Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access


1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room


Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Swedenborgians Swedenborgians Konrad Sweynheim next: Konrad Sweynheim

Sophie-Jeanne Soymonof Swetchine

Writer, b. at Moscow, Nov. 22, 1782; d. in Paris, Sept. 10, 1857

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Sophie-Jeanne Soymonof Swetchine:

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Swetchine, SOPHIE-JEANNE SOYMONOF, writer, b. at Moscow, November 22, 1782; d. in Paris, September 10, 1857. She was a member of a noble family, and became associated with French literature through her correspondence and other writings. Impressed by her precocious intelligence, her father gave her a very careful education in everything except religion, which he ignored. At fourteen she was appointed maid of honor to the empress. At seventeen she was married to General Swetchine who was forty-two. By birth she belonged to the Greek, or Orthodox Church, but from the time that her trials, her reading, and her own reflections had made her a Christian, she felt the necessity of following to the end the path which was leading her to the truth, and she became a Catholic, despite the anguish of her heart. "My Faith," she said afterwards, "is to me what Benjamin was to Rachel, the child of my sorrow." At the time of her conversion she was thirty-three years old. She had already left the court, her husband having been disgraced, with his father, as the result of a plot of which he was the victim. Thenceforth she had to leave even her country, since as an avowed Catholic she could not remain at St. Petersburg. With her husband she went to reside at Paris at the beginning of the Restoration. She had been preceded by a letter from Joseph de Maistre, who wrote to Bonald: "In a short time you will see at Paris a Russian lady whom I especially commend to you. Never will you see such moral strength, wit, and learning joined to such goodness." In her salon in the Rue Saint Dominique, open from three to six, and from to nine to midnight, she saw all the most distinguished men of the period: Chateaubriand, Bonals, Cuvier, Cousin, Donoso Cortoes, and among her intimates were Augustin Cochin, Tocqueville, Falloux, who wrote her biography, Lacordaire, and Montalembert, who were like her spiritual sons. Her influence was incontestable. She died as a devout Christian in 1857 at the age of seventy-five.

She was remarkable more for the beauty of her soul than that of her countenance. Her intellect was lofty, quick, and penetrating. She read a great deal, and always with her pen in hand. She was pious to the verge of mysticism, and although constantly ill—for she was one of those who never pass a day without suffering—she was resigned to the will of Providence. While kind to all she was an incomparable friend. True modesty prevented her from publishing anything, but at her death she left enough to fill many volumes. De Falloux collected extracts from her manuscripts which were published: "Mme. Swetchine, sa vie, ses oeuvres" (2 vols., 1860). There have since appeared: "Lettres de Mme. Swetchine" (1861); "Journal de sa conversion" (1863); "Correspondance du Pere Lacordaire et de Mme. Swetchine" (1864); and "Nouvelles lettres de Mme. Swetchine" (1875). Although a Russian Mme. Swetchine wrote well in French; her style is delicate and original, even studied.


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Sophie-Jeanne Soymonof Swetchine'

prev: Swedenborgians Swedenborgians Konrad Sweynheim next: Konrad Sweynheim

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field


Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A

Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"The longer it lasts the better it will be."
-- Theo Venard, Blessed, missionary priest, martyr in China; to his executioner, who had just asked Venard what he would give to be killed quickly because the executioner coveted Venard's clothing. Fr. Venard was beheaded.


Latest OCE Discussion

Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2015, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013