Monday, April 18, 2005
Virgin Mary of the Kennedy Expressway, Our Lady of the Underpass? 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Onlookers examine markings resembling the Virgin Mary on the Kennedy Expressway I-90 Fullerton overpass in ChicagoIf you're heading toward the Loop from O'Hare, watch out for some unusual foot and auto traffic near the Fullerton exit...from CBS2.com Chicago:
CHICAGO (CBS 2) Talk about causing a gaper's delay. The faithful have been flocking to a Kennedy Expressway overpass where an image of the Virgin Mary apparently appeared last week. IDOT crews have been called in to handle the crowds. Witnesses say the image appeared about a week ago on a wall on Fullerton Avenue under the Kennedy Expressway. The faithful say it resembles the Virgin Mary, and they have been flocking to it ever since.

Around 20 people drove by or walked up to look at the wall just before midnight Sunday, said an Illinois State Police District Chicago trooper, who declined to be identified. Shakespeare District Lt. Perry Nigro said despite reports the image resembled the Virgin Mary, officers dispatched to the site did not agree.

Police say the image was probably caused by stains from road salt that dripped down form the expressway onto the wall. Still, the faithful used cameras or camera phones to capture their own pictures of it. [read full article]
If you ask me, the stain does look a lot like the traditional Virgen de Guadalupe image that adorns many a rear car window in Chicago. But, there is something pretty darned surreal about people standing under a busy highway viaduct taking cameraphone snaps of a Virgin Mary-shaped salt stain - a holy vision for the digital age? It's certainly in keeping with the theme of feminist nuns at the papal Conclave setting off pink smoke bombs.
Many are saying it is the Blessed Virgin Mary, her head slightly bowed, her hands together in prayer, holding what appears to be a rosary. The image becomes clearer when viewed through the lens of a digital camera.
More: NBC5 Chicago
"Our Lady of the Underpass?" Chicago Tribune, reg req.