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Specialists to examine image on window

By Martin Finucane
Globe Staff / October 3, 2008
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Two specialists will examine a window at a Springfield hospital that some people say contains an image of the Virgin Mary, hospital officials said yesterday.

The specialists include an engineer whose specialty is the structure and properties of glass, and a restoration professional with expertise in working with churches, said officials at Mercy Medical Center.

"Following this examination, we hope to receive a professional assessment regarding the physical status of the glass, any recommendations for further analysis of the window, and advice regarding proper preservation of this window," Mark Fulco, a hospital spokesman, said in a statement.

Crowds continued to visit to the doctors' office building on Stafford Street yesterday, with 200 to 300 people lingering outside throughout the day, said Mary Orr, a hospital spokeswoman. Thousands have gone to see the window since a patient first reported seeing the image Tuesday.

Hospital officials said that people who want to see the window have caused traffic and parking problems on the campus. They have asked people who want to see it to park in a nearby church parking lot.

Mark E. Dupont, a spokesman for the Springfield diocese, said church officials were looking into the situation and would be reviewing the reports of the specialists, who are expected to visit the hospital today.

"Statues, paintings, portraits and images all serve to remind us of the reality of the Blessed Virgin Mary's influence in our lives," Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell said Wednesday in a statement. "But the reality is not found in the statues, paintings, portraits and images; the reality is much more than that."

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