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Voilà ce Cœur

This painting, inspired by traditional images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and by the messages of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, depicts Our Lord and His Most Sacred Heart.

Encircling the Heart is the phrase, "Voilà ce Cœur, qui a tant aimé les hommes." Painted in gold leaf, it is taken from the beginning of the message of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary on June 16th, 1675. The French phrase translates as, "Behold this Heart which has so loved men." The message continues: "...that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me.” It was following this message that Our Lord instructed St. Margaret Mary to have the feast of His Sacred Heart instituted in the Church, and the First Friday devotion was established.

As with traditional depictions of the Sacred Heart, Our Lord's Heart is surrounded with thorns and pierced, with drops of blood flowing out, alluding to His Crown of Thorns and the lance which pierced His Side. The top of the Heart is aflame with love for humanity- that Heart which has exhausted and consumed itself "in order to testify its love." The magnitude of His agony and pain arise from the sacrileges, indifference, and bitterness by which His Love is met. As such, Our Lord looks intently at the viewer with glassy eyes, sore with redness.

The deep red background shrouds Jesus with a solemn tone, evocative of His Agony and Passion. The golden halo motif of roses and thorns allude to His Crown of Thorns. While Christ, as King, ought to have been crowned with the most beautiful fruits of nature, He was instead given that which symbolizes our sin. According to legend, in the beginning- in the Garden of Eden- roses did not grow with thorns. It was only after the Fall of Adam and Eve that the rose grew thorns; thus the thorn became a symbol of sin having now entered the world. Furthermore, the thorn can prick and harm anyone who attempts to touch this most beautiful flower; even nature is no longer in harmony with man. Likewise, instead of being crowned with the beautiful rose, let alone a royal crown, Our Lord was given thorns- He was crowned with humanity's sin.

Lastly, (inspired by the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) the blue clothing is painted in such a way as to resemble Our Lord's "Ocean of Mercy" in which His Most Sacred Heart is immersed, and in which we are, too. Despite the great sorrows of the Heart of Jesus, it is also forever a refuge and an ever-flowing fount of love and mercy.

oil and liquid gold leaf on canvas

24 x 18 in


not for sale (prints available here!)


Aveen Toma

Fine Art

Sacred Art

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