For Frank Talerico, the timing of the cross’ appearance is uncanny.
As WSVN reports, Talerico is the owner of the Ocean Manor Beach Resort, a hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Early Saturday morning, Talerico’s sister was unnerved by a bad dream and came to the hotel to pray with her brother.
Talerico told WSVN, “She’s like, ‘You know what? It’s not that big of deal. I just had a bad dream and a bad feeling, so I wanted to come here and pray.’ I said, ‘OK, thanks for doing that.'”
The impromptu prayer session might have been forgotten had it not been for what happened just a few hours later. On Saturday evening, an enormous painted cross washed up on the beach outside the hotel.
Greg Gay, a tourist from Michigan, was there when the cross washed in. He called it a “heavenly” moment and marveled that he was there to see it. Gay told WSVN he isn’t a churchgoer, but agreed with those who said the cross was “a sign”:
“It means a lot to us, though. Something like that only happens once in a lifetime.”
John Skorupa, a Fort Lauderdale local, was also there when the cross appeared. He told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that seeing the cross on the beach served as a kind of spiritual wake-up call:
“I called up a girlfriend that I went to church with a few times and I said, ‘Let’s start meeting again for church services.’ I brought her flowers.”
The cross is about 20 feet long and covered with barnacles. No one knows where it came from, though some speculate it traveled from the Florida Keys or Puerto Rico.
The cross is so heavy that it took two all-terrain vehicles and seven people to move it from the shore toward the hotel’s tiki bar.
And that’s where it’s going to stay. Talerico told WSVN he sees it as a sign of protection:
“I’m glad it’s here. It’s staying here, and if anybody wants to come see it or take a picture with it, they’re more than welcome.”