By Michael H. Brown
WE REPORT — YOU DISCERN: THOSE IMAGES NEAR BOSTON
Taken from a farther perspective, this photo, sent to us by Sister Margaret Coyne of Portland, Maine, shows the striking nature of the image formed in condensation inside a window at an office at Milton Hospital about ten miles from Boston. The seeming phenomenon has been attracting crowds for the past two weeks. Some believe the message is connected with a coming merger between Milton, which does not do abortion, and a hospital that does. Below, another window at the hospital that reminds many of an unborn baby. Yet a third holy representation is seen on a chimney.
Milton Madonna Bathed In Color: Proof Of Miracle To Some; Proof Of Science To Others
By Michael H. Brown
The Patriot Ledger in Massachusetts reports that a greenish spot has formed around the “stomach” of the Milton Hospital window image that many believe is an apparition of the Virgin Mary.
“A window image that some consider a likeness of the Virgin Mary has taken on an iridescence, convincing some of its heavenly origins and others of an earthly explanation,” reports Jessica Van Sack. “The ‘Milton Madonna,’ a monochrome silhouette that has enraptured 50,000 visitors to Milton Hospital since it was first noticed on June 10, now has small patches of green, blue, yellow and red. To believers, it is another sign that the mother of Jesus has come to reassure the church, the nation or the world. To skeptics, it’s just more evidence of a faulty window seal.”
According to the report, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, when a security guard removed the blue tarpaulin to reveal the image for its daily viewing hours, the regulars squinted, pointed at the iridescent spots, and chattered about ”another miracle.”
”I want to cry,” said Krystyna Mateli, 24, of Dorchester, surrounded by her extended family.
Doreen Gianci, 46, of Holbrook said she goes to see the image almost every day. She brought her seven children with her on Tuesday.
”I feel like it’s a magnet like I’m drawn to it,” she said. ”The people are really hungry for God here.”
One skeptic attributes the perception that the image is Mary to a phenomenon called pareidolia, a psychological term for the mind’s obsessions with finding patterns in essentially random objects, from clouds to wood grain. ”Old bottles have an iridescence. One sees iridescence on glass,” Nickel said. ”It’s obviously nothing very mysterious.” The newspaper reports, however, that while “product technicians at Andersen Windows said cracks in double-pane windows often cause a large, circular, cloudy formation on the windows that can be permanent, like a greenhouse effect, they could not explain the colors.”
Patricia S. Brown, director of the Architectural Engineering Institute at the American Society of Civil Engineers, said there are many variables that could contribute to effects in the window.
The window is in the rear of the ophthalmology clinic at a medical office building. It is covered by drywall that blocks the light and frustrates further study, but which also eliminates any possibility of a hoax.
The large crowds of the first few weeks have subsided, but hundreds of regulars still visit to sing hymns, say prayers and gaze longingly at the image.
Theories abound. To some, the appearance has a healing influence on an archdiocese wounded by a clergy sex scandal. To others, its placement in Milton, the birthplace of former President George Bush, is a sign for the nation or the world. “The hospital is still awaiting guidance on how to proceed from the Archdiocese of Boston,” says the Ledger.
The iridescence is not the only perceived addition to the Milton mystery. Last week, gazers spotted a cross in a faint discoloration on the chimney bricks, and around another corner, talk circulated of another window image looking like Jesus. There was also a second window with what looked strikingly like a fetus, but according to the Washington Post, hospital officials have removed that window.