Dogma Alert

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The ubiquitous faces of Jesus and the Virgin

From the "what will the Jesus-freaks see next" department...

Chair with 'Jesus image' draws low bids
Canadian Press
Apr. 17, 2005 05:27 PM

CALGARY - The owner of a wooden rocking chair with a knot that bore a likeness to Jesus has pulled the item from EBay, saying the bids weren't high enough.

After getting just one bid of $5,000 for the chair, Jonathon Fenton decided to keep it after all in a Calgary furniture store.

"It's a heck of a chair and people are coming in to see it," Fenton said. "Unless we get more, we'd rather keep it in the store. It's kinda cool to have it as our special mascot."

Fenton was amazed earlier this month when a customer spotted what appears to be a side-profile of Jesus Christ on the seat of a chair at the shop.

Soon after, the store became an attraction for the curious. Fenton said most visitors concede to seeing the spiritual spot, and some are outright moved by its presence.

"We've had people rubbing the chair and crossing themselves with their eyes welling up with tears," Fenton said. "It's taken on a life of its own."

Fenton's chair, which was originally priced at $650, got 17,000 hits on EBay.

He is still a little cross an old grilled-cheese sandwich, said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary, sold for $28,000 recently on the auction site.

"This is a lot nicer than a cheese sandwich, and it's functional."

Other noteworthy sightings include this edible monstrosity...


ST. PAUL, Neb. -- A honey-mustard pretzel that the seller, the Naylors, of St. Paul, Neb., believe is in the shape of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus, shown in March 2005, in St. Paul, sold on eBay on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, for $10,600. Machelle Naylor's 12-year-old daughter, Crysta, said she discovered the pretzel while snacking and watching television with her family on Feb. 27. (03/09/05 AP Photo/The Grand Island Independent)

And for you da Vinci Code fans, Jesus appearing on an oyster shell makes one heck of an aphrodisiac...


Jesus on the Half Shell

Here's another image-of-God-appears-in-food story. The BBC reports that a Swiss bar manager, Matteo Brandi, has found an oyster shell that bears the spitting image of Jesus Christ, though to me it looks more like what I imagine the Sea-God Poseidon should look like. Mr. Brandi said he found the shell when "The oyster stuck to his hand as if God was calling him." He also points out that his oyster shell is unique because, unlike the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, it is "the work of nature." That's true. A few hundred years ago Mr. Brandi's shell would have been referred to as a Lusus Naturae. Mr. Brandi doesn't need any encouragement to sell his holy oyster shell online. That's already his plan.

As well as our lady of concrete stain (before & after)...



Faithful see Mary on underpass wall

By Jennifer Lebovich
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 19, 2005

For some in crowd at Kennedy viaduct, seeing is believing

Obdulia Delgado turned toward the on ramp of the Kennedy Expressway when she saw something in the middle of traffic that made her stop.

She saw the image of the Virgin Mary in a large yellow and white stain on the concrete wall at the Fullerton Avenue entrance last week.

"I was so stunned I couldn't move. People were honking," said Delgado, 31. "It was a dream. I don't even know how I got home."

By Monday morning, dozens had gathered to see what they believe is the image of the Blessed Mother on the wall of the underpass. Groups of people filtered past the site all day, some lighting candles and leaving flowers, others praying the rosary. Most snapped pictures with digital cameras and cell phones.

To some who saw it, the image appeared as a white outline of the Holy Mother's face wearing a shadowy cloak. To others, it looked like an ivory pawn from a game of chess.

As believers came to the spot throughout the morning, police put up temporary barricades to prevent people from driving and parking in the area on the north side of Fullerton Avenue.

Delgado said she had been praying to the Virgin Mary to help her pass a final in culinary school when she saw the image.

"There are many people here who believe in her. She's here for a reason," she said. "For me, it's not a watermark, it's the Virgin Mary."
It is not unusual for people to claim to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary or Jesus in unusual places.

In November 2004, a piece of popcorn shaped like the Virgin Mary was auctioned on eBay. A Canadian woman also said she saw the Blessed Mother and baby Jesus on a Lay's Smokey Bacon Chip. Thousands of Greek Orthodox flocked to Athens in 2001 to see a "bleeding" Virgin Mary statue.

For now in Chicago, the image will be allowed to stay on the wall, surrounded by less identifiable water stains and paint marks.

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

Apparitions of Mary hold different meanings for believers, but people may draw connections to current events, like the death of Pope John Paul II, said Cristina Traina, an associate professor of religion at Northwestern University.

"Most often, the people who see the image interpret it as a sign of affirmation of an event or behavior or a condemnation of an event or behavior," she said. "What is miraculous is that a natural event like a stain from leaking water and a supernatural event like seeing Mary converge."

Michael Grzesik, who leads people on religious pilgrimages, said that when he first looked at it, he saw nothing unusual.

"I was looking at it and thought it might be an oil spill. But as I got closer it resembles Our Lady," he said. "It really struck me . . . I think Our Lady is always with us, and this is another sign she is with us."

Grzesik compared the image under the expressway to an apparition of the Virgin Mary that appeared more than a century ago in a grotto in Lourdes, France.

"This is like Our Lady appearing in Chicago in a grotto under the Kennedy," he said.

But he was also light-hearted about the image: "There's a little graffiti around that says `Go Cubs,' so it looks like Our Lady is rooting for the Cubs."

The Archdiocese of Chicago has not received any requests to authenticate the image, 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."

Victor Robles, 36, who got a close look, remained skeptical.

"I see just a concrete wall and an image that could happen anywhere," he said. "It makes me feel good that there are people with faith . . . If that image helps more people feel closer to God than maybe that is a good sign."

Irene Munoz, 30, walked past the crowd before deciding to see what everyone was looking at.

"It's very emotional," she said. "It's very real. I never believed anyone who saw these things. But I believe now."

As word of the image spread, a teacher from Holy Trinity High School sent students to look.

"If you look, you see her face popping out and the veil and her hands," said 17-year-old Luis Flores. "That's the image that's portrayed in the Bible. Many miracles have happened, but this is one that just appeared."

Some of those who gathered felt the appearance of the image had special significance as the papal conclave meets in Rome.

"It's amazing it's the same day they're picking a pope," said Juan Soria, who rushed to the site with his family. He saw the image as "a message from above. It's a cry for peace and hope to get rid of tyranny in the world."

And here our saviour seems to be getting a well-rounded education...

Students See Jesus Image in Wall Spot

CULVER CITY — Some students said Friday they see the image of Jesus Christ in a wet spot on a dark concrete wall at Culver City High School administrators said has been there for years.

"I see a head ... arms ... kind of like Jesus," one male student told ABC7.

A girl disagreed.

"I don't see nothing," she said.

Administrators said they have no intention to cover it up, and don't mind the sudden interest in the dark spot in the concrete, according to ABC7.

"I really don't see a face," said principal Franca Dell'Olio. "Maybe I'm not creative enough. Maybe I'm not imaginative enough. Maybe the sun is not shining on me the way it should. But you know, everyone sees something different there. I don't see it."

In honour of the recent Papal passing...


Pope Chicken Breast

The latest 'face seen in food' on eBay is the Pope Chicken Breast. The seller even has their own website devoted to it already. The real question is how much Golden Palace is going to pay for this thing. Here's the description of the item:

As I was about to dig into my usual lunch of my dorms "baked chicken," I quickly stopped in my tracks as my eyes met this wonderful relic. I have the utmost respect for Pope John Paul II and I could not believe the resemblance I saw between my piece of chicken breast and him. I am deeply touched that I was chosen to receive this possible visit from the Holy Father. I would now like to share this beautiful likeness of Pope John Paul II with you. And unlike all the unoriginal grilled cheese and Pope hat chips, this is the Only celebrity chicken breast on eBay at the time of listing.

Don't forget to grease up our Lord when using this nifty number...


Man Sees Image Of Jesus In Frying Pan

POSTED: 10:25 am EST February 1, 2005

Some people will tell you that the Good Lord can show up just about anywhere, and lately there seems to be no shortage of religious images seen on commonplace items.

A Texas man he saw this image in his frying pan while he was cooking breakfast for his mother. ( See More Images Of Frying Pan)

Remember the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich? Well, now it's the Jesus frying pan.

Juan Pastrano, of Prairie Lea, Texas, said he was cooking his mother breakfast on Sunday when he looked close and saw what looks like the face of Jesus etched in his frying pan.

There's no word yet on if the family plans to sell the pan. But if they do, it could really bring in the bacon. A 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary recently sold on eBay for $28,000.

And then there's the infamous Virgin Mary Cheese Toast that sold on Ebay for 28 grand, which is great for washing away sins but is horror for your cholesterol...


‘Virgin Mary grilled cheese’ sells for $28,000

Online casino wins eBay auction for 10-year-old 'holy' snack

E-Bay put the 'Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese' sandwich back on sale after temporarily pulling the item last week.

The Associated Press
Updated: 1:17 a.m. ET Nov. 23, 2004

MIAMI - A woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on eBay., an online casino, confirmed that it placed the winning bid, and company executives said they were willing to spend “as much as it took” to own the 10-year-old half-sandwich with a bite out of it.

“It’s a part of pop culture that’s immediately and widely recognizable,” spokesman Monty Kerr told The Miami Herald. “We knew right away we wanted to have it.”

Photos posted on eBay show what can be viewed as a woman’s face emblazoned on the sandwich, a bite taken out of one end. Bidding closed Monday. [...]

Look every one it's Jesus, appearing through the modern age...

Look everyone, it's... JESUS!

Stay Free! tracks everyone's favorite deity as he leapfrogs across America

Mario Rubio is rolling a burrito when she notices skillet burns on the tortilla resembling the mournful face of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, 8,000 curious pilgrims trek to the Rubios' small stucco house in rural New Mexico to view the sacred icon. Mrs. Rubio leaves her house unlocked so that visitors may freely enter and examine the tortilla. (Newsweek, Aug. 14, 1978)

Oklahoma evangelist Oral Roberts spots a 900 foot Jesus straddling a hospital complex he is building next to his university. Roberts, interpreting the divine image as a plea for financial assistance, appeals to his followers and nets millions of dollars in donations. (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 8, 1992)

Christ appears, crucified, on a garage door in California and draws 8,000 visitors in one weekend. The image is later found to be caused by reflections from two street lights that had merged with shadows of a bush and a real-estate sign. (USA Today, April 12, 1989)

In Fostoria, Ohio, Jesus is found on the side of a soybean oil tank. A month after the image is reported, vandals attack the tank with paint balloons. (USA Today, April 12, 1989)

Jesus appears on the chimney of a suburban bowling alley. The four- foot high image is formed from rusting metal. Local truckers are split on whether the rust pattern on the chimney means anything other than it's time to buy a new chimney. Some say it looks like Popeye; others say it is Christ. A bowler at Town and Country Bowl had spotted the figure and immediately notified a Chicago television station. Town and Country owner Irwin Korzen says he and his employees noticed it months earlier but didn't think it was a big deal. (Chicago Tribune, June 24, 1987)

In Lubbock, Texas, members of a small Roman Catholic Church see visions of Mary and Jesus in the clouds during an outdoor Mass. The diocesan report that follows takes a cautious stand and draws no conclusions. (USA Today, April 12, 1989)

Thousands of believers flock to a home in northeast Harris County to view a linoleum table top that mysteriously reflects the images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Sources aren't quite sure. (Houston Chronicle, April 12, 1992)

Jesus makes national news as the centerpiece of a Pizza Hut billboard in Atlanta. Joyce Simpson spotted the face of Christ in the advertisement immediately after praying for a divine sign. She couldn't decide whether to stay in the church choir or quit and sing professionally. The shadowy image of Jesus' face in strands of spaghetti hanging from a fork meant she should stay with the choir. John Moody, a marketing director for Pizza Hut, said the picture, one of 35 put up in the area, is a standard food photograph that the Wichita headquarters provides franchises. Moody said several people, however, called his office to say they see other notably less religious images in the picture: deceased rock star Jim Morrison, a puppet and Willie Nelson. (Chicago Tribune, May 23, 1991)

Jesus is discovered, on a cross, in the gnarled bark of a sycamore tree in New Haven, CT. (The Hartford Courant, Sept. 19, 1992)

Approximately 3,000 people line up outside an apartment building in upper Manhattan to witness apparitions of Jesus Christ on the frosted-glass window of a 5th floor bathroom. The Rev. Jose Aquilar, a Catholic priest from St. Judes Church several blocks away, claims the source of the apparition is a dirty double-paned window and a little moisture. Upon Aquilar's suggestion, police remove the window and have it taken to a hardware store and scrubbed with Brillo - an act some residents called sacrilegious. (Newsday, Aug. 7, 1993)


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