Loading
'Bombed Maria' statue blessed by Pope headed to US
The statue known as Bombed Maria.
The statue known as Bombed Maria.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- After the general audience on Wednesday morning at the Vatican, the Holy Father blessed what remains of a statue that partially survived the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. Rome is just the first stop on an international "peace pilgrimage" by the Archbishop of Nagasaki and the "Bombed Maria," which will arrive at the U.N. in time for the start of nuclear non-proliferation talks in May.

There is little left of the once six-foot tall statue of Mary from the Urakami Cathedral of Nagasaki, just the a hollow looking visage still in one piece from the neck up. Half bleached white and half charcoal black, all that remained of the statue after the Aug. 9, 1945 atomic explosion was the head.

She is known as "Bombed Maria" locally.

According to an article published online by the archdiocese in February, Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami is on his way to unite the Italian-made statue with the remains of another statue of Mary that survived the bombing of the northern Spanish city Guernica on April 26, 1937.

In an interesting twist, all that remains of the Spanish statue is its head, a fact Archbishop Takami called "incredible."

The statues are being brought together during what the archdiocese is calling a "peace pilgrimage" that marks 65 years since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were dropped. The event is being remembered at the Guernica Peace Museum by a special exhibit.

The stop at the Vatican on Wednesday gave the pilgrimage and statue the Pope's blessing. Another stop on the way to Guernica will be Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Cathedral, to be consecrated by Pope Benedict on Nov. 7.

Reflecting on the message he wishes to convey along the route, the archbishop said in February, "Peace can never be created by violence."

He expressed his hope that the pilgrimage "not only lets more people know about the suffering caused by the atomic bombing, but also becomes an appeal for peace using non-violent methods."

With that purpose in mind, the statues will be taken by their respective bishops to the U.N. in time for to make an appeal for the renewal of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Noting the challenge of every country to rid the world of these weapons, regardless of their nuclear capabilities, the bishops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki requested in a formal statement on Feb. 26 that global leaders "take the courageous step toward the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of a world without wars."

Midori Shikayama, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, told Ecumenical News International (ENI) that the head of "Bombed Maria" will eventually be taken to New York City, where it will be placed in St. Patrick's Cathedral. It will be there for Mass on May 2, the day before the inauguration of the NPT conference at the U.N.

Archbishop Takami hopes to be able to meet with Ban Ki-Moon and the NPT conference president-elect, Libran Nuevas Cabactulan, to be able to deliver them the formal statement for peace in person.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14