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What Happens When an Image 'Floats' By?

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By Felix Carroll (Aug 1, 2013)
Mounted on a trailer and pulled by a red tractor, the image of Divine Mercy was paraded through the streets of Oak Harbor, Wash., on July Fourth.

In a time when public display of Jesus, particularly in secular settings like a town parade, can raise hackles, in Oak Harbor's three-mile parade, it was quite the contrary.

The rancher who pulled the float with his tractor is non-Catholic. He volunteered his services just to be neighborly. He was stunned by spectators' reactions.

"They did that thing you guys do," he told the float's organizer, referring to the sign of the cross.

Indeed, as the eight-feet-by-three-and-a-half-feet Divine Mercy image processed, spectators bowed their heads and made the sign of the cross as the float went by. Military personnel from the local Navel base even took off their caps and saluted.

Eleanor Manni organized the float, prompted by inspiration she received during prayer. "All of this was the Holy Spirit, believe me," says Eleanor, who previously never had anything to do with parade floats.

She speculates she was chosen by Christ to spearhead the float not just because of her devotion to Divine Mercy, but also because of her heritage. Growing up in Waterbury, Conn., where fellow Italian-Americans made no bones about processing through the streets with a statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, she has a particular affinity for unabashed, public celebration of the faith.

Eleanor and her husband, Kenneth, run a Divine Mercy center connected with their parish, St. Mary, in Anacortes, Wash. The center hosts a Divine Mercy prayer cenacle. With approval from her parish, the center teamed up with perennial parade participants the Knights of Columbus, who processed with the float.

Eleanor simply wanted people to see the image and hopefully to encounter Christ in their own hearts.

"There are still so many people who don't know about the Divine Mercy message," Eleanor says. "These are troubled times, and people need to know how much God loves them. My prayer was that, as the image processed down the street, He would affect every soul in Oak Harbor and throughout the whole world."

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Donna Morris Crist - Aug 24, 2013

It so warmed my heart to read this true story. Hats off to the love portrayed forJesus's message & Image of Divine Mercy in the parade! So wonderful to hear of the honor given to Jesus by all on the sidelines. God bless their hearts! :)

Maria - Aug 6, 2013

In our parish , we have a large canvas image of divine mercy ,which has been made into a banner , with pole pocket in the back etc ; ; it is so good to have that image lead our parish festival procession , for all the Feasts .

It would be good to have the ( Vilnius ) large image , even in every child's room - helping to make the prsence of The Lord and His Father love , so palpably close by and hopefully, to stay imprinted for ever , thus to erase all negative images that can easily come into young minds these days !

mary-louise - Aug 5, 2013

One lady in my cursillo group today mentioned that you can name any religious figure (Buddha, Mohammed, Abraham etc) and maybe get no particular reaction; but, say the Name Jesus and people with react one way or the other - warmly, uneasy etc. We couldn't think of anyone else that can evoke such reactions.

ALI - Aug 5, 2013


Amy Canada Aug. 1, 2013 - Aug 1, 2013

How wonderful and amazing to see the Divine Mercy, Jesus' picture processing on the street for people to know. We should do the same thing in our place.
And pray the chaplet over and over again.
I hope and pray...

Diana - Aug 1, 2013

This is truly amazing! It gave me goosebumps!!!!! Love It!

Mary - Aug 1, 2013

This is AWESOME! I felt the excitement like I was at the parade.