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The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War$
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Raymond Jonas

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242975

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242975.001.0001

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Silent Eruptions: Claire and Her Public

Silent Eruptions: Claire and Her Public

Chapter:
(p.35) Silent Eruptions: Claire and Her Public
Source:
The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War
Author(s):

Raymond Jonas

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520242975.003.0005

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

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