Post Date: 08/6/2001

Virgin of Spumoni

Ice cream stain thought to be image of Virgin of Guadalupe

Houston (AP) - They've come from far and wide, clutching rosaries and cameras, jostling to peer through the afternoon heat at an improbable shrine on the cement floor of a Houston apartment complex.

In the midst of wilting roses, candles and crosses, they say, the Virgin of Guadalupe, reveals herself to the faithful in an amorphous stain of melted ice cream.

To unfaithful eyes, the crusty smear looks about as earthshaking as, well, a melted popsicle. But ecstatic believers swear they can discern the form of the beloved Mexican idol.

The ice cream was disintegrating fast this week, though someone has placed a glass pane over the smear and hemmed the makeshift frame with duct tape in the the hopes of preserving the image.

The uproar began Monday, when residents picked out the brilliant robes of the Mexican saint in the sticky swirls at the foot of a soda machine. Word spread, and there have been 500 to 800 onlookers from as far away as Miami, Seattle and Canada, said apartment manager Maria Cervantes.
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