CHICAGO, IL – The restored Infant King statue is returning to Woodlawn! The iconic 18th-Century Spanish wooden statue of the Infant King, crowned by His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George at the Shrine in 2007, and an object of veneration by devotees from around the country ever since, was damaged in the fire of October 7. Despite the fire, water, and smoke, the statue remained standing in its usual place above the altar, even as much of the roof overhead burned and collapsed. Many hearts were amazed and overjoyed when firefighters carried the statue out of the smoldering church.
Even though it was spared from total destruction, the statue nevertheless sustained extensive heat and smoke damage. In addition to the damaged finish of the wood, its hand was broken in the fire. After the Shrine was given to the Institute in February, the statue was sent to a specialized restorer in Germany, where its total restoration was completed over a six month period.
Throughout the fire and its aftermath, the rescued statue was a poignant symbol of hope for the Shrine community, and an encouragement to persevere in restoring the Shrine as the home of the Infant King. On the first anniversary of the fire, on October 8, the restored Infant King statue returns to the Shrine community, once again as a symbol of hope, fortitude, perseverance, and the compassion of Jesus Christ, Our King.
The total cost of restoring the Infant King statue and the acquisition of a new portable baldachino (to allow a more secure and more frequent presentation of this antique piece in processions), is close to $10,000. What a testimony of love and devotion it would be if we could raise this amount by October 8, the day we welcome back the restored statue to the Shrine! Please help us by making a donation to the Shrine’s restoration fund. Every dollar collected from this day forward will be applied to the restoration cost of the statue!