Locals are hailing a miracle after a Christian church in Maui, Hawaii was untouched by the devastating wildfires that destroyed the surrounding area.
A community in Maui is now viewing the local church as a beacon of hope.
Authorities are working to assess the damage the massive blaze left behind, as more than 200 homes, businesses, and historic landmarks have been destroyed, USA Today reported Friday.
However, one church was seemingly protected as the flames closed in around it.
Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, located in downtown Lahaina, is still standing as of Friday, the office of St. Anthony’s parish, which is nearby, confirmed to the newspaper.
Footage of a Catholic church standing unscathed amid Hawaii’s horrific wildfires is making the rounds online, with many hailing it as a “miracle.”
A viral video posted to TikTok by a local Maui man on Friday shows shops and homes smoldering in the town of Lahaina after the fire ripped through the beach town.
However, the incredible clip reveals that the Maria Lanakila Catholic Church and its neighboring rectory were left unscathed by the blaze.
“Nothing else but Maria Lanakila,” the local can be heard saying as he scans to show other buildings reduced to ash.
A Catholic church reportedly remains untouched by the wildfires as a symbol of hope in Hawaii
Around 67 people have died in the wildfires that has almost totally destroyed the Lahaina town in Hawaii’s Maui. While according to local reports coming out, Maria… pic.twitter.com/VxRzN1wX16
— Sachin Jose (@Sachinettiyil) August 12, 2023
Other locals also took to social media to share their amazement that the house of worship survived the fire.
“With so many pictures of devastation and heartache, I wanted to leave social media tonight with a picture of hope and love,” Chef K, who owns the Maui Fresh Streatery food truck said in an Instagram post.
“Maria Lanakila Catholic Church on Wainee St. remained standing and beautiful!”
“Founded in 1928, its name translates to Victorious Mary making reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Thoughts and prayers go out to those on the Westside.”
“Basically what we know is the fact that all of Lahaina Town has been consumed by fire. It’s all gone,” Msgr. Terrence Watanabe, pastor of the nearby parish of St. Anthony’s told the Catholic publication The Pillar.
“The church, Maria Lanakila, is still standing, as is the rectory.
“The school’s been a little bit affected.”
Rev. Terrence Watanabe, the vicar of Maui and Lanai, called it a “miracle.”
“For us, it’s like a miracle,” Watanabe told Star-Advertiser.
“When we saw the news and saw the church steeple rise above the town, it was a great sight to see.”
It remains unclear how many Maria Lanakila parishioners have lost their lives in the blaze.
The church is currently unreachable by phone.
Large portions of western Maui have lost cell service and 911 emergency services.
The Maui wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and untold destruction.
The recent wildfires destroyed approximately 80 percent of the historic town of Lahaina.
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) said the town was “gone.”