Watch: Catholics Hold Vigil at Virgin Mary Statue Torched by Vandals

Virgin Mary statue in Dorchester
Boston Fire Department

A group of Catholics turned out Wednesday evening to pray the Rosary at the site of a Virgin Mary statue that had been set ablaze over the weekend outside of St. Peter Parish in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

The group of around a hundred, led by Father John Currie, included parishioners, priests, nuns, and monks. They recited prayers in English, as well as Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin, and offered benevolent words to “the person or persons” responsible for the scorched statue, with Currie proclaiming at one point, “We love you, we forgive you, and we are here to serve and help you in any way you may need.”

One attendee, Boston Catholic Radio chairman Louis Murray, posted several photos and livestreamed the event to social media, capturing the crowd surrounding the semi-restored statue, which had been donned with fresh flowers:

He posted images of Capuchin monks, along with the Sisters of Charity and Daughters of Mary of Nazareth — in personal protective equipment to adhere to coronavirus guidelines — who were also in attendance:

The vandalism of the Virgin Mary statue is part of a recent uptick in attacks directed toward the Catholic faith. The 249-year-old San Gabriel Mission was engulfed in flames on July 11; the word “idol” was scrawled across a Virgin Mary statue at Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary in Queens on July 10; and in Ocala, Florida, a man reportedly crashed his vehicle into the front doors of Queen of Peace Catholic Church before setting it on fire and causing significant damage, also on July 11.

In Boston, police continue to investigate the statue arson, during which an unknown suspect lit plastic flowers on fire in the statue’s hands, causing the burn marks on its upper surface.

Currie remarked to the crowd assembled around the statue that the attacks give rise to an opportunity for church members “to be an example in shining light of peace, hope, and love” for the country amid the destructive incidents, explaining that this response “is what Our Lady wants us to do.”

Additional cleaning and restoration of the statue is scheduled for Friday.


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