Hurricane season, which also happens to coincide with a month dedicated to the Blessed Mother, should cause us to ponder upon and pray with "Our Lady of Breezy Point." This statue of Mary, in a neighborhood in Queens, New York, was made famous by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Striking Cuba first, this monumental storm made its way up the eastern seaboard and landed in New York City.
Nearly $70 billion worth of damage was inflicted in the US, and hundreds of billions of dollars in the Caribbean, not mention the 233 people whose lives were lost. The storm surge in New York cut out power and halted travel and the economy. On October 29th, Breezy Point burned. One hundred homes were destroyed in the suburb. When the fires were at last quenched, and the flood waters receded, in the midst of the rubble and destruction stood one structure: a statue to the Virgin Mary.
Mary McNulty, resident of Breezy Point, had built this statue in her backyard. When the pastor of the nearby Catholic parish, Monsignor Michael Curran, visited the now-shrine, he said, “It will be a symbol of the suffering, but also of our rise from the ashes. It will be a symbol of what we’ve been through but also of our resurrection. It will be a reminder that for all the property we lost, God never left.”
When the flood waters destroyed the earth in the Book of Genesis, God told Noah to build an ark to protect his family and the creatures of the earth. God then made a covenant never again to let the faithful be destroyed by flood waters. Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, is a reminder of God's promise. Water and fire may have caused serious damage in New York, but God never left his people.