For thousands of years visionaries have been noting the appearance of the Virgin Mary. These sudden appearances are called apparitions, the seeing of a ghostly, spiritual, supernatural entity. Skeptics always express their doubts in such claims; nonetheless, believers and non-believers alike continue to see the Mother of God in the strangest places.
Recently a woman in southern Florida reportedly saw the Virgin Mary in an egg sandwich she had grilled. The crust burned and produced a design which resembled the Mother of God. The lady saved the burnt toast and sold it ten years later for a whopping $28,000.00 on eBay!
However, seeing an "image" of the Virgin Mary in a random design pattern is not the same as seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary where she appears, often delivering messages or instructions in prayer, devotion or other directives. The appearance of the Virgin Mary in burnt toast or other random design patters such as clouds, smoke or a tree is an "aberration," an illusion, a departure from the norm of seeing what is only a natural random design pattern. In such cases as seeing faces of the Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ in random patters, this is an exercise of the imagination, a fantasy. One tends to see what one is familiar with and believes. In extreme cases this may be a symptom of a mental disorder, mental derangement, lapse or aberration in mental function, such that one actually believes that they are seeing the Virgin Mary inside a tree, a flower or some other object.
Of course the fact that someone can see people, animals or other figures and forms in random patterns does not mean they are mad. Every child can do this. In fact artists often have used this method of seeing figures and forms in the random patterns of walls, canvases, wooden boards or other media to suggest imagery for their work. The result can often be quite fascinating, indeed.
After reading the account of the lady on eBay who sold a piece of burnt toast in which she "saw the Virgin Mary" I became very interested in how people have depicted the Virgin Mary in art and design. I reviewed sites upon the Internet showing the Virgin Mary. Some of these I have listed below. Then a remarkable thing occurred. On a sunny Christmas day I saw a vision of the Virgin Mary appear upon the trunk of a large oak tree!
I had looked at this tree many times and had never seen the Virgin Mary before. Was this a miracle? Or had I trained by mind to see the Virgin Mary after having reviewed many artistic renditions of her? Perhaps this vision was the result of suggestion. However I also saw with the Virgin Mary what I believe is Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
Everyone is free to decide this matter for themselves. The fact is that one may look at many trees and among thousands and thousand of random patters in bark and lichen, never does one see the Virgin Mary, much less Saints! Yet growing in a place I quite frequently visit (the exact location of this miracle tree cannot be disclosed for fear of vandals) there is a tree which has the a natural bark and lichen pattern in which there is the appearance of the Virgin Mary among Saints. This pattern has not been produced by any manipulation of man but is a work of art produced by God! I find this quite remarkable! Yet I'm sure others will look at this picture and see only bark!
This is such a spectacular occurrence that I wanted to share the vision of the Virgin Mary and Saints with others. Thus I took some photographs of this remarkable miracle tree which is certainly over a hundreds years old, and put the design upon items people may buy to express their reverence for the Mother of Gad and the Saints. Don't worry, I'm not charging $28,000.00 for these items. They are very reasonably priced and all the proceeds will be used to support this site that others may share in the marvels of envisioning those most sacred images, whether seen only in our mind's eye or in the patterns of nature. It is not for me, or anyone else, to judge the sanity of those who see God in nature or the Virgin Mary and Saints in a tree!
Whether you are a believer or not, it is quite remarkable that the Virgin Mary does appear naturally in objects such as trees, rocks ... even upon mountain sides. The same is true of Jesus Christ which appears around the world in many natural patterns and displays.
I hope that by sharing this vision of the Virgin Mary and Saints it will help others to find a new born faith and belief in all that is of love and God. Therefore I have presented this vision of the Virgin Mary and Saints upon various products and merchandise available through Cafepress.com. I have entitled this "Virgin Mary: Vision or Aberration" that each person may decide for themselves whether they can see a resemblance or vision of the Virgin Mary or if they conclude this is only an aberration, a trick that the mind is playing upon those of devout persuasion.
It may be fun to display this image and ask people if they can see the Virgin Mary and find the Saints Peter and Paul. If you try this you will probably find that it is the most devout who are able to spot these images. Those who do not believe in the Mother of God or God himself will surely see only the bark of a tree.
Many people may say that they cannot see the Virgin Mary and Saints in these pictures. In reality this is much easier to see radiating brightly from the live tree when the sunlight strikes the tree at exactly the right moment. However, I still hope that sharing this genuine vision of the Virgin Mary and Saints with the whole world that everyone will renew and reinforce their faith in God, that peace and love will come unto all.
ADDENDUM: Please note that I make no claims that I have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary or Saints. I am merely an artist who is able to see and envision in natural objects such as clouds and trees, such forms as people and animals. At no time has the Virgin Mary appeared to me as an apparition with a message from God, least in looking at this magical tree I might imagine her sweet voice saying, "Let there be peace and love in all souls and upon Earth."
26 Dec. 2004
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If you are interested in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, please visit these related sites.
Virgin Mary Art
Virgin Mary Aberrations