FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (WSVN/CNN/Gray News) – A giant cross that washed up on a South Florida beach over the weekend is spawning curiosity and inspiring faith.
The 20-foot cross was first spotted behind the Ocean Manor Beach Resort on Saturday evening.
“We just found this washed up on the beach,” said Greg Gay, who posted video of it on his Facebook page. “I couldn’t believe that it was washing up on our feet right in front of us.”
For the tourist from Michigan, it was a spiritual experience.
“I felt really heavenly about it,” he said. “It was a moment in time. Had we been 10 minutes before or 10 minutes later, we wouldn’t have seen it.”
The barnacled-covered cross has been attracting attention since it first appeared.
So, where did it come from?
John Moschella, who helped move the cross out of the surf, said there are several theories.
“People have suggested possibly Puerto Rico. Others have said the Keys,” he said. “It’s really unknown where it has come from.”
Hotel owner Frank Talerico said he considers the cross a sign of protection.
“I had goosebumps,” he said. “I was astonished.”
One could call it a coincidence or divine intervention, but Talerico said his sister had been praying at the property Saturday morning because she was scared by a bad dream.
“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,'” he said. “I said, ‘OK, thanks for doing that.’”
Hours later, the cross made its arrival.
It may never be known where it came from, but Gay said it’s certainly made him do some soul searching.
When asked if he’s a regular churchgoer, he replied, “No, as a matter of fact, we’re not, so that’s why somebody said, ‘It’s a sign, Greg.’ It means a lot to us, though. Something like that only happens once in a lifetime.”
Talerico said the cross is not going anywhere anytime soon.
“You know what? I’m glad it’s here,” he said. “It’s staying here, and if anybody wants to come see it or take a picture with it, they’re more than welcome.”