FACT CHECK: Did an Our Lady of Sorrows statue in Mexico really shed tears? — By: Catholic News Agency

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ACI Prensa Staff, Nov 16, 2023 / 18:30 pm (CNA).

Claim: Local Mexican media reported that a 9-year-old boy was the first to see the supposed tears flowing from the eyes of a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows in a chapel in the village of El Chanal just north of the city of Colima. Other residents subsequently said they also saw tears. The chapel is under the jurisdiction of the St. John Paul II Shrine in the city of Colima, which is 300 air miles west of Mexico City, not far from the Pacific.

The Church responds: Father Gerardo López Herrera, communications director for the Diocese of Colima, said a priest went and examined the statue and determined that no miracle was involved.

Background: As the news of the supposed tears spread, the local press reported that some people interpreted the Virgin’s supposed tears as a response to the violence that is shaking the region. Colima holds first place in the 2022 list of the 50 most violent cities in the world in a report compiled by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

On Nov. 15, López told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, that “that image is a representation of the Sorrowful Virgin that at the time it was made, the [artist] placed some silicone tears on it.”

“It’s not that those tears flowed because of the events that have happened; she already had them,” he said.

The priest explained that when “the people of the community started the rumors of this supposed miracle,” the priest responsible for the St. John Paul II Shrine “went and confirmed that this is not the reality.”

“We appreciate the interest, but it’s not a miracle,” López concluded.

Verdict: We rate this claim false.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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