A statue was reported stolen from a locked outdoor display at the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia in South Philadelphia.
“Earlier this afternoon, one of our patrons notified the Shrine staff that the statue of Saint Rita located in the grotto on Broad Street [outside the front doors of the Shrine Office] had gone missing,” shrine staff posted on Facebook early Friday evening.
“The glass is not damaged, and the lock looks to be intact. It appears as though whoever stole Saint Rita was able to manipulate the padlock with relative ease. The Philadelphia Police Department was immediately called, an investigation took place, and a report has been filed,” the post continued.
A police spokesperson confirmed that the theft was being investigated by detectives.
The statue was described as being valued at approximately $100,000, police said. It is about 4½- to 5-feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds. It was last seen inside its case around 7:30 p.m. Thursday and was first noticed missing around 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Staff checked with other employees and were told that the statue had not been removed for cleaning or other maintenance, police said.
Anyone with information about the theft or location of the statue can contact the shrine director at saintritashrine.org/contact-us.
The shrine is located at 1166 S. Broad St., between Ellsworth and Federal Streets.
Rita of Cascia, who lived in Italy during the late Middle Ages, was canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and was given the title of Patroness of Impossible Causes.
“I pray for St Anthony’s assistance in locating and returning Saint Rita back to the Shrine,” said one of the several dozen distressed commenters on the Facebook post, referring to St. Anthony of Padua, who is known as the patron saint of lost things.