Christus (statue)

The original statue at the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen.

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 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark's 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.

Original sculptureEdit

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 statue is 345 centimeter high.[1] 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.

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."[2][dubious ][3]

Use by the LDS ChurchEdit

In the 1950s, Stephen L Richards, a church apostle, 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 at the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The church's second Christus replica was created to be displayed in its pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The display of the replica "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints are Christians".[4]

Since the display of the Christus at the World's Fair and at Temple Square, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in visitors' centers near its 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; São Paulo, Brazil; and Provo, Utah.[4][5] Replicas are also on display at the church's visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah, in Independence, Missouri,[5], and adjacent to the Rome Italy Temple, where it is accompanied by Thorvaldsen's twelve apostles from Vor Frue Kirke.[6] The church uses the image of the Christus on its webpages and in other official publications.[5]

On April 4, 2020, church president Russell M. Nelson announced a new symbol to be used, featuring an image of the Christus as the central element, placed above the church's name.[7]

Other replicasEdit

A full-size replica of the Christus is located in The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; the hospital refers to the statue as Christus Consolator.[8]

A replica is located at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California in "The Court of the Christus" on Cathedral Drive.[9]

In 2009, a six-foot Christus replica was built out of 30,000 white Lego pieces by parishioners of a Swedish Protestant church in Västerås.[10]

Additional replicasEdit

  • In front of the Friedenskirche in Potsdam, which was built from 1845-1854.
  • In the church of Sankt Petri Stavanger, Norway where it has been on display since 1853.
  • In the Koranda Congregation Chapel of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren in the Czech city of Pilsen.
  • In the St. John United Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington, USA. This church was originally a Danish speaking Lutheran Church.
  • In the St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, USA.
  • A bronze replica is at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas, USA.

Image galleryEdit


  1. ^ Villadsen, Ole. Billeder og billedkunst. Gyldendal. p. 102. ISBN 87-00-33896-6.
  2. ^ Coe, Fanny E. (1896). Dunton, Larkin (ed.). Modern Europe. The Young Folks' Library 9, The World and Its People 5. Boston: Silver Burdett. p. 126. OCLC 14865981.
  3. ^ Taylor, Scott (30 March 2017). "The story behind the statues in the Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center". Deseret News. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b Jacobsen, Florence S. (1992), "Christus Statue", in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 273–274, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
  5. ^ a b c 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
  6. ^
  7. ^ The Church’s New Symbol Emphasizes the Centrality of the Savior
  8. ^ Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provocative Icon", Dome, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 54 (10): 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
  9. ^
  10. ^ Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue, NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°40′46″N 12°34′23″E / 55.67944°N 12.57306°E / 55.67944; 12.57306