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Rome Reports

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New grand sculpture with emigrant unveiled in St. Peter's Square by Pope Francis

After Sunday Mass in which the pope prayed for emigrants and refugees not to be excluded from society, Pope Francis unveiled a surprise.

“Soon I will inaugurate a sculpture. Its theme is based off words from the Letter to the Hebrews: 'Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.'”

Then, he went to one side of the square to inaugurate the statue.

There, five emigrants, including a mother who was carrying her sleeping child, revealed the new statue entitled “Angels unaware.”

The spectacular statue is made of bronze and clay. It shows 140 life size statues and each one has the face of a current or past emigrant, all in the same boat.

Its author, artist Timothy Schmalz explained it to the pope.

“It took one year of non-stop sculpting.”

There are Irish who escaped from hunger and refugees from Syria. It also includes a Jew who escaped from the Nazis, and a Mexican who wants to cross the border into the United States.

The benefactor who financed it explained his reasoning to the pope.

“This is important for you, important to us.”

Pope Francis looked at it carefully, and then left looking happy with the result.

The statue will be in the square for a few months, and then travel through many countries of the world, representing all emigrants.

Javier Martínez-Brocal
Translated: Carina Anderson