of Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus on a Boston hospital window
Our Lady's miraculous image about abortion?
is not a Catholic hospital, it also does not approve of or perform abortions.
It is about to merge with another hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center would not confirm that the hospital offers
the procedure that may perform abortions so the article states.
The Image appears on a eye doctors
office window. Our Lord and Lady want us to see!
Note: current updates are added
at bottom of page
June 12, 2003 Reported in the Boston Herald.com written by Jennifer Rosinski.
Some see the Madonna in a window, whether it's a vision sent down from God or
condensation collected between two window panes, an image of what believers call
the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus has drawn droves to Milton Hospital since Tuesday.
picture on a medical building second-floor window first drew attention from workers
and patients Tuesday morning, said a hospital official who claims condensation
has discolored the glass for years. Others are not so scientific.
bizarre. We're not crazy; we're nurses," cardiac nurse Sarah Johnson told
The Patriot Ledger."I said a Hail Mary when I saw it. I was like, "Oh,
My God!" Yesterday, a parking
lot next to the medical building filled with a group of nuns and parents who brought
their children, all of them snapping pictures. And motorists circled the lot while
craning their necks.
and staff at St. Elizabeth's Church have been buzzing about the image for the
past two days, said the Rev. Gilbert Phinn, who stopped by yesterday to check
it out himself. "It's a rather remarkable thing. I don't know how it happened,"
he said."All I can say is anything that inspires devotion is a good thing
and that's certainly what this is doing."
Friday, June 13, 2003 Devout pray at image; Many see Mary, baby in window
June 13, 2003 Reported in the The Patriot Ledger. Written by Don Conkey. Pilgrimage
to local hospital: Milton - Some people wouldn't drive half a mile to see what
might be nothing more than condensation on a window. But, Laurene Viglione thought
it was important enough to drive for an hour, and then stay for an hour more once
she got here.
came specifically to see the image on the glass. I have a great devotion to Our
Lady, to the Blessed Mother,'' said Viglione, who came to Milton with her husband
Donald yesterday afternoon from their home in Newburyport. The
object of their attention was the window at Milton Hospital that some say contains
an image of the Virgin Mary with a child.
staff first saw the image on the third-floor window of a medical office late Tuesday
morning. A white, frosty substance on the window outlines a shadowy image that
looks like a figure standing with a baby in its arms.
Vigliones were among many people to gaze at the window yesterday from the parking
lot behind the hospital's medical office building. Laurene Viglione said her hour
there was time well spent. I
prayed with special rosary beads. They were my deceased mother's, and they have
special significance to me,'' Viglione said today. I
bought the beads for my mother when I was a little child, about 10 or 11 years
old, back in the 1950s,'' she said. Yesterday,
as she prayed, she thought of her mother.
she never once thought that the image in the window was anything other than the
image she had come to see.To
me, it was the image of the Blessed Mother holding the baby child. Our Lady has
appeared many times before in the world, so it is not surprising to me that she
would appear again.
is a reason for the image on the window: it's because of the evils that are in
the world today," Viglione said.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003 Hospital said to seek help on Virgin image
of request made to church in dispute
in the Boston Globe.com written by Douglas Belkin. Milton - Overrun with worshipers
praying before a likeness of the Virgin Mary in a third-story window, Milton Hospital
officials have asked the Archdiocese of Boston to caution people against placing
faith in the image, a church official confirmed yesterday.
of the likeness, which hospital officials say is made by a chemical deposit inside
a sealed window, began to spread last week. Over the weekend, more than 25,000
people crowded onto the grounds to see it, officials said. Richard P. Ward, the hospital's chairman and a senior partner at the law firm
of Ropes & Gray, denied asking the church to deflate interest in the window
''We can't take a position
on the apparition,'' Ward said. ''Obviously, there has been a significant outpouring
of sincere religious belief, and I want to be sure the hospital doesn't do anything
sacrilegious or is in any way disrespectful to the Virgin Mary.''A
church official said the hospital has asked the archdiocese for help in cautioning
people against placing faith in the image. In the past, church leaders have been
reluctant to comment one way or the other on such phenomena.
a statement released to the news media yesterday, the hospital asked people to
limit their visiting hours to between 5:30 and 8:30 in the evening. But hospital
officials said that solution is temporary and they are waiting for the diocese's
counsel before taking further steps. In a separate statement, Ward wrote, ''The
Hospital has no official position with respect to the issue of an apparition and
is seeking assistance from the Chancery on a resolution of that question.''
afternoon, the parking lot was again crowded with visitors who had come from as
far away as Rhode Island to look at the milky-white shape. Milton police said
they had made no arrests or even received any complaints about the crowds.
a hospital spokeswoman said, the problem was one of sheer volume. Parking for
staff and visitors, already tight, has been diminished as an entire lot has been
roped off for visitors to stand in. Janitors haven't been able to keep the bathrooms
clean and stocked and the grounds free of trash. One nurse said she had become
so annoyed by the crowds that she wanted to throw a rock through the window.
the mood yesterday, even with hundreds of people filtering through, was quietly
reverential. Several women stood beneath the window fingering rosaries; one of
the women had tears rolling down her face. A dozen bouquets of flowers were left
at the wall -- next to a hospital sign that said all objects would be removed
Among the half dozen
letters was a sonogram of a fetus with the mother's note asking the ''Blessed
Mother to please be with me at the delivery room . . . and to help me, protect
me and guide me and every member of my family.''
the authenticity of the apparition was questioned by more than one member of the
hospital staff, few -- if any of the visitors -- doubted that she was there to
deliver a message. The interpretation of that message, however, varied widely.
the theories was that Mary had come to warn Milton Hospital not to join with Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In February, the two announced they had formed
a clinical affiliation. Milton Hospital does not perform abortions. A spokeswoman
for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center would not confirm that the hospital offers
corner from the likeness of Mary was another chemical spot on another third-story
window. A crowd gathered there as well. Many said the image was of a fetus or
an embryo. Walter V. Robinson of the Globe staff contributed to this article.
This story ran on page B1 of
the Boston Globe on 6/17/2003.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003 Church ponders probe of Milton miracle
pastor of the parish that includes the hospital window some Catholics believe
bears an image of the Virgin Mary refused yesterday to say whether he'd seek an
official church investigation.
rather not comment," said the Rev. Gilbert Phinn, pastor of St. Elizabeth
parish in Milton.
church rules, the local pastor usually initiates a probe into a possible miracle.
Phinn has not done so in the case of the hospital window, which drew an esimated
20,000 visitors last weekend, said the Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for
the Archdiocese of Boston.
said church officials have not ruled on the validity of the image, but they are
consulting with other dioceses that have dealt with similar situations. "If
it leads to a deepening of faith . . . it's a good thing," he said. "If
it leads to superstition or despair or hurt, then it would be problematic."
Wednesday, June 18, 2003 Miracle
Alleged Apparition of Virgin Mary Draws Crowds at Mass. Hospital
in the Associated Press. Written by Jennifer Peter - Milton, Mass. Five years
have passed, at least, since the seal broke in the third-floor window at Milton
Hospital, turning the glass a blotchy white. But only last week did the murky
patches begin taking on a form that without much imagination looks
very much like a robed Madonna, with bowed head. And is that a craggy rock she's
"It seems like
every day it gets clearer," said Sharon McGarty, of Braintree, an office
administrator for a doctor who works across the hall from eye examination room
where the image appeared. "It used to look like just a dirty window. Why
did the vision all of a sudden pop out to people?"
of the vision has spread through media and word-of-mouth, drawing more than 25,000
believers to the hospital's nondescript brick wall and turning it into an impromptu
religious shrine. Dozens of bouquets have been placed beneath it. One hospital
worker saw a mother bring her son, who uses a wheelchair, to touch the wall with
"The message I
think that she is trying to relay is that we need to pray for peace, for a stop
to abortion, for a conversion of sinners," said John Pires, 59, of Flagler
Beach, Fla., who said the rosary with his wife in the parking lot below the window
today. "Whether or not it's a true apparition, it's a sign to us."
Pires is kind of an expert on these kinds of things. He and his wife, Diane, also
saw the image of the
Virgin Mary in the window of an insurance company in Clearwater, Fla. "That
one was in color," Diane Pires said.
Safety Issue - Officials at the hospital about 10 miles south of Boston have sought
advice from the Archdiocese of Boston about the phenomenon, and issued a statement
this week, asking visitors to view the image only between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Hospital respects fully the religious beliefs of the many viewers and is seeking
advice from the Chancery on what appropriate steps to take," the hospital's
statement read. "In the meantime, a substantial safety issue has arisen that
jeopardizes the ability of the hospital to do its charitable work."
hospital's parking lot looks like a mall's on Christmas Eve, with cars circling
the aisles looking for spaces. Private security guards have been installed at
the entrance to direct traffic.
Basic Explanation - Hospital officials and experts on the phenomenon have said
the seemingly miraculous image is simply the product of a spreading chemical deposit
trapped within the window pane.
phenomenon is basically the human ability to see pictures out of randomness. There
are trillions of these and they just wait for someone to notice them," said
Joe Nickell, a senior research fellow at the Committee for the Scientific Investigation
of Claims of the Paranormal. "This one's pretty good, as things go, but there's
nothing miraculous about it. It's almost anti-miraculous, because its cause is
that to Isabel Beaulieu, of Mansfield, who brought her nephew to see the image
on Sunday, two days before he underwent surgery to replace a piece of his skull.
were told it would last four to six hours, but it only last one and a half,"
said Beaulieu, who visited the hospital wall again today. "I think it worked."
medical practitioners are beginning to believe that the image in the window is
more than a bit of condensation."There's
no doubt in my mind," said Marie Passi, a medical assistant to a cardiologist
at the hospital.And why this particular
window at this particular hospital? Alexandra Zahak, for one, has a theory.
eye doctor works in that office," said Zahak, of West Newton, who plans to
visit the hospital every day. "She's trying to tell us to open up our eyes."
19, 2003 Pilgrim rush forces
Virgin Mary cover-up
in Reuters.com - Faced with a rush of pilgrims, a Massachusetts hospital says
it will cover a shimmering image of the Virgin Mary in the window of an office
building for most of the day to avoid further disruption. On Wednesday evening
hospital staffers lowered a weighted tarp from the roof over the window where
believers say the mother of Jesus Christ gazes down on them. The image was first
seen last week.
people to visit the window only between 5:30 and 8:30 in the evening so that the
crowds won't interfere with hospital activities. But that wasn't working and so
we made the decision to uncover the window only during those hours," said
Susan Schepici, a spokeswoman at Milton Hospital. Still
people are flocking to the community hospital at all hours, Schepici said, counting
about 30 people staring at the covered window this morning.
doesn't seem to matter if it is covered or not. We have had a steady stream of
between 50 and 100 people during the last few days and the crowd grows to about
200 at night. People bring flashlights to see the image," she said.
Saturday, June 21, 2003 Hospital Forced To Hide Madonna
in the The Boston Channel.com Milton, Mass. - Since an image that some interpret
as the Virgin Mary appeared in a Milton Hospital window last week, the crowds
have become overwhelming.
Newscenter 5's Jim Boyd reported that hospital
officials felt that they needed to take some measures to try to reduce the numbers
and to keep the traffic flowing in and out of the facility.
mid-afternoon a tarp hung over the window covering, what many say, was the image
of the Virgin Mary.
Some left money,
some flowers, some simply prayed or stood below the covered image. "I
think they feel if the lady is present, they would get a type of healing they
needed -- physically, spiritually and mentally," said one visitor.
Hospital has been inundated with visitors to view the window. An estimated 25,000
people jammed the parking lot over the weekend and hospital official tried posting
signs restricting viewing hours to 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., but still people came
throughout the day to see the miracle. So on Thursday, they began covering the
window during non-viewing times.
very disappointed. I should be able to see it. It is a gift from God -- the vision
of the Virgin Mary. It is very frustrating," said a visitor.
the 5:30 p.m. viewing time approached, the crowds began to gather to see the miracle
image. "I bring my kids here --
hopefully it will bring some inner peace to them and to me ," said another
visitor. "The lord is trying to
give us all a message, to mankind, to repent and change our ways," another
Many of the people
who were here throughout the afternoon said they were disappointed that the window
was covered. But clearly, given the crowds that continue to flock to the parking
lot, the hospital had to do something to moderate the crowds and the people who
need to come in and out of the hospital during the day.
Saturday, June 21, 2003 Seeing
Globe.com - Written by Joseph P. Kahn. When images of the Virgin Mary appear,
the faithful flock to them. Where some
see mineral deposits, others see divinity. Where
some simply see a clouded pane of glass, others are awed by a likeness of the
Virgin Mary, gazing down upon a narrow patch of lawn that has sprouted fresh-cut
flowers and votive candles this week as thousands of devout Catholics gathered
outside Milton Hospital to pray.
where many now stare at a blue tarpaulin flapping in the breeze that obscures
their view of the window, some also see red. Their frustration is another indication
of how high passions have been stirred by this event, which many regard as a genuine
miracle - a sign from on high that all is not right with the world, if not with
the church itself.
a shame. They shouldn't cover her like that," said Alice Phinney of Brockton
on Thursday, looking up at the hospital window and frowning at the obstructed
view. "I just love her so much."As for any specific message being imparted
to those who come to the site, Phinney squinted in the sunshine and considered
the question. "To bring the world together, I guess," she said.
friend Charles Regas, who accompanied Phinney from Brockton, nodded. He saw something
similar 50 years ago in Greece, where he was born. "I'll never forget it,"
he said. Regas said he'd heard the Milton apparition had been triggered by the
prayers of a hospital patient facing a difficult operation. Others have offered
differing explanations for the "miracle," and its timing, ranging from
the problems besetting the Boston Archdiocese to the merger of Milton Hospital
with a hospital that may perform abortions.
interpretation is levied upon it, the image that mysteriously surfaced on a third-floor
window has drawn huge crowds, prompting hospital officials to institute safety
measures. A sign now states that the tarp will only be removed from 5:30 to 8:30
p.m. daily to address ''substantial access and safety issues.''
even a plastic sheet can dissuade the faithful, though. With each breeze, the
tarp lifts just enough to provide a tantalizing glimpse of what everyone has come
to see. ''Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!'' one man cried Thursday as
the window came into full view.
aware of it or not, those descending upon Milton are part of a storied history
of Marian visions and visitations, dating back to 40 AD. Most famously in recent
history have been reported visitations in Fatima, Portugal 1917, and Lourdes,
France 1858, both of which have been authenticated by the Catholic Church. Another
significant visitation occurred in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1981. It
has lured an estimated 17 million pilgrims but has not yet received the church's
in 1992, a Marlboro Township, N.J., man drew thousands to his home after claiming
the Virgin Mary paid visits to him on the first Sunday of each month. During Christmas
week in 1996, nearly half a million people flocked to an office building in Clearwater,
Fla., where a two-story tall, rainbow-colored image of the Virgin Mary materialized.
Other incidents involving natural tree formations occurred in Hartford, Conn.,
and Coloma, Calif. In Conyers, Ga., thousands of pilgrims gathered at the farm
of Nancy Fowler, a retired nurse, to hear what they believed was a channeled message
from the Virgin Mary. An image not unlike the one in Milton was sighted in a Perth
Amboy, N.J., apartment building three years ago, with similar results.
Boston Archdiocese "has spoken cautiously" about this latest event,
notes Boston College theology professor Raymond Helmick, SJ. And properly so,
he says, since condensation on a window, however moving, falls somewhat short
of a verifiable miracle - at least so far.
leaders "don't want to pour cold water on it," says Helmeck, "but
in general the church deals rather skeptically with these things. They don't want
people to be deceived. Then again, anything that adds to people's devotion is
seen as a good thing."
University of Kansas professor Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, author of "Encountering
Mary: Visions of Mary From La Salette to Medjugorje," a historical analysis
of Marian visitations, the interesting questions behind such phenomena are: Who
first saw the image? And for what personal reasons did he or she conclude it was
don't even go into the question of whether it's actually the Virgin Mary who's
appearing," says Zimdars-Swartz, who hears of one or two such events per
year. "The real question is, why? It's like a Rorschach test. Someone sees
a pattern of light and dark. I start by assuming that the person looking at it
has a reason for seeing it as a meaningful."
having been to Milton, she guesses the reasons people attach deep meaning to the
current sighting include feelings of uncertainty and turmoil: concerns about the
economy, the war in Iraq, and what they sense is a fraying of the country's moral
"When people get
together like this, they reinforce their beliefs - and at the same time practice
their defenses against skeptics," Zimdars-Swartz continues. In class, she
says, she shows students images like the Clearwater one, but without accompanying
clues. Usually the students see nothing special, Zimdars-Swartz says. Next she'll
show a slide of, say, flowers laid at the site, and the students suddenly see
what fascinates everyone else.
line is, people come to these sites with a perceptual filter," she says.
David Frankfurter, a professor of relgious studies at the University of New Hampshire,
notes that while skeptics may dismiss them as being delusional, such phenomena
are more popular than most people think.
America, the interpretations typically espouse extremely conservative messages,"
Frankfurter says." The world is going to hell, and so is the church,' that
sort of thing."
" Nobody worries too much that it's chemicals causing the image in the window.
It has a deeper meaning to them, and that's enough."
the Milton hospital grounds, the wall below the window is lined with dozens of
floral arrangements and other objects: photos of deceased loved ones, a letter
from a US Marine officer stationed in Iraq, bottles of holy water and prescription
pill vials, a plastic collection box containing scores of dollar bills. Visitors
place their hands on the brick wall and bow in prayer. Others finger rosary beads
and stare in silence. French and Portuguese are heard here almost as frequently
For Lori Benedetto
of New Hope, Pa., it is even more than that. "A once-in-a-lifetime experience,"
she called it Thursday while visiting the site with her four young children. As
the tarp flapped, she snapped pictures and said the image "showed people
there's more than war going on, that there's also something good in this world."
she think mineral deposits explained what she was looking at, or was it something
more? ''I've seen condensation on windows and mineral deposits before, and they
don't take that form,'' said Benedetto, shaking her head. Asked how long was she
planning to stay, she smiled: "Until my kids give out
Milton Hospital 92 Highland
Street Milton, MA 02186