Images of Virgin Mary Defaced

October 28, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 28, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that there has been a rash of vandalism of images of the Virgin Mary in Los Angeles in the past few weeks. At least 10 murals of the Virgin of Guadalupe have been defaced with slashes of paint along Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and a dozen images along San Pedro Street have been attacked with "66," "La Bestia," or "The Beast" written under the Virgin's abdomen. The attacks have coincided with a tour through the region of a replica of the Virgin's image, which is being displayed in churches across the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Many Latin American Catholic immigrants, especially Mexican immigrants, have painted a picture of the Virgin on their store fronts to commemorate the legend of Guadalupe. Catholics in the Latin American community revere the Virgin of Guadalupe as a protectress and a mother.