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Jesus in the Big Apple

Honoring the Sacred Heart in 'the Heart of the World'



A huge image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is now gracing Times Square — smack dab in the middle of New York City.

 

The 60’ x 20’ billboard, mounted atop the Westin Hotel at the corner of 43rd St. and 8th Ave., is reminding millions of passersby — native New Yorkers and visitors from around the world — of God’s merciful love.

 

The display was unveiled to the public early on the morning of Friday, May 24, and features an image of Jesus pointing to His heart in a show of His unfaltering love. It reads: “June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus” and “Christ is King.”

 

Debra Tvrdik, coordinator of the Souls and Liberty-sponsored initiative, was on the ground as the unfolding took place, and recorded reactions of various people on the street:

 

"Wow! What better place to have Him than on the busiest street in New York — 8th Avenue. All can get a glimpse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus."  
"If you get a bad response, they don't know Him yet."
"Very glad to have Him in New York — people can look and pray a little. I took a picture on my phone to share with others! I love it!"
"Wow! I’m speechless, just speechless. I've never seen anything like it in the city! New York needs Jesus!"  
"Beautiful, just beautiful!"

Tvrdik summed up the responses, saying, "Jesus was met with open arms in New York. The Sacred Heart billboard certainly stands out among all the glitz and lights of Times Square."


Working Together

Getting the billboard up in Times Square represents a team effort by Souls and Liberty and partners Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a group addressing the national moral crisis, and America Needs Fatima (ANF), an organization committed to Catholic values.


Together, the team believes the concerted effort provides an example of what others can do to promote God’s love in the public square.


It’s not just an issue of reclaiming June as the Month of the Sacred Heart from leftist LGBT ideologues, who promote a version of pride antithetical to the Christian faith, they say. Above all, it is intended to remind the world of the good news of Jesus and His invitation to all people to know His love.


"We cannot take God out of our lives — out of any month — without life careening out of order," Tvrdik said.


Thank God for Allies

Tvrdik is thankful to a number of people who inspired her to help bring the Sacred Heart to Times Square.


She said she was inspired by Stephen Saletros, a Catholic lay leader in California, who has erected a billboard of the Sacred Heart in front of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Saletros' billboard is located at the site of the blasphemous, anti-Catholic exhibition of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of LGBT activists impersonating nuns, last June.


"If the West Coast is doing this, the East Coast needs to do it, too — spreading word of Christ's infinite love coast-to-coast," the Souls and Liberty Action Network coordinator said.

 

Tvrdik also is indebted to Ruby Galatolo, a lay leader connected to both TFP and ANF, for pushing the idea during the past few years:


"As Catholics we may have been asleep, but we are waking up with greater zeal and fervor moving from a state of lukewarmness and indifference to a greater love for Him who has created us and given up His life for us so that we may be with Him in heaven for all eternity. It is time we put our love and gratitude in action for Him who gave us all." 

"Sometimes we forget that, but with this billboard campaign it's a little easier to see," she added.


Galatolo is also promoting a prayer to the Sacred Heart which begins:


"During the month of Your Most Sacred Heart, I pray, O Lord, that all who look upon Your sacred image may be drawn into profound union with You."

Tvrdik also gave a shout out to Brian Fenn, an account executive at Clear Channel Outdoor, the company that manufactured the Sacred Heart billboard, for his helpfulness and support.  



Billboards of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Across the US

The billboard in Times Square is not the only display reminding the world that June is Jesus' month; TFP and ANF are responsible for billboards in many states, including:


  • Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson 

  • California: San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Jose, Chino Hills  

  • Florida: Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Clearwater, Ocala 

  • Georgia: Atlanta 

  • Iowa: Des Moines 

  • Illinois: Chicago (14 billboards)

  • Massachusetts: Boston, Medford 

  • Maryland: Baltimore

  • Michigan: Detroit (3 billboards)  

  • Minnesota: Twin Cities 

  • New Jersey: Newark 

  • New Mexico: Albuquerque 

  • Nevada: Las Vegas 

  • New York: New York City, Chinatown, Fort Lee

  • Ohio: Warren 

  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia 

  • Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin  

  • Washington D.C.

  • Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Germantown, Oshkosh, Fox Cities


The Centuries-Old Catholic Tradition

The tradition of honoring Jesus' Sacred Heart during the month of June dates back over 800 years, with renewed interest emerging in the 17th century. In 1675, Jesus appeared to a French nun, Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque, with His heart visible outside His chest — and on fire — surrounded by a crown of thorns.


Throughout the course of multiple apparitions, the nun was made to understand the immense love Jesus has for humanity, and how she must promulgate that message.


“My Heart is so intense in its love for men ... that not being able to contain within it the flames of its ardent charity, they must be transmitted through all means,” He told her.


According to Sr. Margaret Mary, Jesus made 12 promises to those who would promote devotion to His Sacred Heart, one being that He "will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated."


"Anyone who spreads this devotion shall have their names permanently inscribed in my heart." — Jesus to Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Throughout the centuries, the faithful have devoted the month of June, especially, to honor Jesus' love that conquers sin and death, remembering Him who loved us to the end.


Now, the Souls and Liberty Action Network is picking up the mandate given to Sr. Margaret Mary and spreading the good news of the Sacred Heart throughout the country.


Supporting the Campaign

Anyone who would like to donate to the effort can click on this link. So far, $6,000 has been collected toward the total price of $16,000.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!



Dr. Barbara Toth has a doctorate in rhetoric and composition from Bowling Green State University. She has taught at universities in the US, China and Saudi Arabia. Her work in setting up a writing center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahmen University, an all-women's university in Riyadh, has been cited in American journals. Toth has published academic and non-academic articles and poems internationally.


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Bravo! And well done, Debra.

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