Ontario artist’s Homeless Jesus installed at Vatican

It’s an unconventional rendering of Jesus that was rejected years ago by top officials with two major Catholic cathedrals, yet it now sits in one of the world’s holiest sites.

Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz was thrilled to receive an email a few days ago telling him his bronze sculpture, Homeless Jesus, has been installed inside the Vatican.

It’s a coup for Schmalz, 46, a full-time sculptor, whose depiction of Jesus — as a homeless person lying on a bench with wounds in his feet and covered by a blanket — has faced several rejections, including in Toronto. It can now be found in the courtyard of Sant’Egidio, at the entrance of the Office of Papal Charities.

The life-size statue, which took Schmalz eight months to create, is a replica of the first bronze cast, which was installed in 2013 in front of the University of Toronto’s Regis College on Wellesley St. W., the Jesuit graduate faculty of theology.

“I was overwhelmed with happiness,” Schmalz said about receiving the news last week.
Schmalz, of St. Jacobs, Ont., says it’s fitting that Homeless Jesus is situated outside the papal charities office.

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