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It has been a tough time for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The congregation has been fighting for over a year to keep the doors open and is facing foreclosure this week.
But a small miracle inside the church walls is giving the worshipers some hope.
As a caretaker was preparing for what could possibly be the church’s last services, she noticed what appeared to be tears streaming from a painting of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ.
“When these things happen, I feel like a little kid when first going into a candy factory, and you’re just in awe,” said Father Nick Jonas, the presiding priest of the church said. “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.”
Father Jonas put cotton balls underneath the painting to absorb the moisture, then took to social media to share the good news. Since posting, there has been a steady stream of visitors visiting the icon. Even a nun from California traveled across the country to see the weeping image.
“It’s the type of thing you never forget and I always will be inspired by it,” said Mother Angelina.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael inspected and confirmed the legitimacy of the tears Sunday, Jonas said.
The Holy Trinity church was able to avoid foreclosure last year after there was a generous anonymous donation, however the church is still fighting financial troubles and is now back on sale. They need roughly another $1 million to buy the church from the bank, and fundraisers have fallen short.
Many parishioners were hoping that the Virgin Mary’s tears forecast a potential miracle that would save the church from closing its doors. However, Father Jonas interprets the sign a bit differently.
“Some people say this is a sign,” he said. “I stop short of that. I would just rather say that the Virgin Mary is talking to us; I would just let her finish her conversation. And, let’s see what happens.”
“I can’t explain why she is tearing, but I do know as human beings we are usually crying for two reasons: either joy or sorrow,” Fr. Jonas said.
It is the second oldest Greek Orthodox Church in the country and the oldest in the Midwest at more than 100 years old.