Bishop Oscar Cantú on Tuesday admitted there is no explanation yet for the phenomenon that’s brought throngs of faithful to a small church in Hobbs, New Mexico. People believe a statue of the Virgin Mary is weeping.
“So far, we have not discerned natural causes for the statue’s emitting of liquid,” the bishop wrote.
He said the liquid was sent to a lab for chemical analysis and it revealed the liquid is olive oil with a scented mixture. Chemically, the substance resembles the Sacred Chrism, a mix of olive oil and scented perfume used in sacred rituals once it’s consecrated, Cantú explained.
The next step is long and complex, the bishop warned.
“If the cause of the phenomenon is supernatural, we must discern if it is from God or from the devil,” he said. “I remind you that the Church believes in the existence of fallen angels, who at times try to trick us. We renounce the devil, however.”
He said The Holy Spirit and the Church will guide them as the investigation continues. He also said the statue has “wept” three times: “on Sunday, the Solemnity of Pentecost; on Monday (the next day), the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church; and on Saturday, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
In his letter, Cantú said the statue is made of bronze and there were only cobwebs on the inside. The foundry that created that statue said they use a wax mold, but the temperatures are so high, the wax melts away.
A spokesman for the foundry told ABC-7 in May, “the metal doesn’t hold water.”
“They assured us, there remains no possibility of wax remaining in the bronze statue as it cools and dries,” Cantú wrote.
ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom was the only television crew in the area to journey to Hobbs to see the statue in person in late May.
“I’ve seen it and it is a miracle,” Judy Ronquillo, the church’s business manager, said in May.
Midland resident Peter McDonald skipped work in late May and brought his five children.
“It’s an unbelievable blessing to be out here in west Texas and in the middle of nowhere, to have the statue here weeping like this, is just amazing,” McDonald said.
Over the span of a few weeks, tens of thousands have traveled to see the statue.
Bishop Cantú will leave the Diocese of Las Cruces next month for the Diocese of San Jose in California.