Canal 13 Michoacán / Facebook

A statue in the Mexican city of Morelia, in the state of Michoacan will be investigated by Catholic officials after it allegedly began crying out red tears of blood. The statue is of the Virgin Mary in her traditional Mexican guise as Our Lady of Guadelupe. Images of the statue reveal dark streaks running down its porcelain face. According to the family that owns it, the statue began crying on June 2. People were quick to call it a miracle, with the family’s neighbor, Saul Anguiano, saying “I felt a sensation that I haven’t felt before, like a joy but also a real sadness because she is telling us, what will happen only she knows, it is a miracle and hopefully it is a miracle that is good for everyone.”

The Archdiocese of Morelia was less quick to celebrate, releasing a statement about its intentions to investigate. “To begin with it is necessary to emphasize the need to be cautious when discussing an issue as delicate as a supposed miracle. The Catholic Church has always acted prudently with such matters, avoiding dismissals or affirmations without a full investigation. The Archdiocese of Morelia is taking the necessary measures to investigate the situation in a deep and exhaustive manner. Therefore, it is too early to issue a definitive position on the matter.” The exact location of the statue has not been identified in order to protect the family.

This is not the first incidence of a possible miracle involving a statue of the Virgin Mary in Mexico. Last November, churchgoers at a church in El Chanal claimed a statue of Mary, by the name of Virgin of Dolores, began weeping tears. Video footage of the statue showed a droplet running down the statue’s cheek. Residents of the area believed the statue was crying for the recent uptick in violence in the area, which had seen increased cartel activity. Skeptic Italian chemistry professor Luigi Garlaschelli explained how the phenomena could happen naturally. “You need a hollow statue made of plaster or ceramic, which must be covered on the outside with a waterproof layer. By filling the statue with water through an imperceptible hole at the top, the porous material will absorb it, but the outer layer will prevent it from coming out.” A scratch at the statue’s eye, however, might enable some of that water to escape, giving it the appearance of tears.

Back in Morelia, the Archdiocese encouraged it to be a time of personal faith, yet also encouraged awaiting confirmation. “This in no way confirms anything in this regard, which is why [the archbishop] himself asked to treat the issue with adequate discretion, while inviting them to take advantage of this moment to motivate their own conversion and family prayer. It will be the ecclesiastical hierarchy itself that confirms the team that will carry out the detailed study of the case, so, as soon as there is any relevant report or conclusion, it will be made public knowledge.”

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