2004
Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0778-8304
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9484

Abstract

Abstract

This article focuses on the use of patriotic feelings and shared experiences of suffering to promote a new devotion. Studying her wartime letter-writing campaign, we examine the strategies that the Belgian mystic Berthe Petit (1870-1943) adopted to promote the devotion of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. By examining the letter writing of Petit and her father confessor during the Great War, we will show how, in 1909, the campaign initially focused on her own mystical experiences and corporeal suffering, but shifted during the war to emphasize that the future of Belgium, France and Britain, was linked to their consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Stressing the historicity of the mystic, we show how the war (1) provided new opportunities for mystically inspired, non-approved devotions; and (2) how the uncertainties and sorrows of the Great War offered female mystics new openings and lines of thought to explore.

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2020-12-01
2021-06-24
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Belgium; devotion; mysticism; suffering; World War I
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