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This shrine honors a miraculous image of Mary that wept human tears

Santuario Madonna delle Lacrime Syracuse

Hein56didden-CC BY-SA 3.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 08/31/23

70 years ago, an image of Mary given to a married couple started to weep and scientists verified the liquid was human tears.

News of crying statues is often met with great skepticism, as typically these images are not shedding real tears, but only perspiration from a complex chemical reaction.

However, one such instance of a crying statue was investigated and proven to be miraculous.

In 1953, Angelo and Antonina Lannuso were given a special plaster image of the Virgin Mary for their wedding. They hung it above their bed and it remained there for several months.

One day Antonina experienced great pain, including epileptic seizures and cramping. She was even struck blind. She prayed fervently and was cured of her ailments on August 29. After she was able to see, she noticed that the image of the Virgin Mary was weeping and it remained weeping until September 1.

According to Michael O’Neill, an investigation into the tears was begun and the doctors “took up a sample of the liquid that flowed from the eyes. Microscopic analysis verified: ‘They are human tears.’”

News of the healing spread throughout Europe and came to the site in hopes of healing.

St. John Paul II narrates in his homily at the Basilica Sanctuary Madonna delle Lacrime (Our Lady of Tears) that even he made a pilgrimage.

[T]he news of the Syracuse event spread widely and many pilgrims came here. Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski also came here on pilgrimage in 1957, after his release. I myself, then a young Bishop, arrived here during the Council, and I was able to celebrate Holy Mass on the day of the commemoration of All the Faithful Dead.

Construction of the current shrine began in 1988 and was dedicated by St. John Paul II in 1994.

Here is a prayer St. John Paul II prayed during his visit.

O Madonna della Lacrime,
look with maternal goodness
to the pain of the world!
Dry the tears of the suffering,
of the forgotten, of the desperate,
of the victims of all violence.

May all tears of repentance
and new life,
open hearts
to the regenerating gift of God’s love.
May everyone receive tears of joy
after seeing the deep tenderness of your heart.
Praise be to Jesus Christ!

MiraclesVirgin Mary
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