“A Visual Prayer”
Srs Angela Murphy and Helena McGilly attended a blessing of the statue of ‘Homeless Jesus’ at Farm St Church, London. This unusual sculpture is horizontal. Homeless Jesus, also known as Jesus the Homeless, is a bronze sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz that depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench. It is an attempt to express an image often seen in our cities where there is a high level of homelessness. The statue has been described as a “visual translation” of the Gospel of Matthew passage in which Jesus says to his disciples ‘whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me’.
The Homeless Jesus statue can be found in cities in the US and in cities throughout the world including the Vatican where Pope Francis received and blessed it. Usually the statue, which is life-sized, is placed in a public place, often on the street where passers-by can view it. The statue’s home in London is in Farm St Church and in Dublin the statue is placed outside Christchurch Cathedral.
The sculptor, Timothy Schamalz, is deeply influenced by his Christian Faith. His first Homeless Jesus was created in response to the crisis of homelessness. He says “I am devoted to creating artwork that glorifies Christ…….I describe my sculptures as being visual prayers.”