A bronze statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic Church in Hobbs, New Mexico is drawing a crowd of visitors because it's apparently weeping tears that smell of roses. Church officials have started its investigations into the alleged miracle.
Father Jose "Pepe" Segura told reporters that members of the church alerted him to the weeping statue of the Our Lady of Guadalupe. He saw people wiping the bronze statue's face but tears just reappear.
"That's when I saw that she really was crying," the priest said. "I think it's a reminder for all of us to get closer to God and to stop being violent," Segura added.
Witnesses said that the Virgin Mary statue started weeping around Sunday, May 20, and it did so again the following Tuesday. Since then, hundreds of people have started lining up for the statue. They came from far away Texas cities like Odessa, San Antonio and El Paso.
Church manager Judy Ronquillo said that the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish will remain open to the public for as long as the phenomenon is present. Church staff members have also taken turns in looking after the statue and the crowd. Visitors are also free to approach the statue except when there is an ongoing Mass.
On Thursday, a team from the Diocese of Las Cruces already collected samples from the weeping Virgin Mary statue as part of its investigations. Only high officials from the Catholic Church can declare the occurrence as a miracle, after a scientific investigation that will involve DNA testing, X-rays and other instruments. Witnesses might also be interviewed for their documentation.
"You can't prove a miracle, but you can disprove all other explanations," Deacon Jim Winder stated and added that the investigation process could take years before a conclusion can be made public.