An icon in Syria that last exuded oil in 2001 has begun emanating again over Easter Weekend, according to a source close to the situation.
The oil, scientifically proven to be from olives, first began flowing on Saturday, November 27, 1982 in an old Arab-style home to a young woman, Myrna Nazzour, who came from a family of Catholic and Orthodox in a modest Damascus neighborhood of Soufanieh near where Saul saw the Light of Christ. At first it was an icon of Mary dressed in blue with the Child, but after that was taken to a local church for safe-keeping and veneration, at least a thousand other icons, including a famous purple one, began oiling in proximity.
The small, original three-inch icon, originally known to Easterners as Our Lady of Kazan (now referred to here as “Our Lady of Soufanieh”), produced enough oil within the first hour to fill four large dishes, according to accounts.
Oil also flowed from Myrna’s hands and she heard the voice of a heavenly woman intone, “Do not be frightened. I am with you. Open the doors and do not deprive anyone from seeing me. Light a candle for me.”
Myrna, who at first thought she was hallucinating, experienced full-blown apparitions of the Blessed Mother from December 1982 through March of the following year while the oil apparently continued to emanate for another two decades.
It was during Holy Week sixteen years ago that it stopped and now the very end of Holy Week 2017 — 11:10 a.m. April 15, Holy Saturday — it has resumed.
What that portends is anyone’s guess, coming as it has in the midst of a terrifying time for Christians in Syria, their fears heightened by U.S. air strikes, which locals fear could prolong the internal civil war there (though the Pope has condemned a gas attack that led to those strikes). The oiling also started the same week as a major bomb was dropped in Afghanistan and nuclear tensions over North Korea were greatly ratcheted up.
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