Rejoice, for she was lost but has now been found.
A statue of Saint Rita of Cascia has been returned after the National Shrine of Saint Rita reported it stolen earlier in the week, though it’s still unknown who was responsible for the Cascia caper.
Shrine staff posted on social media that a patron on Friday alerted them to the statue’s disappearance from its grotto, located on Broad Street. Neither the glass nor the padlock keeping Saint Rita in her place appeared to be damaged, according to shrine staff.
But on Saturday, a new post said a Philadelphia Police Department detective called to say someone had spotted the statue abandoned on Webster Street.
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“Assuming no major damage has been done, our intention is to clean the statue, repair the lock, and return Saint Rita to the grotto as soon as possible,” the post continued.
The statue is valued at around $100,000 and weighs about 100 pounds, a PPD spokesperson said.
Saint Rita of Cascia was born in Italy in 1381 and was married off at a young age against her will by her parents, according to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia’s website. After her husband and two sons died, she became a nun and became known as a “healer, reconciler, and peacemaker,” according to the shrine’s Facebook page.
The National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia has been a ministry in South Philadelphia since 1907, seven years after Saint Rita was canonized, and was founded by Augustinian friars to “address the spiritual, social and educational needs of the poor immigrant families of the neighborhood,” the shrine’s website says.