On Wednesday evening, a 31-year-old Palestinian “refugee” decapitated and cut off the hands of a historical Virgin Mary statue in Marghera, a suburb of Venice, Italy. The police discovered that the Palestinian accused of the attack was issued a travel document for refugees in Belgium and does not have a residence permit. Police have launched a terrorism investigation and procedures for expelling him from Italy.
The Catholic News Agency reports that the local parish “is organizing a community rosary to be prayed at the statue on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.”
According to a local Italian news report by Antenna 3 exclusively translated for RAIR Foundation USA, the “perpetrator was identified by a citizen who was present at the scene, and confirmation by a video surveillance camera”. The report states that “condemnation was strong on the part of the municipal administration for a ‘vile act,’ Mayor Luigi Brugnaro commented, ‘which wounds our sensibilities.'”
Despite the pain caused by the act, the peaceful Christians have not reacted with violence.
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Many thanks to Gary Fouse for the following translation:
A grim and shocking show, for those who believe in that symbol and the sense of community of
belonging that was deeply wounded by an act of vandalism.
Without head and without hands, almost playing out the violence of an execution, the rage poured out on a mutilated statue, that of the Madonna [Virgin Mary] in Giovannacci Square,
historical for Marghera.
On the one hand, the “slaughter”, on the other the perpetrator. That would be a 31-year-old
Palestinian, legally in Italy, with a travel document for refugees, issued in Belgium, who has been charged with the crime of “offense against a religion by material damage.”
The motive is as yet unclear why he threw himself with such brutality against a statue, a symbol of faith, whether it is a case of mental imbalance, or he acted by virtue of a religious milieu. All hypotheses are still being examined, but the perpetrator has been identified, thanks to information from a citizen who was present at the scene, and confirmation by a video surveillance camera.
The condemnation was strong on the part of the municipal administration for a “vile act,” Mayor Luigi Brugnaro commented, “which wounds our sensibilities.”
The sensibility of the community of Marghera is outraged by such a “slaughter”.
It is really an ignoble act, a violent act, an act that for us, is intolerable because of what the Virgin Mary obviously represents in our locale for Christianity, and also what that statue represents for the community of Marghera, something that Marghera is very attached to.
The mayor immediately became involved, and we will move quickly to see that it is installed and
repaired. In the meantime, however, we hope there will be a suitable punishment for this person.
The administration immediately sent public works technicians to see that the statue is repaired
and restored to its original splendor.
But it will take time to heal the wounds of those who from time to time went there to pray.