Vatican Inaugurates St. Bakhita Statue

St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican will display a new monument dedicated to St. Josephine Bakhita and to all victims of slavery and human trafficking.

Newsroom (04/02/2022 8:15 PM, Gaudium Press) A sculpture dedicated to St. Bakhita will be installed in St. Peter’s Square. She is the patron saint of the victims of human trafficking.

Saint Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869. While still a girl, she was kidnapped and sold by an Arab slave trader.

At the age of 20, Bakhita came into contact with the Catholic faith. After being freed, she was baptized and became a nun in Italy.

The artwork is by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz. The bronze set is about 20 feet long. Schmalz dedicated it to the victims of human trafficking and all women.

The group represents several people coming out of the ground through a door opened by Santa Baquita, indicating liberation from slavery. Timothy Schmalz sculpted the work in 2019 and named it “Let the Oppressed Go Free.” 

The sculpture is scheduled to arrive at the Vatican on February 8, the feast of St. Baquita and a day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking.

The Catholic artist already has several works placed in St. Peter’s Square. Schmalz also created “Unconscious Angels,” a sculpture representing migrants travelling on a boat with the Holy Family throughout history. “Jesus Without a Home” in Vatican City is another work by the artist. (FM)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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Gustavo Kralj
Gustavo Kralj
Gustavo is a staff photographer at Gaudium Press, focused on photojournalism and travel photography.

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