The life-size statue of “homeless Jesus” that is popping up in various cities throughout the world, will now find a home in Buffalo. In December, BBC News ran a story on Toronto artist, Tim Schmalz, who, at the time, was looking to find ‘homes’ for his work.
The statue of Homeless Jesus (Jesus the Homeless) is meant to make people aware of the plight of the homeless, by first believing that the statue is real, before eventually discovering that it is a bronze sculpture, and then finally coming to grips with the significance of the experience.
From the start, the statue has been both praised and criticized. There are those who like the artistic medium for the message, while others feel that it’s blasphemy to leave “Jesus”, looking like a homeless beggar, out in the damp and cold. According to the BBC, it was an anonymous Episcopalian benefactor who donated the money so that the statue could be created, and then find homes in large cities throughout the world. At the time, that mean that twelve statues could be commissioned.
It is anticipated that Buffalo’s Homeless Jesus will be installed at St. Paul’s Cathedral during the 12:05pm service.
CBC News has more on the background of Homeless Jesus, including a shortlist of cities where the statues will find a home.
Lead image: Pope Francis blesses a small version of Homeless Jesus (Vatican image release)