Duchesne Academy has acquired a 19th century Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. The artwork was revealed to the community on Friday, September 8 following the Mass of the Holy Spirit when Fr. Charles Hough IV blessed the statue. During the blessing, Fr. Hough shared with our community the historical significance of the Bishop's robe and the spiritual symbolism represented in the statue's adornment.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue is a French 19th century carved wood, painted, and gilded artwork that was originally located in Paris at the same time our founder, Madeline Sophie Barat, was also in Paris. The statue was originally displayed on a high pedestal, as there is evidence of markings where the devout would rub the feet of the sculpture.
For many years, Duchesne Academy had sought to have a visible representation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on campus, an image dear to our founding Mothers, and which is present on many Sacred Heart campuses. In 2015, a faculty member located the statue through an art and antique dealer in New Orleans. Following a lengthy restoration process, in which repairs were made to restore the piece to its original beauty, the statue finally arrived on campus, and was placed in a prominent location near the Upper School hallway.
As Duchesne Academy celebrates the bicentennial journey of founder St. Rose Philippine Duchesne —who left Paris and landed in New Orleans to bring her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to North America — it is appropriate that we dedicated this statue which also journeyed from Paris to New Orleans, and will be an object that leads us deeper in our own devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.