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Casa Museu de Arte Sacra da Ordem Terceira de Ovar


23 FEV – 30 JUN | Casa Museu de Arte Sacra da Ordem Terceira de Ovar

Devotion to the Sacred Hearts

An evocative exhibition of the Sacred Heart appears in the calendar of temporary exhibitions at CMAS – Casa Museu de Arte Sacra da Ordem Terceira de Ovar, in 2022, as the realization of an intention of the late Father Manuel Pires Bastos, parish priest of S. Cristóvão de Ovar for more than four decades, died on November 8, 2020.

When the opportunity arose to carry it out, the intention was to concentrate the most relevant artistic manifestations of this devotion in the territory of Ovar, allowing us to understand, through a concise selection of pieces, the formation, importance and affirmation of this cult in space and in the evolution of time, parallel to the enhancement and enhancement of the heritage of Ovar.

On the other hand, the whole process had in mind a guiding premise, and so often faded: To make the Museum a living space, a meeting place, a preferential mediator between the faithful and the object of worship.

In this territory marked by the existence of numerous confraternities, brotherhoods and religious orders, all or practically all of them, succumbed to the passage of time and the secularization of society, religious congregations whose specific purpose was the veneration of the Sacred Hearts are important to mention. Thus, we also exalt the memory of the extinct Brotherhoods of the Sagrado Coração de Jesus, established in the Chapel of N.ª Sra. da Graça, in 1755, which asserted itself before the pioneer brotherhoods evocative of this cult in Portugal, but also the Archconfraternity of the Sagrado Coração de Maria (1858), headquartered in the Mother Church of Ovar.

The Apostolate of Prayer, arrived at the Igreja Matriz de Ovar in 1878, and which quickly spread throughout the county: Válega (1878), Maceda (1879), Esmoriz (1882), S. Vicente de Pereira (1891), Arada ( 1901) and Cortegaça (1902)

And also the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Mary, installed in S. Vicente de Pereira in 1863, and which still stands firm to the design of the times.

Historical context

If it is true that the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary are today one of the most notable and important devotions in the entire Christian world, it is no less interesting to say that this success is recent, taking place from the end of the 17th century, with the selfless action of Santa Margarida Maria Alacoque (1647-1690), the French nun to whom Jesus appeared several times, asking for a particular devotion to her heart.

It was with these events that an extraordinary propagation of the cult took place throughout the Catholic world, through a new theological aspect, which did not, however, erase the old representations and interpretations of the Sacred Heart, which concretized a living example of the complex journeys of forms between centuries, sometimes so difficult to explain.

However, it will be fair to understand this devotion only and only from the second half of the century. XVII? Of course not! The devotion to the flaming heart is as old as the Church itself, and a faithful example of this ideal are saints such as Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Bernardo de Claraval (1090-1153), the Franciscan Bonaventure (1221-1274) or the Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), who in their time were key elements in increasing devotion to the torn heart of Christ.

Thus, the bases of this cult are found in the Middle Ages, closely linked to the devotion to the Wounds of Christ, later understood as the synthesis of the Passion in the Heart of Jesus. In a more expressive way, from the century. XII, there is a full affirmation of the practice of contemplation of the Wounds, consolidating more and more the concept of Jesus' love for humanity, and for which the mendicant orders played a decisive role.

Consequently, these times were already fertile in the conception of exercises of piety in the mysticism of the Sacred Heart, having also, in a Portugal sensitive to French influences, an assiduous presence, translated into an immensity of representative solutions, mainly since the last half of the century. XVI.

In the course of the 1600s, there was a rapid spread of this devotion throughout the West, with the apparitions to Santa Margarida Maria having evidently a fundamental role in this stimulus, resulting in a full fervor proven by the reception and protection of the cult by episcopates and sovereigns, standing out in the In the Portuguese case, Queen Maria I, an excellent promoter of this devotion, attested in the determination of the construction of what would become the first Basilica in the world dedicated to the Heart of Jesus, the monumental Basilica da Estrela, in Lisbon, sacred in 1789, or the reason for the presence of the insignia of the Heart of Jesus in the commendations of the three Portuguese Orders (Grand Crosses and Commanders).

In the opposite direction, we find the position of the Church of Rome, which for a long time faced the cause, giving up only in 1765, the approval of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with limitations, which resulted in a transversal movement of claim of permission of the cult, and whose final answer would only happen with Pius IX, in 1860, with the institution of the same universally.

In 1844, the Apostolate of Prayer is founded in France, an association promoting devotion to the Heart of Jesus, which extends to Portugal in 1864, the year of the beatification of Margarida Maria, reaching a new phase of expansion in our country, reaffirmed by the Portuguese bishops in 1873, with the consecration of dioceses and the dissemination of frequent pastorals of devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

In 1900, Leo XIII, consecrates the world to the Sacred Heart.

The Casa Museu de Arte Sacra da Ordem Terceira de Ovar is a reality that has existed in our territory since 1973. the Venerable Third Order of St. Francis.
Over time, it became the city's main storage point, gathering objects and goods dating from the 19th century to the 19th century. XV and XX.

This exhibition is the expression of the dedicated work of the Ordem Terceira de Ovar, based on the research and curatorship of the young Ovarense Ricardo Pinho, Master's student in Art History, Heritage and Visual Culture, at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto, which included the guidance and support of Father Victor Pacheco, our Vicar and Parish Priest of S. Cristóvão, the parish priests and the contribution of many institutions in our county.

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