Virgin Mary Image Restored on Underpass

The saga of the Virgin Mary water stain continues, as two car wash employees have restored it.

Virgin Mary Image Restored on Underpass (AP)

A stain on the wall of an expressway underpass that some believe resembles the Virgin Mary is again attracting visitors after two car wash employees cleaned graffiti and brown paint off the image. Rosa Diaz and Anna Reczek used a degreaser to clean the wall Friday on their lunch break.

Onlookers said they again could see the Virgin Mary. The Illinois Department of Transportation has said the stain was likely the result of salt runoff on the emergency turnoff area under the Kennedy Expressway.

A man had scrawled the words “Big Lie” in shoe polish on the image Thursday night, and authorities charged Victor Gonzalez of Chicago with criminal damage to state-supported property, a misdemeanor. Gonzalez, 37, told relatives he believed visitors were worshipping a graven image in violation of the Second Commandment, said Mandy Gonzalez, who identified herself as Gonzalez’s niece.

On Friday, Chicago police directed transportation workers to paint over the image with brown paint for safety reasons.

At this point, it’s time to end the farce. If the DOT painted over the image or safety reasons, these people had no right to remove the paint so that crowds could gather again. Underpasses are there to facilitate vehicular traffic, not religious pilgrimage.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jeff Lege says:

    Praise God for Victor Gonzalez. Telling the truth always costs you something. Writing on public property may have been illegal, but you took a chance for the sake of others. Thank you for the sacrifice Victor, in the name of Jesus Christ.

  2. Of course, if one of these slack-jawed yokels gets blatted by an eighteen-wheeler while praying to Nuestra Virgen de la Mancha Salada, then that God’s will, too. Right?