Does the Blessed Mother actually have a habit of showing up in the oddest of places (such as a grilled cheese sandwich), or is this just another case of people seeing a pattern where none exists? (In all honesty, I opt for the latter.) Anyway, here’s a recent bit of unusual news I thought I’d pass along:
Fervent Catholics in a crime-ridden New Jersey town are flocking to what they say is the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary’s image in a tree trunk.
On Tuesday, a crowd of several dozen people stood around the tree, praying, taking photos and swapping stories of what they call a miracle.
West New York, just across the Hudson from Manhattan, has been better known for crime, a depressed economy and a mayor who along with his son faces federal computer hacking charges.
But the town’s central Bergenline Avenue is now the unlikely setting for a diminutive Ginkgo biloba tree with a knot that, worshippers claim, has the form of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Catholic Church has distanced itself from the supposed miracle and there’s no shortage of scoffers in West New York, a tough place with a high Latin American immigrant population.
Yet on a sweltering summer’s day, worshipers showed no sign of losing faith.
Boisterous and implacable, they vowed to stay put until the town’s troubled mayor, Felix Roque, protects the tree for good.
According to Baez, the extraordinary chain of events began early on the morning of July 10, when a woman was traveling down the avenue to go to work.
“She saw a light and it was the Virgin. She went on to work, but she was frightened,” Baez explained. The woman, named Carmen Lopez, tried to alert police and the mayor but received short shrift. Soon after, Baez says she experienced a similar vision.
“When I got here I saw her: she said ‘I’m the Virgin,'” Baez recounted to a chorus of admiring “wows” from others gathered on the sidewalk by the tree. “I was speechless.”
Since then, there’ve been no reported sightings of Jesus’ mother herself, but the knot in the tree is said to bear an uncanny resemblance to famous pictures of the Guadalupe Virgin in her cloak.
The image is framed by an oval shaped split in the tree’s bark and a dark coloring inside is said to match the shape of the cloaked figure.
You can read the full article here.