18th century Virgin Mary painting found intact among rubble after San Gabriel Mission fire

SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (KABC) -- An amazing discovery was made among the rubble of the San Gabriel Mission, which was destroyed in a fire in July.

Cleanup crews found an ash-covered but undamaged painting, titled "La Dolorosa," of the Virgin Mary from the 18th century buried under a scorched crossbeam.

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A multi-agency investigation was underway Saturday following a four-alarm fire that caused "extensive damage'' to the historic 249-year-old San Gabriel Mission, authorities said.

Most of the valuable artwork inside the mission had been removed months before the fire in preparation of the mission's 250th anniversary. The recently-discovered painting was the only one that survived the flames, officials say.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles says the painting was discovered on Sept. 15, the feast day of Our Lady of the Sorrows, a holy day that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
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