The Second Part of the Work of Infinite Love: Bethany of the Sacred Heart

The Sisters of Bethany of the Sacred Heart is a pontifical institute of women religious of the contemplative life, whose charisma is prayer and daily immolation for priests.

Jesus had in October 1899 already given Sister Louise Margaret an intimation of the possibility of a new house but the full intention was not clear to her. She had a vision of the actual house at that time. This new Institute of Nuns would be a support for the Priest’s Union. It was Our Lord’s wish that they would devote themselves to a life of prayer and self-immolation for all Priests, Bishops and the Pope himself. They would live in abject poverty relying on providence for all their needs. When Sister Louise Margaret went to Rome two Superiors of convents that she stayed at suggested to her that she should found a new congregation for this purpose. At Rome two Cardinals: Cardinal Gennari, who was Prefect of the Congregation of the Council, and Cardinal Cagiano, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, said that it was God’s will that she should found this new congregation. She then made an application for this new convent, which was approved. Monsignor Filipello, Bishop of the diocese of Ivrea, Italy, asked her to start it in his diocese. Before leaving Rome she was invited for an audience with Pope Pius X, who gave her his blessing and encouragement. She went to Turin where Monsignor Filipello had arranged that the Sisters of Charity would provide for her until she could find a suitable house for the new foundation.

A house at Vische near Turin was offered to them. This was the house that she had seen in the vision of 1899. The owner had wanted a religious community to live in it and she had decided to go and tell her bishop, Monsignor Filipello, about this. The daughter of this woman, Miss Louise Rossi, relates the story of how this happened:

“My mother had many times expressed the desire that one of our houses that enshrines sacred memories should be inhabited by religious. On a certain rainy day, a Saturday, a day dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, my mother, urged by a secret inspiration, went to the Bishop of Ivrea on this business and told him of her intentions. Now while she was at the Bishop’s house, Sister Margaret, the worthy companion of Mother Louise Margaret, happened to be there also. The Sisters were looking for a house; my mother was in search of Religious to live in one of her houses. In the presence of this happy coincidence, Monsignor Filipello exclaimed: ‘This is truly providential!’”

This new foundation began with three professed Sisters of the Visitation and one postulant. It was begun without any monetary resources, but Providence furnished what was necessary and, as it was the will of Providence that the little community should imitate the poverty of Bethlehem, the Sisters lived in the greatest want, having what was barely sufficient for each day. This house at Vische, near Turin, is the Motherhouse.

Bethany would like be a small seed in the Church where priests can experience a spirit of welcome and fraternity as Jesus and the apostles did in Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ House of Bethany. In fact Bethany provides hospitality to those who desire to spiritually fortify themselves and who want to share the joy of prayer and silence.

Communities of Bethany of the Sacred Heart:

Betania del Sacro Cuore
10030 Vische (TO)

Betania del Sacro Cuore
Via Giulia, 64
00186 Rome

Rev. Hermanas de Betania
Carrera 16A 26-19
La Ceja Antioquia

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