Sacred Sites of Notre Dame: Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

Posted by Annie Harton on Apr 20, 2021 11:02:00 AM
Annie Harton

21-0420 Blog Photo

In the heart of God Quad, you encounter the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. If you look at a map, you may even notice the walking paths actually form the shape of a heart with the statue at its base. This is not just a geographic reality, but a theological truth as well. Jesus is at the heart of everything we do and the foundation of all knowledge. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

On the base of the statue are the words “VENITE AD ME OMNES” which translates as, “Come to me, everyone!” Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, saw the Sacred Heart as “an image of God’s love for humanity and humanity’s love for God.” As Jesus stretched out His arms on the Cross when He died for us, He stands ready with a heart wide open to welcome all people into His loving embrace.

On my first campus tour, my guide explained that this statue is also called “Jump, Mom” Jesus. Supposedly, if you were to lay the Golden Dome face down Our Mother would rest in the arms of Jesus. Thus, Jesus is telling her, “Jump, Mom! I’ll catch you!”

Mary is our model as the first disciple trusting God with her “yes” every day. When Jesus and Mary were invited to a loved one’s wedding in Cana, Mary interceded for the deepest desires of the heart of the newlywed couple. She brought those prayers to Jesus and told all present, “Do whatever He tells you.” He answered by working His first public miracle and provided more than what was asked. St. Maximilian Kolbe says that we are “not to worry about loving Mary too much because we can never love her more than Jesus does.”

As an alumna of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, I have developed a great devotion to Our Lady Mother and the Holy Family. I am confident that my Holy Cross education helped me to get to know the heart of Christ on my search for Truth and the love of Mary at the foot of the Cross. Knowing Christ better allows me to love Him and His family more fully.

Studying psychology and theology, I learned that we can never understand everything. We do know that Jesus was human and experienced the fullness of human emotion. I have enjoyed reflecting on a beloved professor’s suggestion that “God became man so He could have a mom.” The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary were pierced in, for, and through love for one another and for each one of us. In this Year of St. Joseph, we remember the loyal Chaste Heart of Joseph as He loved Jesus and Mary with all that he had.
Before graduation, I celebrated with two Echo colleagues as they got engaged at the Sacred Heart statue. One of them was named after St. Joseph. Christ was the foundation of their relationship and I pray that more couples unite their hearts with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as they grow in lasting love.

As a marriage counselor, I’m honored to sit with people as they share their joys and sorrows. I validate their feelings and help them to find meaning in their story. Our heartaches and deepest desires make us more similar than different. We all have a heart that is created to be conformed to the heart of Christ. No matter what we may be going through in school, work, or life, Jesus pours out His inexhaustible mercy and compassion. He looks at each of us and says, “Jump! I’ll catch you!” Are we willing to fall into His arms like Mary? What is keeping us from letting ourselves be loved by the heart of Christ?

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me.

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Topics: pilgrimage

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