Parishioners wondering if strange stain is divine sign

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NEWPORT, R.I. (WJAR) – A stain under a painting at St. John the Evangelist Church is being seen as a possible ‘sign’ from a higher power.

The rust-colored mark sits below a painting that represents Jesus’ death on the cross.

“I think it’s remarkable,” said Nancy McCormick. “I believe in it. I’m going to share my pictures on Facebook.”

McCormick says the stain, which runs directly under Jesus’ feet, appears to be blood.

“It certainly does look it to me,” she said. “It does not look like rust.”

Church officials say the mark has been here for a while and does not wash away.

“People have tried to wash it off. You can kind of see where it’s been smudged off, but it has come back,” said Rev. Nathan J.A. Humphrey. “I’ve been told it’s not something that we’re inclined to tamper with.”

Humphrey says he hopes it will bring more parishioners into the church.

“So if there is a divine intent to be assigned to it, it’s always a matter of God’s way of saying to us, ‘Pay attention. I’m here, I’m present, I’m at work,” Humphrey said.

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