Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jesus Bleeds

Thousands of people are descending upon the town of Port Blair in India's Andaman Islands to pray before a policeman's house, where two votive portraits appear to have bled during a period of ten days. Although crowds caused one of the portraits to be temporarily housed in the Anglican Bishop's house, the portraits are now back at the original location.

It's being hailed as a miracle, of course, in a place where at least 7,000 people lost their lives during the terrible tsunami of 2004. But there are those who have suggested that the "blood" is merely the red paint of Jesus' tunic, melting in the humidity.

This article makes sure to note that the crowds are Protestant Christians, which belies other reports that even Hindus and Muslims are gathering to pay homage. A Catholic or two is probably somewhere in the mix.

But dig this sulk from the Catholic Bishop: “I heard about the story, but I have not seen the painting and I do not plan on doing so. In the past there have been similar incidents and so I urge caution in order to avoid fueling false religious sentiments. Now if you will excuse me, I must attend the Confirmation of some young children, something which to me is much more important than this painting.”

The miracle will remain, as always, in the eye of the beholder.


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  4. Port Blair sounds like an interesting place: originally a penal colony on Viper Island where the Brits tossed disloyal Indians into solitary confinement to rot. Wonder whatever happened to the jail and the penalized? No wonder that cop thinks that Jesus is weeping in his house for the sins of the island.

    BTW, love that quote at the end -- weird how that newspaper included that bit about he said "now if you'll just excuse me..."


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