Mysterious relic surfaces from chapel ruins in ZC conflict zone PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:55

The roofs, fixtures, and effigies of saints in Christ the King church at Martha Drive in barangay Sta. Catalina were destroyed during the height of the standoff between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – Misuari faction fighters and government forces, but one mysterious artifact surfaced intact.

“After clearing the area, the military presented us with this,” said Sta. Catalina barangay kagawad Jimmy Villaflores, who showed the wooden image of Jesus Christ during the groundbreaking ceremony the other day for the rebuilding of the church.

“The statues of the saints were all destroyed, but this one was untouched.”

Villaflores shared that earlier, he had asked the pastoral council and the residents if they recognized the image, but they did not. Although it was not decided whether the image was part of the original ornaments in the church, the soldiers who cleared the area said that it was found near the altar, he added. The origin of the image remains a mystery.

The image was turned over to the barangay BEC president Elsie Mallorca, which will now be part of the church ornaments when the rebuilding is complete.

The church will be rebuilt through the joint efforts of the city government of Zamboanga, the Archdiocese of Zamboanga and Environmental, Socio-Psychological, Economical and Religious Advancement of the Neo-Zamboangueños’ Aspirations, or ESPERANZA, an inter-faith volunteer group conceived during the height of the Zamboanga crisis which is dedicated to pursue the development goals of the multi-cultural and multi-religious sectors of the city. — FPG/DIS/PIA9-ZBST