MANILA, Philippines – The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jose Advincula, will unveil and bless the three-dimensional “Homeless Jesus” sculpture near the facade of Manila Cathedral on Palm Sunday.
In a statement released yesterday, the Manila Cathedral said the bronze sculpture depicts Jesus, identifiable by his foot wounds, sleeping on a park bench and wrapped in a blanket.
The artwork, by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, has gone viral because it depicts Jesus in a relatable human context, allowing people to feel a greater closeness and accessibility to Christ.
Schmalz said the sculpture is like a 24-hour visual sermon.
Replicas of the sculpture can be found outside churches and cathedrals as well as in other major urban locations such as Buenos Aires, Capernaum, Madrid, Melbourne, New York, Rome, Singapore and the Vatican.
Manila Cathedral hopes the artwork will inspire Filipinos to care for the poor and homeless in the community.
The sculpture challenges what Pope Francis calls the “throwaway culture that ignores and abuses the poor and voiceless.”
“May this sculpture not only become a place for visits or photos, but a space to deepen our prayer and to convert and change our hearts. As we look at the homeless Jesus, may we also see the poor who Pope Francis says are ‘paying the price for corruption’ and leading us to choose competent and honest leaders in the coming elections,” the cathedral said. from Manila.
The unveiling of the sculpture will coincide with the celebration of “Alay Kapwa” Sunday when special collections are made for the Church’s charitable programs for the poor.
The cathedral expressed its gratitude to Schmalz for choosing the church as the site for his sculpture.