‘Divine Justice’: Man Trying To Steal St. Michael Statue From Catholic Church Impales Himself On Angel’s Sword
Mosaic of Saint Michael on the facade of Serbian Orthodox Church in Trieste
(Studio Images/Getty Images)

Divine justice came swiftly for a would-be thief who broke into a Catholic Church earlier this week.

According to local news sources, the man, reportedly drunk, broke into the Cristo Rey Parish in the city of Monterrey, Mexico, near the border with Texas. While trying to steal a statue of St. Michael the Archangel in the early morning hours on Saturday, he reportedly tripped and fell, injuring himself on the angel’s sword.

According to a report from the Catholic News Agency, the man hopped the fence, smashed through a glass door, and entered the Church in the wee hours Saturday. While trying to make off with a statue of the angel, he tripped and fell on top of the angel’s sword, sustaining serious injuries to his neck. Fortunately, passersby saw the man and called for paramedics. Monterrey Civil Protection personnel arrived on scene and rendered medical aid before police escorted him to a local hospital. The statue, however, was unharmed.

Local news sources added some details about the incident. According to local newspaper Milenio, the thief broke into the Church looking for valuables to steal — but his vision was blurred due to his intoxication, and he stumbled and fell on the statue; he landed on the sword, which ran through his neck. Passersby saw the man walking out of the Church, clutching his neck and with blood on his hands. Paramedics arrived and managed to control the bleeding. Despite difficulty speaking and eventually losing consciousness, the man reportedly refused to be taken to a hospital, but Monterrey Police eventually escorted him anyway.

Locals told news outlet ABC Noticias that the man smashed through the glass door while trying to escape the Church after being wounded by the statue. Local residents said that the incident was “a matter of divine justice.”

“That happened to him for doing bad things,” said Lupita, the owner of a store that sells religious items located across from the Church. “Saint Michael is for protection, to combat evil, I think that’s why that happened to him.”

“He is the great protector. He is included in the articles that we sell here, and he is a protector of homes, and that is why people say that maybe that is why he saved the Parish,” she added.

Residents further told the outlet that the neighborhood, and the Church in particular, have been the target of robberies and other incidents in recent years. In October, a man broke into the Church and stole a statue of an altar boy and the alms tray, ABC Noticias noted. He was arrested by police after traveling only a few blocks when police spotted him carrying the statue.

Catholic News Agency reported that once the robber has recovered from his injuries, he will be handed over to the public prosecutor’s office, where he will likely be charged for the burglary and for damages to the Church.

Michael is the general of God’s heavenly army, mentioned by name in both the Epistle of Jude and the book of Revelation. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, protecting the Church, guiding souls to their final resting place after death, and judging their deeds. He is the patron saint of grocers, paramedics, mariners, paratroopers, police officers, and military personnel. His feast day is September 29 in the Roman Calendar.

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