June 19 marks the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a liturgical feast celebrated on the Friday after Corpus Christi.
The devotion to the heart of Jesus has Christ’s unconditional love at its center, exemplified in the blood and water which poured forth from Christ’s heart in his sacrifice on the cross.
St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque, a 17th-century French nun and mystic, helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart through her visions in which Christ expressed his desire to reveal his loving heart to mankind.
Pope Pius XII wrote in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart):
“Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love — His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life.”
The Sacred Heart has been depicted in countless works of art throughout the years. Here are several depictions of Christ’s Sacred Heart from around Rome: