Face of Jesus appears on pancakes and toast

These days, when it comes to the appearance of Jesus at breakfast, you have to have more faith than ever. Specifically, you need faith that some cunning eBay speculator hasn’t deliberately anointed the Anointed One on toast or a pancake just to make money.

In early February 2006, Mike Thompson of Beachwood, Ohio claimed that the face of Jesus appeared on a pancake he had made while preparing breakfast for his family. Thompson was paraphrased by News Channel 5 of Cleveland, Ohio, saying that the image of the Lord’s face was a sign from above.

He posted the alleged Holy Pancake on eBay with an opening bid of $500. The bid reached $14,999.00 before the listing was removed for violating eBay listing rules.

There is no evidence to suggest that eBay removed the listing because it was fraudulent. Still, Internet message boards were abuzz with accusations that it was Thompson, and not God, who created the image on the pancake.

“This is a scam and this guy is a fraud,” one post read.

“He looks more like Osama Bin Laden to me,” said another.

One poster joked: “Maybe he has a pan of Jesus that has a picture embedded in the metal so that everything that is cooked has Jesus on it.”

But that joke can be for us. The Jesus Pan is real.

“Jesus Pan is made of durable steel and covered with a non-stick coating.”

The marketing text on JesusPan.com advertises a pan with a raised print of Jesus that “puts the image of Jesus on the food.”

Is it possible that Thompson’s Jesus Pancake was a marketing ploy for Jesus Bread? It’s obvious that the people at JesusPan.com are aware of the reach of eBay. The site says: “Sacred images have been popping up everywhere… A grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary sold for over $1,700 on eBay.”

The most impressive evidence that the Thompson pancake may have been created by Jesus Pan comes from MrBreakfast.com. The site created a computer overlay of the Thompson pancake and compared it to the Jesus Pan print. While not definitive proof, the dimensions of Jesus on the pancake are surprisingly similar to the print on the pan. However, a cross stamped on the bottom right of the pan below Jesus does not appear on the pancake.

When Thompson’s listing resurfaced on eBay after the rules violation, the description sounded oddly commercial. “Sorry the official “Jesus Pancake” was taken down for a listing violation… I had 150,000 views and the offer was up to $15,000. Thank you SO much for your support! I’ve been encouraged to put the pancake back up, so It will start at $15,000.”

Shortly after the Thompson Jesus pancake hit the headlines, imitators emerged. On February 14, a 33-year-old blogger from Newcastle, UK, called “ILuvNUFC”, announced that he had discovered the kisser of Jesus in a pancake he had made. Unlike Thompson, “ILuvNUFC” admitted that his face might not be that of Jesus. He noted that he also resembled porn star Ron Jeremy’s mug. Whether it was Jesus or Ron Jeremy, he noted on his blog that he was ready to make money on eBay. The Thompson pancake itself may be something of an imitation. A week before the Holy Pancake appeared to him, it was announced that Juan Patrano of Prairie Lea, Texas, found the face of Jesus in a pan he was washing. Curiously, Patrano was washing the pan with the intention of preparing breakfast for his mother. Describing himself as a religious man, Patrano said he, too, is considering selling his discovery on eBay.

In December 2005, cooks at the Stadium Club restaurant in Jacksonville, FL found Jesus at the bottom of a large pot used to heat water. They said the pan had recently been used to heat containers of nacho cheese and it is presumed that the burnt nacho cheese and mineral deposits from the restaurant’s water combined to form the face of the Messiah. Plans to sell the pan on eBay have yet to be announced.

Perhaps the most famous sighting of food-related religious symbolism in recent times is an image of the Virgin Mary that appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich. Florida resident Diana Duyser discovered the image after taking a bite of the sandwich. For 10 years, Duyser kept the partially eaten Holy Sandwich in a clear plastic box on his nightstand. In 2004, she sold the sandwich on eBay to GoldenPalace.com, an Internet casino, for $28,000. GoldenPalace.com is the same company that made another highly publicized purchase. They bought the Kidney Stone from William Shatner.

When religious icons start showing up on breakfast foods, there are a number of ways to make money. Threadless.com offers t-shirt designs featuring Jesus on toast and the Virgin Mary on pancakes. A clever eBay seller is selling toast adorned with a picture of Jesus on a pancake.

Would you like to make your own Jesus breakfast item without having to buy a special pan? Just take a look at Eric Gillin’s “Your Own Personal Toast To Jesus” article. Available at blacktable.com, Gillin offers step-by-step instructions for painting Jesus on toast by strategically buttering the bread and grilling it. Unfortunately, Gillin’s Lord is more like Kenny from Comedy Central’s South Park than the Lamb of God. But these days, even a short Jesus in a parka should get some “bread” from an online auction in a timely manner.

Does God put images of His relatives and friends on toast and pancakes? We may never know until we have a chance to ask. If there is a God who has his hands in the workings of the universe, we know it: events have conspired to lead us to talk about religion and breakfast. Beneath all the speculation and sacrilege, there may be a very important message: Pay attention to your breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day.


On March 2, 2006, this article was initially published on MrBreakfast.com. The next day, MrBreakfast received a response to a query sent to JesusPan.com. The email read: “Sorry for the delay in responding. I’VE BEEN FLOODED! Yes, this is the product that JesusPancake created!” The note was signed by Mike Thompson.

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