Pope Francis Unveils Vatican Monument Commemorating Migrants & Refugees
By Yimin Huang, 02 Oct 2019
The monument is called the Angels Unaware boat, and it is sculpted by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz. It features over 140 migrants, from a Jewish man fleeing Nazi Germany, to a Syrian refugee running from the horrors of the civil war.
Pope Francis uncovered the 20-foot monument during mass, in line with the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday. Christ’s parents Mary and Joseph were also included in the monument depictions. This was reminiscent of Pope Francis’ famous words comparing the move of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to the mass migration of refugees from war zones.
The artist Mr Schmalz told the BBC that the sculpture was inspired by the Bible verse that said, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
He also said he would like the monument to be reflective of “every migrant’s experience” in history, such that people recognize that it is a common experience regardless of “cultures”, “races” or “religions”.
The direction Angels Unaware is poised to “look” into alludes to the boat that sails towards St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis also showed immense appreciation for the artwork by placing his hands on his heart while looking at the artist.
#PopeFrancis unveils a statue in honour of World day of migrants and refugees earlier today. The statue was named “Angels Unawares” by Canadian artist, Timothy Schmaltz, in St Peter’s Square.— Salt + Light Media (@saltandlighttv) September 29, 2019
(Photos: Vatican media) pic.twitter.com/k6mSSilS28
[via BBC, cover image via neneo / Shutterstock.com]
More related news