Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Wednesday morning unveiled the simple, wooden chair Pope Francis will use at a historic Mass in Madison Square Garden on Sept. 25.
The modest throne was built by day laborers, an ideal choice for a papal visit focused on immigrants.
The craftsmen, from Del Bosco Workers Inc., built the chair inside a Port Chester garage.
Dolan, who unveiled the seat inside the Garden, said the workers will be on hand for the Mass; he suspects the pope will want to meet them and later referred to them as "down-home, good, hardworking, salt of the Earth people."
Dolan said the chair is an important symbol in the Catholic church, representing unity and teaching authority.
Pope Francis, known for modestly and humility, asked that it be without decoration, so it was built without the papal coat of arms that is normally displayed.
Dolan said that once he is inside the arena, the pope will ride along the perimeter so that he can see the 20,000 parishioners waiting to greet him.
"He wants to get the attention on himself over with so once he begins the Mass, the attention is on God," Dolan said.