Vatican City, Sep 3, 2016 / 06:33 am America/Denver (CNA).
Ahead of his meeting with volunteers Saturday, Pope Francis decided to pop in for the inauguration of a new statue of Our Lady of Aparecida in the Vatican Gardens.
The fact that the statue has been placed in the gardens is significant, since they have not received a new piece of art since 2010.
“I'm glad that the image of Our Lady of Aparecida is in the Gardens,” Pope Francis said at the unveiling Sept. 3. “In 2013 I had promised to return next year: I do not know if it will be possible, but at least I will have her very close, here.”
The statue, designed by a Brazilian artist, is a joint initiative of the Archdiocese of Aparecida and the Embassy of Brazil to the Holy See. Cast in bronze, it depicts a boat with three fishermen holding a full fishing net, and frames a replica statue of Our Lady of Aparecida.
It is traditionally held that the original statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, which is housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in São Paulo, Brazil, was found in 1717 by three fishermen who, after praying to Our Lady, miraculously caught many fish after a morning of no catch.