|Whoomp! There it is...|
“You can tell it’s the Virgin of Guadalupe by the way she is dressed in a cloak,” Maria Julieta Baez, a West New York resident, said in Spanish. Ms. Baez, 35, originally from Puebla, Mexico, has stayed close to the tree, breaking only for a few hours of work and sleep, since July 12.Amazingly, the Mexican Gingko biloba knot-worshipers somehow manage to not be the craziest people hanging out in the hot New Jersey sun:
Priests from the Archdiocese of Newark examined the tree and determined that the knot was a natural occurrence, said James Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
“We’re hopeful that even though this is just a knot in a tree, it will spark people to examine themselves and find a deeper understanding of their faith,” he said.
One woman, who declined to give her name, scowled at the worshipers as her companions shouted at them. “We are evangelical Christians and we believe the Bible forbids idol worship like this,” she said. “What these people are doing is a sin.”
The unnamed woman then ran away, having just spotted Goody Proctor with the Devil.
And then, because you can take the Mexicans out of Mexico but you can't take Mexico out of the Mexicans, things went and got all... well, Mexican.
Dante Domenech held his leather-bound Bible in front of him on Sunday morning and shouted at the throng of people kneeling, making the sign of the cross and weeping... <
“This is witchcraft; you are worshiping devils!” bellowed Mr. Domenech, 50, of North Bergen, N.J.
That remark prompted Maria Cole, one of dozens of people from West New York and nearby who had come to pray and lay flowers and votive candles by the tree, to charge at Mr. Domenech.
“We don’t want Satan!” Ms. Cole, 57, shouted in Spanish as a 90-year-old woman with a long-stemmed white rose walked up and hit Mr. Domenech on the head and shoulders with the flower until three police officers asked him to move along. (The flower-wielder gave her age, but not her name.)