France and Belgium
Eugénie Joubert was born and baptized in the city of Orleans in France on 11 February 1876. Her parents were Peter and Antonia Joubert Celle, and she was the fourth of eight children. When she was quite young she was placed with her elder sister in the boarding school of the Ursulines at Ministrel. The two little girls were happy there. One of her mistresses would say of Eugénie that she was “very expansive, with a bold and good heart…. She had influence over her friends who were swayed by her good spirits.” Eugénie once wrote to her sister: “The Good Lord does not forbid laughing and amusing oneself, provided that we love Him with all our heart and that we keep our soul quite pure, that is to say, without sin…. “
At 19 years of age she decided to join the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart. She entered their novitiate in Aubervilliers, near Paris, in 1896. Eugénie’s mother made her farewell in these words: “I give you to the Good Lord. Don’t look back, but become a saint!” After her religious profession in 1897, Eugénie taught catechism to children in Aubervilliers, Saint Denis, Le Puy, and then in Liege in Belgium. She had a deep spiritual life, as recorded in her journal, “Mary and me.”
In 1902, at the age of 26, Eugénie became ill with tuberculosis and had to stop working with children. In 1903 she moved to Rome, where she assisted in founding a new religious house of assembly. In 1904, on her return to Liege, she became seriously ill and was confined to bed. She found great comfort in meditating on the Passion. One day a nurse asked her, “Are you suffering a lot?” Eugénie answered, “It is dreadful, but I really love Him … the Sacred Heart … when will He come?… When?”. She died in Liege on 2 July 1904 at the age of 28, repeating three times the name of Jesus. She is buried in the chapel of the Sisters of the Holy Family Sacred Heart in Dinant, Belgium.
John Paul II beatified Eugenia on 20 November 1994.