Virgin Mary on a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

There have been hundred of sightings of the Virgin Mary. The earliest sighting was by St. James the Greater. He saw the Virgin Mary on the banks of the Ebro River in Saragossa, Spain in 40 A.D.  Since that time, there have been thousands of apparitions all over world. Of those  only 16 have been verified by the Catholic Church. But the Coptic Church in Egypt has verified 4 visits in the last 50 years.

I have documented a few of the sightings in the book. Its interesting to see the variations. Some are so obviously spiritual and offers are fan fiction at it’s best. I start the book with one of those. Twenty six years ago, a woman made a whopping $28,000 because her grilled cheese sandwich appeared to have a likeness of Mary. There’s a believer born every minute…



In 1994, a Florida woman named Diane Duyser made herself a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. As she took her first bite, she saw an image of the Virgin Mary burned into the toasted bread. Duyser immediately stopped eating and put the sandwich in a plastic box with a couple of cotton balls and kept it on her nightstand for the next decade. The sandwich did not deteriorate or get moldy, despite the container being less than airtight.

In November 2004, for reasons unknown, Ms. Duyser put the sandwich up for bid on the auction site eBay. eBay initially shut down the auction based on policy that a joke could not be auctioned. But Duyser was able to convince them she could deliver the real item, so the auction resumed.

She claims to have made the sandwich without butter or oil, an unusual approach to a traditional grilled sandwich. But it does provide the lone possibility of divine participation. Oil or fat could have possibly explained the lack of mold on a 10-year-old sandwich. There have been numerous theories presented on why the sandwich has stayed preserved, but no actual scientific inquiry was conducted.

The Catholic Church had no comment, nor does it appear that Ms. Duyser attempted to contact them. The sandwich sale garnered over a million views and eventually sold to an online casino for $28,000.