The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Part 1 – An Ecumenical Icon for the Universal Church
The icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father originates directly from a series of revelations and other occurrences given by the Heavenly Father, to two adult individuals in 2010-2011 (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011). The said individuals are both practicing Roman Catholics and presently maintaining generalized anonymity. The main person concerned is under spiritual direction. In these revelations, which included corporeal theophanic visions (according to Augustine of Hippo [401-415], Aumann , Burtchaell , and Tanquerey [1947/2001]), God the Father requested that He be depicted on an icon as He had manifested Himself – in terms of His energeia (Gregory Palamas, 69, P.G. CL; P.G. CL; Lossky, 1944/1997) – in said visions, for multiple aims. The icon is being written by a Roman Catholic friar-iconographer.
Using what can be considered as the second, vicariously revealed icon (Florensky, 1996) of the Father in the Catholic Church, God the Father has made explicitly known His deepest desires and intentions through these revelations, both in relation to mankind (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011) and to His universal Church (unpublished message, 9/15/11). Specifically, the Father requested that a diptych icon be made and entitled, “The Divine Heart of God the Father Encompassing All Hearts;” with the subtitle, “Infinite Love.” (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011, p. 38). On the left icon was to be depicted His Divine Heart as manifested in the vision of 5/25/2010 (pp. 22-23), whereas on the right icon was to be written the Consecration Prayer that He had dictated on 6/13/2010 (p. 38). Below is the original narrative of the said vision.
Meanwhile, in these revelations, God the Father stated that the icon of His Divine Heart was to be enshrined in a church of His own choosing upon its completion, which church will be revealed at a later date (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011). Furthermore, additionally to the multiple aims previously outlined, the Father declared that He was giving this icon (rather than painting) of His Divine Heart to mankind, as (1) an, “intentionally ecumenical icon” (unpublished message, 9/15/11) that emphasizes the need for re-unification between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. As well as (2) “a response” (ibid.) to Jesus Christ’s prayer to the Father, “May they all be One just as, Father, You are in Me and I am in You, so that they also may be in us; so that the world may believe it was You who sent Me” (Jn 17:21).
Original Narrative of 25th May 2010
“Yesterday evening at around 6pm I was in one of the inner rooms in my house when I suddenly saw a ray of sunlight come right at me, through the wooded trees at the back of my house. It was as though it was twinkling, going back and forth. So I asked “Is that You?” And I heard “Come” while the ray kept on twinkling further as though beckoning me. Throughout all this the sun appeared in front, rather than at the back, of my trees, which I thought was quite weird. So I went out onto my lawn in my backyard and looked at the sun trying to figure out what was happening, since it seemed different than usual. Then the sun came much closer to me, actually hiding the branches of the trees. Its rays came right at me and they became very brilliant. I have never seen anything like it. The rays encircled me and I realized I was staring right at the sun without blinking. I tried looking away because I thought “ok, now I must be blind.” But no, I could see perfectly and I had no spectacles on either. So I turned back to look at the sun and heard “Come into My Arms” (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011, pp. 22-23).
“I continued looking at the sun, while my soul was glorifying and praising God, when suddenly the core of the sun changed. In its core I saw a heart, a large gray heart with a very blood-looking, red core that was pulsating regularly. The heart had all the regular folds, membranes, and crevices that are normally found in a regular (human) heart. I found myself staring right at the core of the heart and as soon as I told God that I loved Him, the core appeared to be pulsating and throbbing much more rapidly, very emphatically. At the same time I both saw and felt the rays reach right into the very core of my being, right into my soul, and I felt my soul rest in my Father’s Arms. He said “Now you can rest, you are in My Arms” (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011, p. 23).
“After a few minutes, while I remained as is with my soul resting in His Arms, the gray heart disappeared and two white hearts appeared instead. They were intertwined, one above/beneath the other at their edges, and two golden brilliantly shining Crosses were above them – one above each heart. These lasted for about five minutes. Then the gray heart reappeared, pulsating and throbbing very vividly, and lasted for some more minutes too. I do not really know how long I stayed there with all this, but my clock upon re-entering the house showed that about 20-30 minutes had passed. I had been staring at the sun without difficulty, without it burning my eyes, the entire time. I also felt tremendous warmth and love within me, that are still with me at the present time of writing (the following morning). After the gray heart stayed with me for a while and my Father and I were talking to each other, the sun then withdrew back behind the trees; the rays withdrew, the heart disappeared, and I went inside” (Apostolate of the Divine Heart, 2011, p. 23).
- Apostolate of the Divine Heart. (2011). Devotion to the Divine Heart of God the Father, 2nd ed. East Longmeadow, MA: Author.
- Augustine of Hippo. (401-415). Corporeal vision. De genesi ad litteram, 12.
- Aumann, J. (1989). Corporeal vision. In Spiritual theology. Manila: University of Santo Tomas.
- Burtchaell, J. T. (2003). Theophany. New Catholic Encyclopedia(2nd ed.), 13:929.
- Florensky, P. (1996). Iconostasis (D. Sheehan & O. Andrejev, trans.). Essex: Oakwood.
- Gregory Palamas. Capita physica, theologica, moralis et practica, 69, P.G. CL, 1169 C.
- Gregory Palamas. P.G. CL, 932 D.
- Lossky, V. (1944/1997). The mystical theology of the Eastern Church.NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
- Tanquerey, A. (1947/2001). Corporeal vision. In The spiritual life: A treatise on ascetical and mystical theology (2nd ed.). NC: Tan Books.