After several decades of not being there, the favorite statue of Mary to whom many generations of Catholics of Banja Luka had been praying to by coming to the “bishop’s church”, among which was the blessed Ivan Merz, came back again to Banja Luka.
After the earthquake in 1969. and the ruining of the cathedral, the statue was in the parish church in Liskovica, until it was destroyed to the ground in the war years. For many years, due to the impossibility of building a church, the statue was under the ruins from which a forest grew.
When the preparation work for the construction of this church started, a statue was found without hands and further damaged.
Friends of the Banja Luka diocese from the German-Croatian society in Hanover took care that the restoration was to be done in Germany, in a workshop of renowned restorer Josef Eicholz from Bad Laer. After a successful restoration, the statue was brought back to Banja Luka.
Restaurator Eicholz and German-Croatian society president Margret Engelking and vice-president Stefan Titgemeir handed over the statue of “Our Lady of Banja Luka” to the bishop Franjo Komarica at his great joy.
He temporarily placed the statue in the “porticus” of the Ordinary in the place of the “refugee Lady” statue of Prnjavor parish, which was preserved during the war in a completely destroyed branch church in the village of Drenova.
In front of “old-new” Lady’s statue, the bishop led a short devotion in Croatian and German language. The joyful news of the “return” of the favorite Our Lady’s statue was told by the bishop gathered at the Mass at the cathedral on the occasion of the feast of St. Mother Theresa and Calcutta on Tuesday, September 5th.
Translation: Ksenija Ninić