Author Topic: San Antonio Miracle Tree  (Read 1654 times)

Devious Viper
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San Antonio Miracle Tree
« on: August 19, 2006, 02:30:45 am »
08/17/2006 02:17 AM CDT

Vincent T. Davis
San Antonio Express-News Staff Writer

Curiosity seekers flocking to water bubbling from the tree in Lucille Pope's East Side backyard are getting a
warning from her son before they pass through the chain link fence.San Antonio Water System workers turned off the water to his house at the street Wednesday morning, and when they did, the flow from the tree ceased, he tells them.

The tree tapped into an active water line that runs to a sink in a shed in their backyard, SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden said. The water also tested positive for chlorine residue.

"I tell them all how it is, and they still want it," Lloyd Pope said. "I figure if they are still that strong in their faith, knowing all that, then go on."

Despite the logical explanation of why the tree started spouting water three months ago, many visitors still hinge hopes on water they say touches their soul. Linda Cortinas, 56, soaked her hands in the streaming water after hearing the disclaimer, hoping for a miracle. Cortinas is legally blind, a result of leukemia that damaged her optic nerve. She hugged Velia Garza, 59, like a long lost sister in the driveway before her sister Trini Ramon, 55, drove her back to the Northwest Side of town. It was the first time that the women had met. They prayed side by side under the sprawling branches of the great red oak.

"I pray it's from God," Garza said. "And nothing will be false here. How can water go up a tree?"

The faith that Garza and other visitors displayed is an essential component of the human condition, said Oswald John Nira, an instructor of religious studies at Our Lady of the Lake University. "Everybody hungers for something to believe in," Nira said. "They're looking for answers to ultimate questions. This is just one little aspect of it." Nira said according to Catholic tradition, there's a push to stay away from trying to determine miraculous phenomena, placing more focus on the individual.

By midday Wednesday, the stream of people continued, undaunted by the scientific explanation. They arrived with grandchildren in tow. Some came on their lunch break and for others it was part of a private pilgrimage.

"Do Not Enter" was spray-painted in black on a piece of plywood and propped against the chain link fence to the Pope's driveway.

The Popes say the steady stream of visitors usually starts about 7:30 each morning, when the water flow is stronger. But first they have to pass Lloyd Pope and Bubba Younger, a hulking ex-Navy SEAL sitting in folding chairs at a white, plastic table. Younger, 59 and Pope, 47, read scripture as the faithful make their way to the back of the property.

Maria Martinez of San Antonio made her second visit to the tree, hugging it and filling small perfume vials with its water. "I could feel it, that it's about ready to bust," Martinez said.

At last count, the names of 100 people coming to see the tree were logged on a yellow legal tablet. People who did an Internet Google search for "gurgling tree" found 606,000 results ranging from China to New Zealand. Opinions on blogs have numbered in the thousands. For the sake of the family's privacy, the San Antonio Express-News is not publishing the address.

But as the story of the weeping tree made the rounds across the country, in newspapers and online, more and more people are doing what it takes to find the Popes' home. Pope doesn't mind the visitors, so long as they steer clear of the histrionics. He won't tolerate fainting, shrine building or keeping a vigil.

"It ain't happening," he said. "You give God's credit or honor to no other."

Lucille Pope, 65, said the tree has been credited with healing everything from heart disease to a bad neck to her own ankle. "They had put me in an air cast, then in a brace, with a cane," she said. "Since I've been drinking from the tree I've been fine." Gone are the cane and therapy sessions in their place are three daily glasses of water, straight from the tree.

The phone rings from morning until 9 p.m. when she stops taking calls from nearly every state in the union. The first person to taste the water was Mary Barbara Todd, a friend of the family. She told the Popes it was good and cool to the taste.

The Popes have been flooded with out-of-state calls to ship individual orders to people looking for hope in a bottle. Lucille Pope said shipping is not an option because of recent anti-terrorism restrictions.

At dusk, Maria Castanon, 46, and her sister Oralia Sanchez, 41, led their 81-year-old mother down the driveway arm-in arm.

Maria Sanchez said she doesn't venture from her South Side home these days, bound by her arthritis. That was until her two daughters saw the mystery tree on television and told her about it. They held her thin arms as Sanchez tipped her head back to look the oak over.

"You live by faith, not by sight," Castanon said. "If they shut it down tomorrow, that's fine. But it's faith that moves you."

video footage at same url
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 10:58:46 am by Devious Viper »


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Re: San Antonio Miracle Tree
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 07:43:34 am »
we have weeping walls where the water comes from rocks...
"The world that God made is inherently comprised of relationships, symmetries, analogia, anagogy, poetic wisdom. Thus is the language of symbolism."


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Re: San Antonio Miracle Tree
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2006, 09:16:47 am »
About 3 yrs ago i lived in Louisisana. It was a prodominately Catholic community. A branch got broken off a tree in someones front yard.
They saw the vigin Mary in it. It was the "big" news for a while. It was a small community. People flocked to it. I guess they were showing there respect to it or worshipping it or something. I thought you weren't supposed to covet in catholism but anyway. I went to look out of curiosity. Couldn't make it out though. Time has passed. I went back for a visit and a shrine has been erected around the tree. I don't know I think sometimes people strech to far in proof of faith. I mean some people see the face of Jesus in a potato chip.