.- One of the most renowned silversmithâs in the world, Juan Carlos Pallarols of Argentina, is working on one of his most âecumenicalâ projects to date: A chalice with symbolic designs which he will send as a gift to Pope Benedict XVI. Pallarols, who defines himself as a âvery religious Catholicâ artist, is using his chisel to design the work of art that he hopes will express the affection and respect of Argentineans for the new Pope.
His hope is that people from different religions, Jews, Muslims and Catholics, would contribute engravings to the project.
âI wanted the chalice to have an ecumenical meaning, since the Pope has called for greater unity among the religions. Many people have spontaneously stepped forward to collaborateâeven some Jews and Muslims,â Pallarols told the EFE news agency
The chalice will be made of silver, in colonial style, with the Argentinean coat of arms and carvings of wheat and grapes, âwhich represent the fruits of the Argentinean land and also the Body and Blood of Christ.â In addition, the chalice will have an accompanying paten with an engraving of the Southern Cross and inscriptions of the four principal advocations of the Blessed Mother in Argentina.
Pallarols hopes to have the chalice ready by June 29, feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
He said he was inspired to make the chalice after hearing Pope Benedict XVIâs first homily in which he called for unity among the world religions, as well as by John Paul IIâs letter to artists, in which the late Pontiff called for unity and for respect for Christian and liturgical symbols.