Botswana: Statue to Turn Letlhakane Into Divine City

Letlhakane — Leapfrog Managing Director, Thapelo Pabalinga says the Divine Mercy Statue, which is the statue of Jesus, will make Boteti not only a diamond district, but a divine one.

Pabalinga, who was the guest speaker, at the Divine Mercy Statue unveiling ceremony in Letlhakane recently, stated that statues served as a remembrance and reverence of pioneers, heroes, heroines and a source of inspiration, assurance as well as hope. The statue, he said was the tallest in Africa and second tallest in the world, after the one in the Philippines.

He stated that the statue created a sense of belonging, association and identity of mind, philosophy as well as direction.

Pabalinga further indicated that the Divine Mercy Statue served as a remembrance of God's abundant love and mercy unto humanity, through Jesus Christ.

He stated that it facilitated effective evangelism to mankind and served to promulgate awareness of Divine Mercy.

"The people of Letlhakane and Holy Family Parish are blessed and privileged to have such a holy statue erected in their backyard," he said, adding that it was thus important for the community to know its role, preservation and treatment.

Pabalinga urged the community to respect and preserve such monuments as they represented the past and identity of people.

He said the statue would benefit the village and the community at large, as multitudes of pilgrims would visit to worship and see the monument.

The church development committee representative, Mokwadi Maruping stated that the project was a success due to their dedication, cooperation, loyalty, belief in God, as well as the visionary leadership of the Parish Priest.

He revealed that the idea of building the statue was conceptualised after Fr Monnamongwe Letsatle was posted to the Holy Family Catholic Church.

Maruping said the project was due to Father Letsatle's visionary leadership, inspired by the Holy Spirit, noting that they did not manage because they had money or power, but by the grace of God.

He stated that when they started, they did not realise that they would need more than P500 000, emphasising however that the parishners were always responsive when it came to contributions.

The Sculptor, Mr Immanuel Tamocha, said he had a lot to be thankful for.

Giving a bit of background, Sister Iwona Szatkowska from Our Lady of the Desert Cathedral in Francistown, explained that building the Divine Mercy Statue began when Sr Faustina received visions that she must paint a picture of Jesus.

She explained that people dismissed Sr Faustina's vision, saying maybe she was asked to paint it in her soul, however she was really determined and found an artist, who painted the picture under her instructions.

She said the image was completed in June 1934, and was put in the convent of Sr Bernadine next to St Michael church in Venice.

She said Sr Faustina received visions that the picture should be put in the public veneration so that all people could see it and get the graces and mercy from God coming from Jesus Christ.

On Sunday 1935, after Easter, the image was exposed to the world and first publicity venerated in a celebration, which ended the jubilee year of celebration.

In 1943, another artist, she said visited the convent of sisters, where Sr Faustina spent the last year of her life and painted another picture of Divine Mercy for Jesus.

That was the most famous picture venerated all over the world and since that time a lot artists were painting more pictures, she said.

Sr Iwona said it was most important for Christians to believe and trust in Jesus, adding it was crucial to trust whatever Jesus requests and do it in a merciful way, imitating Jesus, who was merciful to people.

Boteti Sub-Council Chairperson, Mr Molemi Galeragwe commended the church leadership for building a statue of such magnitude, saying it had given the village a facelift.

Mr Galeragwe said the statue could be used to attract tourists.

Source : BOPA

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