Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

A Message of Faith in Despeñaderos

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rosary “The photo was captured during Valentino Mora’s baptism. The moment priest Osvaldo Macaya throws holy water, the falling liquid forms a rosary. The story started on October 10, when the month-old baby, son of Erica Mora, a 21-years-old single mother was baptized. The photo of Valentino’s baptism has raised the locals’ faith. They go to Erica Mora’s house to touch the boy.” [cadena3]

The priest himself doesn’t seem to be very happy with it:

“The photographer, [María Silvana], was very happy [when she discovered the image] and soon the whole town knew about it. I don’t like those signs, I hold the sacraments. Actually the Bible for this week says ‘this perverse and evil generation asks for a sign, and it will not be given to them because it has the sign of Jonah, and here there’s someone else besides Jonah, referring to Jesus’ death at the cross for everyone’s salvation”, says father Macaya.

The image is definitely a message of faith, at least when it spreads as an email chain letter telling us to pray with rosaries. Which is how I received it.

The photo itself is not necessarily a message of faith, and can be understood as simply the quirky behavior of water, freezed by the camera. Ironically, it also had something to do with the priest’s way of throwing holy water, so he was part of the “sign”.

Notice how the water is not actually forming a lace of prayer beads: one can see the water fills the inside of the lace. Also, the cross is a conjunction of water droplets, which in fact looks more like an inverted cross. Anyone familiar with high speed photography will see similar images.

And perhaps even more interesting scenes:

The amazing thing is to realize how that sort of stepped reduction of a water droplet over water happens all the time. We are just not usually able to see it. It doesn’t depend on the movements of the hand of a priest or even on pareidolia. That happens all the time as an interaction of several physical effects, from superficial tension to gravity.

Imagine billions and billions of water drops, like tiny beads, getting smaller and smaller at a determined rhythm, as if they were being counted so fast no human could see it. I like this rosary better. [hat tip Eustáquio Patounas, video via cgr v2.0]

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Posted in Science | 1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Juan del Monte November 24th, 2009 6:20 pm

    I received this in an e-mail from my cousin. i was surfing the internet to get some more data about this, before I forward it to my friends.
    Hope this photo raises a lot of faith, even though we should not be expecting it, we have several priests and churches to atend, as well as brothers and sisters that Jesus use to call our attention in different ways.

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