I doni di Papa Francesco nella Chiesa Madre

35°29'36.6'' N 12°36'19.8'' E

I doni di Papa Francesco nella Chiesa Madre

35°29'36.6'' N 12°36'19.8'' E

From the crib, Jesus proclaims, with meek power,

the call to share with the least as the path to a more human and fraternal world, where no one is excluded and marginalized

Papa Francesco I

The Mother Church of Lampedusa, dedicated to Saint Gerlando, was erected in the mid-twentieth century, although the current architecture of the place of worship dates back to the late nineties due to the demolition and reconstruction of the structure. Inside it has a single nave and an apse and collects two gifts that Pope Francis I wanted on the island of Lampedusa.
The first is right in front of the entrance, dominating the altar. It is the crucifix called Milagro, made by Cuban artist Kcho, stage name of Alexis Leyva Machado. More than three meters high, more than two meters wide, the crucifix was made from the oars of Cuban fishermen’s boats and donated, in 2015, by the then president of Cuba, Raul Castro, to Pope Francis I in 2015 during the Holy Father’s visit to the island. And the Pope, in turn, wanted to donate it to Lampedusa on January 17, 2016 in memory of his visit to the island in the summer of 2013.

Carved in the traditional way by the artists of the Organic Museum of Romerillo – MOR of Trinidad y Kcho Estudio, the wood of the Christ’s cross was worked with techniques used for stuccoed and polychrome religious sculptures of the Baroque and is the result of the artist’s desire to give voice to the men who irreversibly owe their lives to the sea. Like the wood of those fishing boats, which tells and symbolizes the effort of living and surviving, among the waves of the sea, to earn a living or to conquer a new life after a journey with no guarantee.

Another gift of the Holy Father is hosted by the Mother Church of Lampedusa, an artistic Nativity in terracotta, very special. Preserved in a shrine near the entrance of the Church, the Holy Family is represented on board a boat, as when the life of a person at sea is saved. That moment, the birth of Christ, is the beginning of a passage for believers just as salvation at sea is a symbol of rebirth for those who face that journey.

Pope Francis I, on a visit to the Vatican’s Inner Warehouse, saw this nativity scene donated by the Cooperativa il Faro of Tropea, and decided it should be in the Parish of Lampedusa, making a gift to the island at Christmas 2014.

Podcast: History of Lampedusa - 6^ episode

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