Statue already installed in about 40 places, including the Vatican
By Agnieszka Krawczynski

The original Homeless Jesus statue is seen outside Regis College in Toronto. (File photo)

A statue of Jesus as a homeless man that has captured attention around the world is coming to Vancouver.

Holy Rosary Cathedral will soon be the home for a new Homeless Jesus sculpture, which features a life-sized figure of a man sleeping on a park bench and entirely covered by a blanket, save for his pierced feet.

“Vancouver is known far and wide as a place where there’s lots of homeless people,” said cathedral rector Father Stanley Galvon, who is bringing the statue to the cathedral.

“To some it’s a problem, and to others it’s an opportunity to serve. This art piece is a catalyst to make people think about the situation.”

The Homeless Jesus statue was created by Toronto artist Timothy Schmalz. So far, it’s been installed in almost 40 places around the world, including Dublin, Johannesburg, and the Vatican.

“Ninety per cent of the people, whether they be agnostic, atheist, or Christian, love the sculpture. They love the message. It points to the idea that all of human life is sacred and this is ... one of the great gifts that Christianity brought Western civilization and the world,” Schmalz has said.

In some cities, passersby have mistaken the bronze figure for a real person and dialled 911.

The first Homeless Jesus statue was installed at Regis College at the University of Toronto in 2013 after the city’s St. Michael’s Cathedral turned down the bronze image during massive renovations.

It was first announced that the statue is coming to Vancouver at an annual fundraiser with Archbishop J. Michael Miller in November.

Homeless Jesus will find a home at Holy Rosary Cathedral in the next few weeks, though the exact day is not yet clear.