“Vulnerasti cor meum”

I’m not very religious.  I’m spiritual, and believe in something bigger than myself, but whether or not it’s your “idea of God” is still up for debate.  I think organized religion is just as crooked as politics, and I have no use for people forcing their beliefs upon me.  I’m pretty sure Jesus would be ashamed if he knew how some of you were “spreading his love”.  I believe in good people, open minds and joyful hearts…that’s all I need.

With that being said, my recent artwork has been the basis for many discussions recently…so here is what my arm stands for….


In times past, pilgrims used the Pont Sant’Angelo bridge to reach St Peter’s Basilica, hence it was known also with the name of “bridge of Saint Peter” (pons Sancti Petri). In the seventh century, under Pope Gregory I, both the castle and the bridge took on the name Sant’Angelo, explained by a legend that an angel appeared on the roof of the castle to announce the end of the plague. During the 1450 jubilee, balustrades of the bridge yielded, due to the great crowds of the pilgrims, and many drowned in the river. In response, some houses at the head of the bridge as well as a Roman triumphal arch were pulled down in order to widen the route for pilgrims.

For centuries after the 16th century, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of the executed. In 1535, Pope Clement VII allocated the toll income of the bridge to erecting the statues of the apostles saint Peter and Saint Paul to which subsequently the four evangelists and the patriarchs were added to other representing statues Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. In 1669 Pope Clement IX commissioned replacements for the aging stucco angels by Raffaello da Montelupo, commissioned by Paul III. Bernini’s program, one of his last large projects, called for ten angels holding instruments of the Passion: he personally only finished the two originals of the Angels with the Superscription “I.N.R.I.” and with the Crown of Thorns, but these were kept by Clement IX for his own pleasure. They are now in the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, also in Rome

The lance (Greek: λογχη, longche) is mentioned only in the Gospel of John (19:31–37) and not in any of the Synoptic Gospels. The gospel states that the Romans planned to break Jesus’ legs, a practice known as crurifragium, which was a method of hastening death during a crucifixion. Just before they did so, they realized that Jesus was already dead and that there was no reason to break his legs. To make sure that he was dead, a Roman soldier (named in extra-Biblical tradition as Longinus) stabbed him in the side.


I got my first tattoo in 2008 when my mother got sick.  It wasn’t anything spectacular, and maybe a little janky, but the reason behind it was enough for me to love it.  After a year of watching her struggle, I told myself I would get another tattoo when she passed.  I’m not sure how I came to decide on one of Bernini’s Angels, but I was moved to put this art on my body…forever.

3 years after her death, I made my promise a reality.

I decided a long time ago Justin Page would be the man to tackle this important time in my life.  He’s an amazing artist and I knew he would nail it.  I was nearly moved to tears when I saw my arm, and even though it’s not completely finished, it was beautiful.

My tattoo represents my mother’s last moment on earth.  It stands for everything my mother went through.  It stands for everything I managed to overcome.  My tattoo stands for the end one life, and the beginning of another…because that’s when my life finally started.

The inscription at the base of the sculpture reads, “Vulnerasti cor meum”, translated into:

Thou hast ravished my heart…

Song of Solomon 4:9

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Jackson says:

    Perfect. That’s all. Just, “perfect”.

  2. pete says:

    Thanks for sharing…

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