Hundreds of faithful Catholics are going on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Hobbs, N.M., where reportedly, a bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe began to shed tears prior to the noon Mass Sunday, May 20, at the sight of 200 parishioners.
“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, pastor of the parish, told the Denver Catholic en Español. “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,” the priest assured. “We couldn’t understand. It also was emitting a strong scent of roses.”
After the incident, the priest contacted Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, the diocese to which the parish belongs, and told him about the occurrence. The surprised prelate humorously said that he did not receive calls of this nature on a regular basis, but that it was necessary to be prudent and begin an investigation.
Since the event, the number of people going on pilgrimage to the church has only grown. News has spread through social media and there has been a significant increase of faithful turning to confession.
The diocese speaks
Deacon Jim Winder, vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Las Cruces, said that an investigation is on its way. “The Catholic Church always approaches these possibly-miraculous phenomena with a bit of healthy skepticism,” he assured. “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.”
“God doesn’t have to wait for the results of the study. If this is from God, then the blessings will come immediately, whether or not we understand their origin,” he added.
Judy Ronquillo, parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, was one of the spectators of the incident. He told the Denver Catholic en Español that what happened to this parish “was wonderful.”
“Since then, we have not left the Virgin alone. We alternate to look after 24 hours a day,” he said. He added that on Tuesday, May 29, “the Virgin shed two more tears.”
“I feel this is going to strengthen my faith. The Virgin wants us to pray more, that we be more united, that we ask each other for forgiveness,” he concluded.
The investigation of the alleged miracle by the Diocese of Las Cruces is expected to take up to a year.