A historic painting of Our Lady of Sorrows survived a devastating fire this summer at a California mission church, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has said.
The painting is one of two images of Our Lady of Sorrows at the mission, the other of which has an alleged miraculous past.
The church at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which St. Junipero Serra founded in 1771, burned July 11 in a fire being investigated for arson.
Restoration efforts for the mission church are still in the debris clean-up phase, with a full rebuilding likely to take at least a year, Angelus News reports. The four-alarm fire at the mission in July involved 50 firefighters and destroyed the mission’s wooden roof and interior.
Much of the artwork in the mission church had been removed several months before the fire as part of an ongoing restoration, ahead of the mission’s 250-year jubilee celebration planned for September 2021.
The painting of Our Lady of Sorrows, depicting the Virgin Mary in a somber, dark landscape, was the only artwork remaining in the church that survived the fire.
Workmen in September discovered the painting intact under a burnt crossbeam, having suffered only minor damage. It was unknown at that time what, if anything, remained underneath the substantial rubble in the sanctuary.
A recent inventory of the mission’s artwork by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art dated the painting to the 18th century, though the exact date and the identity of the artist is not yet known, Angelus News reported.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.