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The Heart of God: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium to Celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Apparitions of the Sacred Heart

03/17/2024 5:32 AM | Father David Gentry-Akin, PhD, STD

Join us for an interdisciplinary scholarly colloquium organized by the Académie Cor Iesu in Paray-le-Monial, France, from Monday, June 23 – Saturday, June 28, 2025 to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Apparitions of the Sacred Heart.

Beginning on December 27, 1673, St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a cloistered nun of the Visitation Monastery in Paray-le-Monial, reported experiencing the extraordinary graces of mystical visions in which she believed that the Risen Lord revealed to her his Sacred Heart and commissioned her with making known his “heart which has loved humankind so much … as to be consumed in its desire to show them his love.” 

Although images of the Sacred Heart and pious devotions have abounded within and without the Catholic world for the past three and a half centuries, very little attention has been paid either to the history, spirituality, or theology of the “heart” of God before the 17th century, how the image has been received and has impacted the subsequent Catholic tradition, how the image is understood and received in ecumenical and interreligious contexts, or even how the image has impacted and been understood in scientific or cultural circles. 

We welcome to this colloquium scholars from all disciplines, the leaders of institutions or religious congregations with a legacy of devotion to the Sacred Heart, as well as formation personnel who may have an interest in revisiting the tradition of this devotion and seeking to find ways of articulating it in a contemporary idiom.  Attendance may be active or passive, and, for those seeking active participation, we are seeking scholarly papers that relate to the following broad categories: “The Heart of God in the Biblical Tradition”; “The Heart of God in the Theological and Spiritual Tradition before and after the Apparitions in Paray-le-Monial”, “The Heart of God in Art, Literature, and Theatre”, “The Heart of God in Science and Health Care”, “The Heart of God in Other Christian Traditions”, and “The Heart of God in non-Christian Religious Traditions.”

The colloquium is limited to no more than thirty people. Space is limited as the town will be full for the closing celebrations for the anniversary year, so to secure your place please contact us for an application form.  A non-refundable deposit of $400 will be required on or before June 15, 2024. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit a 500-word proposal no later than December 15, 2024. 

The participation fee of $2,000 includes single accommodation at a local classic European-style hotel and all meals from dinner on Monday, June 23 through breakfast on Saturday, June 28.  Meals will feature some of the great food and wine of the Burgundy region where Paray-le-Monial is located.  Each day will feature the opportunity to participate in the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. The days will also include guided visits to the sacred sites of the town by Dr Robert White and local experts. All other meals, flights and transportation costs to be organized and paid for by each participant

Please contact the director of the colloquium, Dr. Robert White, at for more information or to register. To learn more about the Académie Cor Iesu, please visit our website.

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