Some see Virgin Mary in underpass stain [Excerpts]
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an expressway underpass for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary.
Police have patrolled the emergency turnoff area under the Kennedy Expressway since Monday as hundreds of people have walked down to see the image and the growing memorial of flowers and candles that surround it. Beside the image is an artist's rendering of the Virgin Mary embracing Pope John Paul II in a pose some see echoed in the stain.
"We believe it's a miracle," said Elbia Tello, 42. "We have faith, and we can see her face."
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago had not received any requests to authenticate the image as of Monday, spokesman Jim Dwyer said.
"These things don't happen every day," Dwyer said. "Sometimes people ask us to look into it. Most of the time they don't. (The meaning) depends on the individual who sees it. To them, it's real. To them, it reaffirms their faith."
But onlooker Victor Robles, 36, said he was skeptical about the stain's Virgin Mary resemblance. [Link to photo follows]
"I see just a concrete wall and an image that could happen anywhere," Robles said. "If that image helps more people feel closer to God than maybe that is a good sign" (AP, 4/20/05).