Which side of Jesus’ body was pierced?

Full Question

Most crucifixes show Jesus’ chest wound on his right side, which is opposite from the heart cavity. Do we know for certain where he was pierced, or is it a pious tradition that the spear entered his right side?


John the Evangelist tells us that Jesus’ side was pierced (John 19:32–35) but does not say which side. Crucifixes are artistic renderings, not exact reproductions, so the depiction of Christ’s chest wound on the right side may be artistic symbolism. In Scripture, those on Jesus’ right are the ones to be saved (Matt. 25:32–33) and they are saved by the blood that he shed for them (Matt. 26:28).


  1. lyanne Reply

    these are great im a new catholic and missed all this growing up now im faced with questions from my oun childern and we can learn together thank you for these little insights

  2. Ryan Hunnicutt Reply

    The heart is in the middle of the chest, there is no real cavity, but a sack around the heart of membrane that would have held the fluid from the trauma, water like fluid even. Reachable by a spear from either side. Your premise is bad, your science is bad and while your answer is based in good Theology and Scripture, the question is from ignorance and a non issue.

    1. Justine Reply

      No, the heart is located on the left side of your body!

      1. Jason Steeves Reply

        No. The heart is in the center. Look it up. All the arteries lead out to the left so somewhere along the line, people have made this mistake.

      2. Helen Reply

        This is a common error. I would suggest that you research basic cardiovascular anatomy diagrams. The heart is in between the two lungs, in the middle of the chest, with the apex (bottom of the left ventricle) tipped to the left. It would be accessible from either side.

        1. MG Lopena Medina Reply

          The base of the heart is at the middle, pointing to the left side.

    2. dave Reply

      It depends on the size of the spear

  3. Eric Tejada Reply

    The heart is in the middle of chest only the left ventricle of the heart is directing to the left side of the chest, and is reacheable by both sides with a long spear, so representations of Jesus on the crucifix are right. It’s a long time tradition to represent Jesus with the spear wound on the right chest

  4. John Calisi Reply

    No ribs were broken. The spear came from left side below rib cage.

  5. Ramtuf Reply

    Why is everyone fixated on the heart aspect? It’s his side and not the heart itself that was pierced. Very odd this discussion.

  6. Marh Reply

    The heart is center left, a long spear thrusted in an upward motion standing below our Lord from the right side would hit His paracardial tissue and piercing into His heart.

  7. Marty Reply

    the shroud of Turin shows he was pierced on the left side, closest to his heart

    1. Helen Reply

      Nope. The shroud shows that the body was pierced on the right side. When you look at the shroud it is on YOUR left. But this is the body’s right side.

  8. Popoy Amesola Reply

    We will ask the Lord when He comes back.. Its nearer now…he’s coming anyway…

  9. Navin Reply

    Jesus gave a divine vision to st.faustina and told that the two rays from his heart (in divine mercy picture)is the symbol of blood and water that shed from his heart for the poor sinners of world and Jesus told st.faustina to paint an image(divine mercy image)same as what she saw Jesus in her divine vision
    And the rays are from left side of Jesus
    And more over almost evertbodys 2/3rd of the heart is situated on the left cavity and the 1/3 ie, the right atrium and few area of right ventricle located at the sternum area(for easy understanding,at the centre) not at the right side

  10. Pingback: Christ’s Side Was Pierced – But which Side? | All Saints Museum

  11. Jason Steeves Reply

    Ultimately, it matters not a single bit! Focus on more important things.

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