High on top of a cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, one jeans-wearing angel statue appears to be busy chatting away on a phone. She also gets about more calls than NewsFeed does on a normal day.
According to the New York Times, the idea for the original statue was conceived in 1997 by Ton Mooy. The cathedral had commissioned the Dutch sculptor to create 40 new statues to replace ones on the cathedral that had eroded over time. The church, built in 1220, has a long-standing tradition showcasing unusual art. The Little Angel, as it was so nicknamed, was the only atypical one.
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But it wasn’t until last April that a local couple took it a step further and set up a number so that people could call the angel. The calls have since started pouring in, as many as around 30 a day; so much that the Little Angel even now has its own personal Twitter account.
The couple doesn’t charge for calls to the Little Angel, and they field the messages personally. But since the rings have been coming, the church has since decided to open up an “official number” for people to speak to the spiritual creature, charging over a dollar a minute. But you won’t get a live person here – just an answering machine.
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Regardless, the unidentified couple says they plan on keeping up with the calls until they get fed up. What kind of calls do they get? Callers range from kids under 10 (“the best”) to just heartbreaking (“Christmas and New Year’s, that was an emotional time frame”) from those seeking solace.
Mooy aptly told the Times, “…Angels are there to guide, to protect people, they get messages from above. How do you show that? With a cell phone.”
Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.