After the foundation of the Society in Amiens, the community of Sophie Barat and her companions – then called “Dilette di Gesù”, being affiliated with that Roman order – grew, as did the boarding school.
Father Joseph Varin talked with Sophie Barat about the possibility of meeting with Philippine Duchesne, a former Visitation Sister who was living at the Monastery of Saint Marie d’En Haut in Grenoble. During the Revolution, the Visitation Sisters’ community of cloistered nuns was dispersed, but in 1801, Philippine Duchesne went back to the monastery and convinced the other (former) sisters to join her in forming the community again. There were four of them at that time, living in accordance with the Visitation Sisters’ rules.
They were put in contact with the “Dilette di Gesù”, and on December 18, 1804, the young Superior Sophie Barat went to Grenoble to meet with Philippine Duchesne. They felt they could trust each other and Philippine finally agreed to merge the two smaller communities, establishing an important base for the history of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
The convent of St. Marie d’En Haut was held by the Society until 1832, but Philippine Duchesne left it in 1815 to go to Paris and found another Community of the order. In 1904 it was taken over by the state and the convent is now the Museum Dauphinois. You can find up-to-date information and images at the museum’s website.