News

Saint Javelin - the meme that is helping Ukraine fight the war against Russia

Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine: Reports

A saintly image of the Virgin Mary carrying a rocket - dubbed 'Saint Javelin' has gone viral amid the war in Ukraine.

The illustration, which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling a US-made FGM-148 anti-tank weapon used in the war, was created by Christian Borys, a Canadian marketer and it has earned well over C$1m ($783,000; £600,000) since orders began pouring in, just two days after the war began.

Borys now sells the image on everything from tote bags to sweatshirts, flags and stickers and wants to make the effort go full-time with permanent staff.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

He also posts funny memes on his Twitter account looking at how the war is going. The most recent meme celebrates the influx of new tanks that are being sent to the country to help fight Russia.




Speaking to the BBC last year, Borys explained how he got involved in making the images.

"When I knew [the Russian invasion] was going to happen, I wanted to not sit idly by," he said, adding he was inspired by the work of US artist Chris Shaw, who in 2012 painted a Madonna holding a gold-plated AK-47 which inspired online memes.

He said he wanted to raise C$500 for the Help Us Help Charity, a long-standing, Canadian-based organisation operating in Ukraine that helps the families of killed soldiers but it soon went viral.

"The first day I had the site up, we got two orders. I thought that was outstanding. The next day we did C$1,000, so I printed up those stickers and put [the image] on Instagram," he added. "The day after that, it was C$5,000."

"It went completely viral," he said. "There are a whole lot of logistical problems that have come up because we never expected that. I hoped I could donate 500 bucks and now it's become its own crazy thing."

"It's akin to a one-hit-wonder type of band, where [a song] goes crazy and you have no control over it," he added. "I think eventually I'll just look back and think this was the strangest experience of my life, and that I didn't comprehend what was happening."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)