The Belgian artist Johan Tahon had already presented his
sculpture entitled Metanoia to Father General Arturo Sosa and to Pope Francis.
It depicts St Ignatius in his conversion process, in particular during the
inner transformation that the knight, who was wounded in the legs, would
undergo during his convalescence.
This was at the very beginning of the Ignatian Year in May
2021. In Rome, the programme of the
Jubilee Year includes the public presentation of this work in various Jesuit
places visited by pilgrims and tourists. First in the camerette, the
rooms of St. Ignatius from September to December 2021, then in the church of
Sant'Andrea al Quirinale in January and February 2022, and now, for Lent 2022,
“Metanoia” (a Greek word that evokes the attitude of conversion, a change of
heart) is presented in the church of Sant'Ignazio, in the heart of Rome.
The opening of the exhibition at this church took place on 6
March, the first Sunday of Lent. In a space that is perfectly suited to the
statue, with its artistic environment and lighting, the event
orchestrated by the rector, Vincenzo D’Adamo, included four talks and ended
with an organ concert by Maestro Filippo Manci. He performed works by Bach,
Brahms and Mendelssohn, thus putting the art of music in
dialogue with that of sculpture.
Pascal Calu, a Jesuit scholastic responsible for
the universal animation of the Ignatian Year at the Communications Service of
the General Curia, spoke first. He emphasised the importance of dreams in the
spiritual life; they allow us to move forward towards greater projects than we
can imagine. Even in weakness, as a result of wounds, the awareness of our
vulnerability opens a space for conversion. This was the experience of
Ignatius; it is well expressed in the statue by Johan Tahon.