“The Resurrection” portrays Jesus emerging from a nuclear apocalypse.
The images show an amused Pope Francis seated in an austere marble hall. Some have taken to social media to ask what’s pictured behind the pope.
What, in fact, is that enormous and rather frightening looking sculpture looming behind him?
It’s the monumental “The Resurrection,” created by the sculptor Pericle Fazzini, who in 1965 was commissioned by the Vatican to provide a backdrop for the modern Paul VI Audience Hall. The pope gives his weekly address in this auditorium when inclement weather prohibits the use of St. Peter’s Square.
The 66-foot by 23-foot sculpture looks scary because it’s meant to – it depicts Jesus rising out of a nuclear bomb crater in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The sculptor Fazzini, who died in 1987, explained his inspiration for the work:
”Suddenly there came to me the idea of Christ preaching peace for 2,000 years, and the place where He prayed for the last time: the olive grove of Gethsemane,” said Fazzini, as reported in his obituary in the New York Times.
”I had the idea of depicting Christ as if He were rising again from the explosion of this large olive grove, peaceful site of His last prayers. Christ rises from this crater torn open by a nuclear bomb; an atrocious explosion, a vortex of violence and energy.”
Support Aleteia! It only takes a minute.
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 eight languages: English, French, Arabic, 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!