On Monday, thousands of Catholic believers flocked to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago where the Virgin Mary Painting is reported to be shedding tears. The caretaker of the church said he saw the painting shedding tears on Sunday, and rushed immediately to Father Nick Jonas.
Fr. Jonas placed cotton balls at the bottom of the picture, to absorb the oil-like “tears” dripping from the Virgin Mary’s eyes. He also posted a picture of crying Mary on his Facebook.
Streaks of the tear stream were visible even a day later:
After the news spread, thousands of visitors flocked to the church, to witness the “miracle” and sang Greek prayers and hymns as the aroma of hundreds of candles floated in the air. Although the painting was no longer weeping by then, the streaks of dried tears were still clearly visible.
This 100-year old Church is about to be closed and sold:
The second oldest Greek Orthodox Church in the country, and second oldest in the mid-west – Holy Trinity has endured for more than 100 years in the city of Chicago. Since last year, it has gone bankrupt and is about to be closed due to a court order. It was saved back then by an anonymous donation, but now it is again up for sale. The recent event of “tears’ from Virgin Mary painting has given a renewed faith to the believers who consider this as a sign that the Church will be saved.
Father Nick Jonas doesn’t agree:
I would just rather say that the Virgin Mary is talking to us.There’s something she’s trying to tell us, so we’re just going to seal our lips and listen to what she has to say.
What’s the meaning behind Mary’s tears?
In biblical symbolism, Mary’s tears are said to be sacred and pure: saying that she cries for the “Seven sorrows of Mary,” which include the sins of the world, the same sins for which her son was crucified; and also over the pain she suffered in her life on Earth, her tears are also considered the mark of grieving over Jesus’s death. This symbolism is often represented by seven swords piercing her flaming heart.
What’s the truth?
The phenomena of statues and paintings producing crying “blood” and “tears” have been observed and recorded since centuries. They usually turn out to be elaborate hoaxes and the Catholic church has always remained at a distance from such events. Most bishops dismiss the story of miracles behind weeping statues and paintings, saying that “faith and devotion are more important than tales of supernatural happenings.”
Many a times the tears of a painting or statue turn out to be oil mixed with fat, that is applied to the eyes. It melts when the temperatures rise, giving the appearance of tears trickling down. Sometimes liquids are injected into porous material of statues, which later leak out as “tears.”
A recent statue crying was uncovered to a mixture of olive oil and balsam, the mixture that is used in Catholic blessing rituals.
Another two cases of statues that wept blood – one in Canada in 1986 and another in Italy in 2006 – it was discovered that the blood belonged to the owner himself.
What will happen to the Church?
Although the event of “weeping” has brought the issue of a bankrupt Church to public attention, it is possible that public donations might pour in to save the church. Father Nick Jonas of the church has denied all claims to miracles, while other believers hope that something good can come out of this. The bankruptcy hearing for the Church is scheduled to be on Tuesday 11 AM.
Featured Image Courtesy: News Bomb