During his recent visit to the Caribbean island nation of Cuba, the Cuban President, Raul Castro, presented Pope Francis with a 3 meter crucifix. The Lampedusa Crucifix is made from oars lashed together with rope. It is named for the tiny Mediterranean Sea island off the coast of Sicily where the majority of immigrants fleeing Africa arrive. The immigrants usually embark on the journey from Libya as they seek a better life for their families.
The crucifix is the artistry of Kcho and was especially executed by the Cuban artist for Francis’ visit to Cuba last SEP 2015. It honors the refugees fleeing Africa and landing by the thousands on Italy’s southern most island. Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, which includes the parish of Lampedusa, announced the donation to the parish on Tuesday. The announcement was made to Italy’s National Ecclesial Congress as it met in Florence Italy. The Pope attended the Congress on Tuesday. The announcement also coincided with the meeting of leaders from Europe and Africa in Malta to discuss the immigrant crisis.
The symbolism of the Lampedusa Crucifix is “the mercy and humanity of Jesus Christ who triumphs over every conflict, knocking down walls and crossing borders.” Kcho made it to recall Francis’ visit to Lampedusa, his first visit within Italy after he was elected to the See of Peter. The crucifix will begin it’s pilgrimage to Lampedusa from the Church of the Holy Cross in Agrigento as the archdiocese begins to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy on 11 DEC 2015. After touring the archdiocese, the crucifix will arrive at it final destination in the Lampedusa parish church.
This year 3000+ migrants have perished at sea and 800,000+ have reached Europe seeking refuge.
Read more at the Vatican News website.
Main image from catholicherald.co.uk