“Go before the altar of Our Lady, and, on your knees, trustingly ask her to take your heart, and prepare it to receive her dear Son ... Ask that He may keep your heart for Himself alone.”
The words of Father Cruz to Sister Lucia of Fatima on the occasion of her First Confession, on the eve of her First Holy Communion
Inspired by the prayerful vision of J. Basil Dannebohm, Our Lady Healer of Hearts was sculpted by internationally acclaimed master sculptor, Gregor Mussner, and the world-renowned artists of Mussner G. Vincenzo Art Studio.
The process to create the statue took 5 months. Mussner and his team began by creating a clay model, which served as the guide from which the statue would be carved. Next, wood imported from Croatia was fixed on a special carving table. Using different tools, Mussner began to create the statue, craved entirely by hand. As the work progressed and the statue started to take shape, the chisels used became more intricate. Once the carving was complete, a team of specialized painters used various techniques to add color to the piece until the desired result was achieved. 22 carat gold leaf was used for gilded parts of the statue.
Located in Ortisei, in the Dolomite Mountains of northeastern Italy known as “the valley of woodcarvers,” Mussner’s art studio, was founded in 1892. The studio has received numerous awards and acknowledgements of excellence. In 1998, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, commissioned Mussner to create a statue entitled, “Mary of Nazareth.” The statue, depicting a young Mary, made a worldwide Marian Pilgrimage through 50 countries.
Unlike typical depictions of the Blessed Mother, the 40” statue of Our Lady Healer of Hearts depicts the Virgin Mary with her arms outstretched and Her hands cupped, holding a gilded heart. The gesture is rich in symbolism.
While not an official epithet of The Virgin Mary, “Our Lady, Healer of Hearts,” is a title the Dannebohm hopes will foster a renewed sense of Marian devotion, especially from those who need to experience healing of body, mind, and spirit.