Woman ‘spots face of saint in her staircase banister’ but internet doesn’t

An Irish woman reckons she's found the image of a Catholic saint in her wooden banister, much to the amusement of the internet.

Kay, 80, recently called into RTÉ’s Liveline to discuss how shocked she was when her husband pointed out Padre Pio “in the banisters upstairs”.

Padre Pio – also known as St Pio of Pietrelcina – was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He died in 1968, aged 81, and was canonised in 2002.

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Speaking to radio presenter Joe Duffy, Kay explained that builders had recently installed new wooden banisters in her home.

She said: “They were doing the banisters upstairs and my husband was giving them a hand. He was sanding down the banisters upstairs and he stopped and said to [a builder], ‘Will you come in and have a look at this?’

“And he said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it. That’s Padre Pio!’

“His face is in the banisters upstairs. It’s been sanded and varnished many, many times and his face is still there as prominent as ever.

“It’s unbelievable. You can see his face, you can see the high forehead, you can see the beard, and you can see his eyes.”

Kay then took a photo of the supposed face in the wood grain to show her friends.

“They can’t believe it,” she continued.

“I said to them, ‘Who do you think this is?’ and they said ‘That’s Padre Pio!’

“It’s not anybody; it’s Padre Pio. It’s the image of Padre Pio. It’s definitely Padre Pio.”

Kay suffered from breast cancer and had an operation in the 1990s, during which she says she turned to Padre Pio.

“I had a small little relic of Padre Pio in my hand going down for my operation and the nurse couldn’t believe that it was still in my fist when I came back from my operation,” she said.

“I swear that he took me through it. I’ve never looked back after that.”

Despite Kay's adamancy, not everyone was convinced by the image of her banister when RTÉ’s Liveline shared it on Twitter.

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One person jokingly superimposed the wood grain onto an image of the saint himself. "The absolute image," they wrote.

Another said: "Well we are in mushroom season, so this totally makes sense."

Others suggested that the bannister bore a resemblance to other figures, with "Chewbacca" from Star Wars among the popular shouts.


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