Mary Statue Weeps Blood

Here’s a story from India about a statue of the Blessed Virgin that weeps blood. So what? Why should we be interested?

Here’s why: Because weird things happen. Here’s an article I wrote. It’s called Weird Things Happen. Because weird things happen they cause us to wonder and ponder.

That’s what religion is supposed to be about. It’s not primarily about being nice, good respectable people. Yawn. It’s not essentially about religious arguments or religious rules and all that. Religion is about stuff we can’t explain. It’s about our neat little worlds with all our answers getting turned upside down. Religion is supposed to be about the Twilight Zone, the strange, the bewildering and the unexpected–what we call the supernatural.

Part of this whole bewildering thing is that you have crowds of ordinary people flocking to see the alleged miracle. Along with them you have crowds of so called sophisticated who mock the gullible crowds and sneer at the common folk. Maybe you also have trickery–religious charlatans who have conned everybody. Maybe someone comes along and exposes them. That’s also part of the intrigue.

Then again maybe you don’t have any trickery at all. Maybe they examine the statue to see how the magician did his trick and they don’t have any answer. Maybe it actually is a miracle. There have been plenty of bleeding and weeping statues and pictures. Some of them have turned out to be a hoax. More often the authorities don’t declare one way or the other.

This is also why this kind of event intrigues (and I have to confess) and delights me–because we don’t have any answers. Why should this statue weep blood and not a million other statues? Why in India but not in Indiana? Why blood and not tears? There were statues of Ganesh that drink milk. What’s the difference? Is there any reasoning behind the event? There doesn’t seem to be. There are more questions than answers. Does it prove the Christian faith? No more than the milk-drinking statue of Ganesh proved Hinduism.

This sort of thing intrigues and delights me because the rationalists, atheist and logical positivists who start with the assumption that there can be no such thing as a miracle have some explaining to do. The thinking Catholic steps back and says, “Hmm. Could be a miracle. We’ll check out all the natural explanations first, but could be. Could be a miracle.” The rationalist atheist is therefore forced to confront the phenomenon and offer an explanation. He can’t allow for miracles so the only answer he can give is, “It must be a hoax.” or “I don’t know.”

If he says it is some kind of trick. The Catholic says, “Maybe you’re right. Could be a trick. Could be a hoax. We’ll check it out.” But if there is no fraud, the statue is examined and there is no explanation what does the atheist rationalist do?” If he’s honest he’ll also shrug his shoulders and say, “I don’t know. I Guess there are some things in this world we can’t explain.” What he can’t do is be open minded enough to say “It’s a miracle” because he’s not allowed to believe in miracles. He’s not that open minded.

But let’s say he’s open minded enough to say, “I don’t know.” As this unexplainable phenomenon is a religious one, then he’ll also have to conclude, “I guess there are some things in this world we can’t explain and religion is perhaps one of them.” If he honestly comes that far, then he’s taken a step in the right direction, for if his airtight, rational explanation for the world is expanded even a little bit by something which he can’t explain then, he might just admit one day that there are many things he can’t explain and who knows, that might lead to a new exploration of religion–which is the one aspect of human existence that claims to know how to dialogue with whatever is out there that causes weird things to happen.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

    Ever read Pillars of the Earth? Guy has a virgin statue where the body is made of wood and the eyes are stone. During the day, the wood takes in humidity from the atmosphere, and at night, that humidity condenses from the wood when coming into contact with the cooler eyes. And it weeps. /mystery. ;)

    Every one of these cases I’ve looked into, there has been an explanation, and that explanation has been dismissed by the believers. As an atheist, there is no authority forbidding me from having faith in the miraculous, what there is, is rational skepticism which first looks for naturalistic causality. Before I even read that account, my skeptical antenna are registering – someone’s getting paid.

    Back in a bit. :)

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      That’s the Catholic approach to miracles. We look for every natural explanation first, but we’re not so narrow minded as to rule out a miracle.

      • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

        I heard “the Catholic approach” is that the miraculous must be verified by a Monseigneur who comes by your digs with a couple of assistants that are actually Jesuit hit men there to eliminate the competition, in case it pans out. I’m only half-joking…

        Well, I used to just be some nobody until “the creator if the universe” showed up on the jobsite with the line, “I have need of a prophet;” seven years later, I’m collecting disability for unspecified psychosis. :/

        Always seems to be lose/lose, miraculousness…

        • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

          Most times the church doesn’t pronounce on these “miracles” one way or the other.

          • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

            As to the Shroud link you’ve posted…

            Easy-peasy. Guy mixed blood in with the paint. Heard it was probably done by Giotto. :)

            Was a good article. Thanks.

          • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

            You need to explain the nature of the images on the Shroud–they are not painted but scorched in the linen and only on the very surface of the fabric–there is no penetration of the fibers of any sort of liquid.

        • kevin

          John, you should check out the Miracle of Lanciano. The blood was verified by independent scientists as real human blood. Not everything has a natural explanation.

          • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

            Thank you, Kevin. I did just that. I found this article http://www.zenit.org/article-12933?l=english and this skeptical commentary http://arumanchan.blogspot.com/2008/08/eucharist-miracles-miracle-of-lanciano_12.html. And I made many hours go away. :)

            Here’s the problems: Dr. Edoardo Linoli, claimed by the Christian sites to be “prominent,” doesn’t seem very prominent. He doesn’t seem to exist much beyond this endeavor, his paper is unprofessional and biased, and said paper seems to have been accepted in a peer-reviewed publication precisely zero times. Well, beyond originally appearing in the “Quaderni Sclavo di diagnostica clinica e di laboratorio,” another thing that seems to exist largely for this event.

            Another problem: the article mentions that this work was reviewed by “the higher council of WHO” – curiously lacking from their organizational structure – which then “published an extract” – what they would do, is publish a paper to a journal and said journal would offer the extract, but… – in 1976 – which is curiously lacking from their IRIS database.

            So there is no “verification from independent scientists,” there’s one guy. One guy who claims the AB blood type is the same from the Shroud of Turin. Which doesn’t have blood. It has paint.

            All of which is largely irrelevant. If some priest today turned his back to the congregation to face a loaf of bread and then spun around with a human heart, the congregation would be checking his sleeves and calling the cops. Probably what should have happened back then.

          • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

            John, if you’re really interested please read this article: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/ford1.pdf

            It explores the question of whether the ‘blood’ on the Shroud of Turin is blood or paint. I’d be interested to know what you make of it.

    • Steve

      So a natural explanation of the weeping statue in “Pillars of the Earth” ends the discussion? My question is; ” was this the only statue made of wood and stone? If there were others, did any of them weep, or only the virgin?”

    • Derrick

      John,

      What about explaining the human will? It’s spiritual and physical origin in the human body is one I haven’t been able to answer. And I appreciate you checking in to different claims.

      Take care, Derrick

      • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

        “Mind” is an emergent function of brain, a simulation. Within mind, simulation of mind of another, which allows for empathy, and simulation of future. The ability to simulate future comes with a high price in that the self is able to foresee its own expiration. One of the pillars of religion, fear of death…

        Anywho, a simulation of mind that simulates future requires a consistent sense of self in order to formulate useful models. Like if I didn’t know I like soda, anticipating going to the store to get some Pepsi would be superfluous.

        There’s no duality. There have been so many cases where trauma of one form of another has caused the individual to have a completely different sense of self hat the idea of a soul is a non-starter IMO. I’m just the pattern of the moment.

    • pradeep

      Mother mary is crying blood . Blood samples are tested. She cryes for the sinners of this world.God has given us freedom, we are doing enormous sin using that freedom Like 1. Abortion ,innocent children are being killed in every seconds. 2 . Child abuse taking place every where.3. Homosexuality 4. Adultary.5. Aithesum. Satanisum , Killing cheating others for selfishness. These sins are increases in mind blogging way. But we are pretending that we dont know . While writing this much time more than 100 abortions are taken place in whole world. Check the abortion clock in net. So repent and pray for the mercy of God

      If we dont repent our soul will go to eternal punishment in Hell. This sorrow caused her to weep in blood teras. Being the mother of humanity she is suffering from extreme sorrow. If you ask your mother what will be her attitude if you are fallen in a fire of eternal punishment.That is the reason for blood tears. Recently there was a blood tears in Gazhiyabag delhi. just see the details. blood tested and details furnish.
      Understanding these things is very simple. Mother mary please for us,for this world and help us to overcome from sins
      I have personnaly witnesses many places. Pl respond my id is acl.pradeep@gmail.com

  • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

    “Visitors and faithful are bringing and keeping the rosary on the blood clotted statue and praying rosaries continuously in the chapel. he event took place at the personal chapel of CMI Bhavan where at present a new wing for the Christ College, Bangalore is under construction” Uh huh.

    ~from http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping972.html

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      As my post said, it could be a hoax, but maybe then again it might not be. I’ve got room in my cosmos for a hoax and for a miracle. Do you? Or maybe you’re not capable of being so open minded.

      • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

        Say there’s this earthquake in the Pacific, and this tsunami is heading towards Sydney. And all of a sudden, it flattens out. Turns into butterflies. That’d be a miracle. A statue that weeps blood? That’s kinda gross. And it looks far more like an angle than an angel.

        You know some thermodynamics, yeah? The miraculous does not conserve entropy. If the universe can be said to have will, conservation of entropy would be the moral law. Simplistically speaking.

        • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

          The only conclusion that I would draw from the statue weeping blood is that weird things happen.

        • Oregon Catholic

          John, you make me laugh. Like most atheists who don’t believe in God or miracles you still think you know how to define them. Love your logic…

          • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

            Laughter is good. ;)

  • http://thetruephilosophy.blogspot.ca/ Jim J. McCrea

    The exotic that comes from God is not unnatural but infinitely natural.

    God’s action is perfectly natural – there are no aspects of reality that simply “hang out” without a sufficient reason for their existence or action. But it does not fit into the finite logic of the rationalist – it is an infinite rationality – an infinite logic – hence has infinite life and freedom and is supremely fascinating.

    I believe that the aseity (the necessary self-existence) of God is based upon the law of logic of identity – that God is Pure and Absolute Identity, with every possible good thing in Him being absolutely identical to every other possible good thing, which is identical to existence, giving rise to the absolute simplicity and infinity of Him. God has an absolutely rational reason (in itself, not to us) for His existence and nature and for what He wills.

    He is thus Pure and Absolute Intelligibility having the identity of all that is good – infinite intelligibility that exceeds our poor intelligence more than the light of the sun exceeds the vision of a bat, hence is mystery to us and appears to us as pure darkness when a ray of His truth strikes our mind (which St. John of the Cross says is a ray of darkness).

    God’s simplicity does not mean that He is trivial, but the precise opposite of that because His simplicity and infinity contains the All, in utter exoticness, novelty, and profundity that the blessed in heaven see in their vision of God and in all that He wills.

  • Brian

    Fr. Dwight, I don’t think you are giving enough credit to these miracles as “motives of credibility,” and it is a little (only a little) shocking that you would say this proves the truth of Christianity no more than the so-called Milk Miracle. Someone needs to catch up on their fundamental theology.

  • http://www.laetificatmadison.com Elizabeth D

    Weeping statues are such a common hoax/fraud and it is so easy to find instructions online how to do it that one should never assume there is any likelihood of it being real. There is nothing edifying about this.

    • Sal

      I’d agree, if the statue above fit the requirements. But we don’t know if it does. Not all plaster statues- which I’m guessing this is, from the photo- are hollow. What if it isn’t plaster, but resin, a popular material used for statues today? (See any Catholic goods site.)
      What if it’s scratched somewhere other than the eye area and doesn’t bleed?
      Too many possibilities to say for sure, at this time.
      Which is Fr. L.’s point.

  • http://catholicollarandtieblog Fr Gary Dickson

    As you say Father, to look for the natural explanation first is the way the Church works. But she is not so narrow as to exclude the miraculous if the natural cannot supply the answer, and there are several such instances of the miraculous. Sadly, the atheistic mind-set is one-sided; it is partially closed-off: if there is no natural explanation for a ‘wierd thing’ the atheist sits back in ‘faith’ that it will indedd be explained one day. It is the classic example of the atheist living on faith that God does not exist, while we Christians live on Faith that He does. How blessed we are to have fully open minds that can grasp the existence of God, and to have hearts open to loving Him.

    • ursula riches

      beautifully put. Nobody is asking Why the Holy Virgin may be weeping blood right now? If this is Suddenly happening, it may be because the US UK Nato war on Syria by proxy and threats to Iran will herald a big Nuclear WWIII. Allso the radiation coming from Japan Also reason to cry is the plight of the Libyan people by Nato & the terrorists nato support for cheap oil.

  • SteveD

    There is a very well known case of a bleeding statue of Christ in Cochabamba in Bolivia. A famously cynical Australian investigative journalist (and long lapsed Catholic) who had successfully ‘debunked’ several similar cases went to look into the claims and could find absolutely no indication of fraud (he’s now a practicing Catholic). He took samples of the blood to a pathologist who said that the person involved had suffered massive injuries. As the statue bleeds and weeps especially profusely on certain days such as Good Friday, anyone proposing a scientific explanation has special difficulties with this one.

  • Silvie

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173305/Virgin-Mary-Our-Lady-Guadalupe-seen-tree-trunk-West-New-York.html

    HI Fr. Dwight.
    Thank you for this post. I think you have rather succinctly put into words my own feelings about these events. If you click on the story above about a tree on a New Jersey street that appears to have an image of the Virgin of Guadelupe; what is so striking to me is not the tree, but the sense of community, and the amazing beauty of the faithful who gather there to pray.
    I would argue that it is completely beyond the point if such apparitions are ‘real’ or not. They give succor to people in pain (a man was killed in an accident nearby) and they remind us of the frailty of our lives, the wonder of the world in which we live in and the Lord who blesses us all.
    Atheism offers only a mundane view of the world. Why turn your nose up when the genuine miracles of God’s creation are everywhere!
    Thanks again, great post.

  • Mary

    I think John Cantor wants to believe in God. It seems to me that an atheist who is firm in his convictions would be content with keeping his atheism to himself while one who actually wants to believe in God, but can’,t is always picking fights with those who do believe in Him, hoping to be convinced. Maybe such atheists lack the humility to say “help me understand”, but still having the desire to possess the kind of faith they see in others, they enter into a duel with them, hoping to lose……and thus win what they so long for. God bless you John Cantor. I have the hope that you will praise God before your life is over.

    • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

      Thank you. ;)

      You seemed to have missed this part, from above – Well, I used to just be some nobody until “the creator if the universe” showed up on the jobsite with the line, “I have need of a prophet;” seven years later, I’m collecting disability for unspecified psychosis. :/

      If prophets kept their atheism to themselves, there would be no Bible. No Christianity, no Islam, no Bai’hi, no LDS…

      • Mary

        John Cantor: I do not like blowing my own horn but I was an honor student who received her degree in Math. As you may or may not know, that required quite a bit of logic. As a matter of fact, it was only in fairly recent history that the studies of Math and Philosophy were separate. That being said, I cannot for the life of me figure out what you’re talking about. That’s usually the sign of a con man.

        • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

          Mathematics is the art of logical consistency. Philosophy evolved, in other words. And speaking of cons, I’m not the one with the weeping statue. :P

          • Theresa Rezac

            John, You seem very angry for no apparent reason. Why would you start your morning trying to convince others of your great wisdom? Are you insecure about yourself and deep inside you are hoping something bigger than the thoughts that exist in your brain? Have no fear, God is waiting patiently for you, He loves you whether you believe in Him or not. He can take away all that anxiety and replace it with the peace that you obviously are searching for so desperately.

    • Theresa Rezac

      Mary, I was thinking the exact same thing. John is intelligent and has some valid points. But why would an atheist spend so much time and energy on a subject which he does not even believe exists; an all knowing, all loving. almighty God.

  • Desmond Savage

    Fr Dwight,
    Thanks very much for the post. As a physician and former searching agnostic, I have also been long fascinated by mystical phenomena. I am sure that many, maybe most are either fraudulent or can be explained as the result of natural causes. The issue is, there are just too many in the history of the Church that cannot be explained by any other explanation than the miraculous. For example, the stigmata of Padre Pio (not to mention all the other gifts that reliable, holy and intelligent witnesses have attested that he exhibited), Fatima, Lourdes, St Joseph of Cupertino, The Cure of Ars etc.
    The Church to Her credit, tends to be very cautious when investigating these occurrences. I think She does not get enough credit for wisdom that has been exhibited, even in times long gone, in interpreting the veracity and meaning of miracles. Only a fool would claim that all of the accepted mystical phenomena are either of natural causes or fraudulent.

  • DJ

    Gee, India seems to be awash in weeping/bleeding/puss-discharging statues right now. I wonder why that is.
    http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2012/07/sanal-edamaruku-update-indian-catholics.html
    Grow up, you silly. desperate-for-a-miracle wanna-believers. There are no miracles, only coincidences (or out-right fraud in these Indian statue cases) and feeble human imaginations looking for patterns.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Are there any grown up atheists out there who have something called manners?

      • DJ

        Manners? As in respect for the fraud perpetrated on the Indian people?
        Maybe medieval charlatans could get away with this, but no longer.

  • Proteios1

    The only thing I’m really impressed at is that atheists would troll this site and then with no foreknowledge immediately dismiss any occurrence, hoax or otherwise, sans data. I agree with whoever commented that atheists want to believe. Otherwise, it’s just like they are fundamentalists trying to convert Pete to their new religion…sorry their one truth that explains it all…like a religion.

    • DJ

      “…with no foreknowledge immediately dismiss any occurrence, hoax or otherwise, sans data. ”
      You REALLY want to play the “data” or evidence card? Come on, use what you would call your god-given common sense. What is the probability that an inanimate stone/wood/plaster statue is really bleeding? None. Has it ever occurred in the history of mankind? Never. For you to conclude so, is to demonstrate the utmost in gullibility.
      There is no data to support your conclusion.

      • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

        That’s the whole point. Weird things happen. Sometimes bleeding statues are hoaxes. Sometimes they are investigated and no one can give an explanation.

  • SR

    What’s going on with the bleeding statue in Baton Rouge? Does anyone know of it? The owners are Vietnamese and Catholic.

  • kevin

    I’m with Proteios, Sheesh. I’ve never seen smug atheists pounce on a post like this before. Must have having some doubts that everything’s a “hoax.”

  • mike cliffson

    Dj, John Cantor.
    I think there’s at least one website on Fatima.
    I don’t know if a good translation exists in English, those Ive seen were a touch stilted , of the accounts of some of the tens of thousands of witnesses to the sun dancing in the sky at Fatima nearly a century ago. These included the faithful , the superstitious, the curious, the caught going about their daily business, the disbelieving, street-savvy cosmopolitan journalists who seem to have come to scoff at the farmers…

  • MaryS

    Every once in awhile, an atheist becomes Catholic. Jennifer Fulwiler is one (here’s one of her articles for athesists): http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jennifer-fulwiler/5-catholic-teachings-that-make-sense-to-atheists
    Leah Libresco is another recent convert:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/prominent-atheist-blogger-converts-to-catholicism/
    and there are others (non-bloggers, too!):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_atheists_and_agnostics

    Do you see what I see? When an atheist becomes a Catholic = a miracle has most certainly ocurred!

    All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. (Even athesists!)

  • Kirk

    John, look deep into your mind and ask “how can I even know I have a mind”. Humans are the only animals that can identify self and intelict. That is because we have a soul given to us by God. Now that is a miracle.

  • Julie

    Very interesting! John, I read Korou’s request on the atheist site. I am happy to see that Father has all of you scurrying.

    • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

      Four ain’t all, and Korou is not Father. :)

  • Julie

    If Korou thought that he was winning the debate, he would not have felt the need to call in reinforcements! That is a fact! Oh, I forgot, you atheists have trouble recognizing facts.

  • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

    More about that Shroud… Luke says Joe took the body down, wrapped it in linen, stuck it in a tomb. According to that paper you linked up, the red color is consistant with excessive trauma. Put those two together, and you’d have a Shroud that’s all red. But it’s not. His hair and beard have been groomed, hands and feet crossed; he must have been cleaned. Makes sense, right?

    Well, no. Thing about dead bodies; they don’t bleed.

    Then his head was supposedly wrapped in this other cloth. If that was the case, the amount of detail on the face should be the least prominent, but lo and behold, it’s the most. Then there should be distortions, impressions from the sides, yada, yada; but the most telling, IMO, is how mush it resembles the style of fourteenth century portraiture. You know, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck?

    I’m sorry, but the Shroud is a fraud.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Those are good questions. Dead bodies don’t bleed, but open wounds continue to ooze. The blood flow on the shroud is consistent with a body that was hurriedly washed and wrapped, but the wounds continued to ooze. This is what was reported–that because of the Sabbath the body was hurriedly buried, and the women were on their way back to the tomb to complete the task when they were surprised that the tomb was empty.

      If this is a medieval forgery, I wonder how you think the image of the body was scorched onto the cloth, that the medieval artist was able to reproduce with such accuracy the wounds of the crucifixion in a way that most artists of the time did not portray and doctors did not understand. How did the forger scorch the image on the cloth so that the result was a photographic negative? How was he able to portray the features so that modern three dimensional imaging produced a 3-D face when it does not do so with paintings? Then again, how was the artist able to gather pollen from the Jerusalem area, the area of Turkey and France (where the shroud was reported to have been) gather them together and insert them in the linen? Amazing that the forger knew, for example, that the thumbs move behind the palms when the nerve running through the wrist is punctured.

      • http://houseofcantor.blogspot.com John Cantor

        How?

        http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/07/italy.turin.shroud/index.html

        Then there’s the problem of being a prophet (I did mention that part :) ) and “remembering being with Paul in Corinth and gleaning what he was up to,” which simplifies to “I do not accept the hypothesis of historicity.”

        There’s a good line, btw: “I do not accept that hypothesis.” Works every time. ;)

        And what happened to, ‘he is blessed who believes and has not seen?’ I’m not an atheist because I got anger management problems, I’m an atheist because nothing need be said beyond ‘god is love.’ Because hell is a completely absurd concept. Because religion suppresses inquiry. Because the answer is to never stop asking questions.

  • That Hat Lady

    John, did you ever travel to Turin to see the actual shroud and view the scientific evidence surrounding it? I did. You did not. You haven’t reviewed the scientific evidence gathered so far. The evidence posted on 100 plaques, conducted by atheist and agnostic scientists around the world, who determined conclusivly that the shroud is NOT painted, it is in fact a burial with evidence of human remains. Your view that the shroud is painted is blantantly false. You are the hoax. I suspect any claims you make about anything are highly suspicious.

  • Pingback: Memorial Hospital Directions Blog


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X