Symbolism in the Church #15

The Divine Mercy image is one of two images that Jesus explicitly said He wanted made of Him. The other image is the Sacred Heart. The Divine Mercy Image is much newer. It was made in the 1930s, whereas the Sacred Heart image was made in the 1600s. The two images have similarities; both images are of the risen Lord.

But the Sacred Heart image is something substantially different. In the Divine Mercy image, Jesus wanted this image made so that people may trust in Him and His mercy, particularly at the moment of death. That being said, the Divine Mercy Chaplet may be prayed so that anyone can trust in Him at any time during difficult moments in their life. The Sacred Heart image and what it does is much more complex. When Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus was focusing more on the physical pierced heart with the thorns, a cross on top with the flames coming out of the top of the heart. The image of Jesus was added so that we know whose heart it is, Jesus’. So you will find many different images with Jesus in many different postures with the Sacred Heart. Not so in the Divine Mercy image.
There is also a complexity in the Sacred Heart Devotion as well. The Divine Mercy image is just to get us to trust in Jesus. The Sacred Heart image is to remind us of all the graces Jesus has won for us: how He died on the cross for us, is always interceding for us before His father in Heaven, and in a particular way, as Jesus is present in the Eucharist. Jesus makes Himself present to us, giving us many graces in the Eucharist first by interceding for us in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus as He is dying for us on the cross. Secondly, Jesus comes to us with many graces as He is in the Eucharist. So we should have a proper response to this incredible love He has shown us. Too many people were not paying due reverence to such love in the Eucharist.
This is where the idea of doing acts of reparation for sacrileges against Jesus in the Eucharist came from. It was meant to enliven in the faithful a deeper sense of honor, respect and love for what God has done for us, and give an opportunity to offer sacrifices to God for the souls who refused to Honor Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Imagine that, back in the 1600s Jesus was complaining on how much the faithful did not appreciate all that He has done for us. How much more He has reason to complain. For those who were willing to take up this cause, He made promises that anybody can look up.
The feast day of the Sacred Heart is coming up soon. It is the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi. This year it is June 28. The Feast of Corpus Christi, on June 23 this year, is celebrated on the second Sunday after Pentecost. So these feast days change dates every year with Easter. Complicated? Nothing more complicated than the traditions of the Church. As long as I get graces from it, let the graces come!
This Sacred Heart image was brought back by Dolores Wienand in 2011, who had it in the attic for many years. John Shippert touched it up a bit for us.