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Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 10:16 PM
Dear Friends,

Could someone please explain the theology behind the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

The devotion to the Sacred Hearts has an historical presence in the lives of Eastern Catholics.

There is a view today that such is not in keeping with Eastern theology and spirituality.

Your comments?

Alex
Posted By: Sharon Mech Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 10:29 PM
Alex,

If my rusty old memory is working, the devotion to the Sacred Heart originated with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. I'm kinda in a bit of a rush, and my books are home & I'm not, but you should be able to find a bazillion hits on the topic using any search engine.

Best,

Sharon
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 10:41 PM
Just a quickie -

Ratzinger wrote an excellent work that is now out of print called "Behold the Pierced One". It has been ten years since I read it, but as I recall, he explores some of the Patristic roots of devotion to the heart of Christ.

I'll look for my copy later and share some of his insights.

To me, separated from the rank sentimentalism that you sometimes see associated with Sacred Heart devotions in the West, the Eastern/Patristic concept of the heart as innermost center of the person and the locus of communion with God opens up many new insights into Christology and spirituality. (I sometimes bring that connection into my own practice of the Jesus prayer - where heart speaks to heart.)

Also, let's not forget the Johannine roots of such a devotion.

Perhaps the greater issue tends to be in the use of the image of the Sacred Heart in Western (and sometimes Eastern) iconography. Some perceive the integration of what amounts to be a private revelation into a liturgical icon is anathema. Of course, one could also argue that the Feast of Holy Protection represents one of the greatest private revelations to be codified in the Eastern Calendar and iconographical canons.

Those are my initial thoughts for what it's worth.

Peace -

Gordo, sfo
Posted By: paromer Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 10:41 PM
Dear Alex,

In a word, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is about Our Lord's unreasonable love for mankind (ok, 6 words).

Hear's what EWTN's Q&A says in response to a Protestant charging that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is "blasphemous":

The Sacred Heart is a symbol of what Jesus is at the core. Core, by the way comes from the Latin for heart. At His core, at that which is the very essence of who Jesus is--is infinite love. The thorns and the wound are symbols as well. Now what would the thorns be a symbol of? The crown on thorns? Correct! What is blashemous about the crown of thorns which Jesus willingly endured because of His love for us? Such a symbol is a sign of His love. It doesn't sound blasphemous to me! Same for the wound.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P

I am speaking from the Western Church tradition.

Best regards,

Paul
Posted By: Tammy Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 10:46 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

There is a view today that such is not in keeping with Eastern theology and spirituality.
It really irks me when East and West can't seem to accept each other's revelations. You'd think we worshipped a different deity or something. "Oh, EC's can't pray the rosary, it's Western." "Yes they can, they started it and the Western Rite stole it." Come on, we all venerate Mary; who cares who got the Rosary first? We can all pray it.

Same thing here. Who cares if the Sacred Heart of Jesus was a revelation to a Latin Rite saint? What, if the revelation isn't to an EC/Orthodox person, it isn't valid???

I'm not of Hebrew background. Does that mean I shouldn't read the Gospel of Matthew or the Epistle to the Hebrews? And EC's shouldn't read the book of Romans!
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/01/03 11:32 PM
Tammy -

I think in one sense you are correct. As Catholics in particular (and as Christians in general) we should regard all devotions of East and West to be part of our joint heritage. Certainly, crossfertilization of spiritual practices has a long and fruitful history - particularly in the first thousand years. (Thomas Merton has a wonderful quote that I can't locate right now - it has to do with the idea of reconciling all worlds within himself...does anyone know that quote?)

At the same time, I think that in order to fully appreciate the full and rich spiritual heritage that is ours as members of the EC, we should avoid being too eclectic with our devotional practices. Prayer devotions are born out of a particular theological vision and liturgical/ecclesiastical ethos. One runs the risk of creating unecessary spiritual dissonance within ourselves by adopting practices that were created outside of our spiritual context.

Of course, it's easy to become too narrow and too much of a "purist" in this regard, and sometimes creative tension can be very fruitful, spiritually speaking. That is the joy of discernment!

Just my two cents...

Peace -

Gordo, sfo
Posted By: Bonaventure Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 12:05 AM
Alex,

The only real theology behind the Sacred Heart devotion is the infinite and immeasurable love that Jesus has for us. Just read St. Margaret Mary, St. Gertrude, or Sister Josefa Menendez (the way of divine love).

Frankly I think it is sad when some want to get rid of this devotion or try to stop others from praticing it because it is "not eastern". Theosis is the goal of our life here and this devotion has helped many to become much closer with our beloved Saviour.

Of course sappy sentimentalism should always be avoided. I would recommend the above mentioned book"The Way of Divine Love" about Sister Josefa. Our Lord let the devil punish and torment Sister Josefa very much and He also revealed His how His heart burns for souls to her. No sentimentalism here......
Posted By: Tammy Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 12:12 AM
Gordo -
I understand where you are coming from. When I asked my Latin Rite priest for guidance on the subject of prayer, he only confused me all the more. My personal "style" of prayer doesn't fit the Western Rite classifications of meditative, contemplative, etc. So when the priest tried to put my prayer style in a Western category, he said I was in the early stages of meditative prayer. He tried to give me advice on how to grow in meditative prayer, but my prayer life actually suffered because I couldn't do what he was talking about. frown By the time I figured out that I was trying to put a square peg in a round hole, I was so convoluted that I had a hard time figuring out how to fix it! (Actually, it isn't "fixed" yet!) confused

But that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I need to be more careful to select a spiritual director who can help me mix Eastern and Western devotions without creating a a mess for myself! (Anyone out there interested in that job? biggrin )
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 01:18 AM
Greetings all,

I agree that all Catholics of the east and west should respect each others legitimate devotions whether they understand them or not. I could see some value in imaging the Sacred Heart as a devotion, much like praying before a crucifex.

For the benefit of those who have never heard of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, as promoted by St Mary Alacoque I post the promises here.
Quote

Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Of the many promises Our Lord Jesus Christ
did reveal to Saint Margaret Mary in favor of souls
devoted to His Sacred Heart the principal ones are as follows:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of
My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall
have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour
I was sure there were other promises, I remember a longer list, but I no longer have anything about it.

I do not particularly understand the real value of communing nine consecutive first Fridays. The concept is alien to me. It reminds me of those televangelist promises "just touch the TV screen" give oneself to Jesus and be assured of salvation. Like a "get out of jail free" card.

We don't get guarantees that strong with Confirmation.

Since the promises are post-Apostolic private revelation I consider that all Catholics are free accept or reject them as they see fit. I hope that those individuals that find value in it continue to do so, but I am not surprised the devotion has come under criticism.

In Christ
Michael
Posted By: paromer Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 01:38 AM
Hello Michael,

Your post is informative.

The part about nine consecutive First Fridays has to do with the Latin word "novena" or nine.

The Apostles stayed in the upper room the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost in prayer with Mary, Mother of God, as the Lord commanded them to do. The tradition of praying for some cause for nine days comes from this New Testament practice. The nine consecutive First Fridays to receive Holy Communion is adapted from the novena prayer practice.

Paul
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 05:17 AM
Alex

Though the revelations weren't given to St Margaret Mary until the 17th century, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (based on the piercing of Christ's side) existed as far back as the 11th century. Like the similarly related Immaculate Heart of Mary (also found in Scripture, St Luke 2:35) Jesus' Sacred Heart is never worshipped apart from his entire person.

From my own personal perspective, when I look upon a Crucifix, I meditate first and foremost upon the great agonies Our Saviour endured on our behalf. When I look upon the manger or Infant Jesus of Prague, I meditate upon the reasons for Our Saviour's entering this fallen world, and when I look upon the Sacred Heart, I meditate upon the burning love that Our Saviour has for each of us.
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 06:23 AM
Dear Paul,
Thank you for pointing out that the nine first Fridays represent a novena of sorts, that makes more sense.

Dear Lawrence,
I love the way you have expressed your devotional practice as thoughtful meditation. It very closely matches my own lifelong meditative devotions.

I have no problem with the imagery whatsoever and I find it hard to believe that the imagery is what people are critical of. This is how I have always perceived the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the others you mentioned.

But I cannot reconcile myself to those promises, which I believe in some ways go too far, and reflect a certain way of thinking appropriate to another time.

Michael
Posted By: griego catolico Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 06:36 AM
Blessed Basil Hopko was healed of an illness after having made a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From the Byzantine Leaflet Series #41:

"As the young Hopko was getting ready for his journey abroad he became sick and had to undergo several operations. In his Memoirs Bishop Hopko writes: "Having spent all my travelling money on doctors and hospitals, I gave up the hope of seeing my mother again. At that time I did not realize that it was God's holy will to keep me in my native land."

He ascribed his unexpected recovery to a "miracle" that resulted from his Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, He promised Jesus that if he would be cured, he would receive Holy Orders in celibacy. He was ordained priest by Bishop Paul P. Gojdich, O.S.B.M. on February 3, 1929."
Posted By: elexeie Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 08:27 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Friends,

Could someone please explain the theology behind the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

The devotion to the Sacred Hearts has an historical presence in the lives of Eastern Catholics.

There is a view today that such is not in keeping with Eastern theology and spirituality.

Your comments?

Alex
Hi Alex,
Here is a link from the site of Gerard Serafin:
http://praiseofglory.com/easternheart.htm

I just like to add that the Feast of the Sacred Heart was instituted not primarily because of the visions that St. Mary Margaret Alacoque received at Paray le Monial. The Church instituted the feast to counteract the heresy of Jansenism. DEvotion to the Sacred Heart predates the vision of St. Mary Margaret. It can be see in the writings of St. Gertrude the Great and St. mechtilde (both Benedictine nuns).
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 12:35 PM
Quote
Originally posted by CaelumJR:
Of course, it's easy to become too narrow and too much of a "purist" in this regard, and sometimes creative tension can be very fruitful, spiritually speaking. That is the joy of discernment!

Just my two cents...

Peace -

Gordo, sfo
Gordo,

Just out of curiosity, what does the "sfo" stand for behind your name? Would it happen to be "Secular Franciscan Order"?

Dave
Posted By: ebed melech Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 02:07 PM
Dave -

That is correct! cool

There are few of us BC-SFO's wandering the hallways here!

Gordo, sfo
Posted By: paromer Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 02:39 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Coalesco:
Dear Paul,
Thank you for pointing out that the nine first Fridays represent a novena of sorts, that makes more sense.

Dear Lawrence,
I love the way you have expressed your devotional practice as thoughtful meditation. It very closely matches my own lifelong meditative devotions.

I have no problem with the imagery whatsoever and I find it hard to believe that the imagery is what people are critical of. This is how I have always perceived the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the others you mentioned.

But I cannot reconcile myself to those promises, which I believe in some ways go too far, and reflect a certain way of thinking appropriate to another time.

Michael
Dear Michael,

Don't consider me an evangelist for Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion. God leads us and uses our temperament to find devotions that match our spiritual need. I'm just passing on information.

The promises are pretty much in sync with the Gospel. The famous passage, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) underscores the love of God through the incarnation of Christ and his sacrifice on Calvary.

In the Eastern Church liturgy the beautiful phrase, "lover of mankind" is used. This is not equivalent to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but it proclaims the same truth.

God's love is what the Sacred Heart is all about. Any response we freely give to His love will surely bring His grace and blessings to our lives. That is how I see the promises of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

God's grace is not limited to SH devotion. Christ is "the hound of heaven." He will use whatever it takes to offer His grace to us. Sacred Heart devotion is one of the many tools available to we sinners.

SH devotion is private revelation. It draws some to Christ, but it is not dogma. The Holy Gospel is our rule of life.

Paul
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 03:49 PM
Here's an icon of the Sacred Heart http://www.domlife.org/2003/preachwhat12.html
Posted By: Father Gregory Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 03:55 PM
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls!" (St. Matthew, Chapter 11, verse 29)

For my personal two cents worth, the question in ALL things is: does this bring YOU closer to the Lord? If it does---GREAT...then continue with this devotion! Icons, chanting, devotions---all of these are a MEANS to bring us closer to the Lord Jesus. Each of us (because of differences in temperment) are helped by different things...if this one works for YOU...use it with vigor! It is in the end, a personal choice anyway...no one FORCES anyone to use a particular devotion or icon as THE means to deepen a person's relationship with the Lord.

In His great love for us all,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory
Posted By: Pani Rose Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 04:25 PM
I just posted this down below in Town Hall and found your discussion.

https://www.byzcath.org/bboard/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000979;p=1#000000

FLORIDA CONSECRATED TO IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, WITH GOVERNOR ATTENDING

Consecration of a nation or area is considered a powerful means of protection. The famous Fatima appearance included a request for the consecration of Russia. The state has also been consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


So I guess Jeb Bush takes it seriously! Praise God!
Posted By: Deacon John Petrus Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 04:28 PM
Of course I cannot add to Archimandrite Gregory's insight.

However, I would like to offer an "Eastern" version of the Sacred Heart which some of you may find more palatable.

At the death of an esteemed friend, patient, and Byzantine priest, I commissioned an icon to present to his parents who are members of my parish. (He was their only child.)

The icon is of the beloved disciple reclining on the breast of Jesus (picture the head of John with an ear to Jesus' heart). I liked this icon so much that I've since had two others written, one for myself, and one for my mother.

John, Deacon
Posted By: Tammy Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 04:44 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Coalesco:
But I cannot reconcile myself to those promises, which I believe in some ways go too far, and reflect a certain way of thinking appropriate to another time.
Michael,

I feel the same way about the brown scapular. We used to attend a very latinized Byzantine parish and some of the people we knew tried to push the brown scapular on us. They treated it like a good luck charm to get you into heaven. While I know that was not Mary's intent when she gave the brown scapular and its promises, many people seem to wear it with the attitude that it gives them license to sin.

Like Archmandrite Gregory said, it all depends on what works for YOU. I'm sure the brown scapular strengthens the faith of some people, but for others like me, wearing it would be an impediment to their faith.

St. Paul warned people who eat meat not to cause their brothers to stumble, and said that if something is done without faith it is sin. I think if one adheres with faith to the promises of the devotion to the Sacred Heart or the brown scapular, it is good for their relationship with God. But if one is motivated by superstition or fear rather than faith, it is not good for their relationship with God and they should find some other devotion that fits them better!

Just MY two cents!

Tammy
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 05:35 PM
Dear Friends,

First of all, I have to really thank ALL of you who have posted here to date.

I've found insights here that I have never seen anywhere else, whether in books, journals or via verbal communication.

So I can't thank you all enough for enriching me personally, for starters, with your insights. I really can't!

I agree that Eastern spirituality is also very "heart-centred" spirituality, especially the Prayer of the Heart, the Jesus Prayer.

I once told my Byzantine Irish priestly friend, Fr. Serge Keleher, that my praying the Jesus Prayer was made more powerful by praying it before the icon or picture of the Sacred Heart. He was very keen on that!

Certainly, the symbol of the heart is in Byzantine iconography. One may see icons of Christ the Lover of Mankind holding the Gospels on which there are hearts etc.

I also agree that the East has always had a strong veneration for the Wounded Side of Christ from which flowed Blood and Water. We kiss the edge of the Chalice following Communion that represents Christ's Wounded Side as we are nourished in Communion from it.

And the propers for the feast of St John the Theologian do, in fact, point to his resting his head on the Chest of Christ and his closeness to Christ's Heart is implied.

The East has Icons of Christ the Lover of Mankind, but I agree that the best Icon of the Pierced Side and Heart of Christ is the Crucifix.

St Vladimir's Seminary Press published St Nicholas Cabasilas' Commentary on the Divine Liturgy and does discuss this great theologian's (recognized as such by RC's too) devotion to the "Heart of Christ" within the context of the Holy Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy.

St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain also has a number of things to say about the Heart of Christ and he emphatically underlines the importance of Christ's Heart in Eastern spirituality.

I personally don't relate to the visions of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, but they are perfectly valid for anyone to accept. The modern RC devotion that depicts the physical Heart of our Lord is also something that is up to each of us - we know that our New Martyrs had a great veneration for this form of the devotion, especially in the Eucharist.

The Akathist to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was, as I understand, written to allow EC's who were strongly attracted to this devotion to have a liturgical/devotional outlet for it

I agree that veneration for Christ under the aspect of His Love for Mankind and for His Wounded Side have a long history in both East and West.

Alex
Posted By: griego catolico Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 09:24 PM
Alex,

I recommened that you consult the book," A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year", by Fr. Demetrius Wysochansky, OSBM. There is a chapter devoted to the Feast of the Sacred Heart on the Ukrainian Catholic liturgical calendar. According to the book, the Servant of God Metropolitan Sheptytsky had a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and believed that such a devotion to the Heart of Jesus was in harmony with Byzantine spirituality. He felt that such devotion to the Heart of Jesus would be of great spiritual benefit to the people.

According to the chapter, the liturgical services and the akathist to the Sacred Heart of Jesus were composed by Father Isidore Dolnytsky.

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was renamed the Feast of Jesus, Lover of Mankind during the liturgical revisions that the Holy See conducted in the 1940's.

griego
Posted By: griego catolico Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 09:32 PM
Alex,

The day after the feast of Christ, Lover of Mankind(formerly known as the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)on the Ukrainian Catholic liturgical calendar, there is the feast of the Sorrowful Mother of God. Do you know when this feast day was added to the calendar? I am guessing that this is the UC equivalent of the Roman-rite feastday of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is celebrated the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Do you know how this feast day came to be included on the UC calendar?

Are the feastdays of Jesus, Lover of Mankind and the Sorrowful Mother of God still celebrated on the Ukrainian Catholic liturgical calendar?
Posted By: griego catolico Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/02/03 09:45 PM
I found this site that is appropriate for this thread:

http://praiseofglory.com/easternheart.htm
Posted By: paromer Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 01:52 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Archimandrite Gregory:
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls!" (St. Matthew, Chapter 11, verse 29)

For my personal two cents worth, the question in ALL things is: does this bring YOU closer to the Lord? If it does---GREAT...then continue with this devotion! Icons, chanting, devotions---all of these are a MEANS to bring us closer to the Lord Jesus. Each of us (because of differences in temperment) are helped by different things...if this one works for YOU...use it with vigor! It is in the end, a personal choice anyway...no one FORCES anyone to use a particular devotion or icon as THE means to deepen a person's relationship with the Lord.

In His great love for us all,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory
Dear Father Archimandrite Gregory,

I enjoyed your post. It is so true!

It is a joy to share this forum with you.

Peace to you in Christ Jesus,

Paul
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 02:06 PM
Dear Griego,

Yes, I have that book - and the one by Fr. Julian Katrij OSBM likewise discusses it!

Effectively, though, what has happened is that the UGCC is now divided into "more Eastern" and "more Latin" parishes with respect to the devotion to the Sacred Hearts.

Some parishes completely drop the feasts of Jesus the Lover of Mankind and the Holy Eucharist altogether.

When the Russian Catholic Church was formed at the beginning of the 20th century, the Russians asked the Pope not to require them to have the devotion to the Sacred Heart or Corpus Christi,

The Pope agreed.

Met Andrew Sheptytsky did indeed venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus (for which he was personally criticized by the Orthodox Met. Antony Khrapovitsky, for one!).

And our Eastern parishes today tend to ignore his devotion, and that of other New Martyrs, on the grounds that they were not "sufficiently Eastern" in their liturgical awareness as yet. One writer said that Met. Andrew was "simply too old, you know" in this regard.

So the fact of the presence of this Feast in our calendar does not mean that all parishes observe it. Nor does Rome require it of us - although our Basilian and Redemptorist Bishops do! And, to be fair, this devotion is VERY popular in Eastern Europe, even among the Orthodox!

The Feast of Christ, the Lover of Mankind is truly in keeping with the spirit of the East - but ultimately there is no need to introduce any new feasts into our calendar. The devotion to Christ the Lover of Mankind is present throughout the Octoechos etc.

So, yes, we do venerate Christ under the aspect of His Love for mankind and His Wounded Side. But, no, it is not necessary to have separate feasts for this purpose. And it would not be in keeping with the principles of Eastern iconography to depict Christ with His exposed physical Heart. That is not necessary as we have the Crucifix with Christ's Wounded Side.

The feast of the Sorrowful Mother is the celebration of the Pieta.

According to Myron Fedoriw, this devotion arose not among the Eastern Catholics, but among the Ukrainian Orthodox in Kozak times 18th century, - obviously borrowed from the West, but a devotion that spoke poignantly to people in times of war when scenes of mothers weeping over their dead sons defined them.

The Ukrainian Orthodox celebrated this on the "Tenth Friday" after the feast of the Ascension, as I understand. Basil Lypkivsky in his "Sermons" refers to it as the "feast of the Tenth Friday."

This Orthodox writer describes it as a feast that was quickly pruned away from the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition by the Russians as a "Latinization" from the Uniates . . .

But Basil writes that Ukrainian Orthodox never gave it up and, in several cases that he was personally aware of, Orthodox Ukrainian priests would use borrowed Uniate texts to celebrate the feast - texts that were later locked away from public view . . .

This is a case of a Latin feast adopted voluntarily by Orthodox and then adopted from the ORthodox by Greek Catholics.

There were even several miraculous icons/pictures of the Pieta in Galicia. I used to have a picture of a Lemko church that had a miraculous outdoor statue of a Pieta.

The Mother of God had a crown and Her dead Son had another, attached to His Head sideways!

I also have an Akathist to the Sorrowful Mother for this feast in Ukrainian.

The Orthodox icon that resembles the Pieta is "Do Not Weep for Me, Mother."

No Eastern Catholic Churche has ever, to my knowledge, ever adopted a liturgical feast-day for the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Alex
Posted By: Father Gregory Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 02:15 PM
I recently received an AWESOME Icon of the Mother of God of Sorrows from the Moscow Patriarchate (complete with seven swords piecing her chest...no heart visible). This is a very beautiful icon which I would think is mostly drawn from Western neighbors of Orthodox Russians???

Thanks in advance for any answers!

In His Holy Name,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 02:30 PM
Bless, Father Archimandrite!

There are two variants of this icon: The Icon of the Seven Arrows or Swords and the Icon "Softener of evil hearts."

The former has three arrows on one side and four on the other of the Mother of God. The latter has three on either side and one below. And this relates to Simeon's Prophecy. (There is an icon called "Simeon's Prophecy" with only one arrow).

The icon you have is probably a copy of the one that is in the Toshen Church of the Seven Arrows of St John the Theologian which is near the city of Vologda.

In 1830, the cholera struck the city of Vologda. The people took the icon of the Seven Arrows and carried it around their city in procession - after which the cholera epidemic ceased.

Iconographers who have studied that icon affirm that it is at least 600 years old. There is another miraculous copy of that icon in the city of Navolok in the church of St Dmitri of Prilutsk.

Its feast day is August 13.

Kissing your right hand, I again implore your blessing, Father,

Your beadsman,

Alex
Posted By: Father Gregory Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 02:46 PM
Alex, +The LORD bless you always! Many thanks for your response! My Icon of the Mother of God of Sorrows has three swords on each side piercing downward from the shoulder area into the chest of the Theotokos and one sword at the bottom of the icon piercing upward into the chest area. It is most beautiful and resembles St. Seraphim's favorite icon of the Theotokos?

In His great love for us all,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 08:50 PM
Bless, Father Archimandrite!

Yes, then you have the Icon "Softener of evil hearts" (same feast day).

While the East does not depict the heart in iconography, this is as close as it gets to focusing on the heart (another icon is that of the Sign).

St Seraphim's icon of Tender Feeling does indeed show the Mother of God looking down into her heart - and this icon aided St Seraphim in praying the prayer of the heart.

I have a religious medal from Sarov showing the icon on one side and St Seraphim on the other - and the Elder is praying with his lestovka and looking down into the middle of his chest . . .

Alex
Posted By: Father Gregory Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 09:47 PM
+May the LORD bless you always! I have the exact same medal here by my computer, a gift from the nuns at St. Euphrasynia's Monastery in Polotsk, BELARUS.

Now everytime I venerate this Icon of the Mother of God Softener of Evil Hearts, I will remember you in my poor prayers---and ask that she help us both to keep our hearts soft and pure like hers!

In His Holy Name,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory, who asks for your holy prayers!
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 09:56 PM
Bless, Father Archimandrite!

Thank you - and I shall pray for you! My medal is also by the computer!

I first read about that medal in the life of a physician who visited Sarov and performed the Rule of 150 Our Fathers and Hail Marys while walking around Diveyevo Monastery.

The nuns there still perform this rule in procession daily - and more solemnly on eight feast days in the year.

And I hope not to offend the Administrator in future again . . . smile

Perhaps this happens because I take such joy in humbly apologising afterwards!

Alex
Posted By: Tammy Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/03/03 10:55 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
There are two variants of this icon: The Icon of the Seven Arrows or Swords and the Icon "Softener of evil hearts."

The former has three arrows on one side and four on the other of the Mother of God. The latter has three on either side and one below. And this relates to Simeon's Prophecy.
Both of these are available on eBay.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Sacred Heart of Jesus - 12/04/03 02:31 PM
Dear Tammy,

I think these icons are the Eastern equivalent of the Western Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced with a sword.

In fact, during the Kyivan Baroque period, the rosary of the five or seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary was popular even among Orthodox!

There is an online site in Russian that lists all sorts of translated Western devotions popular among the Orthodox in the 17th and 18th centuries, including, among other things, the "15 Prayers of St Brigitte."

Believe it or not . . .

Alex
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