Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary is a book based on the private revelations reported by the Roman Catholic mystic Berthe Petit (1870–1943), and the object of a particular kind of devotion described therein.
The heart of the Virgin Mary has been referred to in different ways as the Christian tradition has developed. In a 1910 Catholic Encyclopaedia article Jean Bainvel article refers to the "Heart of Mary", noting that a Mass in honour of the "Most Pure Heart of Mary" was permitted in Palermo in 1799 and throughout the Catholic Church from 1855. In the same period, France saw the founding of an Archconfraternity of the "Immaculate Heart of Mary". In 1840, a French religious sister, Justine Bisqueyburu, claimed to have experienced a vision from the Virgin Mary requesting the promotion of a green scapular with an image of the heart of Mary and the inscription "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death." There is no apparent precedent for the title "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart" which was specifically promoted by Petit, in response to the revelations she believed she had received.
Berthe Petit was a gifted child who reported conversations with Jesus Christ from an early age. Most of the messages deal with the sorrows of the Virgin Mary, warn of Divine judgment and relate to the tears of the Virgin Mary shed over a world in need of prayer and repentance.
On Good Friday 1916, Cardinal Mercier made a private prayer in which he consecrated his diocese, and "within the limits of his power", the whole of Belgium, to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary; in a letter issued 7 March that year he had urged his priests to do likewise on the same day.
On 1 May 1916, Cardinal Bourne of Westminster learned of Berthe Petit's efforts to foster a consecration of the whole world to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary; he received it favourably and promoted the devotion through pastoral letters dated 18 June 1916 and 3 September 1916. Early in 1917 he wrote a pastoral letter requesting all his clergy to make the consecration on the first Sunday in Lent; on 30 March, the Friday before Palm Sunday, "all the churches in Britain" held a solemn act of consecration. Cardinal Bourne responded to a specific request from Berthe that he should repeat the act of consecration on Christmas Day 1917, and in the light of British losses in the battle (following unexpected gains in late 1917), he made a third such act on Good Friday 1918. A fourth act, in thanksgiving for the conclusion of the conflict, was made by the Cardinal, at Berthe's behest, on 24 May 1919.
- Bainvel, Jean. "Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910, 2 January 2012
- Gifts of Graces: Webpage of the Daughters of Charity, Emmitsburg Province (a branch of the same religious order Sr Justine belonged to).  accessed 2 January 2012.
- Freze, Michael. 1993, They bore the wounds of Christ, OSV Publishing ISBN 0-87973-422-1 page 277