Christus (also known as Christus Consolator) is a 19th-century Carrara marble statue of the resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Since its completion in 1838, the statue has been located in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the 20th century, images and replicas of the statue were adopted by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ in church teachings.
Thorvaldsen was commissioned to sculpt statues of Jesus and the apostles for the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. The statue of Jesus was completed in 1821. The Christus was not well known outside of Denmark until 1896, when an American textbook writer wrote that the statue was "considered the most perfect statue of Christ in the world." The statue is 3.2 metres (10.5 feet) high. The inscription at the base of the sculpture reads "Kommer til mig" ("Come to me") with a reference to the Bible verse: Matthew 11:28.
Use by LDS Church
In the 1950s, LDS Church leader Stephen L Richards purchased a 3.4-metre (11-foot) replica of the Christus and presented it to Church President David O. McKay. In 1966, the statue was placed in the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The church's second Christus replica was created to be displayed in the church's pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The display of the replica "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) are Christians".
Since the display of the Christus at the World's Fair and in Temple Square, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in visitors centers near LDS temples in Hamilton, New Zealand; Laie, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Mesa, Arizona; Mexico City; Nauvoo, Illinois; Oakland, California; Palmyra, New York; London, England; Portland, Oregon; Rome, Italy; St. George, Utah; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Provo, Utah. Replicas are also on display at LDS Church visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah and in Independence, Missouri. The LDS Church uses the image of the Christus on its webpages and in other official publications.
Another copy of the statue is in front of the Friedenskirche in Potsdam, which was built from 1845-1854.
One replica is at St. John United Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington, USA. This church was originally a Danish speaking Lutheran Church.
Replica at Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Replica at The Johns Hopkins Hospital at Baltimore, Maryland.
Replica at Luisenfriedhof III cemetery in Berlin.
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- Jacobsen, Florence S. (1992), "Christus Statue", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 273–274, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
- Richardson, Matthew O. (February 29, 2008), "The Christus Legacy", LDS Living Magazine, archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Excerpted from: Richardson, Matthew O. (2007), The Christus Legacy, Sandy, Utah: Leatherwood Press, ISBN 978-1599920405, OCLC 157000118
- Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provacative Icon", Dome, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 54 (10): 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
- Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue, NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21
- Media related to Thorvaldsen's Christus at Wikimedia Commons