MIAMI, Fla. – Ten new American citizens took the oath of allegiance on Wednesday in the shadow of an appropriate piece of artwork in Bayfront Park with a Vatican connection.
The sculpture, Angels Unawares, will be at Bayfront Park through April 7 and on Wednesday, it was the backdrop for a citizenship ceremony.
“This sculpture reminds us that the history of humanity is the history of migration,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski, of the Archdiocese of Miami, said.
The inspiration of the work comes from a passage from Hebrew 13:2 found in the Bible’s New Testament: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Canadian Timothy P. Schmalz is the creator of the sculpture with some of his most reputed pieces installed in historical church in Rome and at the Vatican.
On September 2019, the large bronze of Angels Unawares was installed in St. Peter’s Square Rome and the smaller bronze was installed in St. Paul’s Basilica, Rome.
The sculpture, a full-size replica of the one blessed by Pope Francis that weighs 9,000 pounds, travels in a specially built steel cage.
In the shadow of Miami’s Freedom Tower and the faces of the bronze “Angels,” Colombian born Nicolas Cabrera was sworn in as an American.
He calls it a dream come true. “Finally. I’m very excited I’m very happy to be here and finally become a citizen. There will be a celebration for sure tonight and the weekend,” he said.
The sculpture arrived in Bayfront Park on Feb. 9 after stops in Boston, New York and Atlanta, before coming to Miami.
“Miami is the South’s Ellis Island and a fitting place to host this sculpture that honors migrants and refugees,” Wenski said.