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Our Lady weeps again

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Our Lady weeps again

What do you need?

What do you want?

Those are the questions Arbiolinda Berumen asked the bronze Our Lady of Guadalupe statue early Saturday morning. For the first time in more than three months and for the fourth time overall, the statue weeped. Created in Mexico, the statue has been with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish for more than a year.

“When I came to the church, our cleaning lady Lina (Rodriguez) came to me and said (the statue) was crying again,” Berume said. “I went to her and saw she was crying again, so I asked her.”

That’s when Lina called Father Jose “Pepe” Segura, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s pastor, who spent the morning at the parish as visitors and parishioners arrived.

News of the statue weeping again spread and the seats inside the parish began to fill and a Rosary took place, just like the previous three instances. By noon, there was around 50 people in the parish with more driving up. Some were from Hobbs, while some were from out of town, like Billy Luna, of Kermit, Texas.

“I heard about it this morning from my mother and my grandmother,” Luna said. “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 the weeping statue.

“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. As I kneeled, looked up at her and prayed, I could feel something happening to me. It felt good. It was nice being near hear.”

After praying the Rosary, Luna visited the Parish gift shop, bought a few items including a candle, lit it and placed it near the statue. He thinks the statue weeping again is because of the amount of crime taking place in Hobbs.

“I think she (the statue) doesn’t want to go back to Mexico because she knows Hobbs has problems,” Luna said. “The crime and drugs that is happening here. I think that is part of the reason why she is crying.”

Why? That’s the question everyone asks when witnessing the weeping statue. There is a growing list of possible reasons from the thousands of people who have come to the parish to see the statue.

The Diocese of Las Cruces and its leader, Bishop Oscar Cantu, directed diocese personnel to perform an examination of the statue after she first started weeping and sent the tears to be analyzed.

“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. Two distinct methods of analysis indicate the same outcome: the liquid is olive oil with a scented mixture, chemically, to the Sacred Chrism.”

The Sacred Chrism is an oily liquid used in Baptisms and other sacraments and Catholic ceremonies.

Cantu said the investigation, which is done in phases, continues. The first phase was to explain if the weeping took place through natural causes, as in if someone placed oil on the statue. Cantu said there has been no such evidence supporting that explanation.

“If the cause of the phenomenon is supernatural, we must discern if it is from God or from the devil,” Cantu said. “I remind you that the Church believes in the existence of fallen angels, who at times try to trick us …. The discernment of whether it is a phenomenon from God or from the evil one is a longer process. The devil can sometimes imitate holy things in order to confuse us. So, we must be prudent and vigilant …. Thus, the investigation is not yet complete so to make a definitive pronouncement.”

Burkett Shaw
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