Madame Acarie worked along with her cousin, Cardinal de Berulle, to introduce the reform of Carmel into her native homeland, France and has been called "mother of Carmel in France".

"Le belle Acarie" ("the beautiful Acarie"), as she was known in Paris,  Barbe was born  into the wealthy and noble Avirillot family in 1566.  As a young girl Barbe felt an attraction to the religious life but was opposed by her family.  Falling in love with Pierre Acarie, the young couple had six children as a result of their happy union.

Pierre Acarie  disapproved of Barbe's reading romance novels  and with clerical advice removed the books and substituted books of a  more pious and spiritual bent.   Barbe accepted her new library and decided to make God the center and focus of her life. A model wife, mother, and friend to both the wealthy and the poor alike, Barbe was known for her charity and kindness, as well as for her beauty and goodness. 

The Acarie salon became the spiritual center of Paris, drawing figures such has Francis de Sales, who became Barbe's director and guide, as well as others such as Vincent de Paul, Jacques Gallement, and Andre Duval.  It was during this time that Barbe first came in contact with the writings of Teresa of Jesus.

On August 29th, 1604, the first six Spanish Carmelite nuns arrived to inaugurate the Teresian reform. Three of Barbe's daughters joined the Order, and she herself entered as a lay-sister after her husband's death (1613), taking the name Marie of the Incarnation.  Her humility, charity, and fidelity to duty were remarkable.  Marie died in the Carmel of Pointoise, on April 11, 1618.