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May 10, 2006

Image of Christ On Rock In Mexico Draws Believers

Topics: Faith

An image that resembles Jesus Christ on a rock is drawing hundreds of believers to the mountains of Mexico's southern Chiapas state. Roman Catholic Bishop Felipe Arismendi Esquivel of the San Cristobal Dioceses said he has seen photos of the image but the church must investigate before determining its authenticity, and appropriately offered the guarded comment that "if these methods help people to live more united in Huitepec, to strengthen their faith, then good, but I hope that they don't rely on something (to bring about miracles) that has not been adequately proven":

Gregorio Gomez, a 57-year-old Tzotzil, said a voice told him in a dream last month he would find an image of Christ on a rock.

Last week, he stumbled across the image as he was walking near his village Santa Anita, on Huitepec mountain, rising 2,270 metres above sea level.

"I saw it and there was Christ," said Gomez, standing in front of the rock marked with what appeared to be part of a face and body.

News of the apparition travelled quickly and hundreds of people have since hiked to the stone to see it and leave a candle.

The Church has made it quite clear that the faithful do not worship the wood, paint, image or stone of an icon, but deeply respect and venerate the person depicted. The Church has also made a clear distinction between adoration (i.e., worship, due to God alone) and veneration (i.e., deep respect). The pagans worshiped idols because they believed that the deity was present in the stone or wood. The Orthodox make no such claim concerning icons. Icons are only images of the person depicted, and so "the faithful" don't venerate the image or object but the person whose image it bears.

More on icons in the Church here...

Posted by Richard at May 10, 2006 6:49 AM



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