Virgin Mary weeping scented olive oil
It’s been almost eight weeks since the statue of the Virgin Mary at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church first cried.
Almost eight weeks of photos, videos, social media posts, news stories and visitors traveling from throughout the world to see the statue. Since she first cried on May 20, the Virgin Mary has cried four more times.
During a Friday press conference regarding his transfer to the San Jose, Calif., diocese, Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Las Cruces Diocese gave an update on the current investigation into the weeping statue. He plans to publish a status report in the next few weeks and also to pay a visit to the Our Lady of Guadalupe.
But until then, Cantú gave the results of the chemical analysis of the oily liquid the statue weeped.
“It was determined that it was an olive oil, a scented olive oil,” he said. “Some of the witnesses claimed they smelled roses.”
Cantú said the liquid is something similar to the oil that he uses in baptisms, confirmations and coronations, called the Sacred Chrism.
“That is an olive oil that is mixed with a balsam,” Cantú said. “So it is very similar to that. We have physically examined the statue. It is a bronze cast and we examined the interior of the hollow statue, there is nothing in the interior. We took pictures and examined it. We also spoke to the company that fabricates the statue in Mexico. We were told the process of fabricating the statue. It uses wax to mold. You pour the liquid bronze on top of it and in the process the liquid is so hot that the wax melts away. So in that process, they assured us there was no way for moisture to remain in the bronze.”
Cantú said investigators also interviewed parishioners who witnessed the tears and each gave a written statement of what they saw.
“Part of the process is determining if this is a natural cause or a supernatural cause,” Cantú said. “Once we determine there is no natural explanation, then you can determine if this is something coming from God or coming from an evil spirit. The church does believe in evil spirits.”
So how do they determine if it is from God or an evil spirit?
“We determine the tree by its fruits,” Cantú said. In other words, how has the weeping statue been received? Has it been positive? Has it been negative?
“This is the part of the investigation that takes time,” Cantú said.
Our Lady of Guadalupe officer manager Judy Ronquillo, who has been at the church for the majority of the time since the weeping Virgin Mary started, feels the reactions have been positive, if not miraculous.
“It’s a miracle,” she said Friday. “There are a lot of people who have come through there that are reporting miracles of people being sick and getting healed from the tears. There was a lady from Houston whose mother was diagnosed with cancer in 75 percent of her body. The mother was told she wasn’t going to be able to walk or remember anything after her surgery. The daughter took some napkins with the tears back to her mother and their family prayed. Now the mother has no cancer, she can walk and talk and remember. The family feels like the tears did it. They feel like a miracle took place.”
Ronquillo acknowledged the amount of visitors to the church has decreased, although a look at the guestbook Friday showed recent visitors from California, Kansas, Minnesota, Virginia and Illinois.
“As soon as they walk into that building, they get chills,” Ronquillo said. “Without knowing anything or seeing (the statue). They feel something when they walk in. They want to know about her. They become overwhelmed.”
That was Victoria Alvarez’s reaction when she walked into the church on Friday. Alvarez, age 20, was part of the Mata-chines dance group, “Danza Guadalupana” from El Paso that is in town this weekend to perform at the church. On Friday, the group danced for visitors just feet away from the Virgin Mary statue.
“As we drove here from El Paso I had this feeling, it’s something I can’t explain,” Alvarez said. “It was just a different kind of feeling.”
Alvarez’s mother, Margie, said the whole experience has been unexplainable.
“It’s just beautiful,” Margie Alvarez said. “We could feel it before walking into this building when we were getting ready to dance.”
Time continues to be an asset for the church in its desire for Cantú to give some decree into what is taking place. Those who have visited the church and seen the statue — weeping or not — believe something special is taking place.