Cleanliness is a virtue, especially at one lucky New Jersey car wash where the Virgin Mother herself allegedly appeared Monday in a cloud of smoke. The holy mother's blessed outline materialized in front of Olden Avenue Car Wash attendant Alex Leiva as he was preparing for work at 9:30 a.m., nj1015.com reports.
It was a dramatic arrival for the revered figure, who was preceded by flashing lights and the cloud of smoke, according to Leiva.
As the worker ran toward the building in Ewing, the smoke cleared and the outline of Mary carrying baby Jesus formed in the window of the car wash tunnel, according to The Times of Trenton.
Leiva, who is a native of Honduras, was able to snap a few pictures of the apparition before it disappeared again. He sent the images to his family back home, and local ministers.
Dozens of Virgin Mother sightings are reported each year. (In July, for example, a sighting was reported in a tree trunk in West New York, New Jersey.) So many, in fact, that in May the Vatican actually published an English version of Church rules used to evaluate the various apparitions' authenticity.
According to the guidelines, the authenticity of the vision should be rejected if, for example, alleged viewer of the vision appears to be suffering from a “psychological disorder” or “evidence of a search for profit."
Leiva’s boss William Savage, said he believes his employee of 13 years. “There is no way that he would be making the story up,” Savage said, noting Mary has appeared before but has never stayed long enough to be photographed. Until now, of course.
Although the Olden Avenue Car Wash's Virgin Mary has since disappeared, there is a more permanently protected vision of her outlined in a window in a Georgia car wash, ABC News reports.
Greg and Debbie Sapp, who run the car wash in Jessup, first noticed the image after a window in their home cracked back in 2006. The Sapps consider the vision a miracle, the Sun Sentinel reports, and keep it carefully protected in a climate-controlled room.