Virgin Mary image seen while restoring church

QUESTA, N.M. (KRQE) – They were worried their historic church was going to meet the wrecking ball.

They fought to save it and won.

Now, the work to restore the church has revealed something that has parishioners saying, “We told you so.”

“It is something special, something special for this community,” said Esther Garcia, former mayor of Questa.

Like Garcia, dozens of people are visiting St. Anthony Catholic Church in Questa this week to take a look.

“It kind of just like, it just hit me,” Garcia said. “To come here to see it, I have to tell you, I had to cry. They’re happy tears, yes, very much so.”

Mark Sideris, the coordinator of the church restoration project, helped make the discovery that is attracting all the attention.

“I felt very distinctly seeing a lamb being cradled in the arms of Mary,” he said. “In my mind that is the Lamb of God and his Mother Mary.”

Sideris said he was working with a handful of others on Monday when he first noticed it.

“Our main saw man made a mistake and, as a result of making that mistake, we had to turn the timber sideways and re-cut it,” Sideris said.

But he said when he noticed the image of Virgin Mary in the beam, he realized it wasn’t a mistake after all.

“This bolsters the energy to see, ‘Wow, we’re on the right path here,’ and we’ve been given this as a reminder,” Sideris said.

To understand the reaction, you have to understand the history.

St. Anthony Church has largely been at the center of the Questa community from generation to generation for more than 170 years.

So, when a wall collapsed in 2008 and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said it would be too expensive to remodel the old church, the parishioners fought for permission to do it on their own dime.

They say the apparition of the Virgin Mary is proof they are not alone in their mission.

The crew says it still plans to use the beam to build part of the church.

They will make sure it goes in a place where everyone can still see the image they say is the Virgin Mary. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s