A Mexican artist designing the papal throne Pope Benedict will use during his visit to the Cathedral of Leon on March 25 said he was honored to be appointed to the task.
“This is not a special job, it’s beyond special,” Jose Cruz Gonzalez Martinez told the Efe news agency. “The mere fact that it is for the Pope is amazing.”
Gonzalez said for thirteen days he did not tell his family he had been given this assignment, until he could no longer contain his emotions.
“The truth is I cried. I couldn’t hold it in,” he said, recalling the phone call he received from Father Jose Salome Lemus, the rector of the Cathedral of Leon, who asked him to design the papal throne.
The chair is being built with Mexican mahogany and will be decorated with engravings. The arms of the throne will feature two lions, representing the city of Leon (“Lion” in Spanish), where the Pope will be from March 23-26.
Seven carpenters involved in the project work 12 hours a day including the weekends, in order to have the throne ready by Feb. 20. After the papal visit, the throne will be sent to the Museum of Sacred Art located at the Cathedral of Leon.
On March 25, the Pope will use the throne during vespers with the Bishops of Mexico and Latin America at the Cathedral.