Hundreds of people are visiting a home in Kampung Mahandoi, Malaysia, where a statue has suddenly appeared to be crying tears. Miracle, hoax or something else?
Michael George, owner of the home and the statue, says it was brought from the Philippines about a year ago by his sister-in-law. The 13 inch (33 cm) statue was recently taken to be blessed by Archbishop John Wong at the Our Lady Queen of Peace Church at Kg Kobusak. When George brought it home, his son noticed liquid droplets around the statue’s eyes. They called a priest to view it and tried to keep things secret but someone took a picture, posted it on the Internet and all heaven broke loose. Now he has people lining up to see the statue, which appears to cry once a day at various times. To accommodate viewers and believers who come to pray, he’s thinking about building a grotto for the statue. The nearby Sabah Catholic Church is said to be investigating it.
The weeping statue is one of the more popular “miraculous” events in the Catholic Church. A statue, usually of Mary, the mother of Jesus, mysteriously begins to have what appears to be tears or blood forming, dripping and sometimes flowing from the area of the eyes. Often seen as a sign of a message or warning from Mary, there have been at least 15 known cases of weeping statues worldwide since 1949. Only one – in Akita, Japan - has been recognized by the Vatican as a genuine weeping statue.
The rest are unverified or have been proven to be hoaxes, usually caused by someone secretly applying water or blood, natural condensation, collective hallucinations or trickery. Hollow ceramic or plaster statues that are glazed can be made to cry by scraping off a tiny bit of glaze on the bottom, allowing the statue to absorb water or another liquid through it and then making a tiny hole in the glaze near the eyes.
So what is Michael George’s weeping statue? No one knows yet. Skeptics want it inspected. Believers want it taken to a church and guarded.
What would you do?