By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
South Padre Parade
The shrouded figure stands in a position familiar to many. She appears to be cupping something in her hands, perhaps what some believe to be the “sacred heart.”
Indeed, the Virgin Mary has for years – centuries – evoked a sense of spirituality, be it new or renewed, among believers and non-believers alike.
Some have even seen her likeness in a number of objects, from food to Walmart receipts. These images, or visions as some have called them, spur parishioners of all faiths to travel wherever the Virgin was seen for the purposes of prayer. Candlelight vigils and shrines have been erected at the sites.
But for San Benito native Rudy Falcon, a construction worker who currently resides in Harlingen, one such image remains propped on his wall at home.
Falcon, 45, said he was in the northern hills of Colorado last fall when he and his 17-year-old son Santana were working on a 200-year-old farm that had been abandoned for some time. There, Falcon said his son discovered something that appeared to like the image of a person on a discarded piece of wood, this while the father and son worked on the floor.
It wasn’t until Falcon looked at it closer that he began drawing comparisons to the Virgin Mary.
“All of a sudden, my son got a glimpse of it, and he showed me,” Falcon said while still displaying a look of amazement a year later. “My first impression: I said, ‘Wow, this is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like this. Am I really seeing what I’m seeing?’”
The source of Falcon’s amazement is due to the detail of the image, he said. “The whole thing… the face, the heart, everything,” Falcon responded when asked what about the wood convinced him he was looking at the Virgin. “It’s something that’s amazing. It’s an image that’s on the grain of the wood there.”
He added, “I told my boy maybe it’s a sign for me to have it or something. So we got it, took it home and cut it.”
At the time, Falcon admitted to not being much of a spiritual person. But he has since thought twice since making the discovery.
“I didn’t really believe in things like this,” Falcon said. “I’ve sort of become a little spiritual now. We’ve been blessed a lot lately when before we had some misfortune. Now it seems as though I have everything.”
It’s hard to believe, but Falcon said within a year’s time of being in possession of the wood, he’s only shown it to three people.
“This one lady I’ve showed it to started crying,” he said. “I then showed it to someone else and he said I had to put it in the News, so people can see it and help them out.”
In fact, Falcon said people who’re interested in seeing the image for themselves are welcome to call his home at (956) 425-1154.
“I wanted to make something to protect it, so I used a shellac finish,” Falcon said. “What I hope people take from it is a sense of amazement and to bless them and help them out.”