Looks like the Virgin Mary has decided that the next random object she’s going to appear on in some crude fashion is a highway underpass in Chicago:
CHICAGO – (KRT) – 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 beneath 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, saying the image became clearer in pictures.
Of course it would be clearer in pictures, especially digital pictures. You already took a vague shape and made it more vague by taking pictures of it. Digital cameras tend to use JPG compression on images they capture which makes a smaller file size by literally discarding some of the data it captures making the image even more vague. The lower the resolution of the camera the more vague the image and camera phones are often the worst. The more vague the picture the more likely your brain is to rely on its pattern matching abilities to fill in the gaps to make it into something recognizable.
And if you’re already prone to seeing the Virgin Mary in vague shapes then that’s what you’re probably going to see.
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.
How much you want to bet the pawn-seers play a lot 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.
Because it’s only right that we block off traffic for a bunch of nutcases who see holy images in a fucking water stain. Who cares if you have to go out of your way to get to work now? So long as those nutty Catholics are happy praying to an underpass wall then it’s worth it.
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.”
Yes! She’s here to tell the world that we need better water sealants on our underpasses!
But my favorite bit from the article is the following sentence:
It is not unusual for people to claim to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary or Jesus in unusual places.
Ain’t that the friggin’ truth! These nutcases seem to be able to see the Virgin Mary in whatever random object is at hand. You’d think Jesus and his mom would have better things to do with their time, but apparently not.
Image courtesy of Rob Ray over at Metroblogging Chicaco.