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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.

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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.


-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

time being.


-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

union journals.

-She was transferred to three different schools

due to her unacceptable involvement with the working

class protestors.

-Over this period she wrote “Oppression and Liberty”

in which expressed her opinions about capitalist and

democratic societies.

-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

Jewish background.

-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.