On the feast of St John of Jerusalem, patron saint of the Order of Malta, the unveiling ceremony of the sculpture of the Homeless Jesus took place in front of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Capuchin Friars Minor in Warsaw.
The sculpture, by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz, depicts a barefoot homeless person lying on a bench, tightly wrapped in a blanket. The sculpture, copies of which have already been installed in many cities around the world, was brought to Poland from Canada thanks to the efforts of Mr Wojciech Kożuchowski, member of the Association of Polish Knights of Malta, and donated to the Monastery of the Capuchin Friars Minor, where meals for the poor and homeless are distributed daily.
Permission to place the sculpture was given by the Masovian Provincial Conservator of Monuments and by Br Kazimierz Synowczyk, OFM Cap, Prior of the Monastery of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor.
The ceremony was attended by Mr Michał Olszewski, Deputy Mayor of Warsaw. Following its unveiling by Jerzy Baehr, President of the Association of Polish Knights of Malta and Niels Lorijn, Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Poland, the sculpture was consecrated by Bishop Michał Janocha, Chairman of the Council for Culture and Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
At the end of the ceremony, Ambassador Lorijn bestowed decorations of the Order Pro Merito Melitense on Dr Malgorzata Sieńczewska (Cross with Plaque), Mrs Zofia Bocheńska (Cross), Prof. dr hab. Marian Wolski (Silver Medal), Mr Robert Wielopolski-Fonfara, Mrs Hanna Wesołowska-Starzec, Mrs Magalena Krzeczunowicz, and Mr Michał Kwilecki (Bronze Medal) in recognition of their longstanding services to the Order.