Miracle Vision Fun Facts!

Tired of having your friends sneer and jeer whenever you drag out the latest batch of miracle snapshots? Take a tip from the ace shutterbugs who regularly snap photos of the Bayside Apparitions, a series of religious visions seen near the Vatican Pavilion on the abandoned site of the 1965 New York World's Fair.

"Our Lady has directed that the pictures be taken with Polaroid or other kinds of self-developing cameras," advises a pamphlet published by the snap-happy faithful. "These pictures develop on the spot and therefore eliminate later accusations of tampering with the negative."

One of the indisputable photos shot in this manner shows a religious statue marred by the ghostly image of the photographer's long-dead aunt; several others are also reprinted in the booklet, which is available free simply by dialing 1-800-232-MARY.

Proud Mary keep on rollin'? You bet . . . but don't expect the Vatican City Gal-on-the-go to stray far from the county seat. According to a study conducted by French apparition experts (reprinted in The Book of Lists 3), the Messiah's Mom made a whopping 232 appearances in 32 countries between the years 1928 and 1975 . . . but almost a third of those visitations were in Italy. Other top Virgin destinations (in order of frequency): France (30), Germany (20), Belgium (17), Spain (12), United States (9), Canada (6) and Switzerland (5).

Miracle drugs are where you find them. Or so several thousand crippled and diseased peasants discovered as they kissed their ailments good-by after viewing an image of Christ that had mysteriously appeared on the side of a church in Guatemala in 1987. According to a report in the Weekly World News, few of the faithful were swayed from the belief that they'd been cured--even when a subsequent rainstorm revealed that the image was actually a Willie Nelson poster that had been covered with enamel during a recent paint job on the church.