Berthier, Jean Baptiste
BERTHIER, JEAN BAPTISTE
Missionary of Our Lady of la Salette, founder of the Institute of the Holy Family (Missionaries of the Holy Family) for late priestly vocations, and ascetical writer;b. Chatonnay, Isère (France), Feb. 24, 1840; d. Grave, Holland, Oct. 16, 1908. Berthier made his great impact through his 36 ascetical and theological works, the dominating theme of which is that sanctity is possible in any walk of life through imitation of the Holy Family and constant fidelity to the duties of one's state. Among his greatest works are La Mère selon le coeur de Dieu (Lyon 1866), which has been translated into five languages; Le Prêtre dans le ministère (Paris 1883); Breve compendium theol. (Grenoble 1887); Le Sacerdoce (Paris 1894); and Des États de vie chrétienne et de la Vocation (Rome 1875). He considered infused contemplation as "ordinary" and not to be ranked with ecstasies and visions and taught his followers how to dispose themselves to contemplation, "the short-cut to sanctity." Few writers have sought to influence so wide a range of people.
Bibliography: p. j. ramers, Bonus miles Christi Jesu (Betzdorf 1931); Le R. P. J. Berthier, missionaire de la Salette (Fribourg 1925). j. m. de lombaerde, La vie et l'esprit du Tr. R. P. Jean Berthier (Grave 1910). a. ballandier Annuaire pontifical catholique (Paris 1909). p. j. ramers, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932—) 1:1530–32. m. t. disdier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912—) 8:955–956.
[m. j. barry]