Virgin Mary vanishes on holy day

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LEWISTON – When Romeo and Justine LeBlond went to Mass on Friday night, the nonagenarians said an extra prayer.

He prayed for the resurrection of the Virgin Mary statue that disappeared that morning from their front lawn. She prayed the thief would get a toothache.

Every spring for more than 50 years, the couple had been putting their 3-foot-tall Madonna on her pedestal next to the driveway.

Having patched and painted the statue last year, their son Gerard moved it from the garage onto the light blue pedestal on Tuesday.

Good Friday morning, Romeo LeBlond went shopping for groceries. When he got home, he drove straight into the attached garage. Gerard visited at noon and asked what happened to the statue.

“It’s not there on the lawn,” he said.

“Oh, no. It’s gone!” his father said.

It was the first time anything had been stolen from their Deforge Street house, he said. Realizing it was Good Friday made it more vexing.

“It’s even worse,” he said, although he thinks the timing of the stolen lawn ornament is just a coincidence.

He said he and his wife likely won’t replace the statue.

“I don’t think so, he said. “I’m 91, and my wife is 93. At our age, we’re figuring on getting out of the house sometime to a place for old people.”

He has homeowner’s insurance, but wasn’t sure it’s covered. He hadn’t checked his policy.

Lewiston Police Sgt. Michael Whalen said the chances of finding the missing statue are slim.

“It’s very hard to recover,” he said.

Romeo LeBlond agreed.

“They all look alike,” he said. Light blue and white, like the colors of his house.

But he’d know his if he saw it, he said.

“If I get a good look at it, I’ll know it’s mine.”

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