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Hospital to Keep Cover Over Image

June 20, 2003|From Reuters

BOSTON — Faced with a rush of pilgrims, a Massachusetts hospital Thursday said it would continue to cover what some say is an image of the Virgin Mary in the window of an office building for most of the day to avoid further disruption at the medical facility.

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.

"We asked 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 hospital south of Boston at all hours, Schepici said.

"It 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," she said.

The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that hospital officials say the image, first seen last week, is made by a chemical deposit inside the window, but Schepici said the hospital has "no official position with respect to the issue of an apparition."

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