our lady of lebanon toronto

Vandals decapitate Virgin Mary statue outside Toronto church

Today in particularly creepy acts of vandalism, someone has beheaded a statue of the Virgin Mary outside a Catholic church in Toronto's west end — and nobody can find the head.

Parishioners at Our Lady of Lebanon church in Parkdale were horrified upon arriving for mass on Sunday to find Holy Mary, Mother of God, praying for us sinners without a noggin.

"Sunday August 30th, 2020, before we started our Masses at Our Lady of Lebanon church Toronto, we were shocked to discover a horrible act of vandalism: We found that the statue of the Virgin Mary, erected in front of the church, was completely decapitated!" reads a statement posted to Facebook by the church Sunday afternoon.

"Most probably this was done during the night or at dawn," it continues. "We couldn't find the head anywhere near the statue."

It is unclear why the Blessed Virgin — one of Catholicism's most revered and important saints — was targeted by vandals, though it is of note that North America has experienced a rash of statue defacements, dismemberments and beheadings in recent months.

Calling the act "deplorable and malicious," Our Lady of Lebanon thanked its parishoners and neighbours on Sunday for all of their support, noting that police had been contacted to find the roughly 25-year-old statue's head.

The church's priest, Father Walid El Khoury, also told CTV on Monday that security footage showed someone on the church's lawn around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

Police continue to investigate the crime, which they described as "pathetic," but no suspect information has been announced to date.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is one of several politicians condemning the act of vandalism and asking anyone with pertinent details to come forward.

"Horrified to see someone decapitated the Virgin Mary statue in front of #OurLadyofLebanon" wrote the mayor on Twitter Monday morning. "I am reaching out to (Our Lady of Lebanon) to let them know our city supports them and deplores any violence or vandalism against places of worship."

"Such barbarism and intolerance is beyond the pale," said Scarborough-Agincourt MPP Aris Babikian similarly.

"There is no justification whatsoever for such a crime. I am dismayed and revolted by this insane act. Every Canadian who believes in our values should condemn this act."

Lead photo by

Our Lady of Lebanon Toronto

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

How a historic mansion in Toronto became a home for those in need

Toronto neighbourhood is tired of all the overnight construction noise

This is what it was like to work in Toronto 150 years ago

Toronto businesses call for scientific evidence proving why they need to be closed

Here's the full list of items you can't buy at Dollarama during Ontario's latest lockdown

How to book COVID vaccine shots in Toronto and rules for those 18 and over

Data shows Toronto's residents of colour have way more run-ins with TTC fare inspectors

Here are all the times Prince Philip visited Toronto