A mixture of the curious and the devout have flocked to an underpass in Chicago to see the supposed image of the Virgin Mary which has appeared on a wall. Police have started regular patrols at the site which has attracted hundreds of devotees.
Many have left candles and flowers at the site which has become a pilgrimage point in the United States. A picture of the late Pope John Paul II and the Virgin Mary in a similar pose as the image on the wall had been put next to the site.
Despite some who believe it is a divine image, there may be a more physical explanation. Officials at the the Illinois Department of Transportation say the image is merely the result of salt run-off but they have no plans to scrub it off. A spokesman for the department said: "We're treating this just like we treat any other type of roadside memorial."
Some visitors are true believers though. Elba Tello, of Chicago, said: We have faith. We can see her face."
But another on-looker, Victor Robles, said: "I see just a concrete walkway and an image that could happen anywhere. "If that image helps more people feel closer to God then maybe that is a good sign."
What a bunch of idiots. They are basing their ideas of Mary on artistic representations of Mary throughout the ages. Nobody KNOWS what she looked like (if indeed she ever existed), but it's quite probable that she was NOT the delicate-featured white woman we are all used to seeing in church windows and statues. She was probably anything but delicate-looking, with manky teeth and terrible hair, and would have darker skin, NOT white. It's down to the old inkblot test theory - you can see what you WANT to see in whatever you look at, regardless of what it really is.
If an image of a manky woman appeared on a subway wall nobody would know who it was so they'd likely ignore it. Mary could be walking among us every day but we would pass her by, probably mistaking her for some foreign scruffy illegal immigrant.
I suppose that if some salt on a subway wall gives people strength and helps them get through the day then that's a good thing, but FFS when is common-sense going to come into play with all of this???