Two statues of the Virgin Mary were reportedly vandalized over the weekend in Boston, Massachusetts, and Queens, New York.
At around 10:00 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a call about a fire in the area of 284 Bowdoin Street in Dorchester, the Boston Police Department said in a Facebook post.
“On arrival at Saint Peter’s Parish Church, officers observed a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which had been set on fire,” the department noted.
The post continued:
Officers spoke with members of Boston Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit who stated that an unknown suspect had set fire to plastic flowers, which were in the hands of the statue, causing the face and upper body of the statue to be burned. The Boston Police Department continues to review the facts and circumstances surrounding these incidents. Anyone with information is strongly urged to contact District C-11 Detectives at (617) 343-4335.
In a similar instance on Friday, the Diocese of Brooklyn said the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was investigating the vandalization of another statue of the Virgin Mary at the Cathedral Prep School and Seminary in Queens.
“Security footage shows an individual approaching the 100-year-old statue shortly after 3 a.m. Friday morning and daubing the word ‘IDOL’ down its length,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported.
Friday, the Brooklyn Diocese Press Office tweeted video footage of the alleged incident:
The @BrooklynDiocese is announcing the #NYPD is investigating an act of vandalism from earlier this morning at @CathedralPrep1 in #Queens as a possible hate crime. An individual approached the statue of the Virgin Mary at the entrance of Cathedral Prep and defaced it. pic.twitter.com/iQJEtwllur
— Brooklyn Diocese Press Office (@BQDiocesePress) July 10, 2020
Sunday afternoon, the press office retweeted images that appeared to be from the school of a man cleaning the statue:
— NYPD Holy Name (@NYPD_HOLYNAME) July 12, 2020
“Obviously, this tragedy saddens us deeply but it also renews our hope and faith in the Lord as he has shown his goodness in the many people who have already reached out to us,” said Fr. James Kuroly, rector and president of Cathedral Prep.
“We are sincerely grateful for the help we have received as well as the prayers. Please continue praying for those who committed this act of vandalism and hatred toward Our Lady and the Church,” he continued.