Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Aside from the high-profile instances of pareidolia that swell to international proportions thanks to swarming media interest, most of the stories I pass along to you here are passing news items that most people forget about by the end of the week, or until the next commonly occurring unusual happening cries out from the small-town newspaper or a scrappy affiliate television newscast.

That’s what drew me to this piece from The Salinas Californian about the one-year anniversary of then 14-year-old Deanna Jimenez, along with her sister and mother, spotting the image of the Virgin Mary on a sycamore tree in Soledad, California. The image appears mostly due to how a bulge on the trunk casts a shadow; between the form and texture of the wood and the play of shadow and light, Her image appeared, and has appeared over and over again for the past year (though the image is emboldened when there are no leaves on the branches). It’s a familiar tale of one person’s vision infecting hundreds of others, even the Catholic Church who had sent out an official to examine the tree, "cautioning the public to refrain from calling it a miracle."

According to the article published a few days ago, while the crowds of the faithful have diminished, the prayer candles, rosaries and flowers continue to be placed around the tree. For the truly faithful, media attention and gawking passersby matter not, especially since the anniversary of this discovery is today – December 12 – the same day as the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

For the record, all of these pics are from one year ago. I guess now the scene is more tranquil, which seems appropriate. One of these days, I hope to be in the vicinity of one of these events so I can gawk at the gawkers and their cell-phone cameras. But that's another rant for another time . . .

Amazingly enough, for all of the Jesus and Virgin Mary trees that I've blogged about, there is nary a tree in Madonna of the Toast. Curious.

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