A Virgin Mary statue in a family chapel in Argentina stunned worshippers after it started weeping "blood" during Lent, eyewitnesses have claimed.
Photos that have made their rounds online show the Virgin Immaculada Concepcion de Maria with red liquid falling from its left eye. Its clothes are also seen stained with the same color, The Sun details.
According to the statue's owner, whose name has not been mentioned in reports, Mary appeared to him in a dream before the figure "cried blood." He said it was the first time that it happened, and revealed that he was initially scared because he thought he was being punished for something.
The alleged incident has drawn worshippers to the family chapel in Los Naranjos where the Virgin Mary statue is usually held. The statue was later moved to the local Catholic Church to allow more devotees to pay homage and pray to it.
"A lot of people come here to pray and light several candles devoted to the Virgin ... The first impression is that it is blood on the face of the Virgin, from the left eye," local priest Ricardo Quiroga explained. "Also the dress she is wearing is also totally stained this same red colour."
In addition, Father Quiroga said church officials are waiting if the statue will weep blood again so that the incident can be reported and evaluated as a miracle. He added that the Virgin Mary is calling on them to change their way of living in time for Lent.
In November, The Daily Mail ran a story on a father from Jalisco, Mexico who claimed that he saw the Virgin Mary statue in his house weep blood. He also said the incident went on for four months.
Photos of the alleged weeping statue show the Virgin Mary figurine caked in a kind of substance that the father said was dried blood. He told media that the exact location of his house is being withheld and that the public is not allowed to visit the statue because he is afraid that people will hold a mass pilgrimage to the figure.
The publication notes that the Catholic Church has so far validated only a small number of similar incidents as miracles. So many of these occurrences have reportedly been labeled as mere hoaxes.