Legal battle looms over painting of Virgin Mary at Florida mobile home park

Lawyers representing a Florida mobile home park have threatened to sue an 85-year-old woman over a painting of the Virgin Mary outside her home, the Bradenton Herald reported.

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Millie Francis said she received a notice from lawyers for the Bradenton Tropical Farms mobile home park on Nov. 9 that she had 30 days to remove the painting.

"It's not going anywhere," Francis told the Herald.

Francis received permission from the park to have the front window of her mobile home removed in April when she said security personnel officers were shining lights into her home at night, the newspaper reported. She replaced it with the painting, which is mounted on a piece of plywood.

However, property manager Janet Nowakowski told Francis to remove the painting, the Herald reported.

Nowakowski told the newspaper that she had no issue with the content of Francis’ painting, but said the woman did not follow proper procedure in getting it approved by the park’s architectural review committee.

Francis told the Herald she was inspired to have the painting done while attending church, adding there was nothing in the park's rules prohibiting decorating after the fact. Francis claims she is being discriminated against because of her Catholic faith, the newspaper reported.

"I'm feeling weak," Francis told the Herald. "This is bothering me so much, it's making me ill that they are still determined to tear it down.

“If I have to go to court, then I have to go. I don’t know what to do. I can’t take this anymore but I can’t see it coming down. It’s not hurting anyone. They don’t have to look at it if they don’t like it so I don’t understand why they are against me, but it’s going to stay.”

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