27 11 2005

First: Remember the vikings scandal on Lake Minnetonka? Someone sold t-shirts, and apparently the cruise line that the Vikes were on was Al and Alma’s. I saw my godmother get married on one of their boats. It was a great cruise, so I could see why various deviant Vikings would want to get laid by hookers on them.

Next: from the SJ Mercury, my one time employer…

Believers flock to see Virgin Mary statue “crying” tears of blood

Associated Press

Some carry rosary beads, others flowers and cameras. Dozens of the faithful are coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of the city for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary that has begun “crying” a substance that looks like blood.

The first sign of the tears came more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue’s face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance streaming from the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner who said he was one of the witnesses.

Rich Pedroncelli, AP (photo from AOL news site)

Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night. He is so emotional he is unable to work at his job as a general contractor. He believes the tears are a sign.

“There’s a big event in the future – earthquake, flood, a disease,” Truong said. “We’re very sad.”

On Saturday, tables in front of the fenced-in statue were jammed with rows of potted plants, bouquets of roses and candles. People sat silently praying on fold-up chairs set up in the parking lot, while others sang Vietnamese Catholic hymns or hugged their children. An elderly woman in a wheelchair wept near the front of the crowd.

Red liquid trailed from the side of Mary’s left eye, streaming about halfway down the robe made of concrete. Many drove long distances to see the statue.

“I think that it’s incredible. It’s a miracle. Why is she doing it? Is it something bothering her?” asked Maria Vasquez, 35, who drove with her parents and three children from Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento.

Thousands of such incidents are reported around the world each year, involving blood, water or oil, though many turn out to be hoaxes or natural phenomena.

The Diocese of Sacramento has so far not commented on the statue, and the two priests affiliated with the church did not return a telephone message left at their rectory from The Associated Press on Saturday.

The Rev. James Murphy, deacon of the diocese’s mother church, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said church leaders are always skeptical at first of such incidents.

“For people individually seeing things through the eyes of faith, something like this can be meaningful. As for whether it is supernatural or a miracle, normally these incidences are not. Miracles are possible, of course,” Murphy said. “The bishop is just waiting and seeing what happens. They will be moving very slowly.”

Trinh Tong, 20, of San Jose, also was skeptical. She is not Catholic, but came to the statue Saturday with her sister, who is Catholic.

“I’m really not sure. I’m surprised,” said Tong, a chemistry major. “I’m more the chemist, the scientist.”

But seeing the statue in person left no doubt for Martin Operario, 60, who drove about 100 miles from Hayward. He took photos of it to show to family and friends.

“I don’t know how to express what I’m feeling,” Operario said. “Since religion is the mother of believing, then I believe.”

Nuns Anna Bui and Rosa Hoang, members of the Salesian Sisters of San Francisco, also made the trek to see the virgin Saturday. Whether the weeping Mary is declared a miracle or not, they said it is already doing good by awakening people to the faith and reminding people to pray.

“It’s a call for us to change ourselves, to love one another,” Hoang said.

Thoughts? Mine are not really about whether it’s a hoax or not, as AOl news asks (please don’t read AOL news.) My thoughts dwell more on what it takes for people to believe. If JC himself rose from the grave and started blessing people and performing miracles, there’d still be skeptics. Some are convinced that the holocaust NEVER HAPPENED! Can you believe that? It would be amazing if this “miracle” turned out to be a true miracle, and for all I know it is. Maybe it would convert people. I think it probably won’t except in a couple cases.
I’m saddened by the fact that people aren’t amazed by what lies before us. In my mind (and since I went to a Lutheran high school), it’s become somewhat cliche to say that nature is evidence of God, but to me, it really is. Even if you believe in the big bang or any number of non-creation theories, you’d be a fool not to be amazed at the intricacies of life all around us and the laws of the universe that helped instill it. It’s a shame that it often takes some knowledge of science to begin appreciating that.

But seriously, thoughts?




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