Pope Francis has launched an investigation after a Virgin Mary statue in his homeland Argentina was captured on video crying tears of blood.
While some of the Catholic faithful believe the tears are an Easter miracle, others have raised concerns that it could be a “warning or punishment”, and some believe it is a message for the Pope himself.
Pope Francis has called for calm but Catholics around the world are labelling the mystery an “act of God” and claiming God is not happy with the pontiff who seems more at home pushing a liberal political agenda than dealing with spiritual matters.
The Express reports: Hundreds of worshippers have flocked to a remote town in Argentina after footage of the weeping statue went viral.
Worshippers are making a pilgrimage to a family home in Argentina’s Salta province where the statue is kept.
The small icon of the Virgin of the Mystical Rose, one of the names used for the Virgin Mary, belongs to the Frias Mendoza family.
A local radio in the city of San José de Metán San was the first to publish details of the eerie event, which began over Lent.
The owner of the statue said the Mary had visited him in a dream “the day before the miracle began”.
Mr Mendoza said: “It was the first time something like this has happened and I was very scared. I thought it was some kind of punishment.”
Hours later footage emerged on red liquid pouring down the statue’s face.
In the video, a person points to the icon’s eye as it is claimed tears of blood are falling from it.
As news spread around South America, hundreds arrived into the small town to pay their respects.
According to local reports, the family’s dining room became a makeshift shrine for the statue.
However, the statue will be moved to a local Catholic Church to allow more Christians to visit it.
Priest Ricardo Quiroga explained: “A lot of people come here to pray and light several candles devoted to the Virgin.
“If she cries again, we need to do something at a high level in the church.”
But priest Julio Raúl Méndez has urged people not to jump to conclusions.
He said a church-led investigation would look for a scientific explanation before considering anything supernatural.
Mr Méndez said: “The first thing the church does is to do a scientific analysis to see if there is a natural explanation.
“Only then, the possibility of a supernatural phenomenon is considered.”
There have been numerous reports of religious statues weeping over many years although only one has been certified by those in authority in the Catholic church.
In 1984, following eight years of investigatios, a wooden statue of Our Lady of Akita in Japan, was found to have shed real blood, sweat and tears.