Statue In California: Tears Have Been Washed Away Leaving Behind a Mystery
It was last autumn and into the Christmas season that headlines around the world blazed with the account of a statue streaming what seemed to be tears of blood at a Vietnamese church in Sacramento, California.
It was curious -- the attention the statue received (there have been the cases that seemed more dramatic) -- but such is the movement of the Spirit and perhaps it was because it was outdoors on full display. A similar statue had garnered news coverage in Korea a short while previously.
But as the Sacramento Bee reports Sunday, "The Virgin Mary is no longer weeping. The mysterious stains that some believed were tears of blood on a statue of the Virgin Mary at a Rancho Cordova church were washed away by storms.
"The marks on the left cheek are gone and so are the crowds. The only sign that anything unusual happened at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church are the three dozen flowers, the assortment of candles and the brown folding chairs placed in front of the statue. 'It disappeared as quickly as it appeared,' says the Rev. Jude Ban Nguyen, pastor of the church on the outskirts of Sacramento."
The pastor, who seemed to be leaning in the direction of a believer when we spoke to him several months ago, said diocesan officials had not been by and that still seems to be the case. According to the newspaper, the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento did not investigate.
The so-called tears of blood first appeared November 9 and media from as far away as London and Ho Chi Minh City called the church.
"Worshippers from all over came to pray and sing in front of the statue," notes the news story. "After the streaks appeared, a priest wiped them away. When it reappeared on November 20, believers saw it as a sign from above. Nguyen says the streaks disappeared with the New Year's rains.
Some have their doubts about the streaks.
"I think kids did it," says Tim Phan, a member of the church. Phan took several photos of the statue with the stains, "and it didn't look real."
Such claims must be taken with great caution, not only due to the possibility of it not being authentic, but also because even if it is supernatural, there is always a chance that such things are from the dark side. This always must be discerned. If true, why blood? Why so briefly? And why last November?
Why at a Vietnamese church?
"I believe that she has given us a message," said another man, who also visited the shrine at Lourdes, France, last summer. "To me, it's a miracle."
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