By Larissa I. López

Pope Francis donated a pectoral cross to the Museum of the Crucifix of Caltagirone, reported Vatican News on November 6, 2020.

This gift of the Holy Father is destined to the exhibition area, inaugurated in the complex of the Shrine of the Crucifix of Salvation last September 14, which is dedicated entirely to the Cross. The Bishop of the diocese of Caltagirone, Monsignor Calogero Peri will deliver this donation.

Today, after presiding over the Mass of the first Friday of the month at 5:00 pm. the Prelate will hand it to the Rector of the Shrine, Father Enzo Mangano, creator and promoter of the Museum, reported the Vatican media.

Spirituality of the Crucifix

 This pectoral cross of the Pontiff is offered after Father Mangano’s appeal last Lent to make the spirituality of the cross better known, given the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.

The priest set up exhibition rooms and asked friends and artists to donate works of art, objects, or mementos of the Passion. So Pope Francis also joined the initiative and in a letter of the Substitute of the Secretary of State, Monsignor Edgar Pena Parra, “encouraged the faithful and pilgrims of the ancient Shrine  of the Passion to unite themselves ever more intensely to Christ: Way, Truth, and Life.”

International Museum of the Crucifix of Caltagirone

 According to the same source, the International Museum of the Crucifix of Caltagirone, adjacent to the Shrine of the same name, is dedicated to Monsignor Peri, one of the first to donate a crucifix. His was a small reproduction of Saint Damian’s crucifix, which was in the hospital room where he was admitted after contracting the coronavirus.

That crucifix, was a point of reference for the Bishop during his convalescence, said Monsignor Peri, it elicited questions and prayers. When he was released from the hospital, the Prelate asked if he could take the crucifix with him and he then decided to donate it to the Museum, as a sign of gratitude to God for his having been cured. More than 150 works are already being displayed in this special exhibition area.

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