Faithful Catholics have been flocking to a repaired pothole in Nezahualcóyotl, México state, which residents say bears a miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
According to neighbors, the image appeared on December 9 soon after the pothole was filled for the second time in a row.
The date is holy for Mexican Catholics for it is the day the virgin is said to have first appeared in Mexico, in 1531, to an indigenous man known as Juan Diego.
Benito Juárez residents told the newspaper El Universal that the pothole had been left unrepaired for two years, but then workers showed up to repair it last week. When traffic caused the hole to reopen, a worker came by a second time to fix the hole. That evening, neighbors say, the image of the virgin appeared on the fresh concrete.
Local resident Beatriz Noriega Ramírez was one of a group of neighbors who taped off the site and surrounded it with candles and flowers in tribute.
“News is already circulating about the appearance of [the virgin] and people have begun to arrive to say prayers,” she said. “Even sick people have been asking from their cars to be healed.”
Catholics just marked the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day on Saturday. Her basilica, in a zone of the city known as Villa Guadalupe, usually attracts 8–10 million visitors in the days leading up to December 12. However, this year police-manned barricades kept all but locals from accessing the streets near the basilica on Friday and Saturday. All church activities on both days at the basilica were canceled to discourage large crowds.
Neighbors of the new virgin told reporters that they felt blessed to have Mexico’s most beloved holy figure make an appearance in their neighborhood.
“In these such difficult pandemic times, it’s a message that the virgin is with us,” said a visibly emotional resident.
Source: El Universal (sp)