This statue is a tribute to the most revered Franciscan in Guatemala’s history: Brother Pedro. Born in the Canary Islands in 1626, he arrived in Antigua in 1650 and studied to become a Jesuit but failed. He assumed the name Peter of Saint Joseph when he joined the Franciscans. Then he became committed to the tireless service of the hungry, sick, desolate, poor and prisoners. Hermano Pedro de San José Betancur would later be called St. Francis of Assisi of the Americas. In 2002, the Catholic church canonized him as Guatemala’s first saint. His tomb is in Vera Cruz Chapel at the north end of San Francisco Church. The shrine is frequently visited by locals. It is also a popular pilgrimage for people across Guatemala and Central America.