SAN FRANCISCO—Authorities are looking for part of Christ’s Crucifixion cross that was stolen from a San Francisco church. According to ABC San Francisco affiliate KGO, officials are investigating the disappearance of what is believed to be an ancient religious artifact from St. Dominic’s Catholic Church.

The relic is traced back to 325 AD. On Thursday, August 18, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church was broken into by thieves. The thieves popped the lock on the glass case that held the item and fled. Church members and parishioners expressed their sadness during Sunday mass. Father Michael Hurley informed his congregation that, “This past Thursday, the church was robbed of a very sacred item.”

“The true cross is a relic that goes back 2,000 years to the very cross of Christ himself. For it to be stolen in this kind of very deliberate way is certainly both upsetting and very saddening,” the church’s pastor, Father Michael Hurley, told parishioners.

According to reports, the leaders of the church and members are praying for part of the Crucifixion cross to be returned. The St. Dominic’s website describes the relic is a “treasured place of prayer that has brought consolation to those who are weighed down by the crosses of their lives.”

The church also made the announcement of the missing relic on Facebook. They posted a statement which read, “Sadly our 2,000 year old relic – a piece of the True Cross – was stolen from our parish this past Thursday. While there is no monetary value there is great spiritual value to those in our parish who come to visit and place their sufferings at the foot of the Cross. We pray that it is returned and for the individual(s) involved.”

KGO spoke to church member Suzanne Avila who indicated, “It’s just devastating.” Avila said she prayed in front of the relic almost every day, adding: “It’s like a piece of our little heart has been pulled out and that little heart beat is gone and we need to get it back.”

According to Fox News, there are reportedly no security cameras at the church. Authorities say they have a few clues to lead them to find the perpetrators. Father Hurley hopes that the person will have a change of heart and return the relic.

A sign has been put up at the church asking for the return of the relic and no questions will be asked.