Right across from the Holy Cross Church on Cortlandt Street police erected barricades overnight to control a crowd of people that had gathered to see something sacred in the tree bark.
On Sunday, a Sleepy Hollow resident who had probably passed the tree innumerable times, suddenly noticed a pattern resembling the Virgin Mary. The image rests in about a three-inch knot above eye level in the bark of a young, otherwise negligible, tree.
The supposed Virgin, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, is best viewed by early morning light, as one man shared his photo of the tree bark compared to a picture of the Virgin on a seven-day candle, and the resemblance is more apparent. Another man noticed Joseph behind Mary's left shoulder in his photo. People believe her hands are clasped as if in prayer.
The pilgrims are coming. One woman, who said her sister called her after seeing the tree on Channel 12 last night, drove here from Stony Point in Rockland County. Juliette Bosquet is a nurse who works the night shift at Columbia Hospital and she wasn't going to sleep until she got here to find our tree. Bosquet said she had no idea where the tree was and she asked all around the villages until she found her way here to the corner of Chestnut and Cortlandt.
Here, there are lit prayer candles accumulating on the dirt square surrounding the tree, and mostly Latin folks are gathering to talk and take photos. Some seem to be just hanging out, almost guarding their new sacred spot. Spanish-language Channel 41 was there interviewing people on the "miracle."
"It means a lot to me," Bosquet said. "This gives me a lot of hope. I'm from Haiti. You know what my country's about. With all the things going on in Haiti, I should be the first one to believe."
"This really is true," Bosquet said. "If you really look at it, you can see the face."
Have you seen the tree? What do you think? Photos and/or comments, share them here.