Antique and beautiful, Italian,Devotional Plaque, silver plated bronze, with ivory sacred Heart Ex Voto.

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Antique and beautiful, Italian,Devotional Plaque,  silver plated bronze,   with  ivory sacred Heart Ex Voto.

Italy 18th century

Size 13.5 x 10 x 1 cm

Wight 129 gr.

Sacred Heart

The Sacred Heart is one of the most recognizable of Catholic devotional images. But there is no one standard way of depicting it. In fact, the visual representation of the Sacred Heart has developed dramatically over time.

The devotion as we know it today got its start with a series of visions received by the French mystic nun St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the late 1600s. But the devotion’s roots run much deeper into the early history of the Church.

Devotional Plaques

Christians in the Middle Ages expressed and strengthened their faith through public rituals, such as celebration of the Eucharist, and personal devotions conducted in a private chapel, a monastic cell, or simply a corner of one’s home. Individuals sought to deepen their faith through study, meditation, and prayer, which might be guided by psalters or private prayer books, Images, usually modest in scale, helped in these spiritual endeavors, since they made tangible the object of devotional practices. Reflecting the wealth and rank of the individual, such images were produced in every medium, from vellum to gold, ivory to clay. The fervor with which individual Christians practiced their faith often took a toll on the objects that aided their devotion. Owners might repeatedly kiss and caress them, wearing away details carved into the surface and obliterating the features of holy figures