Silent Eruptions: Claire and Her Public

Raymond Jonas

in The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242975
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938281 | DOI:
Silent Eruptions: Claire and Her Public

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This chapter first discusses Claire and her interactions with her public. After gaining national celebrity status, many pilgrims flocked to her home, robbing her of the respite she looked forward to on her return home. Her visions and message made her a celebrity, however she was a reluctant one. Second, the chapter discusses Claire's new vision of the Sacré-Couer. Claire's vision of the Sacred Heart was similar to the images of the heart of Jesus, however, hers was an image reminiscent of France's culpability. With Claire, Jesus took a similar form to that of the standard representation of the Sacred Heart but with certain striking innovations. In her vision, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is pierced not by the standard traverse cut, but by a gaping vulviform wound. Her vision of the Sacred Heart reminded one of the maternal nature of the representation of Jesus, because the blood that oozes out from his heart possesses nurturing and life-giving qualities, and a promise of renewal. Her vision also posited the question whether the feminization of nineteenth-century France elicited feminine representations of the Sacred Heart. Furthermore, her representation of Jesus' gaping wound signified the official atheism of France. Like Claire, her vision of Jesus had been politicized.

Keywords: public; visions; Sacré-Couer; Sacred Heart; atheism

Chapter.  4439 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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