A California parish has restored an outdoor statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, after it was kicked to the ground and broken in an act of vandalism.
On July 21, security cameras at St. Joseph Parish in Upland, California, captured a video of a young man approach a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and kick the statue repeatedly until it fell from its base. Metal rays from behind the statue can be seen to crack off.
The same evening, security cameras captured another young man, who picked the statue from the ground, placed it on its base, and sat before the statue in prayer.
Fr. Timothy Do, the parish pastor, asked parishioners to “pray for peace in the world, the end of hatred and anger, and that we continue to have compassion and love for each other,” in a video released on Facebook July 22.
In additional videos, parishioners prayed both the chaplet of divine mercy and the rosary in Spanish while standing before the damaged statue.
Upland is a suburb east of Los Angeles in California’s Inland Empire. The toppling of its statue came amid weeks of church vandalism and destruction in the U.S., in which statues of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary have been defaced, graffitied, and beheaded. A Florida man admitted this month to setting a Florida church on fire, and in California, a fire at a mission church founded in the eighteenth century by St. Junípero Serra is being investigated for arson. Also in California, several statues of Serra have been torn down and defaced, and some have been moved from public locations.
The vandal in Upland has not yet been identified.
The parish announced in a July 27 Facebook post that it had repaired the damage done to the vandalized statue and restored it to its place outside the church.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe statue has been restored back with a stronger base. She still looks so beautiful. Yes, she is still standing strong on our parish ground to intercede our prayers to her beloved Son, Jesus.”