Pope Francis appears to tear upon return of Virgin Mary statue to Argentina

Pope Francis appeared to tear up Tuesday during a ceremony celebrating the return of a statue of the Virgin Mary to his native Argentina.

The statue had been kept in a British military cathedral following the 1982 Falklands War, in which Britain defeated Argentina.

Pope Francis appears to wipe away tears as he stands in front of a plaque honoring Argentina's war dead in Argentina. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis appears to wipe away tears as he stands in front of a plaque honoring Argentina's war dead in Argentina. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The Our Lady of Lujan stature will go back to Argentina and replicas will be sent to Britain. Following his public appearance, Francis kissed a stone plaque that honors Argentina's war dead and wiped his eyes.

Argentine troops brought the stature to the Falklands when it invaded the British territory in 1982. Argentina maintains the land was taken illegally in 1833.

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Following the two-month war, the statue was placed in the cathedral where it served as a focus of prayer for the dead on both sides.