being a protestant, i don’t understand this. i’m a truck driver and i’ve been all over this country. in my travels, i’ve seen quite a few billboards that have a picture of jesus (or mary) with what appears to be two streaks of light radiating from the heart; one is red and the other blue. does this have something to do with the immaculate heart thing? or is it something else? thanks!
the pictures (or statues) you see of Jesus may be an older image called the Sacred Heart, in which He is dressed in a white robe with a red mantle, His heart is exposed and surrounded in light, and there may be a stream of red and of white (or light blue) streaming from His heart. The “streams” represent the flow of blood and water gushing from his side when the soldier pierced his side with a lance, and indeed, a person who has just died from crucifixion will have been asphyxiated, the pericardium will be full of fluid, and blood and water will gush out if the side is pierced. In religious images of Jesus the blood represents his sacrifice through which he saves us from sin and death, and the water represents our death to sin and rising to new life with Him in baptism. The heart of course represents his love for us and is exposed to show that all have access to his love and mercy.
the image of the Sacred Heart was painted according to description given by the saint who had a vision of Jesus in this way.
The newer images, conveying the same message in a new way, you may have seen show Jesus as a young man clothed in white, with the rays of red and white (or white with blue and gold) streaming from his heart, as he appeared to St Faustina, and the paintings have been done from her description, and the rays represent, she said, his love and mercy, so he his revered as the Divine Mercy in this way, most of all through the devotion by that name and the invocation “Jesus, I trust in You.” This image shows Jesus as a very young man and some of them are not (IMO) the best artistically and if you don’t look close enough to see the beard, may appear feminine. Some of the images are rendered by better artists and Jesus the man is depicted better.
the image of Mary where her heart is exposed is usually called the Immaculate Heart, and again represents the fact that she gave herself in total love and obedience to God when she accepted the angel’s message at the annunciation and willingly became the Mother of the Lord. It is meant to convey that she is the mother of us all and we all have access to her maternal love, which was Christ’s will for us as he expressed as he hung on the cross.