Birmingham Caritas statue vandalized
STERRETT, Alabama (WIAT) – Caritas Birmingham staff discovered Monday morning that the statue of the Virgin Mary had been vandalized with toilet paper. Founder Terry Colafrancesco said he reported the incident to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Caritas Birmingham is considered the largest center of Medjugorje in the world, given its religious and spiritual significance.
“When she came here, she (Marija Lunetti) had appearances. We thought it was going to be in the church, and it was a different way. said Colafrancesco.
Thousands of people over the years and across the world have gathered at the site and the statue, praying and seeking peace.
“There would be 10,000 people on the ground and instant conversations,” Colafrancesco said.
People from across the country, including Alabama, gathered at Caritas Birmingham on Tuesday.
“And when I realized it could include me, it was just awesome,” said TJ Sullivan of Leeds, Alabama.
Sullivan has been a member of the Faith for years and says that when he heard that the statue of the Virgin Mary had been vandalized with toilet paper, he was not thrilled.
“People are much more exposed to selfishness, self-centeredness, and making themselves God,” Sullivan said.
Colafrancesco says it’s not the first time that someone or a group of people has vandalized the statue or their property. But through it all, he says the best course of action is to forgive those responsible.
“We have to have this in our hearts. So we pray for these people who have done everything they have done, ”said Colafrancesco.
“And love must incorporate forgiveness. You can’t love if you’re not ready to forgive, ”Sullivan said.
CBS 42 is still awaiting more information from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation.