I was blessed this past summer to visit a very special and blessed Basilica and Shrine. This shrine was in Syracuse, Italy on the island of Sicily. Something special happened in 1953. That not many people know about. Let me share this with you.
The image you see above is a print of a plaster sculpture or plaque, of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the plaque was mass-produced in Tuscany, Italy and shipped to Syracuse for retail.
THE PHENOMENON OF TEARS
One of the plaques was given as a wedding gift, to Antonina and Angelo Iannuso who were married on March 21, 1953. At the time they were tepid and neglectful christians, they said, but they hung the image with some devotion on the wall behind their bed.
Angelo was a laborer who had taken his bride to live in the home of his brother on Via Degli Orti 11, Syracuse, Sicily. When Antonina discovered she was with child, she was unfortunately afflicted with toxemia that caused her to convulse at times and experience some blindness. At three in the morning on Saturday, August 29, 1953, Antonina suffered a seizure that left her blind. By 8:30 that morning her sight was restored; when she was able to see, her eyes were on the Madonna, which, to Antonina’s amazement was weeping effusive tears. At first the others thought she was hallucinating due to her illness, but Antonina insisted she wasn’t. her family looked again and they could see the tears run down the Madonna’s cheeks and onto the bed. The neighbors were brought in and they confirmed the tears. Below is Antonina in her room.
The veneration placed this plaque in a church built especially for its exhibition and was approved by three popes, but only after an ecclesiastical tribunal scrupulously studied the miracle and had the tears scientifically analyzed. It has been said by authorities that never was a miracle so thoroughly tested or so quickly approved.
The history of the image begins with its sculptor, Amilcare Santini, who modeled it in only three days “under artistic inspiration.” It was made of plaster that had been dissolved in water and poured into a mold before it was turned out to dry in the sun. It was then sprayed with nitrocellulose varnish that made it shiny and suitable for painting. After it was colored, varnished and polished, ordinary screws were used to attach the image to a panel of black opaline. The panel measures 39 by 33 centimeters, the figure 29 by 22 centimeters. ~ SOURCE: http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping1262.html
Above is the plaque in the Shrine which I visited. It was a very powerful place. As I sat in the pew, I felt the presence. I felt the love of Our Lady.
My grandmother whose family is from Sicily actually had purchased the same plaque, which I have in my home now. I never knew the full story of it, as a child I just always liked this plaque. Now it means so much more to me. Below is the plaque my grandmother left to me.
The question is:
Why did the Madonna weep? Many theories have been offered which remind us of the tears Mary shed at the foot of the Cross and of those shed by her during the vision of La Salette. During one of the visions of St. Catherine Labouré on July 18, 1830, St. Catherine noticed that the Virgin looked sad and had tears in her eyes. Perhaps we should pray the words engraved on the base of the reliquary, “Weeping Madonna, take from the hardness of our hearts tears of penitence.” And we wonder with Pope Pius XII, “Will men understand the mysterious language of those tears?
“Our Lady’s pain can be seen on her face. Every muscle trembles with pain… she cries because our sins make her suffer.”..”Without a leg or hand you can go to Heaven, but without a soul you can not.” ~ Mirjana, visionary of Our Lady of Medjugorje
Let us pray our rosary for Our Lady’s intentions, may we see the pain which we cause by our sins. May Our Lord forgive us and have mercy on us.
I have a special offer for you, but I only have a couple of these special rosaries, one pink and one blue. I brought these back from the shrine in Syracuse. They both have beautiful glass beads with a centerpiece which includes a cloth which touched the miraculous image. Along with the rosary, you will receive a piece of cloth touched to the miraculous image with a Prayer to Our Lady of Tears.
Hop over to my website if you are interested. We strive to offer you unique and special items from around the world, items which will help inspire you on your journey, on your prayerful path! By offering you these items, it helps us continue our ministry and mission. Thank you, www.prayerfulpath.com