Could this be the first Marian miracle on a cell phone?
This is a story that Brooklyn pastor Father Patrick Longalong posted today on his Facebook page.
I share it with his blessing:
An NYPD cop who had gone through a rough situation suddenly saw this image of Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms in his cellphone.
Father Patrick explained how it came about:
A friend just sent me this picture, asking me if I knew the name of the image. He said, “Long story.” I told him it is Our Lady of the Milk.
And he told me the story:
His friend [the NYPD cop] was taking pictures of himself with his family but when he looked in the phone, all the pictures that he took were gone except for this one.
He didn’t recognize it and didn’t remember taking it. He was concerned where it came from, so he took it to the Apple store to ask if it got transferred accidentally or what.
They told him there was no indication that it was transferred over, or that anybody sent it to him.
The picture had to have been created in the phone.
He started asking people he knew (priests, relatives, friends) if they could identify the image. No one could give him a definite answer.This went on for two years, until he showed it to my friend, who then sent it to me, to see if I recognized it.
It is Our Lady of the Milk (Nuestra Señora de la Leche), which is the oldest Marian shrine in the U.S. It is as if this picture was taken by someone who went to that shrine in St. Augustine, Florida.
However, apparently, the owner of the phone was never there.
Bottom line: No one could explain how the image ended up in the phone.
Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche
Located at the center of the tranquil grounds of Mission Nombre de Dios is the chapel which houses a replica of the statue of Our Lady of La Leche and provides visitors with a quiet place to pray.
Our Lady of La Leche is the first shrine dedicated to Our Blessed Mother in the United States. The history of the devotion to the Mother of Jesus as Our Lady of La Leche may have roots in a 4th Century grotto in Bethlehem. To this day the Franciscan community maintains a shrine there called the Milk Grotto. Its centerpiece is the Blessed Virgin nursing the infant Jesus. Many believe that the crusaders brought the devotion to Mary as a nursing mother to Spain in the Middle Ages. During the reign of Phillip III in Spain, word spread of a woman and her baby, both expected to die during the birth of the child, who were spared as a result of the intercession of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery). The statue, placed in a Cathedral by Phillip III, soon found a place in the hearts of many throughout Spain. By the early 1600s the devotion, under the title of Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto, had a special place in the lives of the Spanish settlers and the converted Native People in St. Augustine. It was on these same Mission grounds that the Spanish built the first Marian Shrine in the land, a devotion that continues to this present day. Thousands of visitors and pilgrims make their way to the Shrine every year. Many ask for the blessings of motherhood, beseeching the intercession of Our Lady of La Leche that God will grant them a safe and happy delivery, and healthy children. Many write requesting remembrances in Masses and prayers not only for motherhood but for petitions and intentions of all kinds. All who visit the Shrine find it to be a place of spiritual comfort and renewal.