SAN DIEGO — In 2018, Pope Francis designated the Monday after Pentecost as a day for Catholics to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church, a model for all Christians.
And just on the Monday after Pentecost, the 4-foot statue commissioned by the San Diego diocese in her honor arrived from Italy, where it was carved by the artist Alexander Kostner.
Under her mantle, below her right arm, are St. Joseph; Venerable Augustus Tolton, first African American priest in the U.S.; St. Teresa of Calcutta; and St. Pio of Pietrelcina (“Padre Pio”), an Italian Franciscan priest from early 20th century.
Under he mantle, below her left arm, are St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests; Pope St. John Paul II; St. Faustina with Divine Mercy image; and St. José María Robles, a cristero martyr of Mexico.
The children at the front represent the cultural communities designated by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: Asian-Pacific Islander; Euro American; African American, Hispanic and Native American
The inscription on the statue reads “Our Lady, Mother of the Church.”
The statue, originally planned for use in this year’s Pentecost celebration, will be used in future diocesan events.