The Bishops of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom (UK) and Argentina, exchanged the statue of Our Lady of Lujan, which was taken to the UK during the Falklands War.
This historic exchange took place at the end of today’s General Audience, October 30, 2019, and Pope Francis blessed the two images of Our Lady of Lujan, reported Cronica Blanca Argentina
Patroness of Argentina
The original statue of this Name of the Virgin Mary, Patroness of Argentina, will return to Argentina and a copy, made by Argentines, will be taken to the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint George in Aldershot, England, reported “Vatican News” in an article with information supplied by SIR Agency.
The image of the Virgin of Lujan, which presided over today’s papal audience, is a copy of the 1630 original of the statue of the Virgin of Lujan, which was in the Falklands War and, after 37 years, the exchange of the images will take place between the Military Bishop of Argentina, Monsignor Santiago Olivera and the UK’s, Monsignor Paul Mason.
The Image’s History
According to the English Episcopal Conference, when the Argentine troops invaded the Falkland Islands in April of 1982, they took the original copy of the statue of the Virgin of Lujan of 1630, which is in the Basilica of Lujan in Argentina.
The Argentine troops left the image in the church of Port Stanley, and the English took it to the UK and placed it in the Catholic Military Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint George in Aldershot.
Since then, the figure of Our Lady of Lujan has stayed there as a place of prayer offered for the fallen on both sides.
Monsignor Mason was contacted by his Argentine counterpart, Monsignor Olivera, to ask for the return of the statue, as a group of devotees of Our Lady of Lujan wanted to see it returned.
Bishop Olivera offered to donate a copy for Aldershot’s Cathedral and the English Bishop accepted “with gratitude.”