search The Miracles Page only
Home Baffling
Christ & Angel
help & healing
statues & icons
Milk drinking
of light
of light

Image of Virgin Mary appears on US building

During three weeks over Christmas 1996, 450,000 people went to view the wall of a black glass building in south Florida where a two-storey-high image of the Virgin Mary had appeared. The rainbow-coloured image on the outside of the Seminole Finance building in Clearwater, Florida, is about 50 feet wide and 35 feet tall, and stretches across nine panes of glass.

Some witnesses said the image began forming about the time of Thanksgiving, in late November. A couple of weeks later, a customer of Seminole Finance called a local television station to say she had seen an image of the Virgin Mary on the building. The station showed pictures of the image during their newscast, and soon large crowds began gathering.

The building of the "Virgin Mary" in Clearwater, Florida
Virgin Mary Building
21649 U.S. 19 N.
Clearwater, Florida 33765
Tel: (001) 727 - 725-9312

"It's quite amazing. It's very spiritual, very peaceful," said Patty Scharn, a receptionist at the building. According to police spokesman Wayne Shelor: "People are making shrines, bringing gifts, candles, flowers, statues. Some have been overwhelmed and fainted. We have the infirm, the disabled in wheelchairs, the blind. They're coming 500 at a time.... But it's not a carnival atmosphere. There is a sense of awe and wonder."

Some visitors said the image was caused by the sun reflecting off water left by sprinklers. A spokesman for the local Catholic diocese said: "There's no reason at this point to think that what's appearing there cannot be explained by natural causes ... We're just telling people to exercise caution. Use some healthy scepticism."

But many who have come to view the image do not need to be convinced of its authenticity. "It was like you're in an angel's arms," said one visitor.

(Sources: Associated Press; Clearwater Times, Petersburg Times, USA; Hamburger Abendblatt, Germany)

(The following report is from Jane Baker who visited Clearwater)

"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."

Editorial note

from: Share International January/February 1997

Reprinted by courtesy of © Share International

Top of the Page