Monday, March 3, 2008
Sacred Heart Devotional Art, 1897
(Forgive me if this sounds too much like “Antiques Roadshow”.)
Up in the family attic there is a fairly large poster / lithograph of Jesus as the Sacred Heart appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The text is in German – the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart appear in the border of thorns, alternating with illustrations of the instruments of the Passion.
A close look at the main illustration shows the names “Schumacher & Ettlinger” near the bottom. This was a German-American lithography company in New York City in the late 1800s (who apparently did more artwork for cigar boxes than religious items, if a Google search is any indication).
More interesting is the copyright at the bottom, “1897 by Rev. J.J. Eugster, Carey, O”. Rev. Eugster is listed in the Hayes Center obituary database, which cites a further source, “Twentieth Century History of Sandusky County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens.” According to that book, Rev. Eugster was a native of Switzerland and studied in Italy and Austria, where he was ordained. He came to America in 1897 and was assigned to “St. Michael’s Church, at Berwick, Seneca County” for one year, then going to the St. Francis Orphanage in Tiffin. (I’m thinking “St. Michael’s” is actually St. Nicholas in Frenchtown, since that church’s address is sometimes given as Berwick, and that would make a more logical connection with Carey.) When the book was written, Fr. Eugster was pastor of St. Mary’s in Millersville.
For background on the Sacred Heart devotion: