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SnakebyteXX
04-19-2005, 09:59 PM
CHICAGO (AP) -

A steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an expressway underpass for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary.

"We believe it's a miracle," said Elbia Tello, 42, of Chicago. "We have faith, and we can see her face."

Police have patrolled the emergency turnoff area under the Kennedy Expressway since Monday as hundreds of people have walked down to see the image and the growing memorial of flowers and candles that surround it. Beside the image is an artist's rendering of the Virgin Mary embracing Pope John Paul II in a pose some see echoed in the stain.

Tuesday morning, women knelt with rosary beads behind a police barricade while men in work shirts stood solemnly before the image, praying. A police officer kept the crowd of about three dozen from getting too close to the traffic but didn't stop them gathering around the stain.

The stain is likely the result of salt run-off, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The agency does not plan to scrub it off the wall.

"We're treating this just like we treat any type of roadside memorial," said IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey. "We have no plans to clean this site."

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago had not received any requests to authenticate the image as of Monday, spokesman Jim Dwyer said.

"These things don't happen every day," Dwyer said. "Sometimes people ask us to look into it. Most of the time they don't. (The meaning) depends on the individual who sees it. To them, it's real. To them, it reaffirms their faith."

But onlooker Victor Robles, 36, said he was skeptical about the stain's Virgin Mary resemblance.

"I see just a concrete walk and an image that could happen anywhere," Robles said. "If that image helps more people feel closer to God than maybe that is a good sign."

Worldwide, people have been drawn to images believed to resemble the Virgin Mary seen on windows, fence posts and walls.

Among the best-known in the United States was an image seen in office windows in Clearwater, Fla. Within weeks, a half million people had been to the site. Glass experts believe the image was created by a chemical reaction and corrosion of the metallic elements in the glass coating, but they could not explain why it took the shape it did. The windows were broken last year.


link (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2005/apr/19/041909232.html)

Popcorn
04-19-2005, 11:16 PM
How do they know what she looks like?

SnakebyteXX
04-20-2005, 04:44 AM
[ QUOTE ]
How do they know what she looks like? <hr /></blockquote>

Good question.

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/1969/vmary12qx.th.jpg (http://img258.echo.cx/my.php?image=vmary12qx.jpg)

Ferraz Vasconcelos, Brazil

This image appeared on a window of a house owned by Antonio Jose Rosa in Ferraz Vasconcelos, Brazil in July 2002. The local priest, Father Quevedo, said that the image is probably window polish, but according to news reports, it didn't stop more than 123,000 people turning up and looking at it. Antonio Rosa refused to let experts examine the glass.

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/5086/vmary21sc.th.jpg (http://img258.echo.cx/my.php?image=vmary21sc.jpg)

Our Lady of Watsonville

Our Lady of Watsonville is a foot-high image of the Virgin Mary seen in the bark of an oak tree in Watsonville, California. Anita Contreras was the first to see Our Lady of Watsonville. On 17th June 1993, the Virgin appeared while Contreras knelt to pray for her children. Since then, thousands of pilgrims have flocked to the site, hoping for a miracle.

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/1209/vmary31jb.th.jpg (http://img258.echo.cx/my.php?image=vmary31jb.jpg)

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/2407/vmary49cy.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

Clearwater, Florida

In December 1996, 80,000 a day visited this building to see the 35-foot-tall, 50-foot-wide image of the Virgin Mary. Scientists say that the image was created from a chemical reaction between rain and metallic elements within the windows smoky coating, but they can't explain how it would affect all nine panes of glass in such a pattern.

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/5267/vmary58jj.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

Zeitun, Egypt

Starting in April 1968, this image was seen by thousands in the three years it appeared.


Zeitun link (http://members.lycos.co.uk/brisray/optill/oface5.htm)

"Catholics have reported seeing the Virgin Mary all over the world. Of more than 1,000 sightings, 22 have received full approval from the Catholic Church. Marian experts say the appearances follow a pattern: She most often appears to young women in impoverished areas, and her message encourages prayer, repentence, devotion and the teachings of Jesus. Here are the sightings that have Church approval:"

http://img258.echo.cx/img258/2060/0814relgra1rf.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

link (http://www.anomalynews.com/phorum/read.php?f=3&amp;i=38&amp;t=38)

I'm guessing that for the Church to grant its approval there must be more to an 'appearance' than the presence of wishful thinking and an over-active imagination. I'm not sure but I don't think her alleged appearance on the infamous eBay tortilla is likely to make their map...

I do know that much like 'Deadheads' who once pursued appearances of the Greatful Dead where ever they might be, there are 'Maryheads' who devote much of their time travelling the globe from one sighting to the next.

"It's a strange world we live in master jack..."

Snake

Leviathan
04-20-2005, 01:43 PM
The Miracle of Ferraz Vasconcelos sure looks like an image of a left thumb. As Yogi Berra would say, "Only in America!"

AS