Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lightning Strikes, Damages Jesus Statue

The Denver Post

Don't look for any religious symbolism here - it was only a freak act of Mother Nature, says Sister Ilaria.

The nuns at Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden were thanking God on Sunday that no one was hurt when a bolt of lightning shot out of the sky and struck their 33-foot statue of Jesus.

The lightning bolt broke off one of Jesus' arms and a hand and damaged one of his feet, sending marble plummeting to the ground during a Saturday afternoon storm.

"There were pilgrims up there on the hill," Sister Ilaria said. "The biggest miracle is no one got hit with the falling debris."

The statue of Jesus, which had one hand pointing to his "sacred heart" and the other outstretched, sits atop a mountain near the shrine in the foothills of Golden. Drivers on Interstate 70 can see the statue in the hills, and at night, light illuminates the white marble.

Jesus, wearing a robe and glancing down, is 22 feet tall with an 11-foot base.

Sister Bernadette was doing paperwork in her office when she heard the crackle of lightning.

"We did hear a bang, but we didn't realize it was the statue," she said.

Ironically, a bit of science could have prevented this from happening. Unfortunately, they relied instead on faith.

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