“Art can be a wonderful entrance, a wonderful doorway, but it has to be exciting,” he articulated.
This sculpture illustrates Padre Pio strangling a demon and pushing him into nothingness, with one fist posed to strike.
“I think so many people today have struggles with evil and they have these battles going on,” Schmalz said of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. “I thought that to have this saint in combat with evil and winning is a wonderful representation — and a very much authentic representation — of St. Padre Pio.”
A pietà offering peace
The second shows Jesus’ mother, Mary, and Padre Pio encircled in a sculpted ribbon.
“It’s the ribbon for breast cancer, and many people around the world have that ribbon as a symbol of all cancer,” Schmalz said, adding that people frequently pray to Padre Pio when they have a family member suffering from cancer.
But the ribbon doubles as something else: a fish — an ancient symbol of Christianity — facing upward toward the sky.
Inside the outline of the ribbon (or fish), Mary looks down on Padre Pio in a way that Schmalz likens to a pietà. Padre Pio’s gloved hands reach out, inviting passersby to touch them.
Schmalz hopes that, when they do, they encounter peace.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we’ll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won’t rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“If you consider all the miracles of St. Padre Pio, I think one of the greatest miracles is that he brings people peace,” he said. “What I like to think about St. Padre Pio is [that] the comfort and peace he gave people, including myself, was the miracle.”
His third piece embodies a pilgrim who turns into an angel. It is, Schmalz said, a visual translation of Hebrews 13:2: “Be welcoming to strangers; many have entertained angels unaware.”
“You have the pilgrim that has a staff, who has a conch — which is the symbol of pilgrims — and then before your eyes, artistically, that stranger turns into this mysterial-looking angel,” he described.
Schmalz said he is particularly excited that the “Be Welcoming” sculpture will be located at San Giovanni Rotondo because “it’s the place where pilgrims go.”
Credit: Source link