What is being described as a miraculous portrait of Christ has appeared as a shadow on a column next to a statue of Jesus at a New Orleans school chapel, a phenomenon which is drawing thousands of visitors.
The shadow, which many say resembles the face of a bearded man with a crown of thorns on his head, was first noticed at Ursuline Academy at the end of March, WDSU.com reported.
"It's an incredible feeling. You have a feeling of… it's a miraculous sort of thing. A feeling of comfort in these difficult times," shared Greta Trotter, a visitor who came to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor chapel to see the shadow for herself.
According to the sisters who run the chapel, the only explanation for the Jesus-like portrait is the chandelier above it, where the light filtering through is casting the shadow reflecting on the column. When they turn on the chandelier, the image disappears. What they admit is strange and hard to explain, however, is why no one has ever noticed the image until just a couple of weeks before Easter.
The Jesus-like shadow has proven so popular that Ursuline Academy has decided to keep its doors open for longer hours, allowing the thousands of visitors who have come to see the image time to do so. It has even been forced to hire security because of the sheer number of people stopping by.
Many testimonies of people who have seen the shadow attest to its inspiring yet peaceful aura.
"You can definitely feel the presence," expresses another visitor, Darlene Carter. "I have pictures of it on my phone. It's my wallpaper now, and you just know that it is what you see."
"I'm very impressed. I'm a little emotional," added another, Claire Bergeron. "There is definitely, in my opinion, the image of a man on the pillar."
"If, when we experience that image, we feel God's unconditional love for us, that's the greatest gift of all," said Sister Carla Dolce, who heads the chapel. "When we leave the shrine with that experience the world will be a kinder and gentler place."
Other recent alleged sightings of Jesus appearing near Easter-time include an image on the back of a sting-ray, which was found on a beach by a South Carolina girl, who took a photo of it and uploaded it on Twitter.