Sacred Heart Glossary and Traditions


The initials, RSCJ, stand for Religieuses du Sacré-Coeur de Jesu. We were founded in France and this is our French name. In English, we refer to ourselves as Religious of the Sacred Heart.


Charism can be used in two ways. Sometimes “charism” is used to refer to the primary apostolic purpose of a congregation. Our charism is one of education. We also use the word “charism” to mean the spirit that enlivens us as Religious of the Sacred Heart, the main focus of our lives which is to find the love of God in the heart of the world and bring God’s love into the world.


Congé (con•gé) is a French word for 'leave taking' or farewell. Congé is a holiday where Sacred Heart schools across the world leave studies and channel their energy to celebration and fun.

Cor Unum

Cor Unum is shorthand for Cor Unum in Anima Unum in Corde Jesus which translates from the Latin to mean: One Heart and One Soul/Mind in the Heart of Jesus. This phrase expresses the deep desire of our Mother Foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, that the members of the Society of the Sacred Heart be closely united in the Heart of Jesus. Our internationality as a congregation is an outflow of this great longing and effort on her part and ours.

Coeur de Jésus, Sauvez le Monde (mp3)

Coeur de Jésus sauvez le monde,
Que l’univers vous soit soumis
En Vous seul notre espoir se fonde
Seigneur, Seigneur, Vous nous l’avez promis.

Vous l’avez dit: Votre promesse
Fait notr’espoir, notre bonheur:
« Je bénirai dans ma tendresse
Les enfants de mon Sacré Coeur.

Vous l’avez dit: Sauveur fidèle,
Votr’ amour nous l’a révélé:
« Le coeur brulant pour Moi de zèle
Par le Mien sera consolé ! »

(Heart of Jesus, save the world)
(May the world be submitted to you,)
(In you alone our hope is founded)
(Lord, Lord, you have promised us this.)

(You have told us: your promise)
(Will be our hope, our happiness:)
(“In my tenderness, I will bless)
(The children of my Sacred Heart.”)

(You have said, O faithful Savior,)
(Your love has revealed it to us:)
(“The heart that burns with zeal for Me)
(Will find consolation in my Heart.”)


Goûter (goo-tay) is a French word meaning 'to taste.' A long-standing tradition of coming together for a mid-afternoon snack on special feast days and holidays.

Mater Admirabilis

The fresco of Our Lady done by novice Pauline Perdrau, RSCJ, in the Trinità dei Monti in Rome, 1844. There is a statue and/or picture of Mater in each of our schools today. The feast of Mater Admirabilis is October 20, marked with liturgical celebrations, alumnae gatherings and pink goûter.


The period of final preparation, usually in Rome, before a Professed of Temporary Vows makes her final vows. It is a time of prayer, reflection and further deepening one’s love and understanding of the Society. Because RSCJ sisters from various parts of the world gather together for this experience it is also a unique opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the internationality of the Society. Relationships are developed during this time of Probation that are often maintained throughout life.


Two Religious of the Sacred Heart have been canonized by the Catholic Church: Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, our founder, and Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, who brought the Society to the Americas. You will find that most of our members have a very personal relationship with both Sophie and Philippine - as we tend to think of them. The stories of other impressive women of the Society can be found on the Heritage page of our main website.

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