There are so many different images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to choose from, all very beautiful; but I decided on this one because it's a painting that my husband brought home from Rome, and we have it hanging over our bed.
In the late 17th century, Our Lord appeared to a nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque (now St. Margaret Mary), asking her to be the instrument for spreading devotion to His Sacred Heart. These 12 promises were given, through the humble nun, for those who practiced this devotion:
- I will give them all of the Graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their families.
- I will Bless every place in which a picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will console them in all of their difficulties.
- I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
- I will shed abundant Blessings upon all of their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of Mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
- I will give to Priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart never to be blotted out.
- The Great Promise: I promise Thee, in the excessive Mercy of My Heart, that my all-powerful Love will grant to all who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays of 9 consecutive months, the Grace of final repentance. They will not die under My displeasure or without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart will be their safe refuge in their last moment.
It seems, according to Promise #3, that Our Lord realized the power of art to inspire human souls. Just as He specifically instructed Sr. Faustina to paint the image of the "Divine Mercy" so that it could be venerated (see yesterday's post for more on this), through St. Margaret Mary He asked the faithful to venerate the image of His Sacred Heart.
This ends "Inspirational Artwork Week." I hope you've been inspired!