What a bummer! Virgin Mary is slowly leaving the hospital!

Here she was last year, when any idiot could clearly make her out.

An image many of the faithful took as a miraculous manifestation of the Virgin Mary is fading from the window at Mercy Hospital where it appeared in September 2008.

The rainbow-hued image is slowly being replaced by a white crystalline residue, said Mark M. Fulco, senior vice president for strategy and marketing at Mercy. The fading bolsters expert opinion that the image was caused by moisture infiltrating between the panes of glass through a faulty rubber seal.

Now that the window has been removed and stored, the water is evaporating and leaving behind the white residue.

[Last year,] word of the image spread quickly. Soon large crowds had gathered in the parking lot below, many clutching pictures of Mary or reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a number of languages. A makeshift shrine of flowers and votive candles grew near the building entrance.

The vision placed Mercy, a Catholic institution affiliated with the Sisters of Providence, in a quandary because the devotion was holding up the window replacement work. After eight days, Mercy had workers gingerly remove the window, place it in a specially built case and take it to a storage location that Fulco said he cannot identify even to this day for fear of crowds gathering at the storage site.

This last paragraph borders on the hilarious. I can just hear the workmen muttering, “Cripes!”

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