On Wednesday night, Christ the Redeemer statue was lit with flags of the nations affected by the coronavirus outbreak with a hashtag of “pray together” in different languages.
The statue was lighted during a mass of prayer hosted by Rio’s Catholic Archdiocese for the people affected by the virus worldwide.
According to the New York Daily News, the event was able to go on despite Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute closing its national parks – which includes Tijuca Forest National Park where the Christ the Redeemer statue is located – for at least a week amid COVID-19 fears by the end of day on Tuesday.
In Encyclopaedia Britannica reports, the idea for the Christ the Redeemer statue came to fruition in the 1850s when Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss wanted to create a “Christian monument” to honor Princess Isabel, who was the regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II.
As reported by Christian headline, Under the initial proposition, there was never an official approval for construction. Then, in 1921, a new plan was proposed by Rio de Janeiro’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The proposition suggested that “a statue of Christ be built on the 2,310-foot summit, which, because of its commanding height, would make it visible from anywhere in Rio.”
Additionally, the proposition had citizen support, as they “petitioned Pres. Epitácio Pessoa to allow the construction of the statue on Mount Corcovado.” The statue was dedicated on October 12, 1931, at its completion.
The Christ the Redeemer statue stands at approximately 125 feet tall, seeing approximately 2 million visitors annually.
According to The Blaze, as of this writing, Brazil has at least 529 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least 4 deaths.