Unveiling of the sculpture "Let The Oppressed Go Free" in Schio, Italy

Unveiling of the sculpture "Let The Oppressed Go Free" in Schio, Italy


Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, blessed "Let The Oppressed Go Free," Timothy Schmalz's new sculpture on human trafficking in Schio, Italy.

 “Let The Oppressed Go Free” was inaugurated today in front of the Church of St. Francis in Schio, Italy, on the occasion of the feast of St. Peter the Apostle, patron saint of this city.

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was in charge of blessing the sculpture by artist Timothy Schmalz, which evokes the figure of St. Josephine Bakhita with the intention of raising awareness of the problem of human trafficking.
During the blessing, Parolin - a native of the Italian province of Vicenza - said: "Seeing this work, one would think that people end up at the height of the trap door, but in reality they are still underground. If not all the people in the world, at least those of us who are here can see ourselves represented in this sculpture because I believe that we all have a slavery from which we must free ourselves.”

In front of the new sculpture, the Cardinal invited everyone to "ask St. Bakhita, who is the patron saint of victims of trafficking, to help us free ourselves from this slavery. And do you know what that is? It is closing ourselves off. The individualism that prevents us from caring for others as we should. Pope Francis continues to make an appeal about this, about the indifference with which we look at the reality of our day, of our days, especially, the reality of suffering, pain, and vulnerability. Only if we free ourselves from this slavery will we truly be able to help others."

The place chosen for the installation of the sculpture was Schio, the town where Saint Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of victims of trafficking, lived and died.

The Mayor of Schio, Valter Orsi; the benefactor of the work and President of the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation, Christopher Bratty; the creator of the sculpture, Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz; the Superior General of the Canossian Daughters of Charity, Sister Sandra Maggiolo, FdCC; the International Coordinator of Talitha Kum, Sister Abby Avelino; the parish priest, moderator of the St. Bakhita Pastoral Unit: Monsignor Carlo Guidolin; and the president of the Bakhita Schio-Sudan Association, Gianfrancesco Sartori; led the unveiling ceremony of “Let The Oppressed Go Free”



Merci c’est une grâce

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