to the 
fashion in Boston (my home), New Year's congratulations 
run through the month of January. I avail myself of this 
privilege. You have already, Rev. Mother, won perhaps the 
first place in our Catholic history. You must not be satis- 
fied. Cicero said to Caesar : ' You may have lived long 
enough for yourself, you have not lived long enough for 
your country and your glory.' You, dear Rev. Mother, have 
not lived long enough for your Order and for us. So, with- 
out scruple, I pray for you the Spanish thousand years of 
life. I am, dear Rev. Mother, 

" Yours most gratefully, 

" ROBERT FULTON, S. J." 

Mother Hardey was at this time suffering from a 
severe attack of bronchitis. As her lungs gave cause 
tor anxiety, her physician prescribed absolute rest and 

*4 369 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

silence. At his next visit he inquired, " Madame, does it 
pain you to talk ? " " How do I know, doctor," she an- 
swered, " you told me not to speak ! " To his amazement 
the doctor learned that for more than twenty-four hours 
the obedient invalid had made known her wishes only by 
signs. " Ah ! Madame," he exclaimed, " if all my lady pa- 
tients were as obedient as you, it would be easy to cure 
them." 

Mother Hardey recovered from this attack, but the re- 
prieve was followed by another illness, still more serious, 
congestion of the liver. At first the symptoms were very 
alarming, but skillful treatment arrested the progress of 
the disease. As soon as she was a little better the invalid 
requested the doctor to hasten her cure, as she wished to 
sail for France on the I3th of February. " Impossible," he 
replied. " Madame, it is madness for you to entertain such 
a project. You would risk your life, even if you were well, 
by crossing the ocean at this season." With her usual 
calmness she answered : " Doctor, what seems madness to 
you is obedience for me, therefore, I count upon your skill 
to make me well enough for the voyage." 

Mother Lehon had announced the convocation of a Gen- 
eral Council for the close of February, and she had ex- 
pressed the desire for Mother Hardey to attend it. To 
Mother Hardey the wish of her superior was an indication 
of the will of God, and she determined to obey. When some 
of her daughters reiterated the physician's warning they 
were silenced by her usual assurance, " If God wills it, He 
will give me the necessary strength." To test her condition 
she took a trip to Atlantic City, where she remained a few 
days. She then returned to Manhattanville to prepare for 
her approaching departure. It seemed a great risk in her 
feeble condition, but her daughters dared not oppose her. 
They felt, however, that this would be her last farewell to 
America, and it was with grieving hearts that they listened 
to her parting words : " Be faithful to Rule, be humble in 

370 



VISITS ENGLAND AND IRELAND 

heart, and you will glorify the Heart of Jesus in time and 
in eternity. On February 13, 1884, accompanied by the 
American vicars and her new secretary, Madame Crasser, 
Mother Hardey sailed for France, weak in body, but strong 
in spirit, determined to accomplish the Divine Will, even 
at the cost of life itself. 



371 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES OF REVEREND MOTHER HARDEY. 

While following Mother Hardey's long career the 
thought has continually recurred to us, that she is best 
studied in the Rules of her Institute. " To secure to the 
Heart of Jesus the worship of love and adoration, to make 
known Its divine attractions and to imitate its virtues," 
such was the grand purpose of her life. In two words she 
once sketched the portrait of a true Religious of the Sacred 
Heart, " One who has the zeal of an apostle, and the love of 
a spouse." This was a faithful outline of her own soul. 
The outward manifestation of her love gives us the key to 
her inner life. One evening before retiring, she asked for 
her meditation book, and opening the volume she read, 
" Heart of Jesus, Ocean of Goodness, have Mercy." After 
a moment's reflection she returned the book, saying, " That 
will do ; I find all in that one sentence." It was true, the 
goodness of the Sacred Heart was her abiding thought, the 
source of all her inspirations, the strength of all her enter- 
prises. Her devotion found its truest expression in an abid- 
ing sense of the presence of God. Her duties demanded 
great activity, much travel and frequent intercourse with 
the outer world ; yet her spiritual exercises always took pre- 
cedence of every other claim. They were never omitted, 
never abridged, but usually prolonged. Who that ever saw 
Mother Hardey before the Blessed Sacrament could forget 
her profound reverence? It was the hour of intimate com- 
muning with the Beloved of her soul, the spouse at the feet 
of the Bridegroom, the apostle at the side of the Master, 
rekindling the fire of zeal. The hours spent before the altar 
were truly the hours of study and contemplation. And 
what were the lessons learned? The works of her life give 
answer. The virtues whose example forms a rich inherit- 



CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES 

ance for her daughters found their inspiration and virility 
in the silence of the sanctuary. 

Prayer was a necessity to her grateful heart, a joy to her 
loving heart, and when she had finished her devotions, and 
passed out from the chapel, she still appeared to breathe the 
atmosphere of the sanctuary, the serene and glowing counte- 
nance, the joined hands, the measured step, all betokened 
her intimate union with the Beloved of her soul. On one 
occasion a religious who entered her room as she returned 
from the chapel, was so startled by the heavenly light which 
illumined her countenance, that she stood gazing at her 
without uttering a word. Mother Hardey waited a few 
moments for her to speak, then quietly said : " Sister, if you 
have no other business than to look at me, you may go ! " 
The religious left the room, still under the influence of that 
supernatural light, and having mentioned the circumstance 
to one of the Mothers the latter assured her that it was 
not at all unusual, as she and others had frequently re- 
marked a similar radiance when their Mother returned from 
prayer. 

" Perfection," says Cardinal Manning, " consists in the 
illumination of the intellect, the sanctification of the heart, 
and the union of the will with the will of God." Light, 
holiness and submission were the precious fruits which 
Mother Hardey gathered in prayer. In one of her letters to 
Mother Barat, she mentions having engaged herself, by 
vow, to the practice of the two resolutions of her retreat: 
First. Never to delay doing what God asks. Second, To 
make her spiritual exercises, her meditation, especially, 
with scrupulous fidelity. " Yet," she adds, " my confessor 
would not allow me to take this vow until I had fulfilled 
its obligations for a considerable time." 

One of the most prominent features of her spiritual char- 
acter was her loving acceptance of the Divine Will. God 
was the centre of her being, and the constant habit of turn- 
ing her glance towards Him, by interior recollection, gave 

373 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

a marked composure to all she said and did. " I am accus- 
tomed to visit my elect in two manner of ways," says the 
Imitation, " namely, by trial and by consolation." It was 
difficult for an observer to distinguish under which form the 
Divine Guest came to Mother Hardey. Her outward self- 
possession was a reflection of the serenity which pervaded 
her soul, and maintained there always the blessed peace 
which St. Augustine defines as " the tranquillity of order." 
If the Spouse came in trial, or desolation, He found peace, 
He left peace, and the breath of this peace disseminated a 
holy calm in the hearts of those around her. It used to be 
remarked by the family of a former pupil of Manhattanville, 
" Margaret must have seen Mother Hardey to-day, she is 
so happy and peaceful." 

Mother Hardey's devotion to the Blessed Virgin was 
tender and practical. Born on the Feast of the Immaculate 
Conception, baptized Mary in her honor, she had a child's 
confidence in the Mother of God. We have seen in several 
instances of her life how that confidence was rewarded. In 
all her travels, by sea and land, she never met with an acci- 
dent. This preservation she attributed to the recitation of 
the Salve Regina, with which she always started on her 
journey. The fifteen decades of the Rosary formed a part 
of her daily devotions, and also the Office of our Lady 
until she was unable to recite it. But she was always pres- 
ent when the office was being chanted in choir, and she 
paid the greatest attention to every detail of the rubrics. 
She said the Stabat Mater as she lay down to rest, and the 
Thirty Days Prayer was such a favorite devotion that she 
knew it by heart. An ardent devotion to our Lady char- 
acterized the community of Manhattanville, hence we find 
in one of Father Gresselin's letters : " Oh, what an angelic 
house you have to govern ; it is the favorite abode, the per- 
fumed garden of the Queen of Heaven ! I know of no place 
where a soul can enjoy greater peace and glorify God more 
abundantly, than at Manhattanville." 

374 



CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES 

We do not pretend to attribute to Mother Hardey any 
extraordinary favors or revelations, such as many of the 
saints have enjoyed, but we find allusions to certain graces 
in Father Gresselin's letters, which lead us to believe that 
the Spirit of God manifested His love to His faithful servant 
at times in an unusual manner. After pointing out to his 
penitent in what way her life should be a continual holocaust 
of love, her director adds : " This is what must result from 
your interview with Our Lord in Cuba," and he goes on to 
say : " There was later another interview in the same place. 
The Heart of Mary also showed itself, and made you under- 
stand that He has poured into her heart all the treasures of 
charity, and that He wishes you to see and love only her 
and what is offered by her. Never forget that you then 
understood and received the full conviction, that you must 
go to the Heart of Jesus, through the Heart of Mary. This 
was a choice grace, and you must never let the memory of 
it fade from your mind." And again he writes : " The grace 
of December 8th is also a grace of the first order, it is not 
extraordinary in the sense that God wills to give it to many 
souls. It is not extraordinary in the kind of visions and 
ecstacies, which are outside the ways of Providence. It is 
extraordinary only because few persons find the way that 
leads to it. With you, it was a recompense for your ardent 
desires for the glorification of Mary." 

One whose life is passed in close union with God is 
not deluded by a false estimate of self. She recognizes her 
gifts as the endowments of an infinite love, and her one de- 
sire is to consecrate them to the service of the Divine Giver. 
Success and praise may crown her toil, but she claims noth- 
ing for herself. The word of the Psalmist rings in her 
heart, " Not unto us, Lord, but unto Thy Name be glory ! " 
Although her labors were followed by brilliant results, in 
the words of the Rule, Mother Hardey referred all the glory 
thereof faithfully to the Heart of Jesus, the source of every 
good, and to the strength given by the Society, and the 

375 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

goodness of the venerable foundress and her successors. 
At the close of one of her annual retreats, she wrote to 
Mother Barat : " What Our Lord asks of me above all, is 
the generous practice of the third degree of humility, to be 
despised, falsely accused, blamed and contemned, in order 
to detach me from creatures, and His will is so clear to me 
in this respect that I cannot find it difficult to accept." 

The Secretary General once wrote her a rather severe 
reprimand. In reply she says to Mother Barat : " Let this 
dear Mother be assured of the pleasure she gives me in 
being so frank. She could not render me greater service 
than by telling me what I should do or should have done. It 
seems to me that I desire to serve God and the Society, and 
I am always happy to know in what I fail. Let her have 
the goodness to continue her charity, she will always find 
me grateful." Writing to Mother Barat in 1853, she says: 
" How sweet it is to have a Mother to whom one can tell 
everything. My greatest temptation for some months past 
is to throw myself at your feet and conjure you to place 
me where I will have no responsibility." On another occa- 
sion she writes, " I thank you sincerely, my Very Reverend 
Mother, for having told me the complaints you have heard. 
I promise to correct what is true and to avoid what is not 
true." Referring to a religious who had left the Society, 
she says, " May I, at least, die in the Society ! After th<* 
mercy of God, I feel that I shall owe this grace to the 
patience of my first Mother." 

Another form of humility is practical poverty. She 
would never permit any useless articles either for herself 
or the community. Her clothing was worn until no longer 
fit for use. She would never permit any exceptions from 
the established customs, and her observant eye was sure to 
detect any innovation in regard to poverty. Yet she 
watched with motherly solicitude over the needs of her 
daughters and contrived to pass over to others what the 
love of her children provided for herself. The religious 

376 




1 Kenwood 

2 Chapel at Kenwood 



CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES 

charged with the wardrobe was often in desolation over the 
loss of flannels and warm shoes during the winter, and on 
inquiry she would find members of the community wearing 
the articles marked with Mother Hardey's number, the dear 
Mother herself rejoicing in the privation of them. In her 
conferences to the community Mother Hardey insisted upon 
the love of poverty, as well as the practice of it, no matter 
how great were the resources of the house. " Our obliga- 
tions are the same," she said, " whether we are living in a 
poor or in a rich house. Were the walls of the convent lined 
with gold we could not be permitted more than the rule 
allows." She did not like complaints to be made at recrea- 
tion of heat or cold, food or lodging, and her own example 
in this respect was an eloquent lesson. 

We are told that the first foundation of any spiritual 
work is a detached heart. Neither birth, fortune, talent or 
genius can equal it in value. Even those who had only a 
casual acquaintance with Mother Hardey were impressed 
by her spirit of detachment. She could not understand how 
a religious could put personal consideration before the 
general good. An infirmarian having complained that the 
infirmary was always occupied, she answered : " Sister, the 
infirmary belongs to the sick, and while they are there God's 
blessing is on the house. I would be uneasy if it were 
vacant, and you ought to regret that you were out of em- 
ployment. A doctor is never happier than when he is build- 
ing up his practice, so should you rejoice in the number of 
your patients." We have seen how Mother Hardey offered 
herself for the mission in Chile, thinking that she was an- 
ticipating the wishes of the Mother General. How heroic 
her sacrifice in leaving her field of labor in America at the 
voice of obedience ! And with what simplicity it was made ! 
Not a word of regret, nor the slightest indication of the 
heart suffering which she endured at the prospect of the 
bitter separation from all that was dearest here below. 

" After the news of her nomination as Assistant General 

377 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

had reached America," writes her secretary, " she received 
heart-rending letters from all our houses. One day she found 
me bathed in tears whilst reading them. Looking at me 
thoughtfully, she said : ' Sister, when we make a sacrifice, 
let us make it/ and then she left the room. One of the 
Mothers, shortly after our arrival, remarked how much Rev- 
erend Mother must miss America, ' This is my America/ 
she answered, pointing to her little room, and no further 
reference to her feelings was possible." 

Mother Hardey was very chary of her words, and she 
had few idle ones to answer for when her book of life was 
closed. Once when speaking to one of her daughters of the 
value of silence she said : " Every morning I confide the 
care of my tongue to St. Joseph. The Gospel does not men- 
tion a single word of his." On being asked the formula of 
her prayer, she answered very simply : " Dear St. Joseph to 
you I consecrate my tongue, teach me how to speak little, 
and that little prudently." 

Mother Hardey's judgments were quickly formed, but 
her self-control prevented her from acting on the impulse 
of the moment. She always took time for reflection and 
prayer. One who lived intimately with her for many years 
tells us : " It was remarkable how she could solve in a 
few words the most intricate matters, foresee and settle 
disputed points of business, map out a line of action, etc. 
Her language though simple was choice. She never made 
use of common-place expressions, exaggerated or compli- 
mentary phrases; never talked of what she had done or 
was going to do. One rarely ever heard her say, ' I/ it was 
always ' we/ when she expressed a wish or referred to any 
subject under discussion. I have seen her on many occa- 
sions when her silence was carried to a heroic degree. Of 
disappointments, annoyances, misrepresentations, there was 
no stint, but she bore all with unvarying silence. She be- 
lieved that to talk of one's sufferings marred their beauty 
in the sight of God." 

378 



CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES 

A long continued exercise of authority often diminishes 
the spirit of dependence upon the higher powers, but it was 
not so with Mother Hardey. Though called at an early age 
to share in the government of the Society, she always kept 
the attitude of one who leaned upon a higher authority. 
Mother Barat once said : " Before giving an order, or 
intimating a desire to Mother Hardey, I must weigh the 
matter thoroughly, for it will be immediately executed." 
Mother Hardey exacted this dependence upon authority, 
even to the lowest officer in the house. " Do not look at the 
individual who commands," she would say, " her qualities 
do not affect her orders. The soldier on the battle field does 
not stop to consider whether his superior officer is pleasing 
to him, he simply obeys." 

Explaining this virtue in one of her instructions to her 
probationists, she says : " You know the Constitutions of the 
Society. You have promised obedience to our Mother Gen- 
eral, but as she cannot direct personally all the houses, she 
has confided to others a part of her authority; in disobey- 
ing them you disobey her, in criticising their orders you are 
criticising hers. Not only do you disobey the Mother Gen- 
eral, but you disobey God Himself, for He says in the Scrip- 
ture : ' He that hears you hears Me.' Obedience is the char- 
acteristic trait of the Society. Our Holy Father the Pope 
has given us a magnificent testimony of it. A Carmelite, 
having asked to be released from her vows, in order 
that she might enter the Society of the Sacred Heart, His 
Holiness answered that he would do so most willingly, for 
if among the Religious of the Sacred Heart there was less 
corporal austerities than at Carmel, nevertheless he con- 
sidered the Institute of the Sacred Heart more perfect on 
account of the high degree to which it carries the virtue of 
obedience." 

On one occasion a mistress at Manhattanville had under- 
taken to teach a dialogue to the children, without having 
asked permission of the Mistress General. Mother Hardey 

379 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

learned of the affair, but said nothing. When the play was 
ready for presentation, the religious came to invite her su- 
perior to assist at the evening entertainment. Mother Har- 
dey looked at her very seriously and said : " Sister, you have 
been doing your own will in getting up this entertainment, 
therefore it has not the blessing of obedience. Any of the 
community who wish may attend, but I will remain at the 
recreation." Pleadings and excuses were of no avail, for 
she was determined to give her daughter a lesson in sub- 
mission to authority. 

Nothing was easier than to acknowledge a fault to 
Mother Hardey. It was at once forgiven and forgotten. 
Her reprimands were sometimes sharp, even severe, but 
they never left a sting in the heart, and the culprit could not 
but acknowledge that the justice administered was always 
tempered with maternal goodness. One day a religious 
showed unwillingness to go to the school. Mother Hardey 
reminded her of her Fourth Vow, and then added : " If 
through your own fault you are not employed with the chil- 
dren you will have to answer for it before the judgment 
seat of God." 

Her advice to superiors was to be very patient and pains- 
taking in the training of the young Mistresses: "Do not 
change their occupations because they have not succeeded. 
It is by failure that they will gain experience. Keep up 
their spirits. There is nothing so depressing as to be con- 
sidered incapable and useless from the very start. Guide, 
encourage and support them in their authority. God does 
not require what is best, but only what is according to 
obedience. When she is carefully trained a young religious 
of ordinary ability can be made to do wonders, but left to 
herself the most brilliant teacher will wander from the line 
of duty." 

In her intimate relations with her daughters, Mother 
Hardey's words were brief and to the point. One who 
complained of being greatly disturbed by thoughts of vain 

380 



CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES 

glory received this advice : " Think of God and not of your- 
self." " You have disappointed us," she once remarked to a 
young Mistress General, who asserted her authority too 
plainly. That reproach from her was more effectual than 
a long lecture from another. She never liked to hear diffi- 
culties magnified, nor efforts discouraged. " A fault," she 
said, " can be repaired by another trial, and failure cancelled 
by future success." 

A beautiful feature of her relations with her daughters 
was the confidence which she placed in them. Whatever 
might be the result of their labors, they knew that their 
earnest efforts would meet with her commendation. She 
was as much interested in the humblest offices of the house 
as in the most conspicuous. The Sisters knew well that 
whatever need was made known to her would be promptly 
supplied, hence the joy with which her visits were welcomed 
at their various employments. 

Mother Hardey's love for common life made her very 
guarded in countenancing singular and extraordinary prac- 
tices of devotion. " Our perfection," she used to say, " is to 
be found in the observance of the Rule and not outside of it. 
You will find in the faithful accomplishment of Rule all the 
mortification you can desire. The mortifications which our 
Lord sends us are more meritorious than those of our own 
choosing." Again and again she reminded her daughters 
that if the austerities of contemplative Orders were not 
enjoined on them, they must nevertheless lead mortified 
lives by the practice of habitual self-abnegation and scrupu- 
lous fidelity to the customary corporal penances which obe- 
dience sanctioned. " Delicate health," she used to say, " is 
no excuse for neglecting our little mortifications at the 
stated times." 

A passing indisposition did not escape her vigilant eye, but 
she had the faculty of watching over the health of her daugh- 
ters without rendering them anxious or self-occupied. " It 
often requires more abnegation to take care of our health," 

381 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

she said, " than to neglect it. No one ever lost her health by 
being faithful to Rule, and the fewer dispensations we accept 
the better our health will be. When you are obliged to 
give up some point of common life give yourself no ease 
until you can return to it. No exception from common life 
should last longer than a month, unless one is in really bad 
health, and even then from time to time we should manage 
to do without it." 

On one occasion, when suffering from a severe cold, 
Mother Hardey was advised to retire early. She came as 
usual to night prayers, and as the Mother Assistant was 
surprised, she said: "A half an hour sooner in bed is a 
small gain, but a dispensation from Rule is a great loss ! " 
We have seen how Mother Hardey's instructions to her 
daughters reflected her own mind and character. A great 
truth on her lips seemed to have a deeper meaning, because 
of the simplicity and earnestness with which it was pre- 
sented. It was, however, her life that gave force to her 
words. Her example preceded her exhortations, hence it 
was easy to obey them. 

It has been truly said of her : " Wherever she has lived 
there are grateful hearts made happy by her kindness, pure 
hearts sheltered by her protection, wayward hearts turned 
heavenward by her guidance, doubting hearts enlightened 
by her counsels, wounded hearts soothed by her sympathy, 
proud hearts subdued by her motherly interest, and hearts 
on the brink of ruin rescued by her zeal and triumphantly 
laid at the feet of the Good Master, with whose love her own 
heart was consumed." 



382 



CHAPTER XXX. 

LAST DAYS AND DEATH OF MOTHER HARDEY TEMPORARY 

TOMB AT CONFLANS FlNAL INTERMENT AT 

KENWOOD 1884-1886. 

God blessed the admirable obedience of Mother Hardey ; 
although greatly fatigued on arriving in Paris, after a 
few days, she was able to take part in the deliberations of 
the General Council. At its close to her functions of Assist- 
ant General were added the 'duties of local Superior of the 
Mother House. 

A letter from Mother Jones at this period says : " Our 
dear Mother is much improved, and is always serene and 
cheerful. I have not lost hope of her return to America, 
where her presence is so much needed, but she cannot go 
with us now, as she must remain here to give her deposition 
for the cause of our venerable Mother, and that cannot be 
done at present. Besides Reverend Mother needs a rest be- 
fore traveling again." Notwithstanding the hope expressed 
in this letter, the American vicars parted from Mother Har- 
dey with sorrowful hearts, for they felt that her travels were 
soon to end in the haven of eternal rest. 

Her energy set aside the claims of age and infirmity, and 
she resumed her duties with her accustomed devotedness. 
In proportion as she was nearing the term of her exile, she 
seemed to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer and 
absorption in God. " One day," relates a Sister, " we were 
speaking to her of a very beautiful chasuble which the priest 
wore at Mass. Without intending it as a reproof she said, 
with surprise, ' Sisters, did you look at the vestments? For 
my part I acknowledge that I never notice the priests, nor 
the vestments. How can one be occupied with creatures in 
the presence of the Creator.' " 

She was sent by the Mother General to make the visits 

383 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

of the houses of Besangon and St. Ferreol, in the month of 
September, 1884. One of the religious gives a glowing ac- 
count of her visit : " Our Reverend Mother Assistant Gen- 
eral arrived at the close of our annual retreat. Without 
taking any time to rest, she devoted herself to the duties of 
her charge, and at once all hearts were attracted to her. She 
came to Besangon the day of the opening of the school. Our 
pupils always return in gay spirits, but in 1884, the presence 
of an Assistant General made the first week of October a 
very delightful family feast. Won by her kindness and im- 
pressed by her energetic and persuasive words, our dear 
children saw in a new light the value of the education they 
were receiving, and the necessity of conquering themselves, 
through love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I can say with 
truth that the blessing of God rested upon the school in a 
marked way during that year. In listening to her account 
of the foundations in America, the community were remind- 
ed of the history of St. Teresa's foundations, and each one 
felt irresistibly drawn to a more generous love, and a more 
ardent zeal for the extension of the reign of the Heart of 
Jesus. The eve of her departure she gave us a never-to-be 
forgotten conference on the apparitions of Our Lord to 
Blessed Margaret Mary, and His touching complaints of the 
coldness and ingratitude of souls consecrated to Him. 

" May I venture to speak of the charity with which she 
undertook the task of enlightening and guiding me in my 
charge of superior? At every free moment she sent for me, 
greeting me with the words, ' Come and I will give you 
your catechism lesson.' Then began the delightful inter- 
views. It was the Rule she taught me, the Rule to which 
all must be referred, the Rule which she showed me how to 
consult in all my difficulties, the Rule, above all, which she 
made me love. It is with profound gratitude that I recall 
her advice, her decisions and her encouragements, which 
bore the stamp of so just, so large and so religious a spirit." 

It was thus that Mother Hardey went about doing good. 

384 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

She did not forget the material welfare of the house she 
visited. She often expressed regret that the house of 
Besangon could not be enlarged, and her memory is still in 
benediction at St. Ferreol for a staircase which they owe to 
her. She herself was much consoled and edified by these two 
families. She loved to mention the promptitude of the obe- 
dience of the good Sisters of Besangon, to whom she made a 
little remark about the way they wore their caps. An hour 
after they returned to show her how they had rectified the 
little irregularity. 

On the 9th of November she returned to Paris. She was 
not well during the winter, but in the spring she was able 
to help Mother Lehon in her regular visit at the rue de 
Varennes. A little later she went to Nancy for the dedica- 
tion of the new church. " I come to represent our Mother 
General," she said ; " I am here only in her name." These 
were days of happiness, we are told, and of holy lessons and 
examples. She gave herself to each one with maternal in- 
terest, never showing the least fatigue or weariness. The 
pupils were charmed with her interesting accounts of 
America, and the community were far from suspecting that 
this was to be her last active work in the service of the 
Society she loved so well. 

When a soul draws near to her last end, when for years 
she has fought the good fight, God ordinarily multiplies 
her trials before giving her the crown. In the various cir- 
cumstances of Mother Hardey's life, we have seen her a 
living model of the rules of her Institute, whether in the 
active labors of government or the silent apostleship of in- 
terior life. She is now to give a last example of their spirit 
in her loving acceptance of the divine will during a year of 
inaction and suffering, when her bed was truly for her the 
altar of sacrifice, where in union with her Divine Spouse 
she " drank the chalice even to the dregs." In the month 
of April, 1885, she sustained a great shock in the death of 
Reverend Mother Cahier, one of the Assistants General, to 

25 385 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

whom she was devotedly attached. This Reverend Mother 
had been Mother Barat's secretary for over twenty years, 
therefore a close intimacy had united her to Mother Hardey. 
Death came so promptly to Mother Cahier that Mother 
Hardey seemed to be stunned by the blow. 

From that time her health perceptibly declined. Hoping 
to prolong her life by a temporary change, Mother Lehon 
thought of sending her once more across the Atlantic, but 
abandoned the project after a medical consultation declared 
that the invalid was unable to make the voyage. She then 
decided to send her to a convent near the sea. In the last 
days of July Mother Hardey left for Calais. Unfortunately, 
on reaching the station, she was thrown forward by the 
sudden motion of the car, and her heart sustained a shock 
which threatened to end fatally. Prompt remedies averted 
the danger, and after a few days of rest she was able to 
assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion. On the 8th 
of August, as she was returning from the Holy Table, she 
was seen to stagger, but her presence of mind did not fail 
her, and she clung for support until a chair was brought to 
her. Restoratives were promptly administered and warded 
off an impending stroke of paralysis. During the day her 
condition became still more alarming. 

A telegram was sent to Reverend Mother Lehon, who 
answered that she would arrive at midnight. As the danger 
increased towards evening, it was thought prudent to ad- 
minister the Last Sacraments. When consulted, Mother 
Hardey replied : " As our Mother is coming we must wait 
for her to decide what she thinks best." Then, as always, 
Mother Hardey was the child of obedience. The meeting 
of the two Mothers was touching, and a favorable reaction 
took place, which Mother Lehon attributed to the prayers 
offered in both the old and the new world, as she had tele- 
graphed the threatened danger to all the convents in the 
Society. These prayers were to obtain a prolongation of 
life, but they could not detain much longer on earth her 

386 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

whose crown needed only completion by a state of inaction, 
united to suffering. The administration of the Sacraments 
took place the next morning. During this ceremony Mother 
Hardey begged pardon for all the faults of her life, enumer- 
ating them with so much compunction that those pres- 
ent were moved to tears. Mother Lehon was obliged to tell 
her to cease her accusations, which were the outpouring of 
a soul steeped in self-abasement and filled with the desire 
of repairing what she termed the voids of her life. Far 
different were the thoughts of those who witnessed the 
sacred unction being applied to the senses of that body 
which had served its Creator from the days of its youth. 

The malady, without making much progress, did not 
yield to treatment and the doctor gave slight hope of im- 
provement, as the organs of the heart were absolutely worn 
out. Cables were sent almost daily to Reverend Mother 
Jones, so that Mother Hardey's daughters might be kept 
informed of her condition. Needless to say that it was a 
consolation for them to unite in prayer and loving sympathy 
with those who were lavishing their tender care upon the 
dear invalid. Near that bedside were witnessed touching 
scenes of self-denial and obedience. When breathing seemed 
very difficult for Mother Hardey, on account of her position 
in the bed, one of the Mothers offered to help her to turn 
on the other side. " Oh, no," said the obedient invalid, 
" the doctor told me I must not move." When the physician 
was told of her reply, he said, " Madame is so obedient, I 
must weigh well my words." 

Another time the same religious came to speak to her, 
but the invalid, with an effort, kept her eyes closed, saying: 
" Our Very Reverend Mother told me I must sleep." As 
the autumn approached it was deemed prudent to remove 
Mother Hardey from Calais as the temperature would be too 
severe for her. She was taken to Paris on the I7th of Sep- 
tember, without any bad results, owing to the precautions 
taken and conveniences provided. Once more at home, her 

387 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

physician tried all the resources of science to counteract the 
progress of the disease. She gradually grew stronger, but 
was unable to use her limbs. By means of a rolling chair 
she was able to go to the chapel and the community room. 
Her voice regained its wonted cheerfulness, her countenance 
lighted up with the grace of sympathy and kindness. She 
resumed her correspondence, and directed letters of counsel 
and encouragement to many of her daughters across the 
seas. 

But the improvement in her condition was only passing, 
the perfection of her grand soul was to be completed by an 
antithesis to all her past, that of prolonged solitude and in- 
action. Who that ever knew the strength of will, the ardor 
for labor, the desire to follow the common life, which ani- 
mated Mother Hardey, can fail to realize that her helpless 
state was truly an altar of sacrifice. Yet the vigor of her 
soul seemed at times independent of the feebleness of her 
body. She continued to take interest in all that regarded 
the Church, the Society, individual souls who applied to her 
for advice. Her room was frequently the happy meeting 
place of the American probationists, and their reunions w*re 
brightened by that gracious smile which made them forget 
her state of suffering. Her one thought was to give pleas- 
ure to others. 

As soon as she received any gift she sent for others to 
admire it, then offered it, if suitable, for the poor. Her con- 
solation was the visits of the Mother General, who sought 
every opportunity of cheering and benefiting the dear in- 
valid in every way. Writing to one of the American su- 
periors, on May 21, 1886, Mother Lehon says: "Our dear 
Reverend Mother Hardey grows daily in holiness. You can 
easily understand how her active mind and burning zeal 
must feel her powerlessness to act. Her patience and obe- 
dience are admirable. Her head and her heart do not share 
her physical weakness, she enters with lively interest into 
all that concerns the Society." 

388 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

The blessing of Leo XIII was a favor much appreciated 
by Mother Hardey, for with her strong faith, she recog- 
nized in this grace a fresh aid to reach in safety the term 
whither she was hastening. When it became evident that 
she could not long survive, Mother Lehon summoned 
Mothers Jones and Hoey to Paris. The prospect of seeing 
her dear daughters gave great joy to the invalid, and as 
she seemed somewhat better, Mother Lehon left for Brus- 
sels on the 3ist of May, expecting to be absent about twelve 
days. A crisis occurred on the Qth of June. The doctor dis- 
covere'd the formation of an embolus which caused him to 
declare : " All is over, death is inevitable." He could only 
give hope of prolonging her life until the arrival of Mother 
Lehon, who started for Paris as soon as the summons 
reached her. 

Mother Hardey was calm and fully conscious of her 
state. Recalling the date fixed for the return of the Mother 
General, she sorrowfully repeated, " Two days yet ; two 
days yet ! " But Mother Lehon was already on the way to 
Paris, and at ten p. m. she reached the Mother House. She 
went at once to Mother Hardey, who greeted her with the 
words, "O Mother, all is over!" In her account of this 
interview Mother Lehon wrote : " We spoke together of 
God; nothing troubled her soul then, nor until the end. 
This calmness and confidence sufficed to prove the admir- 
able rectitude with which our good Mother had always acted 
during her long government of over fifty years. On Penta- 
cost Sunday, before receiving Holy Communion, she said, 
with unutterable tenderness, ' This will be my last.' Our 
Lord was, however, to visit her again on Tuesday. Al- 
though much weakened by her great suffering, a word 
about God brought her to herself, and when reminded on 
Wednesday that she could yet gain the Indulgence of the 
Jubilee her countenance became radiant with happiness. 

" Her Jubilee was made and Extreme Unction ad- 
ministered, with the last indulgence. To complete the em- 

389 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

bellishment of her crown, Our Lord demanded a sacrifice 
which was keenly felt by her sensitive heart, the extent of 
which can only be measured by recalling her joy when told 
that Mother Jones had embarked on the I2th of June for 
France. How many times she counted the days of the voy- 
age, until feeling that death was at hand, she exclaimed, ' I 
shall never see her again ! ' Then she offered the disappoint- 
ment to God, and made no further reference to her sacrifice. 
Thursday morning, the i/th, her sufferings were to end. 
Our chaplain renewed the last indulgence, after which she 
entered into a peaceful agony. Our Reverend Mothers As- 
sistants General and the community surrounded her, recit- 
ing the prayers for the departing soul, when a gentle sigh 
announced the end at 8 130 A. M. I have rarely seen upon 
a deathbed a countenance so radiant, so smiling, so beauti- 
ful, we were never tired of contemplating her." 

Multiplied testimonies of regret proved the veneration in 
which Mother Hardey was held. Her devoted friend, the 
Duchess of Pastrana had hastened from Madrid, hoping to 
see her. She arrived too late, alas! but she came to weep 
by her funeral couch, which she adorned with a magnificent 
crown. Many other floral tributes, the offerings of grateful 
friends, embellished her modest catafalque. 

An American probationist writes of her night watch 
beside the precious remains : " I could never tell you of the 
holy joy of those two blessed hours. I could not take my 
eyes from de.ar Reverend Mother's face so radiant with 
heavenly light and peace, that it is imprinted forever on my 
memory. Friday morning, at 6:30 our Mother General 
entered the room, with her arms full of pure white roses 
which she placed one by one around the form of our dear 
Mother. She stood gazing upon her, as if wrapt in con- 
templation, then, turning to us, said : ' How beautiful she 
is ! It seems that Our Lord wishes to give us a visible sign 
of her beatitude.' 

" During the day the chamber of death was filled with 

390 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

Reverend Mother's friends, as also many pupils from the 
Rue de Varennes, and the day school where she was so 
much loved. That evening the body was transferred to the 
chapel of Mater Admirabilis. Saturday requiem Mass was 
celebrated at 8 130 by her confessor, Father le Chanoine de 
1'Escaille, and Monseigneur Pelge gave the last absolution. 
There were present a number of priests and representatives 
of various religious orders, among them, Brother Patrick, 
Assistant General of the Christian Brothers, who had 
known her in America. The side chapels were filled with 
devoted friends. Just before the Mass began, eight pupils 
from the Rue de Varennes placed upon the coffin a hand- 
some metal cross, ornamented with a spray of white flowers 
of fine porcelain, a memento to remain fadeless forever. 
After Mass the funeral cortege formed and proceeded to 
Conflans, where the community and novices, all holding 
lighted candles, awaited us. When the coffin was placed on 
the catafalque before the altar, we recited Lauds, the last 
Benediction was renewed and the procession filed down the 
grand staircase into the crypt, where our loved Mother was 
laid to rest. Oh ! it was sad, sweet and solemn, surpassing 
all description." 

The place of Mother Hardey's repose is marked by a 
marble slab on which is inscribed the following epitaph : 

Pax Et Quies In Christo 

Marias Aloisiae Hardey 

Virgini A Corde Jesu 

Cujus Consilio Prudentia Virtute 

Societas Nostra 

Late Per America; Regiones 

Collegia Instituendis Puellis Reclusit 

Eaque Studiis Optimis Custodia Legum 

Pietate Floruerunt 

Lcetitiae Praemium Laborum 

Assecuta Est 

391 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

XV. Kal Quintiles A. MDCCCLXXXVI 

AN. N. LXXVI M. VI 
Cum Annos LX Menses X. 

In Coetu Nostro 

Egregie De Re Catholica 

Meruisset. 

Of which this is a translation: 

Peace and Rest in Christ 

To Mary Aloysia Hardey 

Virgin, according to the Heart of Jesus, 

Through whose Counsel, Prudence, Valor 

Our Society 
Established in many Countries of America, 

For the Education of Girls 
Academies in which Learning, Discipline, Piety 

Have flourished. 

She attained to Joy as the Reward of Her Labors 

On the Seventeenth Day of June of the year 1886 

At the age of 76 years and 6 months 

In our Congregation Militant 

60 years and 10 months 
She merited exceedingly of the whole Catholic World. 

Mother Lehon, on her return from Conflans, after 
having seen Mother Hardey's remains laid to rest beside 
those of Mother Goetz and the Assistants General who had 
been interred in the crypt, addressed to her American 
families, a letter expressing her heartfelt condolence in their 
great sorrow. " Your letters of these last months," she 
wrote, " reveal how fully you share the grief which Mother 
Hardey's death has caused us. She was indeed, one of the 
strong pillars of the Society, especially in America, where 
she developed and multiplied the seed sown by the saintly 
Mother Duchesne. In her life she reproduced the virtues of 
those who founded your Mission, as her works sufficiently 
prove, but this is not the place to dwell upon them, for later, 

392 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

they will be recounted in detail. I wish here only to recall 
her generous, upright character, her devotedness to the in- 
terests of the Sacred Heart, her submission to the voice of 
obedience. 

" The ablest physicians were unanimous in saying that 
the principal vital organs in Mother Hardey were worn out, 
and we might add, they were worn out in the service of the 
Divine Master. What shall I say of the time when she was 
confined to her bed, incapable of the slightest movement 
without assistance, and of her last days when acute suffer- 
ings sometimes drew from her a groan, but never a 
murmur? She was always self-possessed, abandoned like a 
child to the will of God, now hoping to live that she might 
yet labor, then renouncing the desire with perfect tran- 
quillity of soul. These alterations never disturbed her in- 
terior peace. Two thoughts full of instruction for us will 
be forever associated with her memory, a tender, practical 
devotion to the Heart of Jesus, and a constant fidelity to 
our holy Rules. Let us follow her example, my dear sisters, 
and thus become more faithful to our high vocation." 

Mother Hardey had made a wide acquaintance in 
France, hence, when her death was known, numerous tes- 
timonials of respect to her memory were received at the 
Mother House. Bishop Fallieres of St. Brieux wrote: 
" The telegram announcing the death of the venerable 
Mother Hardey did not surprise, though it grieved us 
deeply. I understand how painful must be the loss of an 
Assistant General, who represented near you those Ameri- 
can families so dear to your heart. I recall with what in- 
tense joy, the holy Mother Goetz announced to me the ap- 
proaching arrival of Mother Hardey in France, and the 
hopes which she founded on her permanent sojourn in Paris, 
for the progress and union of the Society. The ' Grand 
American ' has fulfilled her mission by forming an inde- 
structible link between the Society of the Sacred Heart in 
Europe and its members in the New World. It is not sur- 

393 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

prising that the Holy Spirit should have wished to crown 
His faithful Spouse. From the height of Heaven, she will 
continue the prayer : ' May they be one, as we also are 
one!'" 

Monseigneur Baunard, the historian of Mother Barat, 
who esteemed Mother Hardey very highly, wrote of her 
in the following terms to Mother Lehon : " I heard this 
morning of the death of Mother Hardey, whom God has 
called to Himself after a long career of good works, under- 
taken for His glory. I have been filled with admiration for 
the courage of that grand religious who was one of the 
props of your Society in North America. I have known at 
the same time her attachment to the Centre of Authority 
and her solicitude for the unity of a work in which she was 
one of the principal laborers for over fifty years. She will 
be mourned in both hemispheres. As to herself, I esteem 
her happy in having been called to rejoin her spiritual 
ancestors, Mother Barat and Mother Duchesne, of whom 
she was most worthy. Another column has fallen, but only 
to be transferred to the temple which your Society is 
erecting to the Sacret Heart in the Heavenly Jerusalem. In 
thought and prayer I kneel at her tomb to deposit my tribute 
of gratitude towards her whose kindness to me will never 
be forgotten." 

We shall not attempt to describe the grief of Mother 
Hardey's American daughters, when a cable from the 
Mother General bearing the words : " The sacrifice is con- 
summated," announced the news of their great loss. In all 
the convents, outward signs of mourning bespoke the sor- 
row of loving hearts. Solemn requiem Masses were 
celebrated, and friends and former pupils united their 
prayers with those of the religious for the venerated de- 
ceased. The school year was drawing to a close. At the 
commencements, there were an absence of decorations save 
here and there symbolic designs of immortelles. An under- 
tone of sadness was heard in the closing exercises, a note 

394 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

breathing at once the sorrow of separation, the joy of meet- 
ing before the throne of God. At Manhattanville, a pane- 
gyric written by the chaplain, Rev. Dr. Callaghan, was read 
by one of the pupils, Miss Ultima Smith, the daughter of a 
former pupil, whose name figures in these pages, as a model 
child of the Society of the Sacred Heart. 

The press far and wide published the news of Mother 
Hardey's death, describing her as a woman gracious in 
mien, noble in character, and especially fitted for the great 
deeds which marked her career. Innumerable letters from 
ecclesiastics and laity were received, expressing sympathy 
for the Religious of the Sacret Heart, and admiration and re- 
gret for the deceased. The same thought prevails through- 
out, that Mother Hardey is entitled by her virtues and her 
works to an honored place in the ecclesiastical annals of 
America. 

Very Rev. Robert Fulton, S. J., Provincial of the 
Jesuits, wrote to the Superior of Manhattanville : " I have 
often said that Madame Hardey will hold the first place 
of American women in our Church history. Besides her 
material and visible achievements, what is most striking 
about her, is the extraordinary affection she inspired in the 
members of her community. This is entirely beyond par- 
allel. In those achievements, how much labor involved ! 
How prolific the results! In that universal, I had almost 
said passionate, affection, what a proof of rare qualities in 
her to attract it. Mother Hardey's life will be the history 
of your community. I sympathize with you in some 
respects, though you have no right to grieve that she is 
happy. Your interests are furthered by her death, as she 
is now more powerful to aid. Erect in your own characters 
a monument to her glory." 

Father Fulton's words have been in some measure real- 
ized. The life of Mother Hardey is in great part the history 
of the Society of the Sacred Heart in North America. She 
is now with God and her works follow her, clothed in the 

395 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

sanctity of the Heart she so tenderly loved and the vitality 
of the Institute she so faithfully served. May her spirit rest 
upon those called to continue her mission of generosity, 
self-sacrifice and devotedness, in laboring- for the salvation 
of souls and for the honor and glory of the Sacred Heart of 
Jesus ! 



Mother Hardey's body had rested in the crypt at Conflans 
for nearly twenty years, when the expulsion of the religious 
orders from France and the confiscation of their property, 
made it necessary to remove the precious remains in 1905 
to a place of safety. The Very Reverend Mother General 
Digby decided that her American daughters should have the 
consolation of possessing all that was mortal of their 
beloved Mother. In the designs of God, the Mother Gen- 
eral was carrying out the original plan of Mother Lehon at 
the time of Mother Hardey's death. Thinking that 
Mother Jones would claim the privilege of bringing back to 
America the body of the Mother whom she was not to find 
alive on her arrival in France, Mother Lehon had Mother 
Hardey's body embalmed and her coffin encased in a metal- 
lic casket, ready for transportation. Its temporary resting 
place was left unsealed pending the decision. Mothers 
Jones and Hoey had reached Paris on the evening of June 
21, 1886, unconscious of the sorrow awaiting them. Al- 
though every effort had been made to prepare them by 
letters, it was God's will that they should hear of their 
loss from the lips of Mother Lehon in the words, " I am 
now doubly your Mother ! " On learning that Mother Har- 
dey had said that she wished to remain where she died, 
Mother Jones would not act against that desire, so, in death, 
as in life, Mother Hardey continued to be the great bond of 
union between America and France until an All Wise Provi- 
dence decreed she should have her last resting place on 
American soil, and for the twentieth time that body, which 

396 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

had worn itself out in the service of God, crossed the At- 
lantic. 

While preparations were being made for the final inter- 
ment at Kenwood, the sacred deposit was placed in the re- 
ceiving vault at Manhattanville. It rested there for nearly 
six months, until the time came for its removal. The re- 
ligious made grateful, loving pilgrimages around the en- 
closure, their hearts filled with new emotions of filial rever- 
ence, and faithful recollections of the Mother whose name 
will ever be associated with that of Manhattanville. 

On the I2th of December, 1905, the casket was laid be- 
fore the altar and solemn Mass celebrated in the chapel she 
had erected, and whose solid walls had withstood the fiery 
flames of the conflagration of 1888. After the ceremonies 
were over, the coffin was taken to Kenwood. Right Rev- 
erend Bishop Burke went to the Albany depot to meet the 
hearse, and follow it in his carriage to the convent. Rev- 
erend Mothers Mahony and Tomassini, who had accom- 
panied the remains from Manhattanville occupied the second 
carriage of the funeral cortege. In the convent chapel the 
remains rested in the hermetically sealed casket, on a 
catafalque, with dimly burning tapers and sombre drapery, 
in striking contrast with the bright surroundings and joyful 
hearts, with which her daughters welcomed their treasure. 
Bishop Burke, assisted by a number of the clergy performed 
the Absolution ceremonies. In a few simple, touching 
words he spoke of his happiness in honoring the memory of 
one whose memory he would wish to perpetuate forever. 
" The name of Mother Hardey," he said, " has been a 
talisman to the countless numbers whose privilege it was to 
learn lessons of wisdom from her lips, and holiness from 
her noble, saintly and heroic life. Her influential and at- 
tractive personality led many souls to God; her efficient 
common sense was a potent factor in her intercourse with 
all classes, her vigorous vitality was displayed in many far 
reaching practical effects. Her prime characteristic was 

397 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

strength of will, and, as gentleness is the result of strength, 
hers was a singularly tender nature. To Mother Hardey 
was due the initiation and institution of the convent of 
Kenwood, which is a standing monument to her energy and 
devotion to the cause of God and holy religion. She gave 
her personal attention to every detail, and though the task 
was an arduous one, her interest never flagged, and God's 
blessing crowned her work with success. Years ago she was 
called to receive her reward from the Maker she had so 
faithfully served, and there can be no doubt but that it was 
' exceeding great.' " 

At the close of the bishop's remarks, a procession of the 
religious, each bearing a lighted taper, was formed and 
wound its way up the hill to the cemetery, where Mgr. 
Maguire again blessed the coffin as it was lowered into the 
grave at the foot of the beautiful crucifix which keeps watch 
over the holy dead reposing there. At the head of the grave 
is a granite cross on the base of which is the inscription 
which was on the tablet in the crypt at Conflans. At the 
foot of the grave stands the white marble urn which for 
twenty years was the receptacle of the petitions offered to 
God through her intercession. 

The pupils gave a reception to the Reverend Mother 
Vicar in the evening, and the following panegyric is the 
tribute of Kenwood's children to the memory of Mother 
Hardey : 

" The most beautiful and famous book of lyrics that man 
has ever conceived, opens with a poem, so perfect, so com- 
plete, so compact, so delicately wrought, it seems almost 
a sonnet. It has been called ' The Two Paths/ and in it 
the kingly singer, with a few but telling strokes, gives us 
the contrasting pictures of the good and of the evil man. 
Holy Scripture is full of portraits of the greatest men and 
women that the world has known, culminating in the 
Archetype of perfection the Model of Mankind. But in this 
first psalm we may find the abstract portrait, giving the 

398 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

essential features of the just and holy: What he is not, 
what he is, and a few additional touches. Since the will is 
all, man and the intellect guides the will, we have the 
essence of his character in these few words : 'But his will 
is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he shall meditate 
day and night/ But the poet stops not here, ' And he shall 
be like a tree which is planted near the running waters 
which shall bring forth its fruit in due season, and his leaf 
shall not fall off, and all soever he shall do shall prosper.' 

" Then, after the portrait of the wicked man, we have 
another word, ' For the Lord knoweth the way of the just.' 
Truly a line of poetry, fraught with suggestion, leading the 
thought through vistas of beauty to where the Almighty 
looks down upon his faithful servant, knows and loves him. 
Have not the Reverend and dear Mothers we greet to-day, 
beheld ' the tree planted near the running waters,' and have 
we not ourselves seen the fruit brought forth in due season? 
Is not this beautiful home of hers, are not we ourselves, part 
of the glorious vintage? 'And whatsoever he shall do shall 
prosper.' Now in the light of time, which gives true per- 
spective, it is easy to realize more fully how each line of the 
portrait corresponds with that of Reverend Mother Hardey, 
whom we all join in honoring to-day. Her work truly has 
prospered, and numerous religious houses, schools and 
Tabernacles of our Eucharistic God, are the fruit of her 
labors. As natural fruit comes forth, ripens and reaches 
maturity each year, so her fruit also was not of one gather- 
ing, but is brought forth in due season even still, and will 
continue to yield abundantly to the honor and glory of her 
Lord, the Master of the Vineyard. 

" You, Reverend and dear Mothers, knew her well and 
we would love to listen to her praise from your lips, to hear 
again of her devotedness and zeal, her labors and her love 
for God and for her children. How often she came here 
to Kenwood, in all her desire to further the interests of 
this house. How many years she dwelt within these very 

399 



MARY ALOYSIA HARDEY 

walls, surrounded by those who loved her, ever leading all 
nearer to the Sacred Heart by her example and her burning 
words. Now, that you have brought again to this favored 
' Vineyard on a hill in a fruitful place/ all that is mortal of 
her whom we revere, that she may rest after all these years 
in our midst, does not her spirit say as did Newman in ' A 
Voice from Afar ' : 

I am still near 

Watching the smiles I prized on earth, 

Your converse mild, your blameless mirth. 

Now too I hear 

Of whispered sounds the tale complete 

Low prayers and musings sweet. 

A sea before 

The throne is spread its pure still glass 

Pictures all earth's scenes as they pass. 

We on its shore 

Share in the bosom of our rest 

God's knowledge and are blest. 

" But we Kenwood children, desire to express our ap- 
preciation of the treasure that has come to our convent 
home, from across the sea. What life has meant so much 
for the spread of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
in this our country, as that of our Mother Hardey? Who 
could have loved more deeply, or taken greater interest in 
the new foundations God permitted her to make? Yet when 
obedience bade her leave all she held so dear, how, gen- 
erous was the sacrifice! Then came the days of mingled 
grief and triumph, when her children knew she had gone 
home to the true country of her soul, rich with the fruit of 
her labors, crowned with the virgin diadem of holiness, 
clothed with the virtues of the Sacred Heart. But the 
Mothers who knew and loved Mother Hardey, and who 
felt the intense loss for her American children, in their 
kindness thought to send her back to rest among them. 

400 




Mother Hardey's Grave at Kenwood 



LAST DAYS AND DEATH 

Only a wish stood in the way, she had said : ' Let me be 
laid where I die,' and when the faithful companion of her 
labors, the daughter formed by her, heard these words, it 
was enough. Lovingly they laid her in the crypt at Con- 
flans, tenderly surrounded with the tribute of American 
daughters, of French mothers and sisters; earnestly did 
prayer arise from two hemispheres for her whom all unite 
to revere. 

" Who could have dreamed that the sad trouble in the 
land of her adoption would have prompted the Mother 
whose heart seeks constantly to strengthen and rejoice her 
children, to send our treasure back back to Kenwood, on 
the little hill beside the flowing river, back to the scenes of 
her labor and her prayer, back into the midst of her children. 
Still more wonderful in the Providence of God is it, that she 
who sacrificed the gift, respecting a Mother's least desire, 
now after twenty years, received it in her joy. (Rev. 
Mother Jones.) Truly, this is a day of grace to Kenwood ! 
Our Lord is pleased to honor His faithful spouse again, 
with all the solemn rites of Holy Church, her children rise 
and call her Blessed, while we have learned how strong and 
tender are the bonds in Jesus Christ, and pray that we, too, 
may become all that the foundress of this house cpuld wish, 
true Children of the Sacred Heart." 



26 401 



INDEX. 



Page. 

Abreau, Madame D' 283 

Achigan, St. Jacques De 1'.. 93 

Acosta, General 245 

Aff re, Archbishop 87 

Alentado, Mother 333 

Antonelli, Cardinal 210 

Ardia, Mme 252 

Aude, Madame Eugenie 18 

Bacon, Bishop 208, 209 

Bailly, Octavie 12 

Barat, Louis 12 

Barat, Madeleine Sophie 12 

Barelle, Father, S. J 88, 118 

Barbelin, Father, S. J 102, 268 

Bastida, Bishop De La, 

203, 304, 363 

Battandier, Sister 82 

Baunard, Mgr 394 

Bay ley, Archbishop. . .99, 113, 325 

Bazire, Madame 54 

Beaudevin, Father 243 

Beaubien, Mr. and Mrs. An- 

toine 143, 144, 145 

Bedini, Mgr 163, 164, 165, 166 

Bennett, James Gordon 101 

Berthold, Madame Octavie... 18 

Bigeu, Mother 42 

Blanc, Bishop 55, 65 

Boilevin, Mme 107 

Bonfondi, Cardinal .. 233, 285, 286 

Boudreau, Mother 169, 355 

Bourget, Bishop 91, 186 

Brownson's Review 250 

Bullion, Mme 90 

Burke, Bishop 397 

Cadwalader, General 100 

Cahier, Mother 385, 386 

Calvert, Leonard i 

Callaghan, Rev. Dr 395 



Page. 

Cauche, Mme 90 

Charbonel, Mgr. De 187 

Chabrat, Bishop 94 

Chegary, Mme 79 

Cheverus, Bishop 23 

Chicago Fire, The 307 

Chilomaeon, Chief 2 

Clayborne, Governor i 

Comonfort, President 205 

Connolly, Bishop 178, 182, 183 

Concha, Captain General 283 

Conroy, Bishop 151, 211 

Cornelis, Mother 295 

Cowperthwaite Estate 131 

Cruice, Mme 90 

Cutts, Mme 142 

Daniel, Father 196 

David, Bishop 67 

Decailly, Mme 90, 107 

Delacroix, Abbe 36 

Demers, Bishop 131 

Desmarquest, Mother Eugenie. 262 

Digby, Mother 360, 306 

Dominic, St., Sisters of 15 

Donosa, Rafaela 192 

Donnelly, Mme 94, 160 

Dorival, Mme 73 

Doucet, Father 243 

Draft Riots, The 253 

Dubois, Bishop 73 

Dubourg, Bishop 15, 19, 315 

Duchesne, Mme 15, 16 

Du Four, Mme 73 

Dumont, Mme 105 

Dunne, Mme. Alicia 137 

Du Rousier, Mother 170, 171 

Duval, Mme 12 

Eccleston, Samuel, Arch- 
bishop 73 



403 



Page. 

Edwards, George 131 

Escaille, Father de 1' 39* , 

Espino, Mr. and Mrs 191 

Evening Star, Steamer... 275, 276 ' 

Fallieres, Bishop 393 ' 

Fessard, Father, S. J 341 

Fitzpatrick, Mme 166 

Flaget, Bishop 23 

Fessard, Father, S. J 34 1 

Florissant 23 

Fonsbelle, Mme 208 

Forbes, Rev. Dr 132 

Fowler, Mme 19 

Frenaye, Mark A 78 

Fulton, Rev. R., S. J 369, 395 

Galitzin, Mother 70 

Galitzin, Prince Michael 71 

Gallien, Sister 82 

Galwey, Mother 67 

Gautrelet, " Month of the Sa- 
cred Heart" 196 

Gauthreaux, Mother 310 

Gerard, Mother 28 

Goetz, Mme 225, 226, 327, 328 

Gontenoir, Father 356 

Grand Coteau 5 

Granet, Rev. M 186 

Crasser, Mme 371 

Greeley, Horace 265 

Grenoble 16 

Gresselin, Father, S. J 259 

Hamilton, Mme. Matilda 46 

Hardey, Charles Anthony 4 

Hardey, George Raphael 8 

Hardey, Miss Theresa 67 

Hardey, Sally 8 

Hardey, Madame Pauline 335 

Hardey, Nicholas I 

Hardy, Anthony I 

Hardy, Frederick 2 

Hargous, P 139 

Harper, Mayor 101 

Hendricken, Bishop 320 

Hitzelberger, Father, S. J 255 



Page. 

Hogan, Mme 107, 166 

Hughes, Archbishop 81, 254 

He Jesus 108 

Janson, Bishop Forbin 70 

Jette St. Pierre 353, 354 

Jones, Mother 108, 324 

Kearney, Mme 177 

Keller, Mother A 357 

Kennedy, John P 306 

Kenrick, Bishop 130 

Kersaint, Mme. De 91 

Labruyere, Sister 36 

Laf ont, Father 96 

Lajus, Mme 78 

Lamarre, Catharine, Sister... 19 

Larrain, Don Joachim 171 

Lay, Mme. Casanova 193 

Lawlor, Bishop 132 

Layton, Sister 24, 293 

Lee, Colonel 275, 276 

Lef evre, Bishop 174 

Lehon, Mother 86, 328 

Leken, Father, S. J 91 

Leo XIII 354 

Leveque, Eveline M 91 

Lieber, Mme 329 

Lincoln, President 264 

Lluck, Bishop 333 

Lorillard Family 102, 113, 114 

Loquet, M'lle 12 

Lorettines 15 

Lyons, Council of 87 

Manteau, Margaret, Sister... 19 
Mathevon, Madame Lucille.. 26 

Martinez, Bishop 283 

McCloskey, Cardinal 109, 329 

Miege, Bishop 294 

Mignard, Father, S. J 167 

Millard, Miss Elizabeth 264 

McNally, Mme. Mary 171 

McNeirny, Bishop 196 

McQuaid, Bishop 185 

McSherrytown Convent 91 

Mullanphy, Sister 36 



404 



Page. 
Murphy, Mother Xavier.26, 56, 57 

Nash, Father, S. J 242 

Native American Riots . . . 100, 101 

Natividad, Yznaga, Mrs 245 

Nazareth, Sisters of 15 

New Zealand, Foundation in.. 356 

Notre Dame, Sisters of 290 

Nova Scotia, Anti-Catholic 

Prejudice in 131 

O'Conor, Charles 145, 177 

Olivaint, Father, S. J 295 

Pare, Rev. M 93, 108 

Patrick, Brother 391 

Pastrana, Duke of 333 

Pastrana, Duchess of 390 

Peacock, Mother 134 

Peter, Mrs. Sarah 290 

Phelan, Mme 163 

Pinsonnault, Mgr 187 

Piscataway 2 

Pius IX 163 

Portier, Bishop 56 

Pottowatomie Missions 291 

Pelge, Mgr 391 

Perreau, Abbe 20 

Prevost, Mother 304 

Purcell, J. B., Archbishop, 

55, 73, 78, 290 
Purcell, Very Rev. Edward, 

297, 368 

Purroy, Miss H 190 

Ravenswood 104 

Reisach, Cardinal 207, 208 

Richard, Rev. G 143 

Roger, Mother 268 

Rosaven, Father, S. J 71 

Rosati, Bishop 48 

Rosecroft ..263, 306, 307, 325, 326 

Rathbone, Joel 211 

Rousier, Mme. Du 147 

Sacred Heart, Society of the, 

Foundation of 12, 13 

Sallion, Mother 82, 85 



Page. 

Santiago, Archbishop of 170 

Seton, Mother 15 

Scammon, General 176, 177 

Shannon, Mother 258 

Sisters of Charity 118 

Sisters of Mercy 103 

Smet, Father De 154 

Smith, Charles 24 

Smith, Raphael 25 

Spalding, Archbishop 306 

Spalding, Bishop J. L 338 

Spalding, Ellen 7 

Spalding, Sarah 2 

Spink, Mme 168 

Starrs, Father 94 

Stone, William L 101 

Surat, Abbe" 272 

Tabernacle Society, The 329 

Talbot, Mme 82 

Tenbroeck, Mme 142 

Timon, Bishop 136, 184 

Tissot, Father 243 

Thompson, Mme 178 

Tommasini, Mme 119 

Tournelay, Father De 1 1 

Tracey, Sarah and Eustice... 140 

Trincano, Mme 119, 289 

Trinita Convent, Rome 84, 85 

Tucker, Mother E 82, 357, 358 

Ursuline Academy at New 

Orleans 65 

Vandamme, Mme 73 

Varella, Father 99 

Varin, Father n, 12 

Villanova, Countess 223 

Wadhams, Father 151 

Walsh, Bishop 132, 134 

Warden, Blanche 306 

Washington, George 2 

White, Father 2 

White, Mother Katherine 357 

Wilcox Family 73 

Wood, Archbishop 268 



405 



3230 



ex 



B3 



THE LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

Santa Barbara 



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW. 



Series 9482 



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 
III I 







I /^k- 




JSat 3B5IE 



* *