In St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis Unveils Life-size Sculpture of Migrants Throughout History & World

On 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Francis Celebrates a Day “to Reaffirm the Necessity that No One Remain Excluded from Society, Whether He Is a Long-Time Resident or One Newly Arrived”

In Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis has unveiled a life-size sculpture called Angels Unawares, a work by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz, to renew the Church’s commitment to people in movement.

At the end of the Holy Mass, celebrated in the courtyard of the Vatican Basilica for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis discussed his decision while leading the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square.

“We celebrated the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, in union with all the Dioceses of the world,” Francis explained, “to reaffirm the necessity that no one remain excluded from society, whether he is a long-time resident citizen or one newly arrived.

The bronze and clay sculpture has as its theme, he said, words of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (13:2).

The Jesuit Pontiff highlighted that it represents a group of migrants of various cultures and different historical periods.

“I wanted this artistic work here in St. Peter’s Square, to remind all of the evangelical challenge of hospitality,” he said.

Francis also recalled that tomorrow, Monday, September 30, a meeting will open in Cameroon “of national dialogue, to seek a solution to the difficult crisis, which has afflicted the country for years.”

“Feeling myself close to the sufferings and hopes of the beloved Cameroonian people,” the Holy Father appealed, “I invite all to pray so that this dialogue is fruitful and leads to solutions for a just and lasting peace, for the benefit of all.”

Here is a ZENIT translation, by Virginia Forrester, of the address Pope Francis gave today before praying the Angelus.

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Before the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wish to greet you all who have taken part in this moment of prayer, with which we renewed the Church’s attention to the different categories of vulnerable people in movement. We celebrated the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, in union with all the Dioceses of the world, to reaffirm the necessity that no one remain excluded from society, whether he is a long-time resident citizen or one newly arrived.

To underscore this commitment, we will shortly unveil the sculpture that has as its theme these words of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (13:2). This sculpture, in bronze and clay, represents a group of migrants of various cultures and different historical periods. I wanted this artistic work here in St. Peter’s Square, to remind all of the evangelical challenge of hospitality.

Tomorrow, Monday, September 30, a meeting will open in Cameroon of national dialogue, to seek a solution to the difficult crisis, which has afflicted the country for years. Feeling myself close to the sufferings and hopes of the beloved Cameroonian people, I invite all to pray so that this dialogue is fruitful and leads to solutions for a just and lasting peace, for the benefit of all. May Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for us.

Source: Zenit

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