I could start a series about the hundreds of things I’ve walked past, wondered about, and then just kept going.
One of those things is the enormous golden statue of Christ perched above Roma Termini. For years I’ve exited the station on the Via Marsala side, looked up in awe at that glistening Jesus in the sky but, I’m sorry to say, never bothered to take a closer look. That is, until today.
The golden boy…
The statue is entitled “Christ The Redeemer.”
It’s made of gilded bronze and was sculpted in Milan by artist Enrico Canaanite.
In 1931, the effigy was transported to Rome where it was added to the Basilica del Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio’s bell tower.
About the basilica itself…
Basilica del Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio (considered a minor basilica) is quite modern as Roman churches go. Designed in the neo-Renaissance style, it was conceived at the urging of priest-turned-saint Giovanni Bosco. A rockstar clergy of his time, “Don Bosco” applied a little pressure on his friends at the Vatican and hooked up the architect Conte Francesco Vespignani to oversee the church’s construction. The basilica was finally completed in 1887—a year before Don Bosco’s death. A relic of the popular saint (a cotton swab soaked in the blood) is exhibited in a glass display case inside.
Basilica del Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio, Via Marsala 42, Rome.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wendy Dreary and Toni DeBella