VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini

VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini, a sculpture by renowned Melbourne artist Simon Perry, was officially unveiled by Cabrini at Cabrini Malvern in November.

The was designed to celebrate the life and work of Mother Cabrini, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and all the doctors, nurses and staff of the Cabrini hospital, who have provided support and healthcare to our community for more than 70 years.

 “The Sculpture is an exceptional tribute of gratitude to all those, present and past, who have contributed to the outstanding reputation of Cabrini Health in Melbourne. It is an artwork which invites you in, to find the courage, which is at the heart of this work, to continue working with excellence.” 

Sr Sharon Casey MSC

Celebrating the centenary of the death of Mother Cabrini in 1917, the prominent 7.4 metre monument, was made possible with the support of the Cabrini Italians of Melbourne, who formed in 2017 to strengthen ties to the Italian community and highlight the importance of Cabrini’s Italian heritage.

The artwork utilises various themes from the history of Mother Cabrini’s life, a patron saint immigrants, such as the sacred heart, and combines them with more contemporary references relating to medicine and technology, including the heart rhythm graphs seen on electrocardiogram monitors. The resulting form is comprised of a series of interconnected vertical spires, which vary in height and resemble an unfolding landscape.

A heart-shaped crown atop each spire is designed to slowly move in the wind. As they turn, the reading of them shifts between the open heart-shaped motif and a stylised head. They are also reminiscent of ship propellers, making reference to the role of international shipping, immigration and Mother Cabrini’s many ocean journeys around the world.

To our Cabrini community, the sculpture is a means of re-telling, or re-imagining the story of Mother Cabrini.


About Simon Perry


Simon Perry is a British born sculptor and academic who has been living and working in Melbourne for the past 30 years. Best known for his large-scale public artworks for urban space in Australia and overseas, Perry has received a number of awards and prizes including The Prix de Rome, the RA Gold Medal for Sculpture and the Landseer scholarship award.

Posted on
15 February 2022