RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — Cardinal Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro blessed the sculpture “Homeless Jesus” Nov. 18, ending a weeklong series of events by Brazil’s Catholic Church to celebrate World Day of the Poor.
The sculpture was donated to the archdiocese by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz and was placed outside Metropolitan Cathedral.
“Humanity has never produced so much wealth and has never seen such poverty,” Cardinal Tempesta wrote during the weeklong events. “Terrible as it may seem, a certain portion of the population simply does not count, for the economy can survive without it. Excluded are the masses.”
The gift of the statue to the city of Rio de Janeiro was made possible by the Brazilian Embassy to the Holy See and the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher.
In the life-sized image, made in bronze, Jesus appears lying on a bench, with a blanket over his body and his bare feet uncovered. Visitors to the cathedral quickly recognized the figure of Jesus due to his feet, where it is possible to see the marks of the nail holes that would have pinned him to the cross.
“The sculpture makes us look at those who live on the streets of our city as brothers and sisters; Pope Francis asks us to see Christ in the figure of the poor who live on our streets,” the cathedral’s parish priest, Father Claudio Santos, explained to reporters.
The original sculpture produced by Schmalz was installed in Toronto in 2013. Since then, copies have been installed in Dublin and Rome, as well as in several U.S. cities, including Davidson, North Carolina; Chicago; and Austin, Texas.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: More than 40 killed, hundreds displaced as cyclone hits southern India
NEXT: Pope changes date of World Day of Migrants and Refugees to September
Share this story