Fire Damages Church, Leaves Picture of Jesus Unharmed

All Saints Catholic Mission church on Powerline Road is known for its soup kitchen that feeds the homeless daily.

By David Jeannot
|  Monday, Mar 25, 2013  |  Updated 11:49 AM EDT
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A fire at All Saints Catholic Mission church in Oakland Park burned its tabernacle and two big-screen TVs on the sides of its altar but left the picture of Jesus at the center of the damage intact. Father Bob Caudill and volunteer Ron Roy spoke about what they said were miraculous events.

A fire at All Saints Catholic Mission church in Oakland Park burned its tabernacle and two big-screen TVs on the sides of its altar but left the picture of Jesus at the center of the damage intact. Father Bob Caudill and volunteer Ron Roy spoke about what they said were miraculous events.

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A fire at All Saints Catholic Mission church in Oakland Park burned its tabernacle and two big-screen TVs on the sides of its altar but left the picture of Jesus at the center of the damage intact.

City fire officials said the fired started around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

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Despite the estimated $60,000 in losses, the pastor said the undamaged Jesus proves that this incident was just a miracle.

"It burned all the way to the back wall but the Jesus that's smiling over the altar wasn't touched and I don't know why," Father Bob Caudill told NBC 6. "Everything there was burnt."

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But that wasn't the only sign. Caudill took a photo of what he says was black soot that formed the image of the Virgin Mary on the wall. It was later painted over.

Ron Roy, a homeless volunteer who was helping repair the damage, said the fire was unfortunate but a miracle at the same time.

"I saw it myself. My hair was standing on edge on my arms. It was freaky,” he said. “If I didn't see it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it."

The church is known for its soup kitchen that feeds the homeless daily, and it was the church volunteers, homeless people showing up for breakfast or dinner, and people driving by that came to help after the fire.

Although much of the church is destroyed and help is needed, the people of the church have chosen to look at the incident positively.

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“These are things that can be replaced. We're the church," Caudill told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "Things will be better now. The electric will be new. The windows will be new.”

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. This weekend, they plan to hold the scheduled Palm Sunday service.

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