LOS ANGELES (AP) – A man damaged a mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe painted on the tiles of a Los Angeles church with a mallet.
The man was caught by security cameras when he carried out the act before dawn on April 21 at St. Elisabeth’s Church, in the Van Nuys neighborhood. The damage focused on the image’s face.
The parish website posted photos of the damage and commented that the act of vandalism is “one of our saddest moments,” in addition to what people have suffered during this pandemic.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is considered a central part of the Mexican identity and is widely revered as the patron saint of America.
Father Vito Di Marzio, the priest of the church, led parishioners and school children “in prayer for peace, unity and order in the area of our parish community, as well as for the person who perpetrated this sacrilege to our mother. blessed, ”the website stated.
Sister Angelie Marie Inoferio said she was devastated, but the vandalism would be used as a teaching moment for students at the parish, KTLA television reported.
“We cannot judge what is really inside, perhaps it is a cry for help,” Inoferio said.
“For now, we pray in the hope that the person will one day be converted and realize that what they did is wrong.”
The parish asked for donations to restore the mural, which was painted 35 years ago, and install a Plexiglas cover to protect it.