Virgin Mary statue beheaded outside church

SANTA MONICA, Calif. A priest discovered the head of the church's Virgin Mary statue severed Easter morning.

For 55 years the statue of the Virgin Mary stood at the front of /*St. Monica's Catholic Church*/. Many stars and celebrities, including /*Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger*/ and his wife /*Maria Shriver*/, attend mass at the church. On /*Easter Sunday*/ morning, before the first mass, parishioners noticed that someone had vandalized the statue.

"I think there have been mixed reactions. Obviously it's a sad event -- an unfortunate event -- but it's a very vibrant and joyful community here. And so, we just are reminded of the joy of Easter and carrying on in that spirit," said Jason Farmer, St. Monica Catholic Church.

The head of the statue was found near its base.

A few years ago someone broke the hands off of the statue, but it was repaired. No one knows who has done the damage.

"We've got the head and the statue will be restored. Everybody's off this week after the Easter celebration, so we'll probably get into looking into estimates and researching the restoration probably next week," said Farmer.

Parishioners were frustrated over the incident.

"When my lady and I came to mass on Easter we were very, very heartbroken over seeing it like that. Desecrated. But it's the times ... the sick times we live in," said Roberto Portillo, Parishioner.

"It's really upsetting to me as a Christian," said Sara Park, a Santa Monica Resident.

One parishioner said if no one finds the person who vandalized the statue, he believes that person will eventually have to answer to a much higher authority.


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