Churchgoers are claiming they witnessed a miracle after a small statue of the Virgin Mary appeared to shed tears in a church.
The “crying” figure in El Chanal, Mexico, has attracted believers and sceptics, with hundreds reportedly visiting the church to witness the weeping Virgin.
Videos on social media show water droplets seemingly coming out of the statue’s eyes and running down its face.
Local resident Victor Ramos said: “Similarly, when we cry, and our eyes become red, the same happens to the image. So a couple of tears started flowing. This is the event, the phenomenon that is happening here in the church.”
Many associate the tears with the prevailing insecurity in the state of Colima, currently immersed in a wave of violence.
Victor added: “We can associate it with… the violence rates that are being experienced here in the state of Colima, also here in the community.”
As of October this year, 702 confirmed intentional homicides had been recorded by the Colima Prosecutor’s Office.
Visitor Maria Mercedes Hernandez said: “Peace, may she give us peace in Colima and throughout the world, that we may return to the Colima of before.”
Sceptics have said there could be a scientific reason behind the crying statue.
Professor Luigi Garlaschelli pointed out that certain statues can soak up water due to the porous materials they’re made from.
Garlaschelli explained: “You need a hollow statue made of plaster or ceramic, which must be covered on the outside with a waterproof layer.
“By filling the statue with water through an imperceptible hole at the top, the porous material will absorb it, but the outer layer will prevent it from coming out.
“However, if a slight scratch is made in the protective glaze in the tear duct area, the absorbed water will come out through it as if it were tears.”