Toronto’s Urban Angel
Standing in the lobby of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto is this statue of St. Michael as a symbol of hope and healing to all that visit. Several weeks ago my Sister and her husband were in a motorcycle accident and ended up in the trauma at St. Michael’s. This unit is one of the best in the country and we are fortunate that they got and continue to get excellent care. My Sister is still in ICU due to some lung issues but is progressing. Her husband is doing well and has been transferred to Bridgepoint for rehab.
Here is some interesting history related to the statue from the Hospital web site.
For almost a century the statue of Saint Michael the Archangel has graced St. Michael’s as a symbol of hope for employees, patients and their families. The artist and date of creation of the statue are unknown, but the name of ‘Pietrasanta’ chiselled on the back of the statue indicates the stone is from the same quarry in Italy where Michelangelo procured the marble for his famous ‘Pieta’.
How the statue made its way to Canada is unclear, but what we do know is that during the latter part of the 19th century the Sisters of St. Joseph found this statue, dirty and blackened, in a second-hand store on Queen Street. Recognizing its value, they wisely bought it for the sum of $49 – money they had accumulated from the sale of old newspapers.
The statue now stands in our Cardinal Carter lobby, meticulously restored, a symbol of hope and healing for all who visit. It is why St. Michael’s is affectionately known as Toronto’s Urban Angel.