Hundreds Gather in Argentina to Witness Statue of Virgin Mary 'Crying Blood'
A family in Argentina's Salta province has attracted hundreds of witnesses to their home, due to claims that a small icon of the Virgin of the Mystical Rose, one of the names Catholics use for the Virgin Mary, has begun to 'cry tears of blood.'
The phenomenon began over Lent, according to the statue's owners, the Frias Mendoza family. Mr. Mendoza claims the Virgin Mary appeared to him in a dream "the day before the miracle began".
"It was the first time something like this has happened and I was very scared. I thought it was some kind of punishment," said Mr. Mendoza.
A video appeared online shortly after the event, which purports to show the 'miracle' in action.
The statue will be moved from its makeshift shrine in the Frias Mendoza home to a nearby Catholic church, where it will be made more available for viewing by Christian pilgrims. It is expected that the local clergy will keep a close eye on the statue of the Virgin Mary to observe the reported phenomenon.
"A lot of people come here to pray and light several candles devoted to the Virgin," said priest Ricardo Quiroga.
"If she cries again, we need to do something at a high level in the church."
Father Julio Raúl Méndez urges caution, stating that the Church must first rule out any scientific cause before the event can be declared a miracle.
“The first thing the church does is to do a scientific analysis to see if there is a natural explanation," said Méndez. "Only then, the possibility of a supernatural phenomenon is considered.”
Although there have been many supposed Marian miracles involving statues over the years, only one has ever been officially recognized by the Catholic church, when the weeping statue of Our Lady of Akita was broadcast to audiences in Japan.