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Pope Francis blesses Our Lady of Luján statues during General Audience

During the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis meets Bishops of the Forces from both the UK and Argentina where they exchange a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Luján, which was brought to the UK by British troops during the Falkland War in 1982.

During the ceremony in St Peter’s Square, the two copies were blessed by Pope Francis.

The statue of the Virgin Mary, Patroness of Argentina, will be returned to its native country,

A replica, will be presented to the Catholic Military Cathedral of St Michael and St George in Aldershot, England.

After his installation as Bishop of the Forces, Bishop Mason was contacted by Bishop Olivera, who asked if the statue could be returned.

The offer of a replica for the Aldershot Cathedral was also made, which Bishop Paul was more than happy to accept.

The story goes that when Argentinian troops invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982, they brought with them the statue, a copy of the 1630 original, which is located in the Basilica of Lujan in Argentina.

St John Paul II visited the original statue in Luján in 1982.

The statue which was left behind in a Church in Port Stanley was then packed up on a military transport to the UK and ended up at the Catholic Military Cathedral of St Michael and St George in Aldershot.

It has stayed there since as a focus for prayer offered for the fallen of both sides of the Falklands conflict.

30 October 2019, 08:48