Westport artist crafts crucifix for Mass led by Pope Francis
Updated 6:51 am, Friday, September 25, 2015
A Westport artist has been commissioned to fashion a crucifix that will be displayed during a Mass that Pope Francis celebrates during his visit to Philadelphia.
Lawrence Hoy, who has created artifacts used during the two earlier papal visits to the United States, made the crucifix that will hang behind the stage where the pope on Sunday will lead a Mass in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum before a crowd assembled on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The stage is positioned in front of the museum’s famous steps, otherwise known as the “Rocky” steps, immortalized by the movie of the same name.
The design of the crucifix is in keeping with the austere aesthetics of Pope Francis, according to a press release issued on behalf of Hoy. It is constructed of composition gold-leafed wood, as opposed to traditional real gold leaf. “Normally we’d use real gold,” Hoy is quoted in the release, “but we were instructed to use the composition gold which is not a precious metal.” The cross also has a corpus — image of Christ — donated by a closed Philadelphia parish. “We were going to have a new corpus commissioned in Italy, but we found this one which works perfectly,” Hoy said.
“You know how they call three goals in soccer a hat trick?” Hoy is quoted in the release. “The Pope’s hat is called a mitre. So I guess I have a mitre trick.”