A Virgin Mary Statue in New Mexico has parishioners and church officials stunned after it began “weeping” olive oil tears.
The “crying” began on Pentecost Sunday on May 20 when parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs noticed there appeared to be tears streaming from the Virgin Mary’s eyes, and it has continued intermittently for several weeks without any logical explanation.
Per The Washington Post, the church’s priest, Rev. Jose Segura, initially struggled to believe this unexplained occurrence was real, but after further examination he’s now convinced it’s truly happening.
Judy Ronquillo, the business manager for the church, told the publication of the Spanish-speaking priest, “It’s something extraordinary for him. He has no words for it.”
The church and a team of investigators has found no liquid coming from the ceiling that could be responsible for the tears, which have been tested and appear to be a clear olive oil that has been treated with some kind of scent, possibly similar to chrism. Furthermore, officials even contacted the statute’s manufacturer, who ensured them nothing could be leaking from within the hollow, cast bronze figure.
Still, WaPo notes that photos and a video released by the church shows the statue with what appears to be liquid inside the eyes and around the cheeks, mouth and chin. In one photo, it even looks as if the tear trail could have started on the upper eyelids.
Deacon Jim Winder, vice chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces, tells the outlet, “We don’t believe chrism oil was taken from the church and used to adulterate this statue.” Still, he also acknowledged that church officials have “no explanation” for the bizarre phenomenon.
As comedian Ken McGraw hypothesized on Twitter: “A new Papa John has been chosen.” McGraw is referring to the replacement of John Schnatter, Papa John’s founder, who resigned from its board of directors on July 11 after making a racist remark.