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A beloved image, the original picture was in a centuries-old church slated for destruction. A priest from Michigan saved it from certain ruin and brought it to the United States, where it became a family heirloom for a young Catholic doctor and his family. As far as is known, the original was painted in the 1700s by an unknown artist. The Latin inscription at the bottom reads, “Sic Deus Dilexit Mundum,” and is translated, “For God So Loved the World” (John 3:16). Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, Catholic author and speaker, has used this image extensively in his books and meditations. He tells the story of how angry, torn, and sad he was on the afternoon of 9/11, when many of his friends and associates were killed in the World Trade Center attacks. This image of the Sacred Heart, which hung in the monastery chapel, ministered deeply to him a message of forgiveness and mercy. Soon after, he used the image as the basis of a series of meditations in his book The Cross at Ground Zero.
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