Simone Weil. (1909 -1943). Born February 3rd, 1909. Father is Dr. Bernard Weil mother is Selma Weil. Both were Jewish but they did not practice there religion. She had an older brother named Andre who was a distinguished mathematician.
Born February 3rd, 1909.
Father is Dr. Bernard Weil mother is
Selma Weil. Both were Jewish but
they did not practice there religion.
She had an older brother named Andre who was a
-Ill frequently as a child yet despite her ailments
she excelled at her studies.
-Attended high school at Lycee Henri IV and later
went and studied at Ecole Superieure in 1928.
-She dressed in unattractive attire. She abstained from
sex and found desire to be unappealing. She earned the
nick name the red virgin.
-1931 hard work and dedication pays off and she accepts a
teaching position at Lycee Le Puy. All was well for the
-While at Le Puy she became involved in local politics.
Namely the struggle of the working class. She participated
in demonstrations and marches and wrote articles for trade
-She was transferred to three different schools
due to her unacceptable involvement with the working
-Over this period she wrote “Oppression and Liberty”
in which expressed her opinions about capitalist and
-She did not associate with her teacher colleagues but
preferred the company of workers and sat with
them in cafés. Her salary she shared with the unemployed.
-1934, Takes a two year leave from teaching to work in a factory in order to better understand the hardships of the working class.
-Worked with stamping press and milling machine but due to poor health and her lack of physical strength she had to give it up.
-In 1936 she went to Spain to join the anarchist militia
during the Spanish Civil War. Although she did not
actually fight even though she was issued a rifle Simone
helped by cooking food for the soldiers at the front lines.
Fortunately, she stepped
into a pot of boiling oil
and was removed from the
battlefield before her unit was
-After being injured Simone returned to France in
poor health. She revealed in her journals her deepening
disillusionment with ideologies after witnessing
the horrors of war in Spain. She began thinking much
about religion and God's plans for her life.
-Simone experienced her first mystical experience at the
Benedictine abbey of Solesmes. While listening to a
Gregorian chant she had a terrible migraine and when it
was at its worst she suddenly experienced the joy and
bitterness of Christ's passion.
-1938-1942, During this time she composed the main
components of her book "Waiting for God" which was a
compilation of essays, journal entries and letters.
-Weil was never baptized. She felt she could be
“faithful to Christ” without being a member of the
Church; perhaps even more so because she was outside
it. “A few sheep should remain outside
the fold to bear witness that the love of
Christ is essentially something different.”
-Gravity and Grace
- “May all this [sensitivity, intelligence, love] be
stripped away from me, devoured by God, transformed
into Christ’s substance and given for food to the afflicted
men whose body and soul lack every kind of nourishment.
And let me be paralytic—blind, deaf, witless and
utterly decrepit… . Father, since thou art the Good
and I am mediocrity, rend this body and soul away from
me and make them into things for your use, and let nothing
remain of me, forever, except this rending itself,
or else nothingness.”
-She confessed in a letter, "every time I
think of the crucifixion of Christ I commit the sin of envy.
-In 1942 she and her family moved to the United States
in order to flee the conquering German Nazi Forces.
During the time before her family’s departure Simone had
tried to teach again but wasn't allowed to because of her
-She felt much guilt for her suffering brethren in France so
didn’t stay long in the U.S. She moved to London
to join the free French movement as a writer.
During this time she wrote her book
"The Need for Roots".
The Need for Roots (1953). “The great problem of
society is its 'uprootedness'; its cure is a social order
grounded in a 'spiritual core' of physical labor. From work
one can find beauty, poetry and spiritual inspiration.” She
wrote it in 1943 at the request of the Free French
organization as a guide to the reconstruction of postwar
-Simone Adolphine Weil died on
August 24th 1943 after being
diagnosed with tuberculosis. Not
helping her illness was the fact that she limited
her food intake to match that of the French official
ration that was allowed.
-She was a mere 34 years of age.