HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A Virgin Mary sculpture in a New Mexico Catholic church that has appeared to be weeping in the past is reportedly crying again.
Devotees say the bronze Our Lady of Guadalupe statue in a Hobbs, New Mexico, church was seen shedding tears again on Saturday — months after the figure was seen crying by parishioners, the Hobbs News-Sun reports .
Believers at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church said it's the first time in more than three months and the fourth time overall the statue has "wept."
The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is investigating the Virgin Mary sculpture.
Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu said if the cause of the phenomenon is deemed supernatural by church investigators, church officials "must discern if it is from God or from the devil."
"The statue is made of bronze," Cantu said when giving an update on the investigation last week. "As the hollow interior was examined, nothing was found on the interior that could have created liquid. There were cobwebs in the hollow interior...The liquid samples collected from the statue were sent to a lab for chemical analysis."
Cantu said two distinct methods of analysis indicate the same outcome: The liquid is olive oil with a scented mixture, chemically, to the Sacred Chrism — an oily liquid used in Baptisms and other sacraments and Catholic ceremonies.
News of more tears for the statue spread beyond Hobbs, a city of about 34,000 near the state line with Texas.
I heard about it this morning from my mother and my grandmother," said Billy Luna, of Kermit, Texas. "I was on my way to Ruidoso for the weekend and I wanted to stop and give thanks."
This wasn't Luna's first time to the Our Lady Parish, but it was the first time he has seen statue appear to weep.
"It looks real to me," Luna said. "I felt something in here (pointing toward his heart) when I saw her. I get chills just thinking about it."
Some Catholics believe unexplained images of Our Lady of Guadalupe — the Patron Saint of Mexico and Mexican Americans — or Virgin Mary statues appearing to cry are signs of a coming tragedy or a possible warning.
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Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com