Friday, June 19, 2009

An Early Devotee of the Sacred Heart

Jacinto Vieria
(Active 1720s in Portugal)
St Gertrude
c. 1725
Painted wood
Monastery church, Arouca, Portugal

Jacinto Vieira came from Braga in Portugal. That is as much as we know about him

This beautiful wooden statute has been painted so as to resemble stone.

It is a different type of painted wooden statuary from that mentioned in the previous post.

Why St Gertrude (January 6, 1256 – November 17, 1302) ? Also known as St Gertrude the Great or St Saint Gertrude of Helfta ?

She was a Benedictine and mystic writer. On the feast of St. John the Evangelist, she had a vision.

In her vision, she was allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour's side.

She heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt the beating, why he had never spoken of the fact.

She reported that John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need of it to rekindle its love .

This recounting of the vision was an important stimulus to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at that time and subsequently.

Her writings were warmly received especially in Spain, and in particular by St Teresa of Avila who chose her as a model and a guide.

In Haurietis Aquas (15th May 1956), Pope Pius XII said:

“We can even assert - as the revelations made by Jesus Christ to St. Gertrude and to St. Margaret Mary clearly show - that no one really ever has a proper understanding of Christ crucified to whom the inner mysteries of His Heart have not been made known. Nor will it be easy to understand the strength of the love which moved Christ to give Himself to us as our spiritual food save by fostering in a special way the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, the purpose of which is - to use the words of Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII - "to call to mind the act of supreme love whereby our Redeemer, pouring forth all the treasures of His Heart in order to remain with us till the end of time, instituted the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist."