A Brief Biography of Berthe Petit

Apostle of Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Berthe Francoise Marie Magdalene Ghislaine Petit two years prior to her death in 1943.
She died Friday, March 26th at the age of 73.

    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 duel 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 know 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.


    The following writings were taken from the books, "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. And the book, "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.

* Nihil Obstat Daniel Duivesteijn, S.T.D.; Imprimatur Bernard Cardinal Griffin, Archiepus Westmonasterii.

The Messages...


Read More About Berthe Petit:

Devotion to the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary
Read more about Berthe Petit and her life.  Purchase her biography

Misericordia
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