"Recourse to my Mother under the title I wish for her universally, is the last help I shall give before the end of time."
Berthe Petit, Enghien, Belgium, 1938
Status: Cause for Beatification Opened, Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat awarded to messages, Promoted by Cardinals Mercier of Belgium and Bourne of England.
Episcopal Remarks: The former granted an indulgence of 100 days to the invocation “Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us who have recourse to Thee” Ratified by Pope St Pius X in a hand-written letter to the Cardinal. His pastoral letter to the clergy and faithful read “Fulfilling therefore, the ardent wish which has been expressed to me, I shall consecrate in the very depths of my soul, during the Office of Good Friday, our Diocese, and in the limits of my power, our dear Country, to the Sorrowful and Immaculate of Mary. I exhort the priests to unite their intentions to mine, and the faithful to repeat devoutly the invocation to which I have already granted and indulgence of 100 days; Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.”
Cardinal Bourne followed suit and not only granted an indulgence of 100 days for the invocation but also prepared the way for a solemn consecration in accordance with the demand made by Our Lord. His pastoral letter of September 3, 1916 said “We should fail to honour duly Her Divine Son, were we to forget and fail to honour, praise and use the power which He has willed to bestow upon Her in return for the Sorrows which united Her Heart so closely and so intimately with His in the supreme sacrifice of His life. Nowhere in Christendom should honour be paid more readily to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary than here in England. Of old, in the days of united Faith, Her purity and Her Sorrows were ever held in loving veneration. In those days, England was in very truth Our Lady’s Dowry. It is therefore, not with the idea of introducing any new devotion, but rather in order to give fresh meaning and greater force to thoughts long cherished by us all, and deep-rooted in the history of our race, that we desire to consecrate this renewed effort of prayer, which the special circumstances of the moment so urgently demand, to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Biographical Information: Berthe Petit, was a humble Franciscan Tertiary, a victim soul and apostle of Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Born January 23, 1870 in Enghien, Belgium and died 1943. She had been privilaged with visions of both Our Lord and The Blessed Virgin Mary since the age of 4. These are the words that were spoken to her by the Holy Infant Jesus as he traced a cross on her forehead, while she knelt in front of the Tabernacle: "You will always suffer, but I am with you."
At the age of 10 she received her First Holy Communion. The effects of which had never left her. It may be said that her whole life was a preparation for Holy Communion with Jesus and one of perpetual prayer and thanksgiving. She was known to spend long periods of time lost in prayer, meditation and thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion, oblivious to those around her.
Her life-long vocation was revealed to her on this the day of her First Holy Communion. She said to her teacher, a nun, "I must suffer a great deal, I must be like Jesus." "Who told you that?" asked the nun. "The little Host which is my great Jesus," was the child's immediate reply. And indeed, suffer she did with a life history of painful illnesses, diseases and broken bones. Berthe's illnesses brought her to the brink of death on several occasions causing her to receive the last rites seven times. But by far the worst suffering Berthe endured was the spiritual suffering, as she was continually beset by diabolical persecution. Her soul was tormented night and day by great fears, doubts and perplexities. And on one notable occasion she was literally thrown down a flight of eighteen stone stairs by the devil and almost died on the spot had it not been for miraculous intervention of Our Lord. The devil threatened her - hissing angrily, "I shall fight you till the end, haunting the minds, hardening the hearts and feeding the passions." But through all her suffering, Berthe Petit maintained a countenance of cheerfulness and sweetness with caring and great sympathy for other's pain. This humble victim soul shunned any public notariety in the least. And few were her aquaintances or friends. His Eminence Cardinal Mercier, one of the few who knew her personally, had great reverance for her sanctity and knew of her personal holiness and genuineness as reflected in his obedience to the divine warnings and request by Our Lord for him to solemly consecrate his country to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and by his writings.
Almost five years after the Germans had left Brussels, Berthe returned to her home only to find it had been completely plundered. Berthe was obliged to take up residence with the sisters of The Sacred Heart at their convent in Overyssche and lived with them for some time. One of the nuns assigned to her room was asked by her superiors to see if Berthe took food secretly in her room because they found she ate nothing, save a little coffee in the morning and a small glass of wine in the afternoon, which she promply rejected. For one whole year the sceptical nun observed carefully everything Berthe did or said and was left with nothing but admiration for this humble and virtuous soul. Berthe, it was confirmed, lived on nothing but the Host. Jesus alone sustained her. As the sister testified, "The fact that people came to know of her life without food, was a real mortification to her." (Sr. Valesine, Trinitarian, at Vevey, charged with Berthe at the convent during the Great War.)
Berthe Petit was called to a dual mission. The first was to offer her life of suffering for a good priest of God's choice since she herself was not to become a sister. In her younger days, she had desired with all her heart to become a sister of charity of St. Vincent de Paul, but it was not to be, as her family fell on hard times and she was forced to provide for them with her earnings. As a young teenager Berthe offered the sacifice of her dream to God that her sacrifice might be a source of grace for a holy priest - which would one day bring back many souls to God. God graciously accepted her offering. And it was made known to her that she would one day meet the priest she had sacrificed and suffered for.
The second and most profound mission was revealed to Berthe during a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Anne, in Alsace, that her greatest mission was to obtain: THE CONSECRATION OF THE WORLD TO THE SORROWFUL AND IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. Berthe knew she would not to live to see the day of the fullfillment of this great commission given her by Our Lord. At the end of her life, in excruciating pain she was heard to say pitifully over and over, "Sitio" - "I thirst". After having been fortified by the rites of the Holy Catholic Church, Berthe Francoise Marie Magdalene Ghislaine Petit entered peacefully into her eternal rest on Friday March 26th, 1943.
Source: The Seven Dolors of Mary A Brief Biography of Berthe Petit -Apostle of Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary (http://www.7dolors.com/biography.htm)
Our Lord, December 25, 1909: "Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced by the very sorrows which pierced Mine."
February 7, 1910: The Seer saw Two Hearts were seen fused together surmounted by the symbolical dove of the Holy Spirit, and on the following day were seen to be surmounted by luminous rays of light. The picture is a facsimile of the one drawn by Berthe Petit at the express command of Our Lord." (From the book, "The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary"). Our Lord said “My desire that this picture, guided by My hand, be spread far and wide, simultaneously with the invocation. Wherever it will be venerated, My Mercy and My Love will be made manifest and the sight of Our Hearts, wounded by the same wound, will encourage tepid and weak souls to come back to their duty."
Our Lord, September 8, 1911: “The Heart of My Mother has the right to be called Sorrowful and I wish this title placed before that of Immaculate because She has won it Herself. The Church has defined in the case of My Mother what I Myself had ordained – Her Immaculate Conception. This right which My Mother has to a title of justice, is now, according to My express wish, to be known and universally accepted. She has earned it by Her identification with My sorrows, by Her sufferings: by Her sacrifices and Her immolation on Calvary endured in perfect correspondence with My grace for the salvation of mankind. “In Her co-redemption lies the nobility of My Mother and for this reason I ask that the Invocation which I have demanded be approved and spread through the whole Church. It has already obtained many graces; it will obtain yet more when the Church will be exalted and the world renewed through its Consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother.”
Our Lady September 17, 1911: Our Lady appeared to Berthe showing Our Lady’s forehead pierced and bleeding with Her Hands and Heart transfixed. Our Lady said “You have the understanding of the sorrows that My Heart endured of the sufferings of all My being for the salvation of the world”
Our Lady and Our Lord, March 24/25, 1911: “I am called The Immaculate Conception. With you, I call myself the Mother of the Sorrowful Heart.; this title, that My Son wants is the dearest to Me of all My titles and its through it that shall be granted and spread everywhere graces of mercy of conversion and of salvation” During this vision Our Lady miraculously healed Berthe of a serious condition of an ulcer on her foot accompanied by periostitis. Our Lady told Berthe that a torrent of grace was ready to spring from her wounded heart. Our Lord told Berthe “It is co-redemption that My Mother was above all great; that is why I ask that the invocation as I have inspired it, should be approved and diffused throughout the whole Church…by consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother, the Church shall be uplifted and the world renewed.”
Lady, March 25, 1912: "I have called myself the 'Immaculate Conception'. To you I call myself, 'Mother of the Sorrowful Heart'. This title willed by my Son, is dear to me above all others. According as it is spread everywhere, there will be granted graces of mercy, spiritual renewal and salvation."
Our Lord, July 12, 1912: Our Lord told the mystic that the heir to the Catholic empire of Austria/Hungary would be assasinated; a double murder. This came to pass when Archduke Ferdinand was killed, which triggered World War I. Berthe spent the years of World War I in Switzerland . She constantly predicted various events occuring during the war.
Our Lord, 1914: “It is with an unshakeable resolve that my Son wills souls to have recourse to my Sorrowful Heart. With my heart overflowing with tenderness, I am awaiting this gesture on the part of souls, that I may reiterate to the Heart of my Son whatever will be confided to my own Heart, and thus obtain graces of salvation for all.”
Our Lord, undated, 1918: Our Lord told Berthe that without Our Lord’s intervention obtained by Cardinal Bourne’s consecration of England to the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary the victory would have belonged to the other side “material force would have prevailed over justice”
Our Lord, January, 1918: “Let My apostle Francis (Cardinal Francis Bourne) know that My favourable gaze rests upon him and his flock. Let him renew with the faithful the solemn consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother – this time in thanksgiving, for gratitude draws down still more favours. Let him confide to Me entirely his country and the Church of which he is the shepherd, in the way I shall inspire to you. Thus will My reign be established firmly in that nation; then more and more souls will open their eyes to truth; peace and prosperity will reign there and My Mother, glorified in a fitting manner, will extend to them Her Maternal protection….Thus and in this way alone will the internal struggles die down. And I shall scatter blessings upon that nation.”
Our Lord, Undated 1919: “It will soon become apparent how unstable is a peace set up without Me and without the intervention of Him who speaks in My name, the Pope. The nation which is thought to be conquered, but whose strength is only temporarily diminished, remains a threat to your nation and France. Trouble and danger will spread to all countries. It is because this peace is none of Mine that wars will blaze up again everywhere: civil wars, racial wars, what should have been so great, so true, so beautiful, so durable, is delayed…Humanity is rushing toward a dreadful storm, which will divide the nations more and more. All human plans will be annihilated, the pride of the Lords of the moment will be broken. It will be clearly shown that nothing can subsist without Me and that I remain the sole master of the destiny of nations”
Our Lady, undated, 1922: “Events have taken place, acts have been accomplished which will prove to be the unassailable foundations of work which you serve. It will attain its end with the full amplitude which is God’s will”
Our Lord, Undated, 1941: “By confident consecration to My Mother, the devotion to My Heart will be strengthened and, as it were, completed”
Our Lord, April 25, 1942: “A frightful torment is in preparation. It will be seen that the forces launched in such fury will soon be let loose. It is now or never, the moment for all of you to give yourselves to the Sorrowful Heart of My Mother. By Her acceptance of Calvary, My Mother has participated in all My sufferings. Devotion to Her Heart united to Mine will bring peace, that true peace so often implored and yet so little merited.”
Our Lord, undated: "It is hearts that must be changed. This will be accomplished only by the Devotion proclaimed, explained, preached and recommended everywhere. Recourse to My Mother under the title I wish for her universally, is the last help I shall give before the end of time."
Our Lord, undated: "It is as a Son that I have conceived this devotion for my Mother. It is as God that I impose it."
Our Lord, undated: "The safety of your country, internal peace and confidence in My Church will revive through the spread of the Devotion and the Consecration which I wish in order that The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother, united in all to My Heart, may be loved and glorified. Deliverance will thus be the work of our two Hearts, the triumph of our love for the people upon whom this Consecration will bestow confidence according to My promises."
Our Lord, undated: "By confident consecration to My Mother, the Devotion to My Heart will be strengthened and, as it were, completed. This Devotion, this Consecration will be, according to My Promise, a renovation for My Church, a renewed strength for Christianity which is too often wavering, a source of single graces for souls, who thereby will be more deeply penetrated with love and confidence.”
Our Lord, undated: "The clear light to be granted, through recourse to My Mother, will bring about, above all, the conversion of a multitude of straying and sinful souls: The pity of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother will implore Mercy for them from My Heart."
Our Lord, undated: "The title of Immaculate belongs to the whole being of My Mother and not specially to Her Heart. The title flows from my gratuitous gift to the Virgin who was to give me birth. My Mother has acquired from her Heart the title of 'Sorrowful' by sharing generously in all the sufferings of My Heart and My Body from the crib to the cross. There is not one of these Sorrows which did not pierce the Heart of My Mother. Living image of My crucified Body, her virginal flesh bore the invisible marks of My wounds as her Heart felt the Sorrows of My own. Nothing could ever tarnish the incorruptibility of her Immaculate Heart. The title of ‘Sorrowful’ belongs therefore to the Heart of My Mother, and more than any other, this title is dear to Her because it springs from the union of her Heart with Mine in the redemption of humanity. This title has been acquired by her through her full participation in My Calvary, and it precedes the gratuitous title 'Immaculate’ which My love bestowed upon her by a singular privilege."
Our Lord, undated: "The worst calamities which I had predicted are unleashed. The time is now ripe and I wish mankind to turn to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. Let this prayer be uttered by every soul: ‘Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.’ Let this prayer dictated by My Love as a supreme succor be approved and indulgenced, no longer partially and for a small portion of My flock, but for the whole universe, so that it may spread as a refreshing and purifying balm of reparation that will appease My anger. This Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother will restore faith and hope to broken hearts and to ruined families: it will help to repair the destruction: it will sweeten sorrow. It will be a new strength for My Church, bringing souls, not only to confidence in My Heart, but also to abandonment to the Sorrowful Heart of My Mother."
Our Lord, undated: "Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced with sorrow that transfixed My Own Heart."
Our Lord, undated: "My desire flows from My love on Calvary. In giving John to My Mother as a son, I entrusted the whole world to her Sorrowful Motherhood."
Our Lord, undated: "My Mother's Heart has the right to the title of Sorrowful. I desire that it be set before her title of Immaculate because She herself has won it. The Church has recognized what I Myself did for My Mother: her Immaculate Conception. Now it is necessary and it is my wish, that this title, which is by right My Mother's, should be understood and recognized. This title she earned by her identification with all My sufferings, by her sorrow, her sacrifice, her immolation on Calvary, and indeed for the salvation of mankind."
Our Lord, undated: “The hurricane of calamity has not died down and grave dangers from within still threaten all the nations”.
Our Lord, At the beginning of the First World War: “The worst calamities which I have predicted are unleashed. The time is now ripe and I wish mankind to turn to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. Let this prayer be uttered by every soul: ‘Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.’ Let this prayer dictated by My Love as a supreme succour be approved and indulgenced, no longer partially and for a small portion of My flock, but the whole universe, so that it may spread as a refreshing and purifying balm of reparation that will appease My anger.
“This Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother will restore faith and hope to the broken hearts and to ruined families: it will help to repair the destruction: it will sweeten sorrow. It will be a new strength for My Church, bringing souls, not only to confidence in My Heart, but also to abandon themselves to the Sorrowful Heart of My Mother.”
Our Lord, Two years into the Great War: “It is through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother that I will triumph, because having cooperated in the redemption of souls, this Heart has the right to share a similar cooperation in the manifestations of My justice and of My love. My Mother is noble in everything, but she is especially so in Her wounded Heart, transfixed by the wound of Mine."
“Desiring for Her Heart a radiant, dazzling, brilliant triumph, I have awaited this time of universal distress which finds an echo in the Sorrowful Heart of My Mother, a Heart universal as My own. To adopt this Devotion and to spread it, is to accomplish My Will and to respond to the wishes of My Heart. Because, by prayer and by the consecration made to this Heart, graces of light will be obtained. They will gradually bring souls to the full knowledge of Our United Hearts, which have been wounded by the same wound, the inexhaustible source of all good for humanity, and the glory of which is now, and ever will be, the happiness of the elect for Eternity.”
"This picture of Our Lady of Ollignies is of a mysterious origin. It was discovered under peculiar circumstances in 1918 -- the year of the Armistice, in the Convent of the Bernardine nuns by whom Berthe Petit had been educated. After the withdrawal of the German troops from Belgium, consequent on the closure of the war, one of the sisters was asked to put up the cellar in order. Among the various papers, she found a piece of cardboard wrapped in an old newspaper, which she immediately tore off as useless, to be burnt along with other rubbish; but to her astonishment she found, underneath the cardboard, a beautiful picture of Our Lady. This was reported to the Mother Superior; the whole Community felt that their safety during the war was due to the special protection of Our Lady manifested by that picture within the precincts of the Convent. But in spite of a thorough investigation, they were never able to trace its origin. When it was shown to Berthe [Petit] in 1919, after her return from Switzerland, she at once recognized it as the picture of the two-fold symbol of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The image in the picture represents the Mother of God, holding in her left hand a lily, symbol of her Immaculate purity -- the gratuitous gift of her Divine Son; the finger of the right hand points out to her Sorrowful Heart surmounted by flames and pierced with a sword. The far-away gaze of the penetrating eyes seems as if the Blessed Virgin is beholding with sorrow the sins of mankind, which have caused the suffering expressed on the gentle countenance of her head, slightly inclined to the right. The gentle expression of the face is not quite unlike that of the "Pieta," so often seen in our Churches. At first, copies of this picture were distributed with discretion; but soon it came to be widely known and eagerly sought after all over Belgium. It bore "au verso," the Act of Consecration dictated by Our Lord Himself to Berthe Petit, and used by His Eminence Francis Cardinal Bourne, Primate of England, during and after the Great War, and the Imprimatur of the Bishop of Tournai." (1)
Prayer of Personal Act of Consecration to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary composed by the seer:
Sorrowful and Immaculate heart of Mary, dwelling pure and holy,cover my soul with your maternal protection so that being ever faithful to the Voice of Jesus, it responds to His love and obeys His Divine Will. I wish, O, my Mother,to keep unceasingly before me your co-redemption in order to live intimately with your Heart that is totally United to the Heart of your Divine Son. Fasten me to this Heart by your own virtues and sorrows. Protect me always. Amen.
Source: Messages taken from "The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Message of Berthe Petit, Franciscan Tertiary (1870-1943)" Translated from the French by a nun of Kylemore Abbey, "The Art of Divine Love or Berthe Petit." a biography written by Rev. I. Duffner, M.S.C. adapted from the french by Rev. Louis M. Shouriah in 1955 and Peter Heintz A Guide to Apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary (Gabriel Press, Sacramento, California 1995) p. 14-21)
THE WORDS OF OUR LORD TO BERTHE PETIT:
"The title of Immaculate belongs to the whole being of My Mother and not especially to Her Heart. The title flows from my gratuitous gift to the Virgin who was to give me birth. My Mother has acquired from her Heart the title of 'Sorrowful' by sharing generously in all the sufferings of My Heart and My Body from the crib to the cross. There is not one of these Sorrows which did not pierce the Heart of My Mother. Living image of My crucified Body, her virginal flesh bore the invisible marks of My wounds as her Heart felt the Sorrows of My own. Nothing could ever tarnish the incorruptibility of her Immaculate Heart. The title of ‘Sorrowful’ belongs therefore to the Heart of My Mother, and more than any other, this title is dear to Her because it springs from the union of her Heart with Mine in the redemption of humanity. This title has been acquired by her through her full participation in My Calvary, and it precedes the gratuitous title ‘Immaculate’ which My love bestowed upon her by a singular privilege."
"The worst calamities which I had predicted are unleashed. The time is now ripe and I wish mankind to turn to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. Let this prayer be uttered by every soul: ‘Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.’ Let this prayer dictated by My Love as a supreme succor be approved and indulgenced, no longer partially and for a small portion of My flock, but for the whole universe, so that it may spread as a refreshing and purifying balm of reparation that will appease My anger. This Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother will restore faith and hope to broken hearts and to ruined families: it will help to repair the destruction: it will sweeten sorrow. It will be a new strength for My Church, bringing souls, not only to confidence in My Heart, but also to abandonment to the Sorrowful Heart of My Mother."
"Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced with sorrow that transfixed My Own Heart."
"My desire flows from My love on Calvary. In giving John to My Mother as a son, I entrusted the whole world to her Sorrowful Motherhood."
"Let every soul cry out: Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us."