The blinking crucifix is a strange optical phenomenon first observed on March 24, 1989, at the Holy Trinity Church, a community Catholic church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.


On March 24, 1989, a special mass was held at the Holy Trinity Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, to commemorate Good Friday. Over three hundred Catholics in a prayer group were at the church that day to celebrate mass, when Jim Cvitkovic, a server and the nephew of the priest, was praying, he looked up and saw that the eyes on the crucifix, which were normally open, were actually closed. He told his brother, Tom, who saw that the eyes were closed too, but he told Jim to go to the other side to see if it was just the light or if it was real, and he looked there and the eyes were closed. After the end of the mass, the brothers began crying, and their uncle, Reverend Vincent Cvitkovic asked them why and they told them that the eyes were closed. Vincent and another priest went to look at the eyes, and saw that they were closed, and called the man who had recently painted the crucifix, Domenic Leo, and asked him what he saw. He looked up, and was shocked to see that the eyes were closed, and he began crying as well.

Possible Explanations

Hypotheses include:

  • A Biblical miracle
  • An optical illusion


  • Ambridge, Pennsylvania, is about twenty miles north of Pittsburgh and is slowly fading away because of the closed steel mills. The Holy Trinity Church is located there and its crucifix has been there since 1931. It was refurbished by artist Domenic Leo in January 1988.
  • The phenomenon was discussed on the September 27, 1989 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.