Before the Island
The Virgin Mary statues, which had bags of heroin hidden inside them, were part of Mr. Eko's plan to smuggle heroin out of Nigeria. The statues were being loaded onto a Beechcraft 18 airplane by Eko, Goldie, and Olu when Yemi showed up to warn his brother not to get on the plane. At that moment, military soldiers began shooting at the drug smugglers, gunning down Olu and Yemi, who was shielding Eko from the bullets. Goldie helped Yemi onto the plane, but then shoved Eko out and took off without him. ("The 23rd Psalm")
On the Island
The airplane apparently crashed on the Island, where Boone and Locke discovered it many years later. John Locke had taken Boone with him in search of the craft after having a vision about it the night before. Upon finding the plane, Boone climbed up a cliff and into the cockpit where he was the first of the survivors to spot the Virgin Mary statues - and their secret. ("Deus Ex Machina")
Charlie throws the Virgin Mary statues into the sea in ("Three Minutes").
Locke apparently told Sayid about their discovery as the former soldier then revealed it to Charlie, a known drug addict, when they were in hot pursuit of Rousseau, running past the Drug Smuggler's Plane. Charlie came back to the stash to grab a statue for himself. After learning from Claire that Charlie possessed a Virgin Mary statue in his tent, Eko forced Charlie to lead him to the plane where they found the bodies of Yemi, Goldie, and Olu. Eko set the plane on fire, but Charlie had previously taken seven of the statuettes and hidden them. Locke, who knew about the other statues, took them and put them in the gun vault of the Swan. Locke planned on keeping the statues for "therapeutic value" if necessary.
Sawyer gained possession of the heroin when he conned all of the survivors to get the contents of the gun vault. ("The Long Con") Jack demanded that Sawyer give him some of the statues after Libby was shot by Michael, so the drug could be used to ease her suffering. ("?") Vincent later led Charlie to the stash, and Charlie conquered his addiction by throwing the remaining statues into the ocean. ("Three Minutes")
After the Island moved back in time, Locke saw one of the statues fall from the beechcraft as it crashed in the jungle. ("Because You Left")
Off the Island
A Virgin Mary statue as seen at Lost: The Auction.
- Replicas of the Virgin Mary statue were given away as one of the prizes in a contest featured on the website Lost108.de by the German division of Buena Vista Home Entertainment in late 2006, limited to 108 pieces.
- A couple of statues were sold at Lost: The Auction