Images of the Madonna in Texas
by Bob Arthur
Since 8 September 1997, thousands have come to see an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe or Madonna that is visible on a glass door located in the leasing office of The Nook Apartments on Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio, Texas.
The image was discovered on 1 June 1997 by apartment manager Brandy Zamora. However, Mrs Zamora was not certain about what she was seeing, and resumed her duties for the rest of the day. The following day the image was even more noticeable, she said, and kept pulling my attention all day long. The image remained and seemed to be getting stronger each day, yet no one else noticed anything unusual on the door except to say that the door needed cleaning. Since she had already cleaned the door, she remained quiet about her experience, content simply to be in the presence of the image that was daily becoming more prominent. As she would pray and place her hands on the glass, the image would intensify in color and she would feel something like electricity going through her body, and a sense of peace.
Near the end of July, Mrs Zamora's husband, Richard, noticed the image and brought it to his wifeís attention. They agreed that the Madonna was clearly visible. But others still failed to see anything unusual on the door, so the Zamoras decided to remain silent about their experience.
Things changed on 8 September 1997 when Carlos, the maintenance man, was called to the office to assist a tenant. As he hurried past the office door he suddenly felt as if someone ìgrabbedî his shoulders and turned him back to focus on the image. He immediately recognized the image as the Virgin of Guadalupe, and excitedly reported it to the Zamoras, who confirmed that they could also see the image which they believed to be the Madonna.
From that day on, others began to see the image and word spread quickly of the miraculous event. Local television stations have featured stories about the miracle and the Zamoras estimate that over 5,000 people have come to view the image and pray, sometimes reduced to tears in the presence of the Madonna. The head, shoulders and arm of the image are adorned with a finish similar to mother of pearl, and within the form are many colors including green, blue, purple and rose. In the area where the baby Jesus is cradled, the head of Jesus is bathed in a rich rose-pink color.
During a recent discussion about the Madonna which took place near the image, the colors of the image seemed to intensify, with the image becoming even more visible. Several small white crosses also appear on the door. Glass experts have inspected the door and assure the Zamoras that the image in the glass is unique.
There have been stories of miracles occurring at the site, including one about a blind woman who, when led to the door, stated that she could see the image. Thinking that the woman saw the image in her mindís eye, Mr Zamora was startled when she repeated her claim and proceeded to trace precisely with her finger the outline of the Madonna. Another woman, who had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, visited the image and prayed for healing. Afterwards, exploratory surgery revealed no signs of the disease. She credits her healing to the Madonna.
The Zamoras consider the image a miracle and a blessing, and invite people to visit the site and decide for themselves. Some have asked the Zamoras why the Madonna is appearing at this apartment complex. Mrs Zamora says that since the apartment complex is located in the heart of a medical center, where many people have severe medical problems: "Why not here?"
Since 14 December 1997, an image that many believe to be the Madonna has appeared and continues to be visible on a window in the home of Mrs Antonia Longoria in Floresville, Texas, about 30 miles south of San Antonio.
Upon returning home after visiting a relative for several days, Mrs Longoria's daughter, Delores Trevino, called her into the front room of her home. Delores had noticed something unusual in one of the windows, and wanted an unbiased opinion as to what it was. Mrs Longoria replied that she saw the Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as the Madonna. Amazed, Mrs Longoria called several neighbors as well as a priest to her home. All recognized it as an image of the Madonna on the window.
News of the miraculous image spread quickly and people from as far away as Hawaii and Brazil have come to view it. Many view the ethereal image in amazement and awe; others stand in tears in its presence. One family credits the Madonna with reuniting them. They had not been together for 20 years and just happened to come to see the Madonna on the same day.
The hearts of many young people have been touched by the presence of the image. One night Mrs Longoria was awakened at 3 am to find local gang leaders in her front yard weeping while viewing the image. She invited them into her home to visit. The next evening they brought several more gang members to see the image.
Two other windows adjacent to the window bearing the image also have unusual images. People say that they see a small child with hands upraised toward a crowd of beings seemingly suspended in front of and above the child, along with the face of Jesus. Directly above that window is another window where some see angels.
Since World War II, the Virgin of Guadalupe has been the patron saint of Mrs Longoria, who prayed that her husband, then serving in the armed forces, would return home safely. She believes her prayers were heard and answered. Her husband did return home safely, and she has felt a bond with the Madonna up to the present time.
"Since the appearance I sleep in this room. I feel good, and I am happy."
(from Share International, May 1998)