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Tattoo designs - S >> Sacred Heart

sacred heart tattoo design meaningsSacred Heart - The Sacred Heart is a medieval symbol of Christ's sacrifice, particularly within the Roman Catholic Church. The sacred heart signifies the redeeming love of God as the source of illumination and happiness, hence the flames, and the thorns representing the Crown of Thorns that Christ wore on the Cross. As a tattoo design, large, brilliantly coloured Sacred Hearts have become very popular tattoo designs with women in the New School genre of tattooing, with the image often having a place of prominence of the chest or ribcage.

The human heart beats at the centre of religions all over the world and has done so since man came to recognize it as the symbol of love, both human and divine. Over time it became also the symbol of charity, piety, and understanding. And for sorrow, as well as joy and happiness.

Sacred Heart images

In Judaism, the word 'heart' represented the core of the person. Not only was it the principle physical organ, it was considered the seat of spirituality. The heart was the emotional centre, and from there flowed love towards the divine. The psalms are full of references to the heart being the communication center between God and human. In the Gospels, Jesus talks of the heart representing love, humility and gentleness and there are many stories of the outpouring of Christ's love for the grieving and the suffering of the people.

The Sacred Heart is probably the most easily recognized symbol of the Catholic faith, and represents the love of the Saviour for all mankind. It appears as a heart in flames, pierced by a wound from a lance, and enclosed in a crown of thorns. The flames represent love and spiritual fervor. The wounds and crown refer to the way Christ died, but they are also symbols of man's ingratitude. They also suggest contrition and repentance. The spear or lance was the weapon used by the Roman soldier who, from the foot of the cross, drove it into Christ's side, ending his life. From the wound flowed water and blood, becoming the symbols of the 'springs of salvation' and the 'fountain of sacramental life in the Church'. Today, those who devote themselves to the Sacred Heart do so to create within themselves the love and compassion as taught by Jesus Christ.

Sacred Heart images

Saint Justin, the martyr, said that Christians were 'carved out of Jesus' heart'. Other early saints talked of the 'living waters that flow from the heart of Christ'. Early Christian mystics are reported to have received visions of the Heart in a circle of thorns. The Jesuits and Franciscans placed images of the Sacred Heart on their books and walls of churches, but devotional fervor really took off when, in 1673, a French nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, saw Jesus in a series of visions. Christ spoke to her of his heart as being 'passionately inflamed with love' for all mankind, and directed her to proclaim that love. That heart, she claimed, was 'like a furnace'. After her death, the bishop of Marseilles consecrated the city to the Sacred Heart, so they might be spared from the plague. It must have worked, because the symbol was thereafter used as a protective charm against the scourge.

Sacred Heart Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!Get inspired by some great images and photos in our Sacred Heart Inspiration Gallery

See also: Religious Tattoo Index, Latino Tattoo Index

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Tattoo designs - S >> Sacred Heart

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