- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (AP) - A Catholic church on the Gulf Coast is asking the community for help in restoring a shrine dedicated to Mexico’s patron saint.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe statue stands outside Pass Christian’s Holy Family Parish. It’s a community landmark and a piece of Gulf Coast history, the Rev. Mike Austin told WLOX-TV (https://bit.ly/2htk1gZ).

The foundation of the statue installed in 1977 contains stone from the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, where, according to tradition, the Virgin appeared before the Indian peasant Juan Diego in 1531, Austin said.

In addition to wear and tear, the statue was hit by flying debris during Hurricane Katrina.

“It was damaged by many tropical storms that came through the area over the years,” Austin said. “Hurricane Katrina and the flying debris really knocked some holes in it and it’s causing the under structure to rust.”

The pastor is seeking an artist who can restore it before the statue’s 40th anniversary in July.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, https://www.wlox.com


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