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January 8, 2010

VISION: Resident cuts orange open and sees image of Jesus and Mary

Oranges can be good for your health, but one in particular may help your spiritual health as well.

On Christmas morning, Lockport resident Paul Kulniszewski went to cut up an orange as part of his breakfast. Having an orange is something he usually does each morning, but this time would be a little different. When Kulniszewski cut the orange in two and couldn’t believe what he saw.

To Kulniszewski, the inside of the orange resembled Jesus Christ on a crucifix with his mother Mary below.

“I was in awe of it,” Kulniszewski said. “My wife was stunned. I took a picture of it immediately just to be sure it wasn’t my eyes.”

Kulniszewski showed the orange to family members and gave pictures of it to a number of people. Some framed the picture of the orange, while Kulniszewski put pictures online. As for the actual orange, Kulniszewski sealed it in a container with resin so to preserve the fruit. That way others can see the orange and it can be passed down to the next generation.

“I just feel I was meant to share it,” Kulniszewski said. “I attend (church) regularly but I’m nothing special. It just means someone else is in control.”

At the center of the orange is a white thread like material called pith, which is usually attached to the inside of the peel. The pith stretches out into a Y shape, which can look like Christ hanging on the cross. Just below the Y shape is a portion of the orange which Kulniszewski described as Mary wiping away a tear.

The Rev. Gary Kibler, pastor at St. Mary’s Church on Saxton Street where Kulniszewski is a parishioner, has seen the orange. Seeing such an apparition is nothing new to St. Mary’s, as another parishioner had a similar experience. In August 2006, Lockportian Antonia “Toni” Filipertis said she saw a vision of Mary in a maple tree in her yard. The tree’s branches had just been cut, but Filipertis said she could see Mary in the branches and hear her voice. People from Niagara Falls, Rochester, Toronto and from all over Western New York and Southern Ontario made a pilgrimage to Filipertis’ home. She was even interviewed by radio stations in Florida and West Virginia.

Kibler said while such apparitions can’t be proven either way, these experiences depend on the person and what they believe. If what they see has meaning for them, then the experience is meaningful. If it encourages faith then it’s a good thing.

“Sometimes an orange is just an orange and sometimes it’s not,” Kibler said.

Contact reporter Joe Olenickat 439-9222, ext. 6241.

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