On September 29, 2019, following the celebration of Mass and the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis unveiled a sculpture entitled “Angels Unawares” by Canadian artist Timothy Schmaltz, in St Peter’s Square. It commemorates the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The inspiration behind the work is taken from a biblical passage, St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares”. (Hebrews 13:2)

The life-size sculpture in bronze and clay depicts a group of migrants and refugees from different cultural and racial backgrounds and from diverse historic periods in time. The figures stand together, shoulder to shoulder, huddled on a raft. Within this diverse crowd of people, angel wings emerge from the center, suggesting the presence of something sacred among them.

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