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Don Pedro Jaramillo shrine being rebuilt after vandalization

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 18:59:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Authorities are still searching for vandals who damaged a South Texas shrine to faith healer Don Pedro Jaramillo back in February.

Broken pieces of statues and glass littered the floor of the Don Pedro Jaramillo Shrine, located off FM 1418 in Falfurrias. Two and a half months later community members are still upset that it even happened.

“I was in shock. I was like, 'oh my God'. I couldn’t believe it. Yes, that it is very sad, I mean whoever did that, may God take care of that, but that was very ugly,” said Falfurrias resident Priscilla Salinas.

Some of the crucifixes and statues of saints have been replaced. Both statues of Don Pedro that were heavily damaged have also been repaired.

“They did a lot of improvements here; you can’t even tell what happened. Looking at the statues, you won’t even think it ever happened. It is amazing it is like nothing ever happened,” said Salinas.

Priscilla Salinas, who has been visiting the shrine as long as she can remember, says this historic place of worship means so much to so many people in the community.

“It is uplifting, yes, it is very uplifting. Thank God they were able to take care of everything and make it look back the same. They were able to come out here and pray and do what we usually do as citizens that are always in need of prayers and stuff,” said Salinas.

The Brooks County Sheriff’s Department says that the case is still pending, and if they do catch the person or people involved, they can face a state jail felony and a fine up to $ 10,000 since it was a place of worship.

Jaramillo came to the Los Olmos Ranch near Falfurrias in the early 1880s and died in 1907. He was known as "the healer of Los Olmos,"for using natural remedies to heal the sick.

The shrine began at his burial site and received a Texas Historical Marker in 1971.

Anyone with any information about who may have vandalized the shrine is encouraged to call the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office at (361) 325-3696.