NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A massive painting of Pope Francis is in the works in the center of New York City. The mural at the corner of 8th Ave. and 34th St. just outside Penn Station and Madison Square Garden will be up throughout September. His Holiness will celebrate Mass at MSG on Sept. 25. The DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, is welcoming Pope Francis to the New York City with a 225-foot tall billboard in the middle of the Big Apple.
The image which is not completed yet is of Pope Francis smiling and waving his hand at the crowd. On Monday, four artists from as far as Costa Rica started sketching what they say is the most important painting they have done.
"Really exciting to be a part of it, very honored to be part of it as well," said David Osborne, one of the artists.
The mural is at one of the busiest areas of Manhattan on West 34 Street and 8th Avenue. Christina Letizia Sialone, who walks by every day and had not seen it, says "It's great that they're honoring him."
The image is feet away from Madison Square Garden where the Holy Father will host mass during his visit here next month.
Monsignor Kieran Harrington has this to say about why they decided to have this mural done.
"Very few people are really going to have tickets to be able to go to Madison Square Garden or St. Patrick's Cathedral to actually see the Holy Father so we wanted to engage people," the monsignor said. "If you take a look at that... smile you can see they are completely drawn in."
The mural is expected to be finished by Sunday. The image will remain in place for about six weeks, even after the Holy Father leaves New York City.