Since it seems that no considerable press coverage has been given to the recent attacks occurred in Rome, either in Italy or elsewhere in the world, I decided to write mine own article in the hope not to incite hatred or intolerance, but rather to make people aware.
Last night a non-Italian individual entered the 9th century Basilica of Santa Prassede, just around the corner from the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the rather robust man started to smash everything he found, especially statues and candlesticks, right before a group of parishioners who were quite scared. The two devotional statues of Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Prassede were heavily damaged, the attacker did not have time to finish his job as he was heading towards the sanctuary and the crucifix when the police arrived. Later, according to video-recording proof he also entered the church of San Martino ai Monti, where he smashed a devotional statue of the Madonna and Child.
This morning two further attacks occurred in the Basilicas of San Giovanni de' Fiorentini, on the Via Giulia, and San Vitale, on the Via Nazionale. Here statues, candlesticks, crucifixes were smashed, the perpetrator at this time had time to admit that it was not right that we worshipped in this way.
Most artworks in San Giovanni de' Fiorentini were over 300 years old, but even if other statues and religious furniture weren't that old or precious we must realise that not only our art, culture and identity are in danger (and to us Italians they are the dearest thing we have, what makes us what we are), but our very freedom of worship, our own religion, here in Rome, here in the heart of Western Christianity.
Jesu mercy, Mary pray.