The cross-like image found in the trunk of a tree felled Tuesday at a Lafayette cemetery hadn't attracted large crowds by Wednesday afternoon, but a few other relatively recent discoveries drew hundreds or thousands of the faithful and curious:
* December 1990, Colfax, Placer County -- Some 5,000 pilgrims waited to glimpse what some called an apparition of the Virgin Mary at St. Dominic's Church. Some saw a blue-gray light form over the right shoulder of a five-foot statue of Jesus near the altar of the Catholic Church. For others, the shimmering light that turned green-pink bore the shape of a shawl covering a woman's head and shoulders.
* November 2000, Oakley -- Hundreds of faithful crowded into St. Anthony's Catholic Church to catch a glimpse of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Attendees spilled out the door of the small church. The image, a photographic replica of the original that sits in the cathedral in Mexico City, was blessed by Pope John Paul II before it began its pilgrimage (tour) through the United States.
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has particularly deep meaning for Latinos because, according to legend, the Virgin appeared in Mexico to an Aztec laborer, Juan Diego, as he walked to Mass one winter morning in 1531.
* February 2001, Union City -- Many Catholics went to Cora Lorenzo's Union City home, some clutching crucifixes and Virgin Mary statues in Ziploc bags. They want to see for themselves the rose-scented oil that for no apparent reason oozed from the hundreds of religious artifacts inside Lorenzo's modest two-story home. Some claim the oil has healed their aches and pains, and landed them better jobs.
-- Camille Donaldson