Perth Pieta to draw Catholics into Christ’s Passion

08 Apr 2009

By The Record

A Perth College gets its own rendering of a central Easter image.pieta.jpg

By Anthony Barich

An exact replica in bronze of one of the most famous artworks in the world, Michelangelo’s Pieta, was unveiled on Palm Sunday at St Thomas More College in Crawley to inspire devotion to Mary and prayer.
The artwork was donated by an anonymous benefactor and procured in Rome.
Michelangelo carved the original Pieta, housed in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, when he was 24. It depicts Mary holding Jesus’ lifeless body in her lap after his body had been taken down from the cross on Calvary.
The Chapel of the Pieta’s documentation says of the statue: “It seems almost as if Jesus is about to reawaken from a tranquil sleep and that after so much suffering and thorns, the rose of resurrection is about to bloom. As we contemplate the Pieta which conveys peace and tranquility, we can feel that the great sufferings of life and its pain can be mitigated.”
Monsignor Kevin Long, the former Rector of St Thomas More College unveiled the bronze image and said that the statue is an important meditation on the Christian understanding of suffering.
“Mary’s sorrow on the hill of Calvary, her cradling of the body of her dead son Jesus, has long been a powerful symbol for Christian people grappling with sorrows, disappointments and pains of daily life,” said Mgr Long, who will complete his commitments with the college by celebrating the Easter ceremonies.
“Here in this sacred space we are able to ponder the mystery of human grief, we are encouraged to enter into and own our individual and communal experiences of loss, separation and the sheer fragility of human life.”
Local Catholics’ ashes can also be scattered in the garden in front of the sculpture.
“Here the ashes of our loved ones will be scattered with the Christian hope that, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, we too will come to share fully in Christ’s glorious resurrection,” Mgr Long said.
He then blessed the statue, praying to God the Father: “May this statue help us to bring to mind your great love for us revealed in your beloved son Christ Jesus. May its presence amongst us strengthen our fellowship with our Blessed Lady and all the saints.”
Christian Brother Robert Callen, 59, the new St Thomas More College Rector, told The Record he hopes it will become a sacred space that will come to lead people to prayer and meditation on the Passion of Christ.