On the 4th of September 2010 Christchurch in New Zealand had a nasty earthquake. The majestic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament was closed. This was because it was deemed to need strengthening work.
The second earthquake five months later was catastrophic.
Here are 2 images from information boards outside the barbed wire fencing showing how it used to look.
And this is its current condition inside.
The cathedral build started in 1901 and was completed in 1905. It was designed by Francis Petrie and built by Jamieson and sons with 50 workers. The Pope of the time Leo XIII also chipped into the fundraising efforts. It contains a marble and bronze high altar, carved by Italian Giuseppe Cassioli. I can’t find facts to back me here but from recollection, (pre earthquake reading the information boards inside the cathedral), 2 Italian men were brought over from Melbourne to lay the beautiful tiled floor.
So here is where Mary had her moment. Mary used to face inwards looking upon the devoted inside the building from the high north tower. The second earthquake on the 22nd of February 2011 brought down the two bell towers at the front of the building. The main dome was destabilised and the stained glass windows smashed and broken.
The city fell.
185 people died.
Miraculously Mary not only stayed standing but she had turned completely around and was now looking out the windows. She became a symbol of survival and hope.
A Mary (not the same one, the miraculous Mary is used for processions now) resides outside in the garden, unfortunately behind barbed wire fencing but visible. From here she can do her work while the fate of her Cathedral is determined.