In a story that has electrified Christians worldwide, an image that appears to be the face of Jesus Christ has been discovered within another image of the face of Jesus Christ.
Believers and reporters alike have begun flocking to the Cathedral of St. Genesius in Colorado Springs, CO — specifically to the northeastern corner of the church, which features a small enclosed altar for private worship before an icon of Jesus. It is within the details of this icon’s face that another, smaller image of Jesus has been discovered.
“I’ve been coming here for years,” says Sabrina Thwaite, 78, who first recognized the image late Sunday afternoon. “After mass, I always go to brunch. Then after brunch, I come back to the church to say my rosary at the little altar.” Staring into the icon, she began to feel “possessed by the holy spirit” and started studying a detail she had never paid attention to in the shading just under the left eye. “And then it just sort of appeared to me, clear as day. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it for all these years!”
“It is certainly a blessing we are proud to have in our church,” says Fr. James Bellamy, who has led mass at St. Genesius for 23 years. “That being said, it has caused certain, er… logistical difficulties, so to speak.”
The difficulties that Fr. Bellamy so delicately refers to are the non-stop stream of visitors and worshipers who now crowd the the northeastern corner of the church at all hours, making regular church business all but impossible. As of last week, regular services at St. Genesius have been indefinitely postponed, and the congregation now meets in the basement of the much smaller St. Alban’s, three blocks away.
Back at St. Genesius, the church has made changes to accommodate the crowds. Portable toilets have been placed in the opposite corner of the cathedral to accommodate worshipers who wait up to four hours in a long line that snakes around pillars and pews. Within the tiny dark enclosure, which holds up to four people, a special new kneeling bench has been placed so that one visitor at a time can sit just inches from the painting, whose newly discovered detail is featured by a narrow spotlight.
“It was amazing,” says Linda Carter of Birmingham, England after emerging from the tiny enclosure. “I’ve been a Christian all my life, but I suppose in a way I’ve been waiting for a confirmation of my beliefs. And this is it, undoubtedly. They say you find things where you least expect them, but that’s not always true. It’s as though he’s just popped out and said ‘It’s me!'”