The Miracle Chapati or Chapati Jesus is a chapati, or flat unleavened bread, roughly eight centimeters in diameter with, what believers claim, is an image of Christ miraculously burnt on it. The chapati was baked by Shella Anthony of Bangalore, India in early September 2002, enshrined in Bangalore, and visited by thousands of believers and curious onlookers.
The baker of the Miracle Chapati, Shella Anthony, a devout Catholic, baked dozens of chapatis daily. One day in September 2002, she had given her children some to eat. Her daughter refused to eat one, remarking that it was burnt. Anthony was on the verge of discarding it, but on inspection Anthony noticed that the burn mark resembled Christ, an opinion confirmed by her daughter and many of her neighbours. She handed it over to her parish priest, George Jacob, who agreed and promptly pronounced it a miracle. It was then put it in a glass case for exhibition.
Over the next few days, nearly 20,000 Christians traveling from as far as Mysore and Chennai went to the central shrine of the Retreat Centre, where the chapati was on display, to pay homage and offer prayers to this piece of bread. Apart from Christians, a number of Hindus and Muslims also visited the Centre to view the chapati. Information on the chapati was broadcast on Indian national television and reported by The Times of India, The Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Believers and skeptics
Many believers point out the strong implications of the likeness being on bread, since bread may be considered a gift of God (an interpretation of II Corinthians 9:10). Further, many believers do claim to have "different feelings" on witnessing, what they believe is a miracle.
Skeptics counter that the mind often sees what it wishes to, and that the chapati does not actually resemble Jesus any more than it could resemble South America, albeit from a different angle. An argument is also put forth that South Asians are especially prone to blind faith in the supernatural. Furthermore, as there are no contemporary descriptions or likenesses of Jesus known, it is impossible to know what Jesus looks like.
- BBC NEWS | South Asia | India marvels at 'miracle chapati'
- Edinburgh Evening News
- The Lord Christ'S First Miracle Of Healing
- UFO ROUNDUP Volume 7 Number 47
- Superstition rules the subcontinent
- BBC World news article from 2002 reporting on the chapati with a decent picture of it. Accessed on Sept. 4 2006
- Towards the end of this page is an article borrowing from a 2002 Times of India feature on the chapati. Accessed on Sept. 4 2006