Only a day after churches in Minnesota reopened “with excitement” after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted, the first basilica of the United States – the Basilica Of Saint Mary in Minneapolis – suffered fire damage from “protesters” involved with riots that have lasted nearly a week now in the Twin Cities.

The Basilica Of Saint Mary was consecrated as a procathedral in 1914 for the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, elevated to minor basilica in 1926 by Pope Pius XI – the first basilica ever to be named in the United States.

On Friday, several pews in the nation’s first basilica were burned, along with other “minor damage.” A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis urged for prayer in a statement, adding that no one was injured as a result of the incident.

“The Basilica of Saint Mary did withstand minor damage yesterday. No one was injured in the incident. At the time we pray for peace and healing in our city.”

Communications Director for the Archdiocese Mae Desaire said in a statement they’re looking past the incident and focusing on prayer for the city, adding that diocese security will be cooperating with police on an investigation.

“Our damage in comparison to what is going in the city is really just minimal, and we’d really like to focus on that.”

A prayer from the official Facebook page for the Archdiocese was posted after the incident:

“For peace in our world, our country, our cities, our homes and our hearts, Let us pray to the Lord.
For an end to the evil of racism so prevalent in our society, Let us pray to the Lord.
For laws and regulations that assure justice and equality for all, Let us pray to the Lord.
For a conversion of heart of all those who promote fear and division, Let us pray to the Lord.
For a culture of inclusion and encounter, Let us pray to the Lord.
For all victims of racism, especially for George Floyd, Let us pray to the Lord.”

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