A miracle in the Philippines!
[A] statue of Our Lady of Fatima, made of porcelain, started weeping tears of “blood” on Monday night, said resident Joy Rayla. She told Sun.Star that her 14-year-old son was the one who first noticed the blood coming out of the statue’s eyes. Her son said the statue also wept blood last Good Friday, March 29.
Joy believes the incident has something to do with her husband’s losing faith in God, adding that her 41-year-old husband was once an active member of the church, but lost faith due to personal problems.
We’e been down this road many times before.
In 1995, a Madonna statue appeared to weep blood in the town of Civitavecchia in Italy. About 60 witnesses testified to witnessing the miracle. The local bishop said that he himself had seen it weep. The blood on the statue was later found to be male. The statue’s owner, Fabio Gregori, refused to take a DNA test. After the Civitavecchia case, dozens of reputedly miraculous statues were reported. Almost all were shown to be hoaxes, where blood, red paint, or water was splashed on the faces of the statues.
In 2008, church custodian Vincenzo Di Costanzo went on trial in northern Italy for faking blood on a statue of the Virgin Mary when his own DNA was matched to the blood.
In some countries, though, it’s not the hoaxers who face legal consequences, but the skeptics who oppose them.
Late last year, an Indian rationalist and atheist, Sanal Edamaruku, disproved claims that a Jesus statue had spontaneously begun to produce tears. He traced the source of the liquid to a leaky sewage pipe, and demonstrated that the water-producing feat of the statue was easily explained by capillary action.
After India’s Catholic Christian Secular Forum filed a complaint, Indian prosecutors charged Edamaruku with blasphemy, claiming he deserved jailtime for “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments.” Edamaruku went into hiding for two months and eventually fled to Finland.
Here’s a CNN video about the affair:
India’s prosecutors should probably consider putting Catholic clergy on trial too; after all, surprisingly enough, the Vatican is rather skeptical about these so-called miracles. According to Wikipedia,
Authorities of the Catholic Church … set very high barriers for their acceptance. … Even at the local level, Catholic priests have expelled people who claim weeping statues from their local church.