On the U.S.-Mexico border, Mary may be shedding tears
It was during Mass one weekend in May that tears were first spotted streaming down the face of a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe located at a church of the same name in Hobbs, New Mexico.
According to the Las Cruces Sun News, the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Father Jose “Pepe” Segura, said the crying statue was brought to his attention following Mass one weekend.
“I walked inside and got closer and I asked ‘who got her wet?’ and they said, ‘No Father, she’s crying!'” Father Pepe told the Sun News.
The priest wiped Our Lady’s face, after which the tears continued to appear.
“That’s when I saw that she really was crying,” Father Pepe told the Sun News. “I think it’s a reminder for all of us to get closer to God and to stop being violent and unite us. We need to be independent of the creed for our race, for our language and remember there is something more superior.”
Since then, an investigation has been opened by the Diocese of Las Cruces and Bishop Oscar Cantu. A sample of the liquid was recently collected, and it was determined to be a scented olive oil. The substance currently is undergoing further examination in a laboratory. The diocese also examined the interior of the statue and called its manufacturer who, according to the Sun News, could give no physical reason as to why the statue would be weeping a scented olive oil.
“Even if it were (a hoax), we are not sure how it would be done, physically,” Bishop Cantu told the Sun News. “Because it is hardened bronze. We’ve examined the interior, and there’s nothing on the interior.”
While the causes of the weeping statue are yet to be determined, that has not stopped some people from traveling to venerate the sculpture. Bishop Cantu even said already there had been “beautiful, positive fruits” that have resulted from visits to Our Lady.
“I’ve read most of those written testimonies, and they are stories of tremendous faith, people who have been dealing with terrible suffering in their lives and have felt a tremendous spiritual consolation that Mary walks with us in our tears,” the bishop said.
With New Mexico’s location on the U.S.-Mexico border, it is unsurprising that Bishop Cantu should relate Mary’s tears with the many tears being shed by immigrants from south of the border who are seeking a better life in the United States.
“I can’t help but think of my own shedding of tears for the poor people who come to our border, fleeing life-threatening situations,” he told the Sun News. “The tears of those children who are separated from their parents. There are many reasons we would shed tears, and God stands with us in those moments.”
The statue has already gained so much popularity that she has her own Facebook page. Follow the story as it unfolds by searching for Our Lady of Guadalupe Hobbs.
Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.
Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Guadalupe Hobbs.