30 December 2009

Are You Hoping For A Miracle?

The miraculous is all around us.

28th May, 2009: Claire Allen, aged 36, is about to feed her son a slice of Marmite on toast when she notices Jesus watching her from the underside of the yellow plastic lid. Her husband, Gareth, cannot believe his eyes, but finds a camera to capture this defining moment. Her three sons agree that they can see a face, and one goes so far as to claim 'it looks like God'. Claire likes to think it's 'Jesus looking out for us'.

23rd July, 2008: Birnin Kebbi, whilst consuming fried beef, spots the name of Allah inscribed in the unpalatable curves of a piece of gristle. The restaurateur, upon further searching, discovers three more pieces of similar meat, each containing the holy message. A vet explains that the appearance defies scientific explanation, while visiting Islamic scholars claim 'it was a sign to show that Islam is the only true religion for mankind'.

31st January, 2006: A customer of Walker Aquatics in the UK town of Rawtenstall discovers a fish with markings which spell Allah in Arabic. It is believed the reverse side contains the word Mohammed. The customer offers ten pounds for the fish, and purchases a seven hundred pound tank in which to keep it. Shop owner, Tony Walker expects there to be more interest in the fish.

Christmas Day, 2005: The 'Nun Bun', a flaky pastry in the shape of Catholic nun Mother Teresa is stolen from a bakers shop in Nashville, Tennessee. It was originally discovered in 1996, varnished and placed in a glass case for safety.

April 21, 2005: Flowers and candles begin to pile up at a motorway underpass in Chicago, where a stain on the wall forms the face of the Virgin Mary. While city spokesman Mike Claffey said the image was likely to be caused by salt, he reassured onlookers that they had no plans to clean the site. Raven Leroux, 57, told AFP news agency that it was the first time he had felt something so deeply in his heart. "There is something in the air... her energy is here."

November 17th, 2004: Diana Duyser, 52, of Hollywood, places a half-eaten slice of cheese toast containing the image of the Virgin Mary on eBay with a starting bid of three thousand dollars. Mrs Duyser wants all potential bidders to know that 'this item is not intended for consumption'. It eventually fetches twenty-eight thousand pounds.

November 2nd, 2004: Thousands of people converge on the Catholic Church in Ghana's capital city after the image of Jesus Christ appears on rough marble stones within a small grotto on the church grounds. Some worshippers claim it is a sign that the world will end within the year. One woman pauses from her Hail Marys to explain why Jesus has chosen to appear at Dansoman: it is an unassuming place, and therefore in tune with his teachings about modesty and humility.

17th June, 2003: Catholic worshippers swamp a US hospital after a leaking chemical deposit inside a sealed window forms an image of the Virgin Mary. The hospital asks pilgrims to limit their visiting hours to between 1730 and 1830 as the crowds are making hospital work difficult. Bouquets are placed beneath the window, and one mother is observed to bring her son, who uses a wheelchair, to touch the wall with his legs. The hospital is keen to point out that it does not consider the flood of visitors to be a 'nuisance'.

November 16th, 2002: Shella Anthony discovers a chapati into which is burned the image of the face of Christ. The chapati is housed in a glass case, and pilgrims travel from nearby villages to offer prayers. Father Jacob George, of the Renewal Retreat Centre, is convinced it is a miracle, and is prepared to say so.

October 11th, 2000: The combined effects of a street lamp, wooden fence and tree cause the image of Christ to be projected in a miraculous vision which brings an influx of visitors to South Australian town Port Germaine. Father Arno Vermeeren of the local Catholic diocese admits he needs convincing the apparition is the result of any supernatural power. Peter Moore, of the district council, is more mercenary in his approach: It is yet another reason to come to Port Germein, he said.

September 6th, 2000: Christians converge on the town of Assiut after the Virgin Mary repeatedly appears with outstretched hands, accompanied by a large number of pigeons and the smell of burning incence. Additionally, Father Mina Hanna claims to have seen a large, white, brightly-lit pigeon appearing and disappearing. He announces the sightings as a blessing for Assiut, and extols the manner in which the visions have served to bring both Christians and Muslims closer together.

September 9th, 1999: While preparing a meal for her family, Shabana Hussain slices a tomato in two and finds bismillah traced out in the veins of one half. The other half of the vegetable reads la illaha illala: There is no God but Allah. The Imam from the local mosque confirms that the tomato contains the scriptures, and it is suggested that the tomato may act as a holy panacea for the ill.

May 28th, 1898: Amateur photographer Secondo Pia took a picture of the cloth believed to have enclosed Jesus' body after his crucifixion. The negative of his image, taken from the display of the shroud in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, showed a startling representation of a male figure, and Pia was immediately accused of forgery and not vindicated until 1931. His discovery has never been officially endorsed by the Catholic church, though in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved the image as the holy face of Jesus.
The miraculous is all around us: all we have to do is sew our eyes tightly closed and swear blind we can see it too.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10166, http://www.yoism.org/?q=node/379

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