Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington blesses a new statue of St. Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington June 4. The statue is located immediately next to the spot where Pope Francis canonized the saint during the pontiff's 2015 visit. (CNS photo/Brian Searby, Catholic Standard)
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl blessed a new statue of St. Junipero Serra June 4, calling him "an example of the power and grace of God at work."
The blessing came on the feast of Pentecost, the day that the Catholic Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.
The new statue is located on the east side of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, immediately next to the spot where Pope Francis canonized the saint during the pontiff's 2015 visit to Washington.
Preceding the dedication of the statue, Cardinal Wuerl celebrated a noon Pentecost Mass at the basilica. Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the basilica, noted that directly above the altar where the Mass was celebrated is a dome with a mosaic depicting the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles, Mary and every corner of the world.
In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl said it is this gift of the Holy Spirit that allowed Jesus' apostles to answer His call to be His witnesses in the world.
"Those men once described as timid and fearful, gathered in a room with the door closed, are now anointed in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit," said the cardinal. "They become bold; they take on the challenge of renewing the face of the earth."