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Article ID: 2162
Age Group: Adult
Posted: February 5th. 1998
The Clearwater - Madonna Shrine
Sometimes an apparition can happen in your own back yard. The now famous "Clearwater Madonna" did happen and is located just one block from our new home in Florida. Wren and I had to see it for ourselves... It sure looks like the Goddess to us! Of course the "other religions" have put their spin on it. The untouched image to your right is from our video camera and gives a pretty accuarate rendering of just what this looks like.
Webcrafter - Witchvox
Clearwater Madonna Changes Hands - July 11, 1998
Catholics lease Florida building with "Mary" image
CLEARWATER, Fla. (http://www.nandotimes.com) - An office building where some people believe they can see the image of the Virgin Mary was leased Friday to a Catholic group that wants to turn it into a religious center.
The rainbow-colored image on the windows of the building has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors since it was discovered in December 1996.
Ohio-based Shepherds of Christ Ministries took over the building and plans to open a religious bookstore soon, Executive Director Paul Rush said.
Asked if he believed the image was that of the Virgin Mary, Rush replied, "There is no doubt in my mind."
The group has put a statue of Jesus in the parking lot in front of the image and is holding daily evening prayer services. They hope to raise money to operate the building through donations and, Rush said, by selling tiles that will displayed with the names of donors.
Rush said his group would need permission from the local Catholic diocese before it could open a chapel at the site. The diocese has not taken any position on the authenticity of the image, which covers nine panes of glass and appears to show the outline of a person's head and upper body.
Experts who have examined the image say they believe it was created by corrosion of the metallic elements in the glass. There are other rainbow-colored swirls on the building, but none in any pattern.
Some history on this apparition...
Eyewitness Report - by Jane Baker (Share International, June 1997)
The effect of this apparition has been peaceful, uplifting, and unifying throughout the west central Florida communities. Night after night it was the "big story" at the top of the hour for all the local television newscasts. People of all different ages, races, nationalities and beliefs daily come to pray before Mary. The crowds are orderly, friendly, and loving. There has been no negative reaction to this apparition.
What amazes me is the hush that falls upon the crowd as they look upon the figure. You know it is sacred. Even the policemen directing traffic hour after hour, day after day, are relaxed, pleasant, and wishing everyone a happy holiday. In front of the glass are rows and rows of flowers, candles, food and other gifts to honour Mary. All the money donated at the site has been turned over to local charities. The owner of the building does not care that hundreds, even thousands of people are occupying his parking lot. He does not care what effect it will have on his business. He says he is blessed and everyone is welcome to see Mary day or night. Yes, you can even see it in the dark. The city planners in charge of traffic control are calling their task-force "The Miracle Management Team".
I will be returning to the site in a couple of days. It is awesome. I don't know which I find more compelling - the vision of Mary or the transforming effect on the masses.
"Virgin Mary" building may become shrine
The Florida office building that has drawn 1.5 million people to view a rainbow-coloured image of the Virgin Mary will become a permanent shrine if the building's owner has his way. Mike Krizmanich, the owner, said he believes the apparition is a gift from God to be protected and shared. He told the Tampa Tribune newspaper that he planned to turn the building into a permanent home for the apparition and use its inside office space for a spiritual purpose. "I don't know how I wound up with it, " he told the paper. Krizmanich's Seminole Finance Corporation was housed in the $1.3 million building until the business was sold this year. But he said he did not want to sell the building, even to a religious organization, and prefers to set up the shrine himself. (Source: Reuters )
Glass experts who happened to be meeting near the "Virgin Mary" building, examined the window where the image is seen, but failed to explain it completely. For two days, scientists and manufacturers who were gathering at a nearby convention visited the site and debated the possible origins. After some discussion, they concluded that the image is the result of "corrosion of metallic elements of the glass's coating" - a common process in certain types of glass that have aged. But the glass experts could not explain why the rainbow-coloured swirls form the image of the Virgin Mary. "We're not able to explain how the shape appeared or why it appeared, " said George Pecoraro, a scientist with a glass manufacturing company. "It could be an accident or maybe it's divine intervention." Carlo Pantano, a professor of materials science and engineering at Pennsylvania State University, said: "We can try to explain it, but not who controlled it or why it happened here at this time." ( Source: Associated Press )
It has been recently reported in the news that the image had been marred after vandals threw an unknown liquid onto the building. However the image appears to have healed itself and now looks just as it did in December, when hundreds of thousands of people began flocking to the site. Some are calling this latest incident another miracle. ( Source: Miami Herald, June 27, 1997 )
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