Mysterious stain at R.I. church gains attention from faithful

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Some think it’s an act of God.

Faithful parishioners at Saint John The Evangelist believe a six-inch mark on the wall under a painting of Jesus looks like blood dripping from his feet — as if his blood is transcending the canvas.

“This is certainly not what they lead you to expect in seminary,” said Rev. Nathan Humphrey.

The stain is located under the 12th station of the cross at the Newport church — a photo that depicts the death of Jesus.

Rev. Humphrey said the stain has been present for years and parishioners have tried to clean it — but it keeps returning.

“It’s persistent,” he said.

According to Humphrey, people have streamed in to take a look, and joke, about the anomaly. “They can gawk, they can scoff, they can pray,” he said. “You can rank it up there with Mary’s face in a piece of toast if you want to.”

But Humphrey said the stain is a miracle for some people, even if it isn’t extraordinary.

“If the 12th station of the cross at Saint John’s Church is one more way for a person to connect to the love of God, I’m all for it.”

Church officials say the painting is plastered to the wall, and cannot be removed for further investigation.

“The art itself is very moving, but when it’s combined with this phenomenon, it sort of brings home the mystery of the crucifixion,” Rev. Humphrey said.

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