'Holy potato' found at Quebec seniors' residence

A potato with a cross at its centre has the residents at a seniors' residence in Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula feeling as if they're being watched over by a higher power.

Sacred spud found by cook makes residents feel safe, watched over

The potato will be on display in the dining room where all residents at the seniors' home in Grande-Rivière, Que., can enjoy being near it. (Submitted by Gaston Lebreux)

A cook was cutting potatoes at a Quebec seniors' residence when he decided to slice one lengthwise instead of across, as he usually did. 

What he saw inside is being called a sign of a divine presence in the building.

"He saw it was a cross and he said, 'It's a sign,'" said Émilien Morin, president of the residents' committee at Le Mieux Vivre Residence in Grande-Rivière.

"He thought it meant 'I'm here' — a religious sign."

The sacred spud was discovered Aug. 22 at the Gaspé Peninsula residence by cook Alain Lévesque.

"He couldn't believe it," Morin said.

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Alain Lévesque and Émilien Morin have been instrumental in preserving the potato. (Submitted by Gaston Lebreux)

'It makes them feel safe'

Morin said the residents are devout Catholics and sought a way to preserve the potato. 

Jeannette Moreau, a residents' committee member, is currently housing the potato in her apartment as it dries.

Morin says the potato-drying process could take up to a month, adding that the spud has started to darken but the sign of the cross at its centre is still highly visible.

He doesn't want people to visit the vegetable until it's fully dried and ready to be displayed in a custom-made display case.

Morin said the potato will be on display in the dining room where all residents can enjoy being near it.

"It makes them feel safe," Morin said.

Divine? Or a disorder?

The markings inside the potato may be a sign from above, or they may be a sign of hollow heart, a condition that afflicts potatoes grown in very fertile or heavily irrigated soils during wet seasons.

It's caused by the death of cells inside the tuber, and usually results in brown tissue appearing in the centre of the potato.