July 22, 2013

With retired Pope Benedict XVI sitting next to him, Pope Francis formally recited separate prayers to consecrate Vatican City to St. Joseph and to St. Michael the Archangel.

The early morning ceremony in the Vatican Gardens July 5 featured the unveiling of a new statue of St. Michael, sculpted by Giuseppe Antonio Lomuscio.

The project also includes a fountain by Franco Murer dedicated to St. Joseph.

Pope Francis said the statue of St. Michael with his sword piercing the devil is "an invitation to reflection and prayer."

St. Michael defends the people of God from their enemies, especially the enemy par excellence, the devil."

The statue is a reminder that evil never wins, he said.