Very nice! I've seen one or two bizarre modern statues in the side niches that most of the public wouldn't be within the vicinity of. Glad to see such a dignified statue.
The statue portraid does not seem to be the Hermit Monk known to St. John Chrysostomos, who died iin 410, venerated in the Maronite, Byzantine an Roman Church, but a subterfuge: only known to the Maronites, whose existence even is contested by some historians: the first separate Antiochian PAtriarch of the Maronites, the third claimant of that apostolic See: Mar Youhanna Maroun, as he carries the Patriarchal Sceptre, seen in the hands of the present maronite Patriarch as well, bearing resemblance to that of the Greek Orthodox Primate of Cyprus - he bearing it as an imperial privilege, it is an imperial Sceptre. Mar Maroun, the friend of St. John Chrysostom, is not known of having shared any form of jurisdiction; he was a monk - a hermit, possibly a priest, nothing more, nothing less.I just hope that the Roman Curia is aware of this ambiguity.
A spectacular statue. Is that Syriac on the base?
Yes, its Syriac... Its 5.40m high made in White Carrara Marble. The artists name is Marco Augusto Dueñas, originally from Spain but, works from Italy. Its his 2nd statue in the Vatican (First one being Saint Rafaella Maria del Sacro Cuore di Jesu). Word on the grape vine is that H.H. recommended the artist to the Maronite Church...It comes a time when art also has to represent the past and the future...I think the statue represents just that, the hermit that he was and the contuinity of the Maronite Chirch in the modern times using the stainless steel pastorale...Art: either you love it of hate it ! Thats why its so personal. ;)