Envisioning A Virgin In A Tree

Do You See The Virgin Mary In This NJ Tree?

Hundreds of people have been flocking to a tree in West New York, NJ because some think they see the Virgin Mary in the bark. Resident Eva Copantitla told the Jersey Journal that she spotted it on Tuesday afternoon: “She then informed Mayor Felix Roque, who allowed flowers to be placed at the base of the tree. ‘Most of the people believe it’s a miracle,’ Copantitla said, adding that she believes it will bring the people of West New York together.” {read more} Gothamist

I know that it’s none of my business but what would the Virgin Mary be doing in a tree over in New Jersey? If she came this far, why become rooted in West New York when New York is only about 15 miles away? There’s an abundant assortment of trees (if that’s what the Virgin Mary prefers nowadays) and passersby in Central Park to satisfy a miraculous appearance.

I’m a third-generation Italian-American from a predominately Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn (Bensonhurst); needless to say, I’m a Catholic (a lingering Catholic, at least). Miracles or visions, such as this Virgin Mary Tree, are as old as the hills. When I was growing up, in the 50s/ 60s, the oldsters (our grandparents, etc.) would regale us younger people with a cornucopia of pious if incredible tales imported from the Old World.

The stories, along with our grandparents’ generation, died out in the 70s/ 80s; however, over the past 10 years, the stories appear to be making a comeback. Perhaps, in these uncertain times, more and more people are finding comfort in the nostalgia of communal and familial religiosity that they experienced as children; if anything, their imagination seems to have acquired a heightened originality.