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'Jesus the Homeless' in Rome.

Pope Francis blesses the sculpture "Jesus the Homeless" in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. A year ago, the sculpture by Timothy Schmalz had been rejected by St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto. The bronze sculpture depicts a weary Jesus wrapped in a blanket, face covered. With only the feet exposed, Schmalz says viewers are forced to take a second look to realize that the sculpture is Jesus. In late November, Francis blessed the sculpture at one of his weekly general audiences in front of thousands of pilgrims. The pontiff touched the knee of the sculpture and prayed for a few moments. Schmalz said when he saw Francis touch the sculpture, "I thought, well, that's just it, this sculpture is symbolically representing what he's doing. He's out there touching the homeless people: he's reaching out to them every single day." "Jesus the Homeless" may have found a permanent home in Rome, very close to the Vatican. The plan is for the sculpture to be placed close to the Vatican Radio offices near the Tiber River in memory of a homeless woman who slept there every night before dying outside in the cold.

Caption: --CNS/L'Osservatore Romano

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Title Annotation:US BRIEFS
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jan 3, 2014
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