The Sacred Heart of Jesus also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sacratissimum Cor Jesu in Latin) is one of the most widely practiced and well known Catholic devotions. As Catholics mark the Feast of Corpus Christi popularly referred to as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, BETTY AMUKPO takes on some children on the unique symbols of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and what the popular image teaches. Excerpts:
‘The rays of light means Jesus is light’
Rays of light: Means Jesus is light (John 8:12) and the love of his heart enlightens the world (John1:9.) The wound of Christ: This recalls when the soldier thrust his lance into Jesus’ side (John19:34) and there came blood. The Sceptre and the Globe: These remind us of Christ kingship. The Crown: The Heart typically is encircled horizontally with a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29). The Flame and the Cross: This tell us that his desire to rule over families and nations through love. The burning furnace of Charity. The Droplet of blood: This symbolises the blood of the covenant which Jesus shed on behalf of mankind for the forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28).
• Chibuike Anyasor
‘The sacred heart of Jesus means Christ love for mankind’
The sacred heart of Jesus means Christ’s love for mankind through his sacrifice on the cross for human sin, Christ’s suffering is portrayed in his Sacred Heart. The sacred heart is a symbol of God’s boundless and passionate love for mankind. The sacred heart teaches us that:
• Love is always costly but it gives life to people who comes close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
• Through the sacred Heart, Jesus Christ promise to give all the Graces necessary in life.
• He will bestow abundant blessings upon those who come to Him.
• Sinners will find in His heart the source and Infinite Ocean of mercy if they repent and come to Him.
• Chima Anita
‘It teaches us that true love is always sacrificial and costly’
Sacred heart is a symbol of “God’s boundless and passionate love for mankind. It is physically symbolised in a heart pierced and dripping with blood. It teaches us that true love is always sacrificial and costly.
• Amah Anita
‘The crown of thorns is the stings of sufferings caused by humanity’s grievous sins’
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a highly revered by Catholics, which portrays a lot of meanings that are unfathomed. The symbols of this peculiar heart are: The obvious big red heart, which signifies agape love as Christ laid his life for all (Jn. 15:13); the crown of thorns are the stings of sufferings caused by humanity’s grievous sins (Mt 27:29), and the blood is the covenant of martyrdom he shared on the Cross and at the Last Supper paving way for eternal life (Jn 6:54). Other symbols are the spirited cross and flames of charity. This has made me realise that Christ’s heart is fragile and should be adored.
• Okpata Peter
‘Its uniqueness holds diverse indepth meanings and various symbols of truth’
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the best gift of spiritual adoration granted to humankind by God. Its uniqueness holds diverse in-depth meanings and various symbols of truth- some of which are: A heart, red as blood, attesting to the immense fatherly love Christ has for us (Jn. 19:34); a wound on his left side shows that Christ gave his life up for us regardless of the pains (Jn. 18:33); the burning flames show the warmth of his love and the Golden rays of light that prove Jesus as the unquenchable light of the world (Jn. 1:9). Indeed, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is peculiar and one in which we can find rest.
• Okpata Paul
‘A Sacred Heart ablaze with love and sacrifice on the cross for human sin’
The Sacred Heart of Jesus portrays what is implied in its name: With the Sacred Heart ablaze and visible through his Chest. The Heart is one of the most revered symbols in Roman Catholicism, and it specifically represents Christ’s love for mankind through his sacrifice on the Cross for human sin. Christ’s suffering is portrayed in his Heart with a knife going through it and a crown of thorns surrounding it. We can learn from this symbol that: Despite this agony he had to endure, Christ’s love for humanity shines even brighter and outweighs the evil brought against it, which is represented with the Sacred Heart of Jesus remaining “ablaze” through the pain.
• Okononfua Bryan
‘The symbols teach us to love just as Christ himself has loved us’
The Sacred Heart of Jesus specifically represents Christ’s love for mankind through his sacrifice on the Cross for human sin. The symbols teach us to love just as Christ himself has loved us and to spread round the world the spectacle of love.
• Awaki Barnabas
‘The sacred heart of Jesus is shown in Christian art as a flaming heart surmounted by a Cross and bleeding’
The symbol of the sacred heart of Jesus is shown in Christian art as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance, encircled by the crown of thorns, surmounted by a Cross and bleeding. In all these, we see that God’s heart is consumed with love for us, that He was willing to suffer and die for us in the most gruesome manner. The Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us that true love is always costly but it always gives life in itself. May the sacred heart of Jesus always show and lead the way for us to follow, Amen.
• Victoria Okefe