Thieves destroy religious statue
MANILA, Philippines — A historic religious idol in a cathedral in Masbate lost its head and hands, made of ivory, to thieves.
The icon named after St. Anthony Padua, patron saint for missing and stolen items had been in the church for the last 40 years.
Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon said the theft of the parts of the two-foot tall figure of the Immaculate Conception was discovered during the second morning mass on Sunday at the St. Anthony De Padua Cathedral in Masbate City.
Baylon said the thieves must have taken advantage of the two scheduled vigils last Saturday that lasted till midnight.
“We pray that they would have a change of heart and bring [the stolen parts] back to us. We hope they would have kindness and conscience to return them back,” the bishop said.
He added that they need the religious icon for the annual celebration of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.