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Thursday, April 9, 1998 Published at 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK

World: Americas

Virgin Mary appears on Mexican cake

Reports say the shrouded outline of the Virgin Mary has formed on a home-baked cake in eastern Mexico.

Fernanda Rivas told television station, Televisa, that she almost fainted when she removed the cake from her oven and saw the image of the madonna.

Members of the Catholic community in the village of Bacalar, 650 miles (1,000km) east of Mexico City, congregated at a temporary altar inside Fernanda Rivas' home.

Viewing the spectacle amidst a surround of flowers, Bacalar resident, Hermilio Poot, exclaimed "It's really her! No one can possibly doubt this."

An astonishing array of Virgin Mary images have been reported during the past 12 months ranging from the dented bumper of a car in northern Mexico, to a sewage stain decorating a subway station in Mexico City.

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