Birth and early life
Sister Consolata Betrone was born in Saluzzo, Italy on April 6, 1903, and was named Pierina Betrone. She was the daughter of Pietro Betrone and Giuseppina Nirino, who were the owners of a bakery in Saluzzo, who later became managers of a restaurant in Airasco (Turin). Pierina was the second of six daughters born of her father's second marriage.
Nothing in the early life and background could foretell that this young girl would become one of Jesus’ beloved victim souls. She seemed to live a normal childhood up until the age of 13 when one remarkable day our Lord cast His loving gaze upon her. It so happened that while she was hurrying to do her errands in the village when, unexpectedly, an intense prayer suddenly came forth from her heart: "My God, I love you!" and a unusual spiritual fervor overcame her. It was the beginning of her extraordinary experiences with the Lord.
On December 8 1916, which was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pierina dedicated herself to the Virgin. After receiving Holy Communion, she distinctly heard within her the words "Do you want to be Mine?"
Deeply moved by this extraordinary grace, she wept with tears of emotion, and without understanding the extent of the question, she replied “Yes” to Jesus, entrusting herself to Him.
As the weeks and months progressed, Pierina began to feel God calling her to the religious life. During the same time, and continuing for several years, she began a period of spiritual doubts, dryness and temptations, which were surely sent by the Lord to purify her soul. Our Lord first led her out into the spiritual desert in order to prepare her for her mission as victim soul.
Three failed attempts at entering the religious life
It was not until she was age 21 before she was finally able to realise the religious vocation that God was calling her to.
"Nothing attracts me about the Capuchins", she said, after three failed attempts to take the veil in “open” religious orders [ie- not cloistered], It was her confessor, Don Accomasso, who, enlightened by God as all sincere confessors are, advised her to enter the Convent of the Poor Clares (Order of Franciscan Capuchins) in Turin, Italy. This was an on April 17, 1929. After the normal period of preparation and discernment she gratefully received the Veil on February 28, 1930, taking the name of Sister Maria Consolata,
The new name, “Consolata”, chosen by young Pierina is indicative of the spiritual path and life that Jesus was calling her to, for the word “Consolata” means consoler, and it was she who soon became the consoler of the Heart of Jesus. On this very day of the Ceremony of taking the Veil, she received an inner locution from Jesus that indicated to her what His will was for her. Jesus said-
"I do not call you for more than this: an act of continual love." And for more than 16 years of enclosed Capuchin life this “act of continual love” would be the foundation on which she concentrated all her spiritual efforts.
On April 8 1934, she took her perpetual vows, working in the convent as a humble cook, doorkeeper and cobbler. She was transferred on July 22 1939 to the new foundation of Moriondo, Moncalieri Turin, where she was also a nurse and secretary. Her exterior life was one lived out in daily sacrifices, penances and self denial, hidden to the world, in fulfilment of the tasks assigned her by her superiors. Although her exterior life was similar to her fellow religious sisters, in her interior life she was receiving exceptional and extraordinary graces from God, which unfolded unnoticed in the intimacy of her spirit. She became the confidante of Jesus and His Sacred Heart.
The confidante of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
On November 9, 1934 Sister Consolata writes:
"Jesus reveals to me the intimate sufferings of His Heart caused by the faithlessness of souls consecrated to Him". After this, she began to have a burning desire to make reparation for the sins of the world, and to lead sinners to Jesus. And thus began the intense spiritual relationship, and intimacy between Jesus and Consolata: together in love, together in pain, together to deliver a countless number of souls to the Father, who seeks them in His infinite love, mercy and compassion. After all it was the Lord Himself who told her:
"Do not think of me as a harsh God, because I am foremost the God of love!".
Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!
It was then that our Lord also inspired Sister Consolata with this important universal prayer, "Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!"
Remembering what Jesus had told her on the day that she took the Veil-
"I do not call you for more than this: act of continual love”, Sister Consolata began to thus repeat this one prayer, over and over again, during all her waking hours, in every form of work as she went about her daily duties. For it was Christ himself, who instructed her in the practice of what He called the “unceasing act of love” expressed in the words- "Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!"
Concerning this prayer, our Lord said,
"Tell me, what more beautiful prayer do you want to offer me? ---'Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!'--- Love and souls! What more beautiful prayer could you desire?’"
Her littleness and humility
Though Sister Consolata was blessed with these extraordinary interior enlightenment's by God, she remained very humble and still felt small, and she saw herself as the “even smaller one” which Saint Therese of Lisieux had referred to in her diary. This feeling of littleness that Consolata felt within her soul was confirmed by our Lord in the following words:
"I have found that still weaker soul who has abandoned herself with complete faith to My infinite mercy: it is you, Consolata, and through you I will perform marvels which will far exceed your fondest desires."
And later Jesus tells her: -‘You are to love. You are too small to climb to the summit: I will carry you on My shoulders'
Here are some of the revelations given to her by Jesus:
‘Write this down Consolata, for I demand it of you under obedience, that for one act of love from you, I would create heaven.’
‘The soul that is dearest to Me is the one who loves me the most.’
‘Transform everything that is disagreeable to you into little roses, and gather them with love, and then offer them to Me with love”
‘See Consolata, the enemy will make every effort to shake your blind faith in me. But you must never forget that I am and love to be always kind and merciful. Understand my heart Consolata; understand my love, and never permit the enemy to gain entrance into your soul, even for an instant, with a thought of a lack of confidence in Me. Believe Me, I am solely and always kind; I am solely an always like a parent to you! So, imitate the children who at every little scratch of the finger, run at once to mother to have it bandaged. You should always do the same and remember that I will always cancel out and repair your imperfections and faults, just as a mother will always bandage the child's finger, whether it is really hurt or only seems so in his imagination. And if the child were to really hurt his arm, or his head, how tenderly and affectionately would he be cared for and bandaged by the mother! Well, I do this very same thing with regard to your soul when you fall, even though I may do so in silence. Do You understand Consolata? Therefore, never, never, never have even a shadow of doubt; a lack of confidence wounds My heart to the quick, and makes Me suffer.
“Love Me and you will be happy, and the more you love Me the happier you will be. Even when you will find yourself in utter darkness, love will produce light; love will produce strength, and love will produce joy.”
“I prefer an act of love, and a Communion of love to any other gift. I thirst for love”
"I delight to work in a soul. You see, I love to do everything Myself; and from this soul I ask only that she love Me."
"You see, even in good thoughts which creep in, there is always a bit of self-love, of complacency; and it is easy to see how they will spoil the act of love. But if you will complete trust in Me, that I am attending to everything and will continue to do so, and if you will not permit even one other thought to enter, then your act of love will possess a virginal purity."
"You see, Consolata, sanctity means self-forgetfulness in everything, in thoughts, desires, words....Allow Me to do it all! I will do everything; but you should, at every moment, give Me what I ask for with much love!"
"Consolata, place no limits on your confidence in Me, then I will place no limits on My graces for you!"
"Trust always in Jesus! If you only knew how much pleasure that gives Me! Grant Me this solace to trust in Me even in the shadow of death."
‘When suffering is accepted with love, it is no longer suffering, but is changed into joy.”
"If you are in Me and we are one then you will bring forth much fruit and will become strong, for you will disappear like a drop of water in the ocean; My silence will pass into you, and My humility, My purity, My charity, My gentleness, My patience, My thirst for suffering, and My zeal for souls whom I wish to save at all costs!"
"You must think only of loving Me! I will think of everything else, even to the smallest details!"
“ ‘Jesus, Mary, I love You. Save souls’ encompasses everything, the souls in Purgatory and the souls in the Militant Church; the innocent soul and the guilty soul; the dying, the atheist, etc… Do not lose time; remember that every act of love is a soul. Of all the gifts, the best gift you can offer me is a day full of love. I desire an uninterrupted Jesus, Mary I love You, save souls! from when you get up in the morning till when you go to bed at night.”
Her holy death
In June 1939 she wrote "It is my fate to die in little pieces". In November 1944 she noted:
"For many days my soul has halted on this divine phrase - 'sacrificial victim for the Sacrificial Victim'". It is in this way that, for the peace of the world [for World War II was raging], for the dying and for the conversion of souls she many times repeated the offer of herself as the sacrifice of expiation for the sins of humanity
In the winter of 1944 her corpse-like color betrayed her. In obedience to her Suprior she subjected herself to a visit from the doctor. The doctor's reply was : "This sister is not ill, she is destroyed". On September 24 1945 Sister Consolata asked for half a day of rest and she laid down. The Mother Abbess took her temperature --39° C (102.2 F)! ‘How long has she been carrying on like this?’ it was asked. On October 25, 1945 and X-ray was taken revealing damage to her lungs; thus she was officially diagnosed with tuberculosis. On November 4, 1945 she left for the sanatorium. She remained there until July 3 1946, when an ambulance returned her, in the last stages of consumption, to the Convent of Moriondo. Now, "everything was finished", except to begin a new and eternal life forever united with God in Heaven. Sister Consolata died at dawn on July 18, 1946 in the Convent of the Sacred Heart of Moriondo Moncalieri Turin, Italy.
~Servant of God Sr. Consolata Betrone, pray for us!
“The life of the Saints is a example of life for others"----It was with these words that on on February 8, 1995, Archbishop Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini in started the canonical process for five causes of beatification, one of these being the Capuchin Poor Clare nun, Sister Maria Consolata Betrone, in Turin Italy, in the Sanctuary of Our Lady Help of Christians.
For more information about the heroic and holy life of the Servant of God, Sister Consolata Betrone, there is an excellent book entitled “Jesus Appeals to the World” written by Sister Consolata’s spiritual Director, Father Lorenzo Sales, IMC, available here: http://www.stpauls.us/Search.aspx?k=jesus%20appeals%20to%20the%20world
In fact, special merit lies with Father Lorenzo Sales (1889-1972), who was Sr. Consolata’s confessor and spiritual director from September 1935, for all his help with wisdom, discernment and guidance for the Work of God in the life of Sister Consolata.
"Words of Love" by Father Bartholomew Gottemoller O.S.C.O. is another excellent book containing many of the revelations of our Lord as given to Sr. Consolata. It is availible through Tan Books here:
For more info online, see the page on Sr. Consolata at the Monestary of the Sacred Heart website, located here:
(the above taken from http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/02/servant-of-god-sr-consolata-betrone.html)