MONTERREY, Mexico—A fiberglass statue of Christ that washed up on a sandbar in the Rio Grande three weeks ago is attracting scores of devout pilgrims to a police department lost-and-found and being hailed as a miracle.
Police in Eagle Pass, Texas, said up to 40 people a day are coming to pay homage to the five-foot-tall figurine, known as “The Christ of the Undocumented,” which was found by U.S. Border Patrol agents in the river.
“Some come to pray, and some come and just touch it,” police lieutenant Daniel Morales said by telephone on Monday. “We have never experienced anything like this before, and interest is growing by the day.”
The border city, which lies opposite Piedras Negras in northern Mexico, has a large Mexican community. Many arrived illegally by way of the river, and most are devout Roman Catholics.
Morales said the life-like statuette, which turned up without a crucifix base, would probably be given to a church in the border city if no-one came forward to claim it within 90 days.
Local Catholic Church authorities called the figure’s arrival “miraculous” and said they wanted to place it in a specially dedicated chapel in the city.
“Jesus Christ manifests himself in many places, but he showed himself here in the way of an undocumented migrant,” said Marta Ramirez, a spokeswoman for the city’s Our Lady of Refuge Church.
“We think it’s appropriate to place it in a special chapel.”