When Hurricane Alex roared through the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon in 2010, the wind tore a metal sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe from its base in the city of Monterrey, and flung the statue into the Santa Catarina River.
An unsuccessful attempt was made to retrieve the image but it had become buried too far under the riverbed, and local authorities replaced it with a replica.
But then another hurricane came through the state.
In July, Hurricane Hanna tore through the area where Hurricane Alex had been ten years ago. And Hurricane Hanna’s winds and flooding reshaped the Santa Catarina’s riverbed. When it did, the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was partially exposed in the river.
A local bricklayer, Esteban Ramírez, found the statue while he was looking for scrap metal in the rocky riverbed.
The statue, nearly 42 feet high and weighing ten tons, was retrieved from the riverbed. Work began to restore it.
The Archdiocese of Monterrey reported October 1 that restoration work on the image is progressing.
“In a few days the structural part of the image will be ready,” the archdiocese said in a statement.
The statue was originally placed in Monterrey in 1990, amid preparations for a visit to the city from Pope St. John Paul II. The pope blessed the statue during his visit.
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