Pope John Paul II ‘appears’ in bonfire vision
From Mother Theresa in a cinammon bun, to the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich – images resembling religious icons are regularly spotted in unlikely places.
Now this fiery figure – photographed in a bonfire in Poland – is being hailed as Pope John Paul II making an appearance from beyond the grave.
Dressed in robes, slightly hunched and his right hand raised in blessing, the image appeared during a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the pontiff’s death.
The photograph has since been shown repeatedly on Italian television, and a religious website displaying the image crashed as thousands logged on to see it for themselves.
The bonfire was lit during a service on April 2, at Beskid Zywiecki – near the Holy Father’s birthplace in Wadowice, southern Poland.
Hundreds attended the ceremony and Polish cameraman Gregorz Lukasik captured the image on his new camera.
He contacted Father Jarek Cielecki, director of Rome’s Vatican News Service and a close friend of John Paul II, who then travelled to Poland himself.
Mr Lukasik said: “It was only afterwards when I got home and looked at the pictures that I realised I had something.
“I showed them to my brother and sister and they, like me, were convinced the flames had formed the image of Pope John Paul II.
“There is a tongue of flame to one side which resembles his right arm raised as if giving a blessing.
“I was so happy with the picture that I showed it to our local bishop who said that Pope John Paul had made many pilgrimages during his life and he was still making them in death.”