The Seal Of The Apostles Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus
The motto"Caritas Christi urget nos", The love of Christ impels us, (2 Cor 5:14) - is the motto of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart and divides the seal into two parts.
The upper part of the motto is rich in symbolism: the pierced heart, the bright rays in yellow, the cross with the flames of fire symbolizing the light of the risen Christ who has conquered death.
The heart is crowned with thorns to remind us of the passion of the one who loved us and gave himself for us, even spilling the last drop of blood that came from his wounded Heart.
The cross over the heart represents the triumph and greatness of Christ's love for humanity. It is a burning love that is not consumed: the flames of fire are reminiscent of the burning bush in Ex 3: 1-6. At the revelation of God in the bush, Moses could not approach, rather he had to remove his sandals; the love revealed in Christ is inclined to embrace human misery and to teach mankind to call God by the name of the Father (Lk 15: 20-24, Lk 11: 1-4).
The white dove, who seeks food in the wound of the open heart, symbolizes the Apostle who seeks in the Heart of Christ the strength and inspiration for mission. The whole upper part represents the inner life and prayer of the Apostle, who finds in the Heart of Jesus the source of her spiritual life as an Apostle of Love. The drops of blood that spring from the open chest symbolize the Eucharist, the daily "bread" from which the Apostle nourishes herself in order to resemble Christ in the Love that is given to others. It also reminds us that Mother Clelia's spirituality was profoundly Eucharistic: she, "like a grain of wheat," offered her life so that the Institute she founded, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, could triumph.
The lower part of the Pauline motto represents the world and the missionary dimension of the charism of Mother Clelia. The Apostle, impelled by love and in communion with Christ, will proclaim it. In fact, six years after the founding of the Institute, Mother Foundress sent the first missionary Apostles to Brazil (1900) and the United States (1902). The name Apostle includes the missionary dimension of our charism; to be Apostles like the first Apostles. Mother Clelia wrote in a letter to her Sisters - "Let us learn to be Apostles not only in name but according to the spirit of the Apostles..." (PM 70).
The boat symbolizes the Church sailing across the sea of the world to bring the Gospel to all peoples. The white dove is the Apostle missionary, who sent by the Church, will carry the Good News of hope and peace, represented by the olive branch in the beak. The branch symbolizes the martyrdom of Christ and the new life flowing from the pierced Heart. The Apostle, once she is nourished in the "Source of Love", which is the Eucharist, is impelled to bring the Charity of Christ, with words and with her life, to every person who is part of her history and mission and to all places where Providence sends her.