From the website of the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis:
Lady sits on a pedestal in a small garden with well-kept greenery and flowers at Gratiot and Third Streets just south of Downtown.
“In the form of that image, the Blessed Mother has stood watch and welcomed for about half a century all who approach our historic church,” wrote Father Brian Harrison, chaplain of St. Mary of Victories Chapel.
The statue, a “signature” feature of St. Mary of Victories, was vandalized sometime late Aug. 9 or early the next morning — the head was sliced off and was missing.
On Aug. 13, people coming to an early Monday morning Mass found the head returned to the bottom of the pedestal, with Satanic inscriptions in red and blood drawn dripping from the corners of Our Lady’s mouth to make her look like a vampire. Father Harrison described it as “a horrible act of desecration.”
Father Harrison said he believes the vandalism is “a satanic hate crime.” The police were notified when the crime was first noticed and again when the head was returned. Immediately, he said, the people of St. Mary’s offered prayers of reparation and holy hour prayers for the perpetrator.
A police spokesman said there is no indication of a hate crime [? Would they say that if something at a synagogue had been treated that way? Or, say, A Sikh temple?] and that right now it is being treated as a vandalism.
St. Mary of Victories is the second-oldest church in the City of St. Louis, following the Old Cathedral on the Riverfront. The church originally was established in 1843 for German immigrants and experienced a rebirth of sorts in the 1960s, when it was designated as a spiritual and cultural home to the Hungarian immigrant community.
It remains the home of the Hungarian community in St. Louis, and it offers the only Latin Novus Ordo Sunday Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.