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Christ the Redeemer Statue Transformed into Tribute for Nations Affected by COVID-19

Atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro stands Christ the Redeemer, a 125-foot-tall statue that receives roughly 2 million visitors annually. The statue is a common tourist destination and pilgrimage for Christians, a beacon of faith and hope.

But in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, visits to see Christ the Redeemer, just like everything else, had to be canceled. Many countries have instituted lockdowns or mandatory quarantines, including Brazil. Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro both declared states of emergency, limiting public transportation and large gatherings. 

With fear and sorrow spread world-wide, Rio’s Catholic Archdiocese decided it was time to share a message of hope.

On Wednesday, March 20, the Christ the Redeemer was illuminated by a dazzling light show, featuring the flags of all the countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It also projected the words #praytogether written in a multitude of languages.


The beautiful gesture of solidarity was accompanied by a special service led by Rio de Janeiro’s archbishop Orani João Tempesta, who invited people to pray for all those affected by the outbreak. 


Pope Francis joined the movement by tweeting, “Let us #PrayTogether for doctors, hospital staff, and volunteers who are giving their own lives to save others. And for civil leaders, for those who have to make decisions at this time. All these people are the pillars defending us in this crisis.”