Statue of Mary that survived Nagasaki nuclear blast to visit US for first time

Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, Japan. (CNS/Paul Haring)

While another in a series of important events aimed at making the world safer from nuclear weapons occurs this week with the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, plans are under way to bring a statue of Mary that survived the 1945 nuclear blast in Nagasaki, Japan, to the United States for first time.

Actually, only the head of Mary will be displayed at a May 2 Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, reported Ecumenical News International. It’s the only part of the wooden statue that survived the powerful explosion.

The Mass will mark the opening of a four-week U.N. conference on nuclear nonproliferation.

The statue once stood in Nagasaki’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception -– Urakami in Japanese. The cathedral was leveled by the blast, which claimed an estimated 74,000 lives.

The Mass will be one of several activities in which Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki will participate beginning April 30, ENI reported.

Although born in March of 1946, the archbishop is considered a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing because his mother was pregnant with him when the blast occurred Aug. 9, 1945.

Archbishop Takami and Bishop Joseph Asumi Misue of Hiroshima in February called on all world leaders to work toward the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

The archbishop reportedly also is expected to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon or his deputy to deliver the February statement directly.

4 Responses

  1. . . .there is a photo of this statue here:

    http://www.eni.ch/featured/article.php?id=3972

  2. I saw the statue in Nagasaki when I went there on a pilgrimage with my 10 year old son back in December ’09. It was an amazing experience. I’d read about the statue, but seeing it, being in front of it was an experience I don’t have words for. The amazing thing, when you look at pictures of the Cathedral after the bombing, is that it was a wooden statue and it’s glass eyes burst out from the heat of the blast. That the Face of Our lady survived is amazing. I encourage anyone who can to go see the exhibition.

    Pictures of the statue and the Cathedral here on my blog, if anyone’s interested :)

    http://thecurfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/trip-to-japan-2/

    All the best!

  3. when the statue comes to the usa i would like to see same.

  4. thanks for sharing the pictures..

    sure we are interested !!

    there will be a bunch of people at the Mass…

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