What happens when the Virgin Mary appears and the statues cry? The answers don't just involve science or the supernatural

What happens when the Virgin Mary appears and the statues cry? The answers don't just involve science or the supernatural
24 March 2024 J.W.H

Claims of appearances of the Virgin Mary and weeping statues were common in Catholicism. And now they’ll take a more in-depth look – but on a worldwide scale.

Pontifical International Marian Academyor PAMI, recently announced “observatory” Down investigate claims concerning the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and reports of statues of Her weeping oil and blood.

This announcement expands PAMI's mission of spreading devotion to Mary and researching phenomena related to her. Pending full approval from the Vatican, the observatory will train researchers to check mystical phenomena in cooperation with church authorities – for instance, trying to find out the content of reported tears.

Investigating the supernatural has at all times been a fragile task within the Catholic Church, which must balance believers' faith with the opportunity of fraud.

Marian Apparitions

Catholics imagine that Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ and the mother of God who continues to make her presence known. The Catholic Church has officially recognized a variety of places all over the world where Mary is reported to have appeared.

Picture Our Lady of Guadalupe on a mantle in Mexico City has long been revered by Catholics as a miracle confirming the looks of Mary to the peasant Juan Diego in 1531. Fatima, Portugalin 1917, three children claimed that the Virgin Mary visited them several times. Crowds, attracted by the kids's prophecy about Mary's reappearance and miracle, reported seeing the sun “dance within the sky

Thousands of believers claimed to have seen the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
Grzegorz Galazka/Archivio Grzegorz Galazka/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The last Marian apparition that a Catholic bishop declared: “worthy of belief” was in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2016. A local Catholic woman told her priest that the visions began with rosary beads shining in many homes, and then Mary warned her about “humanity.”self-destruct

Mary's tears

There can be a protracted history of claims about statues of the Weeping Mary. A well known example is Madonna of Syracuse in Sicily – a plaster statue that appeared to be shedding tears. Church-appointed investigators said it was liquid chemically similar to human tears. The sanctuary where the painting is currently positioned has the form of the so-called a drop of tears.

Seen from above, the extraordinary cathedral in the shape of an inverted flower.
A church in Syracuse, Sicily, which houses a small statue of the Weeping Mary.
Michele Ponzio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Recently, there have been reports of weeping statues in places as far-off as Pashto, HungaryAND Hobbs, New Mexico. Rarely, nevertheless, does the Catholic Church claim that a seemingly weeping statue has a supernatural cause.

Mary's tears have a special meaning for Catholics. She is commonly depicted as weeping over the sins of the world and the pain she experienced in her earthly life. Earthly sorrows of Mary are represented by seven swords piercing her burning heart.

Given the religious and symbolic importance of Mary, it will not be surprising that the alleged site of apparitions or the weeping figure becomes an object of worship.

And when this happens, sometimes the local bishop decides to research.

Possibility of fraud

When investigating claims of the supernatural, bishops follow standards set by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who oversees Catholic doctrine. Perhaps because they raise controversial issues, the standards were only made public in 2012 – almost 35 years since their first implementation.

Four adults stand in a dark room around a statue of a woman in a white dress and blue cloak.
Christians pray in 2014 next to a statue of the Virgin Mary in northern Israel, which locals imagine is the oil of weeping.
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

The bishop or a commission appointed by him evaluates the alleged supernatural phenomenon. This includes interviewing witnesses and sometimes scientific research. The impact on the community can be taken under consideration. Positive facets include reports of physical healings and non secular conversions or a general deepening of religion amongst Catholics. Negative facets include selling oil from a supposedly weeping statue or accepting a message from Mary that’s contrary to Catholic doctrine.

A well known case of apparitions rejected by the Catholic Church concerns the visions of Veronica Lueken, the “Seer of the Bay”, who died in 1995. Lueken delivered a variety of messages from Mary that alarmed the church authorities. For example, Lueken claimed in 1972 that Mary told her that the Pope was actually fraud created to seem like an actual pope, Paul VI, through cosmetic surgery. Though faith within the messages endures amongst a small variety of Catholics, the local bishop he found the apparitions unreliable.

When it involves crying statues, one among the major questions is whether or not the event was staged. For example, in two cases of statues that allegedly cried blood – one v Canada in 1986 and the subsequent century Italy in 2006 – it turned out to be the blood of the monument's owner.

Fluids can be injected into the porous material of the statues, which later leak out as “tears”. Oil mixed with fat could be applied to the eyes of the statue, which then “cries”. Ambient temperature rise.

Searching for meaning

The Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis appears to be on the lookout for evidence of supernatural signs, which actually attract mental curiosity and media attention.

But as researcher of world Catholicism who has written about supernatural claims, I feel it's also vital to grasp what brings people to a site of apparitions or a weeping statue in the primary place.

In my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, statues and paintings appeared mourning with oil and blood at home Audrey Santo has died, who died in 2007 on the age of 23. As a toddler, “Little Audrey” was left mute and paralyzed after a swimming pool accident. Despite her physical condition, the pilgrims who got here to her believed that she prayed for them.

A girl lies in bed with her mouth open and an older woman leans over her.
A special mass was celebrated at Holy Cross College Stadium in Worcester, Massachusetts. outdoors in honor of Audrey Santo, who was said to be related to miracles.
AP Photo/Gail Oskin

After Santo's death, a a foundation was established to advertise her reason for holiness, believing that the statues and paintings in her home were signs that God had especially blessed her.

In my writings in the case of Santo's case, I used to be definitely tempted to concentrate on talking concerning the supernatural. And the claims about Baby Audrey still stand discussed amongst Catholics how its holiness causes stalls. But what was most interesting was hearing people speak about why crying statues were so vital of their personal lives.

In Santo's home, the people I spoke to shared moving personal stories of pain and sadness, hope and healing. Ultimately, a way of community in and thru suffering was rather more vital than talking about scientific evidence of the supernatural.

This is an updated version of an article originally published on July 23, 2018.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”