Mary’s in the tree |

TBC Staff

"No Doubt We're In The Last Days" News

Bronx Times Reporter 9-2-2004

BRONX, NY - Day and night, scores of people continue to flock to the linden tree on Neill Avenue right off Narragansett Avenue, claiming to see the image of the Virgin Mary, who is considered by Christians [Catholics] to be the Blessed Mother of Jesus.

The image appears in the bark of the tree and has prompted curiosity-seekers and other onlookers to visit the tree at all hours of the day, leaving bouquets of flowers, candles, and other items at the base of the tree.

As first reported in the Bronx Times Reporter two weeks ago, the man who lives in the house nearest to the tree fell from a ladder while working on his house in icy conditions last December. According to neighbors, the 70-year-old man was lying there for an extended period of time until paramedics arrived following a 911 call from a woman who lives across the street. The woman who called for the paramedics was the first to have claimed to see the image of the Blessed Virgin on the tree.

The woman, Christina DiFalco of Neill Avenue, has come forward to tell her side of the story. She said that the man who was injured in December has been in and out of the hospital since June, but has recently returned home and is doing fairly well.

DiFalco said she began to call friends to visit the tree to see if they too saw what she and many neighbors believed to be a vision of Mary.

"I called a friend of mine and she said ‘You’re acting like you saw the Blessed Mother,’" DiFalco said. "With that, I dropped the phone, and I said to her ‘You have to come over.’ Coincidence? Miracle? I don’t know. We stayed out there to 11:30 that night, because we weren’t sure if the image was going to still be there in the morning. I have five children and I asked all my children what they saw. One of my youngest boys said ‘I see Jesus’ mommy, and she is very pretty.’ My children all said the same the thing.

"One at a time, more and more people started to come," she added. "More and more people said that they could see it."

DiFalco said that the image changes depending on the angle and the time of day. "At night, she is more prominent and more three dimensional," she said. "You see her long silky black hair and the letters ILJM, which could mean ‘I Love Jesus’ Mother.’ At times there is an X with a P over the image of a heart that is carved out, and in Latin that represents Jesus Christ. You see Our Lady of Guadalupe if you stand in the middle of the street at night. You see her holding a baby from a certain angle, and on certain nights, very rarely, you see the Sacred Heart of Jesus."

[TBC: We recommend Jim Tetlow’s “Messages From Heaven” for its thorough examination of worldwide apparitions of “Mary.”]