It is 6.5 meters deep, near a marine reserve in southern Brazil.
An image of Our Lady found at the bottom of the sea has attracted the attention of divers in Florianópolis (SC), but no one knows yet to say who put it there or the reason.
The image of the Sacred Heart of Mary, 40 centimeters, was found about six meters deep, in the biological reserve of Arvoredo Island, and reached great repercussion in social networks after the disclosure of photos made by the diver and the underwater photographer Cibele Sanches.
Cibele told ACI Digital that he learned of this image on the seabed in March, after seeing some photos. Two months ago, she was able to take a dive on the spot and photograph the statue of the Virgin in “a very beautiful place”.
In a recent report from a local television network, she told this story and went to the place where the image is. After that, the repercussion “has gained a very large proportion”.
According to the photographer, “the image is placed right in the corner, protected”, under two stones, like a natural cave.
“It is very unlikely that he fell from a boat,” he said, explaining that it is a “heavy image that is embedded in the place.” “Someone put the picture there and had a lot of work.”
In order to express the curiosity and the mystery that generates the presence of the image in the bottom of the sea, Cibele quoted the phrase dictated by a friend of his: “This is something that even the little fish do not count”.
The photographer, who says she is not Catholic but religious, said that “depending on the belief of each person”, some may feel protected by the Virgin Mary in the sea with the presence of that image.
“The master of the vessel we were in is very Catholic and I said to him: ‘I’m going to thank you for a bit more,'” he said.
Arvoredo Island is one of the only marine biological reserves in Brazil since the 1990s, when then-President José Sarney signed the decree.
The point where the image of the Virgin Mary was found is outside the unit of permanent conservation, however, the head of ICMBio, Ricardo Castelli Vieira, clarified to the website ‘Diário Catarinense’ that to place any kind of material on the seabed requires authorization of the Brazilian Navy.
The photographer Cibele Sanches also warned of the importance of preserving the environment, “even if the image was very beautiful there.”
“You have to tell people not to put things on the bottom of the sea, so that others do not do the same. There are other ways to express faith and respect and I’m sure the little saint will appreciate it too, “he said.
Finally, he expressed the desire “to protect the sea.”
In other parts of the world images of the Virgin Mary are present on the seabed. This is the case of a 14-meter image of the Mother of God placed about 24 meters deep on Bien Unido beach in the province of Bohol in the Philippines in 2010.
The authorities considered that by installing the image under the sea, would discourage illegal fishing in the region, damaged by the use of dynamites and cyanide. In addition, they expressed that divers could “pray underwater for a moment of deeper reflection than is normally experienced, and express their thanksgiving (to God) for guiding them to safety through all their adventures of diving”.
On the other hand, in Malaga, Spain, an image of Our Lady of Carmo was placed on the seabed every year and is withdrawn by a group of divers for a procession on the occasion of the Feast of this Marian devotion.