Faithful see miracle after fire

CONEJOS, Colorado (KUSA) – Inside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Conejos, Colorado it’s not hard to miss the sights and smells of a fire.

“Flames coming out, especially in that corner,” said Father Sergio Robles, as he showed where a fire started last week. “I feel very sad, I feel very sorry, because this is a historical place.”

Local and state investigators found an electrical short started the fire, which burned a portion of the state’s oldest parish.

Parishioners came in to start cleaning up the estimated $500,000 in fire and smoke damage. That’s when they noticed something unusual.

“These chills just took over us,” Elliott Salazar said.

At the altar, smoke damage left behind what appears to be a crown above the head of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“When I came in the next morning and I saw that crown, something just hit me,” said Alfonzo Abeyta, “and all this time I had doubted her. So, I kneeled down and asked her forgiveness for doubting her.”

Yet, the crown isn’t the only thing that’s unusual about this story.

“It’s a little weird,” Father Robles said.

However, Father Robles also said he can’t quite call a miracle – yet. The Catholic Church has rules about that. Yet, parishioners there said they’re convinced it is a miracle. When the church reopens, they said, they want to share it with the world.

“Hopefully, they can walk away with something more than when they came,” Salazar said.

Father Robles said he contacted the Diocese of Pueblo, which plans to send someone out to investigate the crown and see whether the Catholic Church would consider it a miracle or not.

For now, the church remains closed, as they await insurance money to start repairs.

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