“The saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church’s history.” St Pope John Paul II
It has pained my heart, as I am sure it has pained yours, to witness the recent vandalization and destruction of churches and statues, including the statue of St Junipero Serra, around California and throughout our country. In our Christian tradition, statues and places of worship are symbols of faith. Saints declared by the Church, after a long and extensive process, are known to have obediently lived out the virtues of Christ. Having reached their eternal reward, saints are in heaven, praying for us. Their images remind us of the lives they have lived, following Jesus’ commandment to love God and neighbor.
Hence, the destruction and vandalism of holy art, like the statue of St Junipero Serra, is an attack on our Catholic and Christian principles to love God and others.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, blessed and exorcised the location where the statue of St Junipero Serra was toppled in Golden Gate Park. He said, “Evil has made itself present here. So we have gathered together to pray for God, to ask the saints…for their intercession, above all our Blessed Mother, in an act of reparation, asking God's mercy on us and on the whole city, that we might turn our hearts back towards him.”
As members of the community of St Michael, I ask you to join me to pray and fast for peace and for strength as we face the many evils in our world. The destruction of holy statues and churches are but one manifestation. Let us also pray for an end to injustice, that each person’s human dignity may be honored and upheld. Let us pray for the misguided souls who do violence. Let us pray that the Prince of Peace may heal our country and our world.
I also ask you to become educated on the beauty of our Catholic tradition, which has a long history as catalyst for civilization. Introduce yourselves and the members of your family to the lives of our saints. Visit FORMED.org to watch movies and documentaries about the saints! Pray that our Lord may enlighten our minds with His truth.
St Junipero Serra, pray for us. St Michael the Archangel, protect and defend us!