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.
Other locals also took to social media to share their amazement that the house of worship survived the fire.
“With so much pictures of devastation and heartache, I wanted to leave social media tonight with a picture of hope and love. Maria Lanakila Catholic Church on Wainee St. remained standing and beautiful!” Chef K, who owns the Maui Fresh Streatery food truck said in an Instagram post.
“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 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, vicar of Maui and Lanai, called it “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, as large portions of western Maui have lost cell service and 911 emergency services.
The Post has sent a request by email for more information.
Meanwhile, no so fortunate is the Waiola Church, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of its founding in May.
Waiola is the site of a historic mission established in 1823. The graveyard next door is the final resting place for early members of the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii, including the church’s founder, Queen Keopuolani.
The Maui wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and untold destruction. The death toll has risen to 67, with over 1,000 residents still unaccounted for.