A steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an expressway underpass for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary.
Police have patrolled the emergency turnoff area under the Kennedy Expressway since Monday as hundreds of people have walked down to see the image and the growing memorial of flowers and candles that surround it. Beside the image is an artist's rendering of the Virgin Mary embracing the late Pope John Paul II in a pose some see echoed in the stain.
"We believe it's a miracle," said Elbia Tello, 42. "We have faith, and we can see her face."
Tuesday morning, women knelt with rosary beads behind a police barricade while men in work shirts stood solemnly before the image, praying.
The stain is likely the result of salt run-off, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The agency does not plan to scrub it off the wall.