Forli, Italy, Mar 23, 2006 / 22:00 pm
Police are investigating the case of a statue of the Virgin Mary, which reportedly wept tears of blood last week. They are running tests on the statue to determine the nature of the teardrops.
A group of elderly, female worshippers first noticed that red tear-like drops had appeared on the face of the 1.2-metre-high statue of the Madonna in the town's Santa Lucia Church, says a March 22 ANSA report.
The news of a possible miracle was reported to the local bishop who immediately removed the figure, replacing it with a similar one, and called the police. It has not wept since it was moved to the bishop's offices.
The number of reported cases of Madonna appearances and of statues moving or weeping has grown in recent years and the Vatican has become extremely cautious about giving its seal of approval.
In September, the Vatican said tears of blood found on a statue of St. Padre Pio in a southern Italian town were not miraculous, reported ANSA.