Pope Receives Memorial to Post-Abortion Women

pro life sculpture 3A work of art created to raise awareness of post-abortion pain suffered by women has been touching hearts around the world, including that of Pope Francis, thanks to the efforts of the father of a Women of Grace® facilitator from Arizona.

LifeSiteNews has been reporting on the statue which was produced by Slovakian sculptor Martin Hudacek. The sculpture portrays a mother in great sorrow, her face buried in her hands as she grieves over her abortion. Standing in front of her is the figure of her aborted baby, as a young child, carved out of an exquisite crystal-like material. The child is touching the mother’s head ever so tenderly, as if comforting her and telling her that she is forgiven.

Wherever the piece has been shown, it has generated great praise for how effectively it depicts post-abortion suffering, an issue that is too often hidden behind abortion politics.

Dan Zeidler, president of Family Life Council, Inc., felt the piece sent a powerful message to the world about the needs of post-abortive women. He had been working with Hudacek to build interest in the sculpture to facililtate post-abortion healing, especially during the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

He decided to take it one step further while he was in Rome for the Synod when he suddenly got the idea of presenting the statue to the Pope.

Dan Zeidler hands statue to Pope Francis while sculptor Martin Hudacek looks on

Dan Zeidler hands statue to Pope Francis while sculptor Martin Hudacek looks on

“Dad was working hard to bring the post-abortion issue to the table by speaking with many of the Synod Fathers,” said Claire Dwyer, a Women of Grace® facilitator from Phoenix, Arizona. “He felt inspired to make a present of a replica of this statue, which he was already promoting around the world in photographs, to the Holy Father.”

But how was he going to accomplish this in such a short time?

“Dad contacted the sculptor in Slovakia and asked him to quickly make a replica of the original statue, which is much larger,” Claire explained.

Hudacek agreed and had the replica made within a matter of days. It was the final week of the Synod when he hopped into his car and made the ten hour drive to Rome.

However, even after he arrived, they still weren’t sure they would be able to give it to the pope. But thanks to an accommodating Cardinal who helped them move into the front row during the Wednesday audience, they found themselves close enough to catch the pope’s eye when he came toward them.

It worked. “My Dad, a fluent Spanish-speaker, addressed the pope in Spanish and explained that Martin was the sculptor and that the statue represented God’s mercy on post-abortive women. The Pope was very happy, and repeated twice that it was “muy hermosa” (very beautiful).”

The event was a special moment for her father who has been working in the pro-life cause since before the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in America. In fact, her childhood was filled with pro-life activities, from helping out in her dad’s office at Wisconsin Right to Life after schools to praying at abortion clinics and rallies. At the age of seven, she had the honor of carrying a casket containing the remains of hundreds of abortion babies who had been rescued from a local dumpster, and saw them buried in a Catholic Cemetery where a memorial still stands in their honor.

pro life sculpture 2Perhaps it’s his own personal empathy for both the unborn and their mothers that makes Zeidler so passionate about promoting the quintessential sculpture of Martin Hudacek, a work of art that was specifically created to raise awareness of post-abortion pain.

During an interview with LifeSite, Hudacek said that he spent a lot of time praying and researching before coming up with the design for the piece. This included listening to women tell him about their pain and how, no matter how hard they tried to heal, something was always missing.

“I need only forgiveness,’ they told me,” Hudacek said. “This is necessary for new life.” He then asked himself, “What is forgiveness? Is it something physical? What does it mean?”

He called upon God to lead him, and the response he received is seen in the statue, in the tender way the child gazes upon his grieving mother, gently touching her head as if to say, “Don’t cry, mommy. I forgive you.”

Hudacek has since created a second sculpture, this one of a post-abortive mother, her child, and also the father.

“The story continues,” stated Hudacek. “This is not only a women’s problem. It is also a man’s problem.”

He’s hoping the sculpture, which has now been seen around the world, will encourage people everywhere to pray for post-abortive men and women as well as the precious lives lost to abortion.

“Now I know it was not only a good idea, but good work, because it’s helping people spiritually,” said Hudacek. “This is enough for me.”

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