January 20, 2010.
A special event drew hundreds of pilgrims to the Vatican: the pope’s inauguration of the statue of Saint Rafaela Porras.
The pope blessed the new statue, which stands at the Vatican outside St. Peter’s Basilica. He encouraged all to follow in the Spanish saints footsteps. She was the co-founder of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The statues is 6 meters tall and made out of marble from northern Italy. Marcos Duenas, the sculptor, says it symbolizes St. Rafaela’s evangelical mission.
In the statues right hand, is a bible she is offering to a young girl. According to Duenas, it symbolizes the Christian education, the Saint gave society during her time. As for the ears of wheat represents the Eucharist and the deep life of prayer in this Andalusian saint.
Saint Rafaela Maria Porras Ayllon was born in Cordoba, Spain. In 1877 she founded the Congregation of Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For several years she was superior of the congregation, but soon left the post to her sister.
Saint Rafaela Porras was canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI and today she has her own statue in, the first statue of a Andalusian saint decorating the Vatican.