Friday, July 10, 2009
Another Tree, Another Country
This Virgin Mary tree stump marks Madonna of the Toast’s first trip to Ireland! According to this RTE report, workers chopping down trees at the Holy Mary Parish Church in Rathkeale, County Limerick, saw Mary in this cross section of one of the trees.
Upon being made public, nightly vigils have attracted hundreds of visitors and apparently thousands of people have signed a petition “to keep the stump in the grounds permanently.”
The church is not so cheery about the discovery. Father Willie Russell, a local priest, said, “It’s only a tree”; Father Paul Finnerty said, “While we do not wish in any way to detract from devotion to Our Lady, we would also wish to avoid anything which might lead to superstition.”
Probably not the best word choice on the part of Father Finnerty, what with Christianity being built around rites and rituals followed on blind faith.