10/23/2018, 15.01
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A museum dedicated to Mary 'Mother of all ethnic groups' inaugurated

by Mathias Hariyadi

Launched in 2015, an artistic competition gave Our Lady more "familiar" features for Indonesian Catholics. Robertus Gunawan, a Catholic from Jakarta, won the competition. In January 2018, the archbishop of Jakarta adopted the image as a symbol of national unity.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) –Devotion to Our Lady among Indonesian Catholics has found expression in a museum dedicated to the ‘Mother of all ethnic groups’ (Maria, Bunda Segala Suku), where the sacred images of the Virgin with an Indonesian face are exhibited (picture 1).

Mgr Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, archbishop of Jakarta, inaugurated the exhibit on Saturday at the Marian Centre Indonesia (MCI).

In order to revive the commitment of the faithful to national unity, Gomas Harun (pictures 2 and 3), a Catholic entrepreneur from Grogol (West Jakarta), created an arts competition in 2015 to give Our Lady more "familiar" features".

The initiative received the full support of the late archbishop of Semarang (Central Java) Mgr Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta, Card Julius Darmaatmadja and former Apostolic Nuncio Mgr Antonio Guido Filipazzi.

In May 2017, the archbishop of Jakarta announced the name of the winner of the competition: Robertus Gunawan, a Catholic from Jakarta (picture 4).

In January 2018, a time characterised by tensions and Islamist pressures, Mgr Suharyo adopted the image of Mary Mother of all ethnic groups as a symbol of national unity.

The Garuda Pancasila (Indonesia’s national symbol) is found on the Virgin's chest, whilst her head is adorned with a white and red veil (the colours of the Indonesian flag) and a map of the country is depicted on the crown.

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