The idea to dedicate a statue to the saint stemmed from Opelousas Rotarian Bruce Gaudin.
About two years ago, Gaudin received permission from the St. Landry Parish Council to erect the monument on courthouse property.
“We are here in a small town in Louisiana dedicating a statue to a saint,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said. ” It’s a symbol where you can come into St. Landry Parish and you can have faith that justice will be served in this courthouse.”
The dedication coincides with the centennial anniversary of the Opelousas Rotary Club.
Sculptor Kim Bernadas says it was an eleven-month process to complete. “It was from clay to wax, then to full bronze,” she explained.
The statue depicts St. Landry sitting on a bench, offering bread to those who are hungry.
Bishop Douglas Deshotel said, “During the famine of 650-651, St. Landry sold personal possessions as well as furniture to feed the poor.”
Parish President Jessie Bellard said he hopes the statue can serve as a reminder of the rich history that the parish is built on.
“It can bring us into where we need to be, and people can come here and look at our courthouse and see a great first impression,” added Bellard.
The statue also serves as a tribute to St. Landry Catholic Church in Opelousas.
Passersby can sit with Saint Landry on the bench or admire him from afar. Bishop Deshotel even suggested taking selfies with the Saint.