Virgin Mary statue "crying" tears of blood in U.S.

Some carry rosary beads, others flowers and cameras. Dozens of the faithful are coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of this city for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary that has begun "crying" a substance that looks like blood.

The first sign of the tears came more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance streaming from the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner who said he was one of the witnesses.

Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night. He is so emotional he is unable to work at his job as a general contractor. He believes the tears are a sign. On Saturday, tables in front of the fenced-in statue were jammed with rows of potted plants, bouquets of roses and candles. People sat silently praying on fold-up chairs set up in the parking lot, while others sang Vietnamese Catholic hymns or hugged their children. An elderly woman in a wheelchair wept near the front of the crowd.

Red liquid trailed from the side of Mary's left eye, streaming about halfway down the robe made of concrete. Many drove long distances to see the statue. Thousands of such incidents are reported around the world each year, involving blood, water or oil, though many turn out to be hoaxes or natural phenomena, AP reports.

A. A.

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