RIO DE JANEIRO – The Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro unveiled on Sunday a sculpture donated to the Brazilian city by Pope Francis.
The piece, a cast of Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz’s “Homeless Jesus,” was presented to mark the second World Day of the Poor, on observance instituted last year by the Argentine pontiff.
Schmalz’s original bronze was installed in 2013 on the campus of the University of Toronto. Additional casts have been placed at locations that include the Papal Office of Charities at the Vatican.
In Rio, “Homeless Jesus” sits in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral alongside a sculpture of Mother Teresa.
The piece imagines Jesus as a homeless person sleeping on a park bench.
“Without doubt, the sculpture makes us look at those who live in the streets of our city as brothers and sisters,” said the Rev. Claudio dos Santos, pastor of the Metropolitan Cathedral.