Throughout history, moving statues have tended to be reported at times of civil, political, or religious crisis, in which a breakdown of morale or the imminence of national disaster seemed beyond human aid, inviting divine intervention. In 1524, Italy was overrun by French armies and coping with floods, famine, and plague.
During this time, when Rome itself seemed threatened, a statue of the Virgin Mary at Brescia was reported to open and close its eyes and to move its hands, bringing them together and separating them in a gesture of sympathy. Thousands of witnesses attested to the phenomenon, and similar moving statues were reported in other towns. After the crisis, such miracles ceased.
At this moment of global pandemic, but much less mysteriously, a little piece of Dundee has found its way to the Fair City of Perth. The closure of Wellburn Care Home, in Dundee, has left this statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sadly neglected. Situated in Lochee, Wellburn Convent had been home to the Little Sisters of the Poor for over 150 years – but shortly after the Sisters left the city – Dunkeld Diocese put the site on the market due to its high maintenance costs.
Canon Steven Mulholland, parish priest at St John the Baptist’s RC Church, Perth, spotted the abandoned statue and offered a home for it in Perth. He now invites parishioners to increase their devotions to the Sacred Heart:
“When adoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we peer, as it were, into the heart of Jesus opened in death by the spear of the Roman soldier,” sadi Canon Mulholland.
“Jesus’ heart was indeed opened for us and before us – and thus God’s own heart was opened. The liturgy interprets for us the language of Jesus’ heart, which tells us above all that God is the shepherd of mankind.”
“When we honour the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we express our gratitude for so many benefits obtained from it. The Heart of Jesus is our hope and our comfort in this world. It makes our lives sweeter and soothes our pains and sadnesses.”
“The devotion to the Sacred Heart does not remove the cross from our souls but it gives us more strength to carry it. The devotion to the Sacred Heart does not suppress temptations in our lives but it gives us more courage to overcome them. This devotion forms us and makes our hearts conform to the Heart of Jesus. Thus, it brings humility and sweetness.”
“A heart totally devoted to the Heart of Jesus is meek, humble, and sweet. When you go to a place where the Sacred Heart is honoured, you can really taste the peace of God, the sweetness of the place, the silence of prayer and you think: It is good to stay here.”
“I know a place where people say: It is good to stay here. It is even so good that once you are in this place, you cannot leave it. I have never been there, but I know that this place is the place where the Sacred Heart sits enthroned now and forever. We call it heaven.”
“Let us pray today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask her to lead us toward the Heart of her Son. May she make us true devoted persons to the Sacred Heart. It would be the royal way which leads us toward heaven. Let us take it!”