The Society of Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, is pleased to announce that a statue, depicting Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, will be designed and sculpted by internationally acclaimed master sculptor, Gregor Mussner, and the world-renowned artists of Mussner G. Vincenzo Art Studio.
The statue which was commissioned by the society’s founder, J. Basil Dannebohm, will be blessed and dedicated at special ceremony on September 8th, 2018.
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 126 year old 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.
“Our Lady, Healer of Hearts,” will stand 33” tall from head to toe - an inch for each year of Her Son’s life on earth. She will stand atop clouds, giving the statue a total height of approximately 43”. Unlike typical depictions of the Blessed Mother, Our Lady Healer of Hearts will have her arms outstretched, with hands cupped, holding a heart. The gesture is rich in symbolism.
“Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, reminds us that the Blessed Mother delights in coming to the aid of Her children,” said Dannebohm. “The gesture of presenting us with a clean heart reminds us that she calls both the most devout and the most distant to come, unite our hearts with her Immaculate Heart and to be enveloped in her motherly love. The gesture is also a call to action. In the midst of conflict and division, Our Lady desires each of us to be examples of love to the whole world. Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, reminds us that regardless of what may divide us, God’s love, Her Son’s love, and indeed, Her love unites us.”
The process to create the statue will take between 4 to 5 months. Mussner and his team will begin by creating a clay model, which serves as the “guide” from which the statue will be carved. Next, wood imported from Croatia will be fixed on a special carving table. Using different carving tools, the artist begins to create the statue. As work progresses and the statue starts to take shape, the chisels used will be more intricate. Once the carving is completed the statue goes through the coloring process. A team of specialized painters will use various techniques until the desired result is achieved. 22 carat gold leaf will be used for gilded parts of the statue.
“A statue depicting Our Lady reaching her heart to the observer in front of her is uncommon in her gesture, but not in what she stands for,” said sculptor, Gregor Mussner. “Her gesture suggests she is saying, ‘Come to me. Both I, and my beloved Son, will give you all of ourselves.’ It could also suggest that she is saying, ‘My heart beats for you, trust me. I gave you my heart, now change your life and come to me.’ Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, is a title which can effectively be used to explain Our Lady’s grace.”
While not an official epithet of The Virgin Mary, “Our Lady, Healer of Hearts,” is a title that Dannebohm, hopes will foster a renewed sense of Marian devotion, especially from those who need to experience healing of body, mind, and spirit.
“My life was on a downward spiral,” said Dannebohm. “After years of chaos and confusion, I only began to find peace when I turned to Our Lady, imploring her to come to my aid, begging her to heal my heart. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m in a much better place now than I have been any other point in my life.”
The Society of Our Lady Healer of Hearts is an international prayer group of Catholic men and women, comprised of members of the clergy, religious, and the laity. Members are asked to pray that The Blessed Mother will heal the hearts of the world, filling them with unceasing love and abundant forgiveness. There is no cost to become a member.
Society member, Anna Nuzzo, an internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and host of the television series, “Sing 4 Him,” which airs on Shalom World TV, hopes the statue will serve as a reminder of the Virgin Mary’s ultimate example of motherly love.
“Mary is a Divine Mother, whose love and guidance transcends our comprehension, said Nuzzo. “She wants nothing more than to take our needs before Her Son and His Heavenly Father, imploring on our behalf as only a mother can do. She desires that our hearts be healed, filled with unceasing love and abundant forgiveness so that we can fully experience Our Lord's Divine Mercy.”
Nuzzo, along with other members of the organization, will be on hand September 8th for the blessing and dedication ceremony, which will take place in Salina, Kansas. Planning and preparation has already begun in anticipation of the event.
For more information about the Society of Our Lady, Healer of Hearts, visit www.ourladyhealerofhearts.com.