Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

August 30, 2006

A vision of the Virgin Mary in Lockport

LOCKPORT — A Harvey Street woman claimed on Wednesday that she heard the voice of the Virgin Mary and has seen visions of the Mother of God in the trimmed branches of a maple tree in front of her house.

Antonia “Toni” Filipertis, 84, a devout Catholic, comes to tears when she relates the story which began about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Her family firmly believes her.

Neighborhood children and adults see and wonder. Several teachers from John Pound Elementary School came across the street to take a look. Principal Roberta Donovan could not swear to the apparition but said, “I could see a figure on one and on the other one I could see a cross.”

What is the figure? Filipertis, a native of Poland who met her husband at the Lady of Czestochowa Shrine, is sure it is the Virgin Mary.

Michael Sneed, 10, who lives around the corner on High Street, said, “The small one looks like a cross and the big one looks like someone, holding their heart like this (hands across chest). It’s weird.”

Some have seen even more.

“I saw a glow last night from out window from over here,” said Kristina Crawford, 10.

Toni Filipertis began crying twice when she recalled the vision and Mary’s instructions. She was about to get the car out of the garage in order to take her daughter to a doctor’s appointment Tuesday when she heard a voice behind her.

“The voice, she told me to look on your tree,” she related in a Polish accent. “I come out and parked the car in the front and I look on the tree and I don’t see nothing.”

Filipertis said that Mary’s voice was very soft. “She said, ‘Look at your tree. I’m in three places,’ and she was in three places .... And I look in this branch and she was very clear.”

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