Saturday, June 6, 2009
It was during the Allied thrust from the south of Italy and the village had been decimated by heavy shelling. The Axis had moved out and the villagers were left with the large task of clean-up.
In the centre of the town square there had been a fountain with a statue of Christ, arms outstretched. The hands and the forearms of the statue had been blown away.
Rubble was removed. Roofs were shored up. Windows were covered over. Farm equipment was gathered and banged into shape. But the statue was left to the prayers and resources of the village priest. Weeks passed and the fountain was cleaned and filled with fresh water. Its intake was fixed. But nothing developed with the statue.
The villagers did notice some curious looks exchanged from time to time between the priest and the town blacksmith. On a sunny late spring day it was announced that there would be a re-dedication service at the fountain.
Men, women and children arrived to see a new bronze plaque fastened to the base of the Christ statue. Nothing had been done to restore His hands. The plaque read as follows:
"I am Jesus, Son of the Living God. I am in control of everything. I saw the recent war and grieved at the tremendous pain and loss. I choose you now to be my hands in bringing peace."