It had a special appeal to Latino Catholics, who said the May 1997 image, created on a flat knothole when a large branch was cut off by city workers, resembled Mary as she appeared in an apparition in 16th-century Mexico, which became known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. She usually is depicted with head bowed and covered in a long cloak.
Then, in May 2002, a vandal chiseled out a gaping hole where believers said the virgin once appeared. Seven years later, another attacker tried to light the stairs on fire.
Now, a photograph of the lost Mary, embedded in Plexiglass and surrounded by flowers, is attached to the tree above the defaced knothole.
The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City never investigated supernatural claims related to the tree, nor has it had any plans to do so.
Virgin Mary in piece of wood 2012 spotted by Utah man Dean Hansen
A Utah man says he's spotted the Virgin Mary in the most unexpected of places -- a piece of wood.
Dean Hansen made the divine discovery about six weeks ago when he and his uncle were chopping pinyon pine wood in central Utah for tent posts and firewood, Salt Lake City TV station KSTU reported.
"When we first saw it, we were like 'Wow,'" Hansen told the station.
He's keeping the 3-inch-thick circle of wood in a safe place as he decides whether to put it on display, The Huffington Post reported.
On my knees Mother Mary please hear my prayer to end corruption & "Systemic Racism" Mother Mary in the name of God's son Jesus Christ please forgive me for the C.A.U fight I will lead July 04, 2022 when I have Woken Up DA Rawlings, Judge Connors, Judge Ynchausti, etc.
Mother Marie I was baptized under your miracle painting in Mexico 1972 & with all the dreams of prophets since the first time I was attacked at 14 years old on my first chaperone date with Dana Beesley by her racist dad Plain City Chief of Police Beesley 1984 in Harrisville, Utah and then again in 1987 by my Ogden High School cheerleader girlfriend Diana's father who was a JUDGE who stopped me from going to the ARMY and had me attacked for Diana. My employer at Sizzler helped me runaway to California because he witnessed the attack on me by the state workers and reported them so when I returned they all were in trouble in 1992. I was offered a big settlement over a year later to keep my mouth shut about Chief Beesley & Diana's Judge father but my uncle died at Davis County Freeport Center and I told nobody about the settlement offer I just moved away to Denver really angry with what the Utah Doctor had said about my uncle in 1993 that I asked then prosecutor JC Ynchausti about after I was on Fox 13 news in 2007 and this piece of evil called JC Ynchausti had me attacked next to my Xtreme Sushi shop & now you'll know why we're here July 04, 2022...