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Toronto church unveils new Virgin Mary statue 2 years after original one vandalized | CBC News

A new statue of the Virgin Mary has been unveiled at a Toronto church in Parkdale two years after a similar statue was vandalized on its property.

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Toronto, 1515 Queen St. W., held a special ceremony following mass on Sunday. Bishop Paul-Marwan Tabet, head of the Maronite Eparchy of Canada, blessed the statue.

“This event gives the parishioners of Our Lady of Lebanon Church closure, and buries that sacrilegious act of vandalism with something beautiful and hopeful,” the church said in a news release.

On Aug. 30, parishioners discovered that the original Virgin Mary statue had been decapitated. At the time, Toronto police said they suspected a man had decapitated the statue after 3 a.m. that day. Police released security camera images of the man. There has been no word on arrests.

The new sculpture, carved out of white marble, is a smaller version of the Our Lady of Lebanon Marian Shrine that sits on top of a hill in Harissa, Lebanon, north of Beirut.

According to the news release, the church could not restore the original statue. The church said parishioners, among others, raised funds for the new statue and the work to have it installed, along with the landscaping, took more than 18 months. 

A view of the Virgin Mary statue that shows the landscaping around it. (Submitted by Our Lady of Lebanon church)

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