Saturday, 2:15 PM
Experts to examine Springfield window where some saw Virgin Mary
(David Molnar/The Republican/AP)
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
Two experts will examine a Springfield hospital building window that some people say contains an image of the Virgin Mary, hospital officials said today.
One will be an engineer who is an expert on the structure and properties of glass and the other will be a restoration professional with expertise working with churches, Mercy Medical Center officials said.
“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, senior vice president for strategy and marketing, said in a statement.
Crowds continued to flock to the hospital, with about 200 people outside the doctor’s office window at midday, said Mary Orr, a hospital spokeswoman.
Thousands of people have flocked to see the window since a patient first reported seeing the Virgin Mary's image at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, officials have said.
The officials said that parking on the hospital campus has become a problem and asked people who want to see the window 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 experts.
“Statues, paintings, portraits and images all serve to remind us of the reality of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s influence in our lives. But the reality is not found in the statues, paintings, portraits and images; the reality is much more than that," Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell said Wednesday in a statement. "The prayers of people are always powerful and I truly hope that at Mercy Hospital, those gathering are praying for the people in the hospital as well as the sick and infirm throughout our world.”
It’s not the first time that some people have thought they have seen the Virgin Mary in a hospital window in Massachusetts. In 2003, thousands were drawn to Milton Hospital to see what some said was the image in a third-story window of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus.
The Archdiocese of Boston said the image was not a miraculous appearance, but was caused by chemical deposits building up inside the window.
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