This picture, somewhat mysterious in its origin, was discovered at the time of the 1918 armistice in the cellar of the boarding school where Berthe Petit, a humble Franciscan Tertiary, had been educated. After the troops had departed one of the Bernardine nuns in putting things in order found a piece of cardboard on which was pasted a pornographic picture and she tore it off to consign it to flames. To her astonishment she found that it covered this beautiful representation of the Blessed Virgin! It seems to combine the art of both the Eastern and the Western Rites. The facial features resemble those of the well known Pieta. Prayer before this picture has brought signal favors.
Confided by Our Lord to Berthe Petit: "Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced by the very sorrow which pierced Mine." [Dec. 25, 1909]
In Belgium of 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War a special baby girl was born, who was later to become a mystic. She was named Berthe Maria. Before she received any visions from Our Lord, she had received the invisible stigmata: in her humility she had begged that the marks not be made visible. The wounds were very painful for her, especially on Good Friday and other Fridays. She experienced the pains in her hands and feet and side. The worst pain of all was caused by the torment to her head which was like the pain of thorns pressing into her. This pain was so great and constant she slept but rarely.
It was not until she was 39 years old that the indication of her actual mission was made manifest: During Midnight Christmas Mass she saw the wounded Heart of Jesus and close by was the pierced Heart of His Mother. Then she heard these words:
"Cause My Mother's Heart, transfixed by sorrows that rent Mine, to be loved."
"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 in Calvary endured in perfect correspondence with My grace for the salvation of mankind . . . " [Sept. 8, 1911]"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 this title I wish for her universally, is the last help I shall give before the end of time." [July 2, 1940]