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Rome Reports

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Archdiocese of Madrid sets up funerary monument for coronavirus victims

One of the cities most affected by the pandemic is Madrid. There, the archbishop has established a place for those without money to bury their loved ones who died because of the health emergency.

Chaplain, San Justo Cemetery
“Like all priests, the archbishop must respond to the needs of the faithful. The archbishop, aware of this need, opened this tumulus of memory where the ashes of around 1,900 people will be deposited for families who don't have a place to put them. It's a way to say there is a place for them.”

In record time—only 15 days—the Sacramental de San Justo Foundation enabled the “Túmulo del Recuerdo,” or Tumulus of Memory. It's a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall hexagonal structure.

Sacramental de San Justo
“We got a call from the Archdiocese of Madrid. They asked us to set up a space for the funerary urns of these families who have been doubly affected by the health and economic crises. They were counting on being able to choose what to do with the ashes of their loved ones, but they were left without options and without the possibility of burying them.”

The structure has a marble finish, a material especially hard to come by during the crisis. It will be covered by a canopy.

Architect, Sacramental de San Justo
“A canopy is a structure with an altar or coffin inside, so it's perfect. That way, even if it doesn't cover the whole interior, when you look at it, you can clearly see the silhouette of a temple.”

The “Túmulo del Recuerdo” is ready for use. Cardinal Carlos Osoro blessed it. It's yet another example of the Church in Madrid's closeness to the people amid the pain and crisis sparked by the coronavirus.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: CT