Our Lady Of Victory (Us)
Year : 1920
Many lives would have been lost and the great cornerstone of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception would have been destroyed on its way to Washington, D.C., in the year 1920, if it had not been for a manifest intervention of the Mother of God.
In September, 1920 the cornerstone of the National Shrine was being transported by motor truck from New Hampshire to Washington. Imposing ceremonies had been planned for the formal laying of the stone. Three cardinals, 70 bishops, hundreds of priests, members of the diplomatic corps and officials of the Federal Governmment and the district were to participate.
The motor truck was to stop at important cities on the way, for local ceremonies, among them New York City on September 16. The ceremonies were to be conducted on the steps of the United States Subtreasury on Wall Street. The program was to begin promptly at noon and the mayor to give the opening address from the steps; the motor truck containing the cornerstone was to stand directly in front of the building. Late the evening before, some motor trouble halted the truck, mysteriously; and in spite of frantic efforts, it became evident that by no possibility could the truck reach New York in time for the ceremony. The truck remained immobile and the ceremonies were deferred to a later date. At noon just as the Angelus was ringing on the day planned for the event, a terrific bomb explosion scattered death and destruction in all directions from the Subtreasury Building. Police records show that 34 persons were killed and over 300 gravely injured. The street near the explosion was ripped open. Ace investigators disclosed that a time bomb containing approximately 100 pounds of TNT, set to explode at noon of the ceremonies, had been concealed in an open truck close to the steps of the Subtreasury Building. The bomb, as well as the “unsolved mystery” of the night before regarding the motor trouble, remain a mystery, but lovers of Our Lady know that SHE saved the cornerstone for her National Shrine from destruction in a most singular way, seeing to it that the truck was delayed. The stone reached Washington in time for the ceremonies there, however.
In 1947 a lovely church was erected within a stone’s throw of the spot on which the explosion occurred. The parish numbers about 300, but about 1500 people attend daily the four Masses, and on Holydays there is an attendance of 20,000 at 19 Holy Masses.
Wall Stree executives and employees of various faiths contributed generously toward this church and according to the pastor, “they render outstanding service on church committees.” The land on which the church stands was purchased for one-hundred and twenty-thousand dollars, made available by Cardinal Spellman, from a bequest of the Late Mahor Edward Bowes to the Archdiocese of New York. A more fitting name for the church could hardly be found, than the one it bears: it is the Church of OUR LADY OF VICTORY.