SYMBOLISM. Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

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Sculpture by Damien Hirst .

The Sacred Heart is also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

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The Sacred Heart is a devotional name used by some Roman Catholics to refer to the physical heart of Jesus Christ as a symbol of Divine love.

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The Sacred Heart symbol was revealed in a vision to a catholic nun, Mary Marguerite Alacocque in 17th century, France.

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Tattoo by Loic

The heart (often depicted in Christian art) is encircled with a crown of thorns, has flames shooting from the top, shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, surmounted by a cross and bleeding.

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The Sacred Heart symbolises the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity

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 Tattoo by Thomas Hooper

The actual elements of the symbol are self explanatory, but the symbol rose to prominence when the bishop of Marseilles consecrated his diocese to the sacred heart to try to avert the plague that was overtaking the town. Somehow, the area remained immune to disease and so the Sacred Heart gained a reputation as a symbol not only of good luck but also of divine intervention

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The symbol is generally tattooed within a chest piece. Often in an ‘old school’ design style, although designs have recently featured anatomical hearts.

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I have used the imagery within my ‘broken sacred heart’ tattooed leather artworks.

The design features typical sacred heart imagery mixed with  an anatomical heart, geometric shapes, matchstick ‘arteries’ and falling geometric pieces of the heart.


I also have a simplified version available as ‘ready to wear’ ink in the flash section of my website

Flash. sample. SH.web

See more of my inky work @

For other posts on tattoo styles and symbolism go to the ‘styles, symbols & signs’ section of this blog

Sacred heart