HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A Virgin Mary statue at a Hispanic Catholic church in southeastern New Mexico is drawing visitors from around the region because believers say it appears tears are flowing from the statue’s face.
Visitors of the bronze statue located inside the auxiliary building of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church said Tuesday the statue wept, like it did for several hours last Sunday, the Hobbs News-Sun reported .
“There were tears coming down her face again,” said church manager Judy Ronquillo, who was in the building on Tuesday when it took place.
Ronquillo said the statue began crying as the group inside the church finished a Rosary.
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“It’s beautiful,” she said. “The tears aren’t watery, they are an oil-like substance and the tears smell like roses.”
Fellow parishioner Laura Cisneros, who was with her family at the Sunday Mass when the statue began crying, was also present Tuesday. She says it was “amazing.”
Tuesday’s visitors came from throughout southeastern New Mexico and west Texas, as far as San Antonio and El Paso, Ronquillo said.
Odessa resident Brian Morales was one of them. He said he believes God saved his life in a car accident a year ago. Morales believes he died, then saw a white light and was visited by God. It was the first of three similar instances, he said.
“God touched me,” Morales said. “Since I have seen him, I am a changed man and I felt the need to come here. He has me (alive) for a reason. I want to start college and eventually help people who are diagnosed with cancer. What’s happening here with the Virgin Mary is great.”
The church has not closed since the statue began weeping May 20, Ronquillo said. Parishioners and church staff have taken turns watching the statue. The line to visit it Tuesday afternoon was around 100 people long and reached from one side of the auxiliary room to the next, near the building’s entrance.
The only time visitors are not allowed to approach the statue is during the church’s morning and evening Mass celebrations.
“We are going to stay open as long as it takes,” Ronquillo said. “We’ve had people who aren’t Catholic ask if they could come and the answer is ‘Yes!’ You don’t have to be Catholic to witness the miracle. You just have to believe it in your heart.”
Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com