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Virgin Mary validated in Wisconsin town

Joanne Tardiff of Gladstone, Mich., prays to the blessed Virgin Mary in the basement of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, where Belgian immigrant Adele Brise said she was visited three times by Mary in 1859.

New York Times

Joanne Tardiff of Gladstone, Mich., prays to the blessed Virgin Mary in the basement of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, where Belgian immigrant Adele Brise said she was visited three times by Mary in 1859.

Haiti voodoo group says deaths on rise

At least 45 people have been killed across Haiti due to accusations they are using "black magic" to spread cholera, the director of a voodoo association said Friday. Most of the killings are occurring in the southern coastal town of Jeremie, where people are being lynched, set on fire and attacked with machetes, said Max Beauvoir, a voodoo priest. But he said killings also have been reported in Cap Haitien and the Central Plateau. Local police did not return calls seeking comment. Fear and confusion have surrounded the cholera epidemic, which has killed more than 2,400 people and could affect 600,000 or more, experts say.

Museum to give up item stolen in WWII

A museum in Toledo, Ohio, is returning to Germany an 18th-century porcelain centerpiece believed to have been stolen from a castle where it was hidden by a museum during World War II. The Toledo Museum of Art and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday that Nereid Sweetmeat Stand will go back to the Dresden Museum. Customs officials say the German museum was loaned the piece in 1920 by the family who owned it. The artwork depicts a mermaid holding a shell and was part of a 2,200-piece dinner set commissioned in 1737. The Toledo museum purchased it in 1956 from a New York gallery. The museum estimates the current value at $300,000. Customs officials value it at more than $1 million

Associated Press

1.38 cents

Cost to produce a penny today, according to the U.S. Mint

5.79 cents

Cost to produce a nickel

Source: Scripps Howard News Service

In France, the shrine at Lourdes is surrounded by hundreds of hotels and has received as many as 45,000 pilgrims in a single day. Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico, draws millions of fervent worshipers a year.

Now, a little chapel among the dairy farms in Champion, Wis., called Our Lady of Good Help, has joined that august company in terms of religious status, if not global fame. This month, it became one of only about a dozen sites worldwide, and the first in the United States, where apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been officially validated by the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1859, the year after Mary is said to have appeared in Lourdes, a Belgian immigrant in Champion named Adele Brise said she was visited three times by Mary, who hovered between two trees in a bright light, clothed in dazzling white with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars above her flowing blond locks. As instructed, Brise devoted her life to teaching Catholic beliefs to children.

On Dec. 8, after a two-year inquiry by theologians who found no evidence of fraud or heresy and a long history of shrine-related conversions, cures and other signs of divine intervention, Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay declared "with moral certainty" that Brise had encounters "of a supernatural character" that are "worthy of belief."

Lourdes-like hordes have not yet gathered, but since the weighty decree a growing stream of visitors, some driving several hours, has found its way to Champion to pray and revel in what many said was the palpable presence of Mary.

New York Times

NEW YORK — Authorities are ramping up their effort to solve a Manhattan mystery: Who drilled a hole into the home of a beef fortune heir and stole a collection of iconic artworks by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol?

The culprits also took surveillance video footage that might have caught them in the act.

The New York Police Department released images of the art on Thursday, hoping someone might help solve last month's crime in the trendy Meatpacking District by recognizing works like a well-known Lichtenstein print called Thinking Nude.

Authorities estimate the five-story apartment was burglarized sometime during Thanksgiving week, when owner and art collector Robert Romanoff was away. Police say the thief drilled a hole through the wall of a hallway.

Calls to Romanoff's home went unanswered Friday.

Also taken was a Lichtenstein print called Moonscape, the Carl Fudge oil painting Live Cat, the Warhol prints The Truck and Superman, and a set of eight signed Warhol prints from 1986 called Camouflage. They're among the artist's last works before his death the following year.

Authorities estimate the artworks, plus stolen Cartier and Rolex watches and other jewelry, are worth about $750,000.

Virgin Mary validated in Wisconsin town 12/24/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:44pm]
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