News

Anzac Day Remembered at Domus Australia in Rome

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Apr 2015

The bronze replica of the World War Digger by Alan Somerville was part of the Domus Australia Anzac Memorial Mass

The Chapel of St Peter Chanel

Anzac Day and the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli was remembered at Domus Australia in Rome when officials and guests gathered for a special Mass of Remembrance and reception to honour the day we honour our war veterans past and present.

More than one hundred attended the Mass in the Chapel of St Peter Chanel which was celebrated by Cardinal George Pell, now the Vatican's Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy was present along with a number of embassy staff and guests from the New Zealand consulate. 

Present on a plinth between the Australian and New Zealand flags to the side of the altar in the Chapel stood the small bronze replica of the World War I Digger which stands on the western side of the Anzac Bridge in Sydney. The digger is bowed in reflection with his rifle in reverse position to remember the fallen.

This is the original maquette of the impressive statue sculptured by Sydney artists Alan Somerville, a powerful symbol of remembrance, mateship and nationhood.

The statue was placed between the Australian and New Zealand flags during the Mass

Cardinal Pell and Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy

The maquette is  a scale model of the final four metre high sculpture which was officially unveiled in Sydney on Anzac Day 2000. The maquette was bronzed and presented to Cardinal Pell by the Director and seminarians of the Good Shepherd Seminary at Homebush before he moved to Rome.

Cardinal Pell arranged for the statue's permanent home to be at Domus where it can be appreciated by all visiting or staying at the pilgrim house.

During the Mass a wreath of red poppies was presented to Cardinal Pell and rested below the feet of the statue.

Following the Mass the statue and flags were moved to the reception area where guests and expats gathered to pay tribute  not only to the men of Gallipoli but the many men and women who have fought in all theatres of war.

Official guests and friends of Domus Australia attended the Mass and reception