By Michael H. Brown
WHY SHE WEEPS: PHENOMENON OF STATUES THAT SHED MYSTERIOUS FLUID CONTAIN A HIDDEN MESSAGE
What is one to think when one watches droplets of water — tears — appear on a plastic statue as one holds it? Just materialize?
That happened to me back in the mid-1990s in a suburb of Toronto.
As I held it, a statue “wept” from all over — a small hollow statue. I looked inside as this occurred and of course searched for any hose or mechanism whatsoever. It was just a hollow plastic statue of the Blessed Mother.
This also happened a year ago to another journalist, Rod Dreher, who has served stints as a columnist for papers like the Dallas Morning News and The New York Post. He now writes for publications such as The American Conservative. Dreher watched in amazement as a statue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, did the same thing, a Rosa Mystica statue that belonged to a woman who had been suffering from cancer.
Again, it was a representation of Mary: right before his eyes (as they prayed), moisture formed in hers.
These statues have been known to shed tears around the world. The same has been true of a pilgrim Fatima statue, as well as a life-sized one of Guadalupe.
I have stayed in homes where not one but any number of objects “lachrymate.” The phenomena seem to be attached to a place or a person. In fact, that was true of that home in Canada. I’d also encountered it near Syracuse, New York, and in northern California. And at a church in Virginia (this case linked to a priest). Through the years I have received many letters from those who have seen dozens of objects — statues, beads, pictures, and medals — exude watery or oily liquids; sometimes it’s the case where all you have to do is bring a statue near one that is lachrymating. The most amazing is in Medjugorje, Hercegovina, where a massive bronze Corpus of Jesus has been mysteriously and constantly exuding a watery-oily liquid for more than a decade (out of a “wound” on the right knee). Miracles are claimed with it.
Statue mysteries are historical. Nearly from the beginning of Christianity, certainly back to the early Middle Ages, miracles have been associated with representations of Jesus and Mary. For the most part, they involved unexplained lights coming from such an object, strange reactions of animals to holy images, or an apparition indicating a buried statue (many were hidden when Muslims tried to conquer Europe). But it was not until the twentieth century that the miracles turned to those of tears.
In Orthodox churches, it’s often the emanation of myrrh.
I visited icons that had been known to weep in such a church on Long Island. What a feeling there (at Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox in Hempstead).
Ditto: a church in Michigan. With oil and myrrh, there seems to be healing.
Sometimes, the exudation is blood — which can give one pause, especially when there is unsightly clotting.
Is the devil involved in some?
One has always to discern. With some of these cases, you can feel the grace; with others, there can be a feeling of unsettlement.
One of the most famous weeping statues was (ironically) in Syracuse, Sicily [above, right]. Investigators sent by the bishop saw it for themselves, the tears collecting in a cavity formed by the hand over her heart. In a radio address on October 17, 1954, Pope Pius XII acknowledged “the unanimous declaration of the Episcopal Conference held in Sicily on the reality of the event” and asked, “Will men understand the mysterious language of those tears?”
Again: they seem especially aimed at our era. This I know because I wrote a book, The Last Secret, about such phenomena, going back twenty centuries. Another famous and Church-approved one was in Akita, Japan, where a wooden statue of Mary wept on 101 occasions (the tears chemically analyzed, as also was the case in Syracuse). In Italy, a statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace purchased in Medjugorje has also wept in front of a bishop — and has met with Church approval (this in Civitavecchia). It involved blood [left].
What are we to make of statues and pictures that cry?
Certainly it is a comment on the general state of morality. Is it also a comment on what is coming as a result?
[resources: The Last Secret]
[Send us any cases you’ve encountered or your view on why she cries]
[Here is a list compiled by VisionsofJesusChrist.com: