An inspiring statue and an inspiring cardinal.
A statue of St. John Paul II donated by the University of San Sebastian in Chile has been moved to the Puente Alto neighborhood, five years after authorities refused to install it in a prominent area in the Chilean capital.
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago blessed the statue during a Mass at the St. John Paul II Park to celebrate the canonization of the late pontiff.
“It was suggested to me that I go to Rome that day, but I wanted to remain here with you to celebrate this occasion of joy and grace,” he told the residents of Puente Alto, which is Santiago’s largest poor neighborhood.
The statue is 42 feet tall and made of bronze. Chile’s National Monuments Commission declared it was too large for the touristy Bellavista neighborhood. The good people of Puente Alto are the winners here. But I also think Santiago has a winning cardinal as its archbishop.