The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in Argentina announced that it will study the case of a statue of the Sorrowful Virgin that, according to parishioners at St. Jerome Church in the town of Coronda, shed tears.
The website Aire de Santa Fe reported that the alleged event happened on the evening of June 9 after Mass and a blessing for healing.
According to the report, a girl in the choir noticed that the Sorrowful Virgin statue was shedding tears and told those present.
The news outlet said that the priests who had celebrated the Mass prayed before the image and the nearly 20 faithful joined in the prayer.
Aire de Santa Fe reported that those who witnessed the phenomenon said that “the tears of the Sorrowful Virgin ran all over her face, hands, and the black mantle” and that the priests verified that the mantle was wet.
According to the testimony of one of the women parishioners, “it profoundly moved us. What we experienced is something we never would have imagined. Even now, I’m still crying since last night, when we noticed the tears of the Virgin.”
“The choir girl discovered it, she told the priest, the priest came, saw and confirmed what the girl had said, and so we all witnessed this moment that I consider a miracle,” she said, according to a Catholic News Agency report.
The archbishop of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, Sergio Fenoy, contacted the local parish priest to learn about the situation and implement the protocol established for this type of situation.
The prelate explained to the multimedia platform Aire Digital that the Church “has a procedure to calmly discern the situation.”
“What we have to do first of all is [respect the privacy of] the girl and her family, because we are dealing with a minor,” he noted. “We have to be very careful: We the pastors, the Church, and also the media.”
In addition, he asked that the experience of the faithful who witnessed the occurrence be respected, “because undoubtedly it was very powerful for them.”
As for the process, the archbishop explained that the first step was to request from the parish a written report of the facts for an initial assessment, meet those involved, and determine the substantive issues that are related to the doctrine of the Church and other issues with respect to devotion by the faithful.
If the judgment is favorable, the archbishop could then allow some public expressions of veneration or devotion, although if done by an individual or in a private manner it would not require authorization.
Finally, an evaluation of the event and the possible resulting spiritual fruits is made.
“When a sufficiently long time has passed and it is ascertained that these fruits are good, that they are evangelical, only then is there the possibility of issuing a judgment as to whether what happened was something supernatural or not,” Fenoy explained.
Healing Masses are celebrated once a month at St. Jerome Parish in Coronda, one of the oldest churches in Santa Fe Province, built in 1837.