Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/@BGJuvenalDiazM
This unscathed statue of a Catholic saint has been credited for protecting a Colombian town that was covered in earth and debris after a devastating mudslide.
The landslip took place in the town of Jerico in the north-western Colombian department of Antioquia when a river that runs down the Los Aguacates mountainside overflowed and flooded the area.
The altar of a religious statue that resides on the mountain was undamaged by the landslip which buried the town of 1,000 residents – who were luckily evacuated in time – in mud and debris.
The statue is of the town’s patron saint Laura Montoya, also known as Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena, who lived in Colombia from 1874 until her death in 1949.
Video Credit: CEN/@TransitoPolicia
Pope John Paul II beatified her in 2004 and Pope Francis canonised her as a saint in 2013. Montoya is the first Colombian to be made a saint.
Reports said that an elderly woman and a child were injured during the mudslide while 10 houses were destroyed.
Residents believe the incident could have been a lot worse if not for the ‘divine intervention’ of the statue of Montoya.
Local priest Jesus Herrera told reporters: “We believe it is a miracle by the saint that the Los Aguacates mountain did not collapse and there were no casualties.
“A part of the mountain fell on top of her, but here she still is.”
Local resident Camila Zapata said: “Apart from material damage, we do not have a lot to cry about. Honestly, I think we survived because of a miracle.”
The altar to Montoya, which was erected in 1919, has become a pilgrimage site for many and visitor Mariana Garces said: “You look at the streets and the magnitude of what happened here, and you can’t help but think that someone intervened.
“In this area, you can feel a lot of spirituality and I am not the most religious person there is.”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.