11 Apr Hundreds flock to see statue of Mary at Indiana Catholic Church after it appeared to shed a TEAR
A sign from God or just a water stain – that is what people in Griffith, Indiana, have been wondering ever since a group of school children noticed what appeared to be a tear-stained cheek on a statue of Mary at St. Mary Catholic Church.
The sight of the ‘weeping’ sculpture is moving some people to tears as others caution against a rush to judgment.
Among the skeptics is the church pastor, the Rev. Theodore Mens.
‘There must be a natural explanation — the cold, the melting of the snow,’ he said. ‘Whenever we see something, we always look for a natural reason first.’
The white statue, about 4 feet tall, depicts Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Surrounded by tulips waiting to bloom, it stands in what parishioners call the ‘sunken garden’ along Broad Street and is the site of the annual May crowning.
Mens said the statue has been there for at least as long as the 21 years he has been at St. Mary Church.
Majdolin Haddad, religious education secretary at St. Mary, said her daughter Reta, an aide in the fourth-grade Monday night class, told her about the tear.
Students in the class had left the church after confession, paused at the statue to pray and noticed a droplet of water clinging to the chin of Mary’s face, appearing to originate from the right eye.
A photo taken Tuesday morning shows the droplet intact. It was gone by early afternoon. Mens saw the photo but was reluctant to read anything into it.
As word spread Tuesday, people visited the statue.
Chicago resident Chris Kovich, who was in Griffith on business, theorized rain water may have followed the curve in the statue’s veil, dripping on its face.
Kovich, who described himself as a lapsed Catholic, said it is premature to make assumptions about the appearance of tears.
‘It is what it is,’ he said. “I’m a realist, but I’m also a believer and Christian,” he said.