Images referencing Christ's heart first appeared in New Spain by the mid-sixteenth century, arriving in a world that was already quite familiar with the practice of framing the bodily organ in sacral terms. Pre-Columbian sources, whether sculptures or codices, speak of the importance of heart sacrifice for the appeasement of deities, the imaging of the human soul, the political grandstanding of Tenochtitlán, and, indeed, for the very genesis of the Aztecs themselves. The Aubin Codex's account of the Aztec migration has Huitzilopochtli sacrificing the insubordinate Copil at Chapultepec and tossing the extracted heart into the middle of Lake Texcoco. The heart became a nodal point, sprouting a prickly pear cactus...

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