the image of the Divine Mercy – love it or hate it…

the image of the Divine Mercy – love it or hate it… April 13, 2012

… While I hold that the devotion itself is a wonderful and good thing, it must be said that I have no love for the image. Specifically, the effeminate Hyla-influenced Divine Mercy image affectionately coined “Laser Jesus” by Digi and I.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

If I wanted my Jesus purty, I prefer he look more like Sam Beam.

My personal preference is this image…

At least here Jesus looks more closely like the original Divine Mercy image created for St. Faustina by Eugene Kazimierowski – minus the angels.

I’m not the only one not feeling the Hyla Divine Mercy. Steven Greydanus writes;

“We’ve never liked the Divine Mercy images you see on most holy cards and website — the ones based on the 1943 painting by Adolf Hyla, with Jesus tilting his head to one side and making good eye contact with the viewer. To our eyes this Jesus looks too much like the mild, slightly effeminate, northern European Jesus of too much sentimental Protestant devotional art — something that, as converts, we’re more than slightly allergic to.”

Yes, I’m severely allergic. Shitty Jesus Art has been known to throw me into anaphylactic shock.

"And on the third dead He arose from the dead and was like "Whaaaaaat?" and His disciples were all like "Whaaaaaaat?"

Or maybe my aversion to the Divine Mercy image is because it’s got that spooky and nefarious triangle shape that always points to Satan. From the link;

“The IMAGE OF DIVINE MERCY is not just another cheap Catholic image, this one is truly special, this is an image of someone who will deceive a lot of people in the future. Maybe it’s of the future Antichrist, or maybe of someone else, but we know that this painting was done to deceive in a big way. The illuminati pyramid is abundantly clear in the Catholic image of DIVINE MERCY. Satan is the god of this world according to 2nd Corinthians 4:4, and believe it or not, he controls most of the religions of this world.”

Silliness aside…

What are your thoughts regarding the image?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ironiccatholic

    Hyla: Don’t like it.  The original is much better but I much prefer the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which strikes me as communicating the same concept.  Having said that–this image and devotion are important to dear family and friends, so I shrug and say different strokes for different folks.

  • I agree!!!  I have a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy (I’m not Polish, but I went to a mostly-Polish parish for years).  Still I much prefer the original and the icon.  The Hyla Divine Mercy makes me shudder…

  • Jeanne Chabot

    I shudder at anything that looks like 1950’s- 60’s art.  You know, the typical sacred heart image that is plastered all over my mother’s house?  You haven’t seen my mother’s house, but trust me, they’re there.  So the Hyla Divine Mercy thing-y also makes me shudder.  Give me a good orthodox Icon.  I love those.

  • I didn’t really like any of the images until I bought a copy of the Holy Face (from the Shroud of Turin) & it suddenly struck me how amazingly similar it was to the original Vilnius image ~ so now I like that one!  I also like that it’s a broad-shouldered, substantial Jesus (like the Magnificat Holy Week cover) instead of the scrawny, emaciated Jesus that’s on way too many sanctuary crucifixes.

  • Barbara B.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only person who hates it.  I am reminded of pictures of Jesus in Mormon art — and those creep me out.  I first saw the icon image yesterday.  Now *that* is something I like, and could contemplate.  Truthfully, I think the Laser Jesus is the reason I’ve avoided this devotion.  Trying to get into it (the devotion) this weekend, tho….

    • yes, always good to get into a plenary indulgence!!

  • lethargic

    I despise all the limp-wrist Jesus images as well as the Mormon Jesus style of art.  I understand having sacred artwork that reflects one’s own people, but I would prefer something less navel-centered.  The DM image you say you like, with the angels … it’s actually a combined Sacred Heart/DM image … I have a large framed copy of that on the wall where I can see it from my kitchen and my seat at the dining table … love it!  I am on the hunt for Jesus/Holy Family artwork that actually looks like biblical-era Jews … dark hair and eyes, not overly thin … if you know of something tasteful in this vein, please advise ..

  • tj.nelson

    I like the Hyla image.

  • Joanne McPortland

    Blogged on this today (I guess everybody did). Just updated to link to your post. I too am severely allergic to shitty Jesus art. 

  • Tim

    The illuminati pyramid is abundantly clear in the Catholic image of DIVINE MERCY. ”

    I wish people would be more careful with their adverbs.  What exactly does “abundantly clear” mean?  Is there such a thing as an abundance of clarity?

    Adverbs are the work of Satan… truly.

  • Patricia

    There are several images of the Divine Mercy available in the style of Eastern Christian iconography that are very nice — google icon Divine Mercy.

  • Charlie

    Who is the artist/iconographer of your ‘personal preference’ above?? I would love to purchase a print…beautiful…

  • NY Mom

    The best image of Jesus Christ, in my opinion, is the 6th century wax encaustic icon from St Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. In it, his face can be divided exactly in half vertically. One side is traditionally the merciful side, in which his hand is raised in blessing, and the other is far more judging – Christ holds the Gospel book on that side, which can also be said to be the Word or the Law.

    I have long felt that this image blows every other one out of the park, save that of the Shroud of Turin. The two aspects of his character form one awesome catechism in itself- this is no “sweet” or “safe”  image, but one of masculine power, authority and strength.  I cannot look at it without emotion welling up. His gaze sears right into your soul.

    Take a look here:

    That said, if Jesus Christ asked St. Faustina to promote the image of the Divine Mercy, I am not going to argue or complain about its artistry. The image is about the message of mercy, for those who may really need a “safe” looking Jesus to trust.  If the art doesn’t do it for you, open her book and start reading.

    NY Mom

    • Patricia

       NY Mom: Absolutely!  I think the Christ Pantocrator (“Ruler of All”) icon of which you speak is the most awesome depiction of Jesus Christ (not including the miraculous image of the Shroud of Turin, as you said).   I have seen some interesting comparisons made between it and the Image on the Shroud.  

  • Love the devotion. Laser Jesus is just too purty. Doesn’t look like he can empty a mousetrap, let alone open up a can of whupass on moneychangers.

  • I can’t stand the Hyla image. I unaffectionately call it the “pansy Jesus” picture. I like the original the best, it looks like he suffers/suffered in that one. Jesus wasn’t pretty. The Bible clearly says “he has no beauty that we should desire him.” Jesus beat up the tax collectors, was horribly maimed on the cross and wrested the keys of hell from the Devil. He’s no pansy.

    The original Vilnius image is remarkably similar to the Ibarraran sacred heart picture and the Shroud of Turin, I think.

  • A confessor of mine turned me into a big Divine Mercy devotee. I’ve been writing about this novena on my own blog and have been using different images. I actually like the laser one…but like a few others a bit more (including the second image you posted). Below are two of my favorites….

  • MaryW

    Love the devotion.  Not so the Hyla image.

  • daisy

    I loathe the effeminae Hyla image. My parish trashed ours and got the original image.

  • tj.nelson

    “God will get you for this.”  hahahaha!

  • Patricia

    The image of the Divine Mercy here (from a post by Fr. Joseph Homick) is still in the style of a painting, but quite different than the Hyla image:

  • Qualcosadibello

    your suggestion of satan’s work in this image are much more troubling to me than the 1943 version.  the rays of Kazimierowski’s original could easily be considered triangular too.  i have prayed below that image in krakow.  Christ’s eyes are what draws the adorer.  i second the readers who suggest reading st. faustina’s diary…

    • Sigh. Reading comprehension, people. 

      It is not my suggestion at all – hence the link and the very clear “from the link” before the quote.