The statue of Saint Rita at the national shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia in Philadelphia was vandalized and the damages left behind are painful for parishioners to look at and difficult to comprehend.
"It's sad, really sad for someone to take their anger out on a holy person like her." said Eileen Alia, a local parishioner.
Father Joseph Genito of St. Rita of Cascia describes the beloved figure as" the saint of impossible cases and a healer."
According to Father Genito, the statue of Saint Rita stood inside this grotto for about 60 years. It was a gift from a family for a favor granted. But, sometime Friday night someone defaced the statue and got away.
"We found the statue outside the grotto and it had been put back up half way," said Genito.
Unable to imagine Saint Rita of Cascia parish without the statue, Christine Doran offered a temporary replacement stature for now. It is unknown how or if the statue can be repaired.
"Shocking that somebody would spend the time and effort and energy to do something so horrible," said Doran.
Police have been notified, but officials say as far as they know investigators have no leads and are relying on assistance from the public to crack this case.
"No one saw it happen, there is no indication. Nothing was written here so we have no idea why it happened," officials said.
Church officials say, whether it is repaired or replaced, the statue of Saint Rita will be back up again. In the meantime, they are urging anyone who may know anything about what happened to please come forward or contact police.