Church officials have been investigating a weeping Virgin Mary sculpture in Hobbs. A debate sparked whether it is a work of God or by an evil spirit.
The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces made efforts to figure out why the statue appeared to be weeping since May 2018. They conducted investigations to look for answers.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of the diocese shared that a sample of the fluid from the statue was sent to a lab for chemical analysis.
It was, later on, determined that the fluid was scented olive oil. Afterward, more questions were raised.
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"Some of the witnesses claimed it smelled of roses, so something similar to the oil I bless and consecrate each year that we use for baptism, for confirmations and for ordination of the priests," Cantú told Las Cruces Sun News.
He also expressed that more investigation is still on the process and the church has not concluded that the strange occurrence is a church miracle.
Cantú revealed that they had to figure out if it was a natural occurrence or not.
Aside from sending a sample of the fluid for thorough analysis, they also examined the sculpture, which is called the Virgin of Guadalupe or Our Lady of Guadalupe and sits in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs.
The church also talked to the maker of the sculpture based in Mexico and asked if there was a possibility that fluid could have remained inside the hollow bronze sculpture after it was done being manufactured.
Cantú explained that there was no possibility since the wax that was used in casting the bronze should have melted since the temperature is extremely hot during the making process.
Word got around fast and many visitors have flocked towards the church. At present, the statue has attracted attention worldwide.
Cantú was asked if they considered that the occurrence could be a stunt pulled by a person or a group of people.
He responded, "But even if it were (a hoax), we are not sure how it would be done, physically.”
The diocese will have to end up with a conclusion at some point, and if they ever decide that the occurrence is a supernatural phenomenon, then they must also choose whether the origin of the tears is from God or an evil spirit, as explained by Cantú.
Cantú expressed that he may have to come up with the final say, but clarified that he would most likely defer to someone with a higher authority like Pope Francis.