For the first time in nearly 400 years, a new statue was unveiled in St. Peter's Square, on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.
But instead of honoring the protector of Rome and vanquisher of Lucifer, the pope chose to honor migrants in a sculpture titled "Angels Unawares", based on a Scripture verse in Hebrews urging hospitality to strangers "for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2).
To match the 140 saints statues atop Bernini's colonnades the statue depicts 140 migrants.
The 20-foot-tall, 3.5 ton bronze sculpture was commissioned by the Vatican's Office for Migrants and Refugees.
The unveiling comes amid the political clash between Pope Francis and Italy's conservative ruling party, headed by Premier Giuseppe Conte, who said just last week he won't budge on Italy's migrant policy: "We will not move back one millimeter. ... A sovereign State must combat illegal immigration."
Globalist-minded leftists have found an ally in the pontiff, who has in a sense baptized their agenda, spiritualizing the push for open borders and unrestricted migration, while scolding Western nations that favor patriotism and national sovereignty.
Pope Francis even used the occasion of Sunday Mass to scold world leaders who reject open borders as so-called elites who use their best natural resources to benefit "a few privileged markets."
The unveiling comes one week before the Amazon Synod, what faithful Catholics fear will be used to further push a globalist, leftist agenda in the Church — and further dilution of Catholic teaching.