Last summer I discovered a wonderful stained glass window of the Sacred Heart by a Benedictine artist Dom. Theodore Bailey in a Church in Pembrokeshire, Wales (see HERE) . It had a great impact on me. I still think it is very beautiful and should be far better known. This summer one of my great discoveries was a stained glass window of the Sacred Heart by the Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Read about him here.
I wish I could say that I saw it in an Irish church, but no- it was in the Victoria and Albert (or V&A). I have to admit that I was not looking for it- as I have long ago given up finding an image of the Sacred Heart in an art gallery or museum - leastways in the UK. I was aware of Clarke's work as a book illustrator, but wholly ignorant of his stained glass.
However, an excellent book by Lucy Costigan and Michael Cullen ( Strangest Genius: The Stained Glass of Harry Clarke ) has shown me what an exciting and important artist he is! Indeed, he is generally recognised as one of the most influential stained glass artists of his generation. Must look at some of his other Sacred Heart windows!
At the top we see Christ crucified, and underneath him two angels collect His precious blood and water. The 'cosmic' sense of the piece is strong as it uses the sun and moon and above dark blue heavens. In the centre we see Christ showing us His Sacred Heart on fire and glowing with love for humanity. On either side are symbols of the Eucharist, water - it looks like the Ark of Noah , and a Chalice ( marked IHS) with a host. We also find other symbols, the Lamb of God, a pelican feeding her young and loaves and fish. The two right at the top I really could not make out!
We also see the outstretched arms of the Risen Christ. The heart is now more of a burst of fire or energy and all around there are spirals which both evoke Celtic art, but also a sense of what Teilhard terms the 'cosmic Christ' uniting all things to himself.
Thus what is so fascinating about the window is that it literally does provide us with three windows through which to understand the Sacred Heart. At the top, we contemplate the 'Pierced One', whose sacrifice on the cross has redeemed the world. In the middle we see the Sacred Heart as the most complete expression of the perfect and infinite love of God for humanity, and the Sacred Heart as the Eucharist. And at the bottom we see the Cosmic Christ we find in St. Paul drawing all things to Himself! Here we see express what Dante describes as the 'Love which moves the sun and the other stars'!
- The devotion to the Sacred Heart.
- Visit Elias Icons
- Description : angels saints &lettering.
- Contact Blog
- Praying with the Icon
- Who was Teilhard de Chardin?
- Benedict XVI and the Sacred Heart
- Basil Hume and Teilhard
- Popes and Evolution
- Benedict XVI and Teilhard
- Teilhard's Litany and Henri Pinta's painting
- Saint John Paul and the Sacred Heart
- Sacred Heart fresco, Paray-le-Monial
- Félix Villé 's Sacred Heart