Woman claims knot in tree trunk resembles the Virgin Mary
They say you have to see it to believe it.
Forty years ago, Oralia Garcia planted a pecan sapling in her backyard on Hortencia Boulevard, off Southmost Boulevard.
Now at 77 years old, she believes the Virgin Mary has appeared in the bark of the tree to help her with her health problems.
"About a month ago, I saw her," she said, referring to the knot in the trunk of the now imposing tree. The spot, at eye-level with Garcia, resembles a side view of the Virgin Mary in silhouette. Cracks in the wood within the silhouette form a cross. "It's a privilege from God, a protection for our family."
"I feel something when I'm here," said Rosalinda Velez, a neighbor. Velez approached the tree trunk, which now has an altar around the impression of the Virgin, and let her fingertips graze the spot. She made the sign of the cross and stepped away.
"I'm trembling," Velez said, holding out her shaking hand. "I feel like crying."
Garcia's grandson, Ricardo Daniel Hernandez, photographed the tree with his cell phone camera and brought it to Porter High School.
"I showed my friends," he said. "But no one believes it until they come see it."
"Everyone who has come to see it has believed it," said Garcia.
Rev. Juan Pablo Davalos, of Christ the King Church, blessed the tree on Thursday, according to Garcia. Since she first saw the image, Garcia has been telling her friends and neighbors about it.
They come to her backyard where she also grows mangos and watermelons. They say prayers and simply stand together, looking at it.
"When we eat the almonds, they'll be holy almonds," Garcia smiled.
Almonds from a Pecan tree? Well, either you shouldn't believe a damned thing these people say, or it really is a miracle tree.