In the small parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs, New Mexico, the faithful believe that a statue of Our Lady is miraculously “crying”.
The pastor of the parish, Father Jose Segura, says parishioners noticed that the statue appeared to be crying after a Sunday Mass.
A parishioner, Laura Cisneros and her husband went up to the statue and found a puddle of an oil-like substance had formed on the floor below the statue. Another person wiped off the tears and Cisneros said more tears appeared. The substance had a distinctive smell. “When you smell it, it gives a scent of flowers, like it’s an essence that’s so sweet and smells really good. And it reminds us of our Virgin,” Cisneros said.
As a priest, I’ve been a bit incredulous about these types of phenomena. I don’t intend to be sensational, but God silenced me,” Father Jose Segura, said in an interview. “I asked if someone had poured water on her but that wasn’t the case. After Mass, we wiped her tears off and more came out. The statue doesn’t have any openings… We couldn’t understand. It also was emitting a strong scent of roses.”
Hundreds of people have come to the church to witness what they believe to be a miracle, but the Church, as it does in these matters, is taking a measured approach.
Father Segura contacted the Bishop of Las Cruces, Most Rev. Oscar Cantú to report the phenomenon. The bishop recommended an investigation to determine the cause, including laboratory tests of the liquid, interviews of witnesses, and investigating possible natural causes, including fraud.
Deacon Jim Winder, the vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Las Cruces, said “The Catholic Church always approaches these possibly-miraculous phenomena with a bit of healthy skepticism. Faith and reason go hand in hand.”
“The approach our investigators will take is to eliminate all possible human or natural causes of the phenomena,” he continued. “They will gather physical evidence as well as eye witness accounts, and only when every possible explanation is eliminated can a phenomenon such as this be considered as possibly being miraculous.”
Bishop Cantú added, in regards to the investigation “What are the fruits? If it’s from God, it’s going to produce positive fruits of joy, of peace, of healing – perhaps physical healing.”