Vandals sprayed-painted "IDOL" on a statue of the Virgin Mary in the New York City borough of Queens early Friday outside Cathedral Prep School and Seminary.
"Today, Cathedral Prep endured an act of hatred," Father James Kuroly said, Cathedral Prep's president and rector. "We were victims of vandalism against a beloved statue that is dear to generations of Cathedral students."
Staff at the Elmhurst high school noticed the vandalism when they turned up for work Friday morning, according to the New York Daily News.
Surveillance video captured the vandalism taking place at 3:09 a.m. The vandal sprayed his message on the statue before strolling away.
Those of the Cathedral Prep school community went on social media to express their discontent with the incident, with the photo of the statue being shared nearly 7,000 times in eight hours.
"How disgraceful," wrote Eileen McAliney Ryan. "Help us dear Lady as we struggle through these horrific days. May God help us all."
The statue was cleaned and restored shortly after.