Category Archives: Statues/Sculptures

Homeless Jesus Sculpture

Sculpture Homeless Jesus / Escultura Jesús Desamparado

Located in the Plaza in front of the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers / Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos is a replica of a very special and touching sculpture. The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz was installed in 2017.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / La escultura "Jesús Desamparado" by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos, Dominican Republic
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / La escultura “Jesús Desamparado” by Canadian Artist Timothy P. Schmalz at the Plaza Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos

The touching life-size very real looking sculpture is an image of Christ. It is represented by a homeless person lying on a bench. He is shrouded in a blanket with his face slightly visible. The only body parts exposed is the feet. Looking closer the feet have wounds. These wounds are caused by the crucifixion nails.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close-up of the foot wounds caused by the crucifixion nails.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Inspiration for the Sculpture

A homeless man sleeping on a park bench was Canadian artist Timothy P. Schmalz inspiration for this touching sculpture. Schmalz says the sculpture is meant to challenge and inspire people to be charitable. He says he thought of the scripture in St. Matthew 25:35 and 36 (New International Version) – “Because I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you stayed me, I was naked and you dressed me; sick and you visited me, in jail and you came to see me ”.

Mateo 25:35 y 36 (Nueva Versión Internacional) – “Porque tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; fui forastero, y me dieron alojamiento; necesité ropa, y me vistieron; estuve enfermo, y me atendieron; estuve en la cárcel, y me visitaron”.

"Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.
“Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” close up of the face of the sculpture.

First Sculpture & Locations:

The first sculpture of Homeless Jesus (2013) is located at the Jesuit School of Theology, Regis College in Toronto. The second sculpture is located at the Vatican where it was blessed by Pope Francis. After the Pope’s blessing, the sculpture went viral on social networks. Many requests were made for replicas to be placed in locations throughout the world.

The most prominent location or this touching sculpture is in Rome outside of the Papal Office of Charities. By early 2016, some 100 copies of Homeless Jesus were installed and blessed in many places around the world.

The sculpture "Homeless Jesus" / "Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The sculpture “Homeless Jesus” / “Jesús Desamparado” located at the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Fathers, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

You can own your own mini Homeless Jesus Christian Sculpture (Minature) by Timothy Schmalz (Amazon link).

Some of the other locations of the copies of the original sculpture include:
*St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, North Carolina, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s headquarters in the River North neighborhood, Chicago, USA
*Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, USA
*Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Catholic Church, Detroit Michigan
*Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA
*Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s main services building near downtown Oklahoma City, OK, USA
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*First Congregational Church in Elyria, Ohio, USA
*The first sculpture outside of North America was installed on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
*Father Woody’s Haven of Hope, a homeless day shelter near downtown Denver, CO, USA
*Holy Rosary Church, Vancouver City
*Church of Saint Peter in ancient Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
*Sacred Heart Cathedral, Townsville, Australia
*Belfast, Northern Ireland
*Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Location:

Walking on Calle el Conde turn south on Calles Hostos or Duarte. Go 2 blocks. The burnt orange colored building is across from Parque Duarte on Calle Padre Billini. The sculpture is located at the Convento e Iglesia de los Padres Dominicos/ Monastery (Convent) and Church of the Dominican Fathers in the Plaza in front of the university entrance, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana.

References:

https://www.alfayomega.es/70054/el-que-duerme-en-el-banco-podria-ser-jesus

https://www.sculpturebytps.com/about-the-artist/

Plazoleta Padre Billini

Plazoleta Padre Billini

Beautiful and intimate Plazoleta / Small Plaza Padre Billini, named after and dedicated to Padre Billini who contributed many important things to the Dominican Republic. Here his statue, made by French sculptor Ernest Gilbert, stands proudly.

The statue of Padre Francisco Xavier Billini stands in the center of the plaza named after him, Plazoleta Padre Billini
The statue of Padre Francisco Xavier Billini stands in the center of the plaza named after him, Plazoleta Padre Billini

Padre Francisco Xavier Billini (December 1, 1837 – March 9, 1896), known as the protector of the poor man. He was also a great Philanthropist. Billini founded the National Lottery in 1882 to help pay for the poorest patients of the Hospital de la Beneficencia. This was the first charity hospital in the Dominican Republic, later known as Hospital San Andrés. We now know the hospital as Hospital Docente Padre Billini located on Calle Santomé in the Colonial Zone.

The statue of Padre Billini, The protector of the people, stands in the center of the Plaza
The statue of Padre Billini, The protector of the people, stands in the center of the Plaza

The Legend of La Casa de Garay

Where this Plazoleta Padre Billini is now, there once was a large beautiful house, The Casa de Garay. This private home was built around 1520. It was torn down because of a disagreement between neighbors.

Located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño on the left is La Bricola Restaurant and the Plaza Padre Billini is where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood
Located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño on the left is La Bricola Restaurant and the Plaza Padre Billini is where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood

A widow, who lived in her home where La Bricola Restaurant is located (across the street from the Plaza), saw a sight from her window. A slave from the Casa de Garay decided to milk their masters’ cow in the middle of the street. The elderly lady complained. The owners of the House of Garay made a nasty comment about this. The widows’ nephew heard about the comment and came to his elderly aunts’ defense. He wanted to defend the family name of Franco Medina.

The nephew wanted the owner of the slave to apologize. They even offered to purchase the slave so they could punish him and end the dispute. The owner refused. It was against the law to speak badly or defame someone’s character. It was a very serious offense (and still is in the Dominican Republic). A long court battle entailed because they questioned the persons’ honor. The elderly woman won the lawsuit.

In this time in history, many lawsuits were settled by giving the losers home to the winner of a suit. The owner of the lost home said angrily (general translation) “It’s easy for anyone to get rich!” The Franco Medina family, who won the property, announced that the house will not be lived in by me or anyone. They destroyed the home because they did not want the owner to think the Medina family fought and won just to take the home.

The empty lot was turned into a plaza. This plaza has had many different names over time, including Plaza de las Franco, Plaza de las Lebrón and Plaza de las Mañón. Finally, Damián Báez (the son of Presidente Buenaventura Báez), purchased the property to make a plaza dedicated to Padre Billini.

Plaza Padre Billini Now

Plazolita Padre Billini has large shade trees where one can sit and enjoy a rest from the Dominican sun
Plazolita Padre Billini has large shade trees where one can sit and enjoy a rest from the Dominican sun

The small plaza has benches under large shade trees where you can sit and enjoy the breeze. It is now half occupied by some of the restaurants that line the site. These restaurants are nice but expensive places. You can sit outside in the Plaza or inside the enclosed restaurants or private patios to have a meal and a drink.

The Plazoleta Padre Billini is a favorite spot to take wedding pictures.
The Plazoleta Padre Billini is a favorite spot to take wedding pictures.

They hold many special events in the Plaza from meetings with the President to small intimate weddings. It is a great place to take wedding pictures too.

Plazoleta Padre Billini is located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño and Padre Billini where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood
Plazoleta Padre Billini is located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño and Padre Billini where the beautiful Casa de Garay once stood

Location:

Walking from Calle el Conde turn on Arzobispo Meriño south toward the sea. Walk about a block and a half and small plaza, Plazoleta Padre Billini, is on the left side before you get to Calle Padre Billini.

Memorial Sloop Aurora

Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora / Columna Conmemorativa Naufragio Balandra Aurora

On the coral cliffs of Paseo Padre Billini on the coast of Santo Domingo stands a single column pillar. This white pillar is topped with an urn. The Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora. It honors those who lost their lives because of the shipwreck of the sloop Aurora.

Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora / Columna Conmemorativa Naufragio Balandra Aurora
Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora / Columna Conmemorativa Naufragio Balandra Aurora

On Sunday, September 27, 1908 he sloop Aurora was trying to enter the port to escape a torrential storm that was raging in the Caribbean. People watched as the ship crashed and sank off the beach Placer de los Estudios (Playa Placer is located at the mouth of Rio Ozama). The crew clung desperately to a tree as the storm raged on. A few Dominican men tried to rescue these crew members, but all lives were lost.

Located on the coral cliffs of the Caribbean Sea on the Malecon, Santo Domingo is the Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora.
Located on the coral cliffs of the Caribbean Sea on the Malecon, Santo Domingo is the Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora.

The monument dedicated to the memory of the Balandra Arora was built in 1910 to commemorate the tragic loss of lives. There was once a plaque at the bottom of the monument inspired by Federico Henriquez and Carvajal. The plaque read “Al ver la nave zozobrar perdida, un noble razgo les costó la vida” / “When seeing the ship capsize lost, a noble reason cost them the life”. The plaque also included the names of those who lost their lives on Sunday, September 27, 1908. The heroic Dominicans are Casimiro Almonte, José Cuevas, Miguel Veloz, José Maíz and Eusebio Lugo. The crew members of the Balandra Arora who lost their lives are Miguel Pérez, Juan Ramón Mandia and Rican Hilario Martínez.

The Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora.
The Memorial Column to the Shipwreck of the Sloop Aurora.

Did you know? – A sloop / balandra is a sailing boat with a single mast. It typically has one headsail in front of the mast, and one mainsail aft of (behind) the mast.

Location:

Paseo Presidente Padre Billini, better known as the Malecon of Santo Domingo or Avenida George Washington, and Calle Sanchez. The memorial sits on the coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana.

Reference: Imagenes de Nuestra Historia RD – Facebook