London, Aug 28 (ANI): An uncanny likeness of the Virgin Mary formed into the bark of a suburban tree has left local residents wondering if their neighbourhood has been blessed.
Christopher Moreau, who first spotted the tree's markings in his neighbour's garden in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, believes that it may have helped the health of his mother-in-law, who recently recovered from cancer.
"At first I thought I was seeing things. Then I went and got my mother-in-law to tell her. She was overwhelmed by it. She was crying," Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"I don't know why it's there, but I think it's a blessing," he told the Toronto Star newspaper, adding that he hoped it would help others looking for a miracle.
"She's not there just for me. She's there to share," he added.
Eulalee Hamilton, Moreau's neighbour and the owner of the tree, said that she was happy for people to come see the likeness as long as they did not damage her garden.
Laughing off suggestions that it was a sign from God, she said that the Virgin Mary image was just the scarring from a limb that was cut off the tree a year ago.
"Chris can have all the people he wants on his back deck but I don't really want people trampling on my garden," she said.
A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto said that it does not investigate the veracity of such "appearances".
There have been hundreds of "sightings" of the Virgin Mary down the centuries, but recent years have seen her appearing in ever more unusual places. (ANI)