Woman discovers “Amazing Cross” in Fort Kent ashes
FORT KENT – A Madawaska woman has discovered what she and other observers believe is the image of a cross in the remnants of a cement wall that rests within the blackened ruins of the Nadeau's House of Furniture store that burned down Sunday, March 25.
Gert Daigle, a Catholic who lives in the nearby town of Madawaska said in her Acadian French accent, “I got up Thursday morning for no reason.”
She decided to go to Nadeau's House of Flooring, which sits behind the lot where the House of Furniture once stood in Fort Kent, for some floor cleaning materials.
“I got out of the car and looked over there, and I stopped.”
On the far side of the pit, which is filled with rubble and blackened debris, was the distinct form of a cross resting on a scorched plane of cement nestled between the walls of the bulkhead passage to the basement.
She asked her sister, while pointing to the sight, “Carmen, do you see a cross over there?”
At first, she said that her sister was unable to pinpoint the cross which stood out so obviously to Daigle. But then she saw it too.
Daigle went inside the flooring store, where she spoke to Ellery “Arms” Labbe. Labbe ran Nadeau's House of Furniture for years before his son, Pat Labbe, took over. She said, “Arms, you know what? There's a cross over there.”
The two walked over to a spot by the China Garden Restaurant and looked. She said Labbe could see it right away. Daigle said, “I gave him a hug, and I was crying and he had tears in his eyes.”
What does it mean? Is it a miracle? Daigle recalls that the devastating fire, occurring in the middle of the night, took down a huge portion of Fort Kent's business and rental property district, yet it harmed no one.
Daigle, looking at the cross, said, “It was like a sign of relief that everyone got out in time.”
A few days later, Daigle felt a prompting to place flowers and some toy pinwheels to mark the spot on the ground above the cross.
She said, “That's my way of thanking God.”
While peering at the cross, which retains its form even when someone approaches closely, Daigle remarked upon a shadowy region above the apparent intersection of the pieces. She said, “You'd swear that that's the crown.”
Daigle is calling the image The Amazing Cross because, “It's amazing everyone got out in time.”
Daigle has a special reason for being thankful everyone survived the disaster. Her son and her infant granddaughter were two of the people who escaped from the wild inferno.
Daigle says the best time to see the cross is in the morning. People can get a clear view of the image by standing on the west side of the lot, next to the China Garden Restaurant.
Daigle appears unconcerned whether the cross is an actual miracle or simple happenstance of heat, wind, air and gravity. For her, it is a simple message of reassurance.
“It gives me a sense of relief that God was there. He was there all the time.”