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Rome Reports

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See the gift Pope Francis gave to Synod participants

This is the gift Pope Francis gave to hundreds of people who took part in the Synod on the Family. It's a sculptural relief of the Holy Family-Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus.  MAURIZIO LAURI Sculptor  "It's not just about representing my personal design. I actually discussed it with liturgists, because it's about triggering a connection with the faithful.â?  It's the artistic work of Italian sculptor, Maurizio Lauri. After designing the piece, he created a total of 417 high reliefs for all the Synod fathers, cardinals, bishops, experts and married couples participating in the Synod. There's also a commemorative medallion to mark the occasion. It's a way to remember the Synod and what it's trying to protect.  MAURIZIO LAURI Sculptor  "Fundamental values we've had for centuries, are now being questioned. So in this case the role of the artist is to highlight these values and their place in our culture.â? In fact as Pope Francis led a public prayer in St. Peter's Square to pray for the Synod,  this same design was present.  MAURIZIO LAURI Sculptor  "The gaze of Jesus in this piece is one of consciousness. He understands that it's the model of salvation. As a symbol of family support, St. Joseph is supporting His hand, as Jesus gives His blessing.â? It's not the first time Lauri has designed a piece for Pope Francis. Back in 2013, he also designed the Pope's ferula.  He says his work is about much more than designing sculptures.  Ultimately, it's a visual representation of the Gospel and his artistic gift to the Catholic faith.   KLH  AA -SV -PR Up: FV