This is the momentÂ ItalianÂ residents flock to a Virgin Mary statue that appears to be weeping blood:
The phenomenon was first spotted by a boy riding his bike on Paolino Arnesano Square in the town of Carmiano, which only has around 12,100 inhabitants, in the southern Italian province of Lecce on 3 August.
Journalist Andrea Tafuro said the statue was later visited by hordes of people who wanted to pray on the public square and witness the unusual scene.
The video footage shows dozens of people standing at the base of the Virgin Mary statue as a ‘bloody tear’ appears to fall from its right eye.
Riccardo Calabrese, priest of the Sant’Antonio Abate Church, said on Facebook that it is unclear if the incident was ‘a miracle, the result of the hot weather at the moment, or worst of all, someone’s idea of a joke’.
Calabrese said: “All the time I was next to the statue, I saw a procession of people who, out of curiosity or faith, left their homes to gather there.
“I saw children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people meeting at our beloved Virgin Mary statue, and they all looked up at her face.”
Local newspaper Repubblica said that the Bishop of Lecce, Michele Ceccia, announced that the church will investigate the incident.