Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 01 March |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giovanna Maria Bonomo
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Exclusive Photos: Padre Pio brings Christ’s mercy to NYC

PADRE PIO, I ABSOLVE YOU

Jeffrey Bruno | Aleteia

Jeffrey Bruno - published on 09/20/18

Little Italy gets a new resident!

September in Little Italy is one of the most festive and anticipated times of the year for New Yorkers. It’s the Feast of San Gennaro. What began over a hundred years ago within the Italian immigrant community as a simple Mass and procession to celebrate the Feast Day of their beloved patron has grown into a full-blown celebration of everything Italian.

It’s a time when street vendors and store owners squeeze together on Mulberry Street, with tables and grills making the already narrow street almost impassable. The smells of sausage and peppers and zeppolis fill the air along with the serenade of laughter and lighthearted banter of those slowly traipsing down the avenue with their gelatos dripping in the heat of the waning summer sun.

But this year festival goers would be in for an unexpected surprise. Against the backdrop of the craziness on Mulberry Street, another saint would arrive on the scene, much to the delight of the local Italian community. This saint would be represented in the form of a 1000-pound bronze statue that would become a permanent fixture in front of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

Check out the photos!

Sculptor Timothy Schmalz, renowned for creating the provocative “Jesus the Homeless” sculptures that evoke the sense of Christ’s presence in the poor and marginalized, has created a life-size, “interactive” sculpture of St. Padre Pio hearing confession. Called “I Absolve You,” the sculpture was a generous gift from the St. Pio Foundation to the parish and local community.

The astonishing sculpture depicts the mercy of Jesus Christ as portrayed through an image on one side of the penitent and on the other Padre Pio as he would be hearing confession in persona Christi. The sculpture invites the viewer to take a seat beside Padre Pio and consider the power of Christ’s love and mercy in a very physical and touchable form.

So Little Italy welcomed a new resident. One who can be found sitting on Mulberry Street in the shadow of the great, old basilica, waiting for souls; souls in need of healing … souls in need of love … souls in need of mercy … as each and every one of us does.

This week commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Padre Pio, who once famously said “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.” As this monument of mercy takes its place on the noisy streets of lower Manhattan, it seems evident that his prayers are being poured out on a great city wounded by sin. It quietly beckons to all who pass, inviting an encounter with the mercy of a loving Savior, just as Padre Pio did in his life.

St. Padre Pio, please pray for us.

Tags:
Padre Pio
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
3
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
4
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.