Our Lady of Tears

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.
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



100,000 attended apparition in Beirut

Multi hall in Lebanon was at full capacity when visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti had public apparitions in the Middle East on Saturday and Sunday. Attendees report of an immensely joyful crowd of just about 50,000 people each day. Live transmissions showed an enthusiastic crowd with obvious belief in Christ’s Real Presence in The Blessed Sacrament.

marija pavlovic lunetti medjugorje seer visionary apparition beirut lebanon march 10 2012

Marija talking in Beirut

The great joy of between 50,000 and 60,000 people filled the multi hall Forum de Beyrouth in Beirut, Lebanon, when Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti took the apparitions to the Middle East on Saturday. An identical number of people were present when the event was repeated on Sunday.

Led by the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut, Monsignor Paul Matar, about 100 priests were present. The Archbishop presided over the Mass on Saturday. Confessions were heard throughout the hall, the Lebanese newspaper L’Orient Le Jour is reporting. Like eyewitnesses, the local news media estimates about 100,000 people attended the two days of prayer and sharing.

“It was an out of this world experience.  I have been to Medjugorje twice already but to experience this in my home country Lebanon is a special blessing. People who attended (we were 50,000) were mostly people who heard of the Virgin’s messages but were never able to travel to Medjugorje. It was such an exceptional moment to us all. We were so eager to have the Blessed Virgin appear in Lebanon and bless this torn country” attendee Chirine Karout tells Medjugorje Today.

“I personally thought that she was happy to come to a country where Christians and Muslims are so devoted to her. The Lebanese needed so much to experience this in order to revive their faith and become messengers of peace in their country and in the region” Ms. Karout continues.

“More than 60,000 persons were in the Forum de Beyrouth at 3 pm waiting for the programme to begin at 6 pm. It was so beautiful to see all the Christians in Lebanon singing together to Our Lady, and for the peace in our country. Marija told us that Our Lady blessed us and stayed longer than usual, and that she looked at each and everyone present” attendee Maha Zgheib reports to Medjugorje Today.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience. We felt the presence of our Mother with us, and love and peace filled our hearts” attendee Tamara Abou Zeid testifies.

On both days, the event was being broadcast live by the Lebanese tv station Noursat. The transmissions revealed a crowd with an obvious belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in The Blessed Sacrament which was being carried through the hall as people were applauding and reaching out for the monstrance.

Accompanied by her husband, Marija spent part of Sunday visiting the shrines of Jbeil and Batroun, the newspaper L’Orient Le Jour further writes

Prophecies Fulfilled: From Fatima to Kibeho and Medjugorje

By Daniel Klimek  September 5. 2010

 There are two sets of Marian apparitions of the 20th century (one extending into the 21st) that have had much in common, and whose similarity is quite noteworthy for the immeasurable consequences. They are the apparitions of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the apparitions of Kibeho, Rwanda.

 Both apparitions began in 1981. Both contained a group of young visionaries, mostly teenagers, experiencing the phenomena – six visionaries at Medjugorje, seven at Kibeho. Both featured extraordinary supernatural signs witnessed by thousands of people. Both contained visions of the afterlife given to the young visionaries. Perhaps most importantly, both apparitions correctly predicted significant world catastrophes, from war to genocide.

 More specifically, Our Lady of Medjugorje correctly predicted the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the end of Communism in the region, while Our Lady of Kibeho correctly predicted the Rwandan genocides. What is most remarkable is that these correct prophecies came years before any serious political or military conflict was noticeable in the regions of these apparitions.  

 In Medjugorje, Our Lady told the visionaries that Communism would end in the Balkans after a war. This prophecy, given in the early ’80s, came years before Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian war criminal, came into power in the former Yugoslavia and began advocating a hegemonic “Greater Serbia” to rule the Yugoslavian states. The prophecy came long before Milosevic applied nationalistic language to incite Serb antagonism toward the Croats and Muslims in the region. The prophecy came long before any military action was undertaken in the region, long before the concentration camps were reestablished in Europe, for the first time since World War II, long before war broke out in 1991. The warning – from Our Lady of Medjugorje – was there years earlier. Unfortunately, people were not listening.

 Bishop Paolo Hnilica, a Jesuit who survived the GULAG slave camps in Soviet Europe and who was one of Pope John Paul II’s closest friends and Vatican advisers, once explained: “In Medjugorje, Gospa [Our Lady] started with the warning that there would be war if we were not converted. Nobody took these messages seriously. Maybe if the bishops of former Yugoslavia had accepted these messages more seriously it [the war] would not have gone that far.” 

 The nearly identical scenario transpired in Kibeho,  in southern Rwanda. Years before political or military conflict was present in the region, Our Lady of Kibeho predicted the bloodshed that would follow through war and genocide. Not only that but, like in Medjugorje, Our Lady of Kibeho asked the people to pray to prevent a terrible war from coming. Similarly, in Medjugorje, Our Lady has frequently repeated that with prayer and fasting even wars could be stopped,     

 The great prophecy of Kibeho came in August 19, 1982, when the Kibeho visionaries experienced an unusually long apparition, which lasted eight hours. During this apparition the seers were shown a horrifying and disturbing vision of the Rwandan genocides that were to come. In this terrifying vision, they saw “a river of blood,” people slaughtering each other indiscriminately, killing, mass murder, human corpses – many without their heads – too numerous to bury.

 Over a decade later in the summer of 1994, the vicious civil war broke out in Rwanda between the Tutsis and the Hutus, resulting in the murders of nearly one million people, including the Kibeho visionary Marie Clare Mukangango. What’s fascinating, and that much more disturbing, is that the killing style of the genocides fulfilled the Kibeho prophecy. Many of the victims in Rwanda were beheaded by machetes and their corpses dumped into the Kagea River – this was exactly as Our Lady prophecized, twelve years earlier, in giving the seers a vision of a “river of blood” [as found in the Kagea River] and of headless corpses laying amidst mass killing. Like in Medjugorje, the Kibeho prophecy came many years before military and political conflict erupted in the region. Like in Medjugorje, the Kibeho prophecy came as a warning, urging the people to pray, fast, reconcile, and convert to God in order to stop these evils from arriving,

 Even in the spiritual sense, the content of the messages between Medjugorje and Kibeho has been strikingly similar, beyond the terrifying prophecies.

 In the book, “Those Who Saw Her: Apparitions of Mary,” the Catholic author Catherine M. Odell observes some of the connections between the apparitions in Kibeho and the apparitions in Medjugorje. She especially noticed the remarkable similarity between the content of the devotional messages given by Our Lady of Kibeho and Our Lady of Medjugorje, very likely pointing to the same spiritual source at each location.

 “Many Rwandans must have recalled the words they heard from the seven youths of Kibeho. The young people had communicated a message from the Mother of the Word. Like the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, she had pleaded for reconciliation, conversion, penance, and prayer! Our Lady also begged to be seen as a loving Mother of all peoples. She had come to bring a message of love and consolation to a nation that was soon put upon a cross.”

 Prayer, penance, fasting, reconciliation, these simple—but deeply mystical—messages have been given by Our Lady in both Medjugorje and Kibeho for years. Interestingly, the continuing similarities between the two apparition sites go even further. In both Medjugorje and Kibeho, Our Lady has given the young seers visions of the afterlife.

 Alphonsine Mumureke, who was a student at Kibeho College during the apparitions and the first visionary to see the Virgin, experienced an unusual phenomenon from March 20-21 of 1982. Alphonsine told the Sisters of the college and her classmates, “I will look dead, but don’t be afraid. Don’t bury me.” As March 20th arrived, so did Alphonsine’s predictions. Her body seemingly turned into stone – in other words, it was not possible to move the young visionary. Alphonsine fell into a deep sleep, it appeared. Her body was so heavy that priests, nuns, and medical doctors from the Red Cross could not lift her. Even her hands, which were clasped together as if in a state of prayer, couldn’t be separated from one another.

 Alphonsine remained in this strange state for eighteen hours. What was truly fascinating, perhaps even more so than what was happening externally, is what was transpiring internally through the visionary. In this eighteen hour state, Alphonsine experienced a mystical journey. She was showed what many people would die to see (no pun intended): the afterlife. Our Lady showed Alphonsine heaven, purgatory, and hell.

 The visionary was shown what happens to a person’s soul after they die, the realm that they travel into.  Heaven was a place aglow with illumination, great lights, joy and happiness permeated the realm. Purgatory was a sad place of reconciliation. Hell was a disturbing and dark place of fierce fire and complete separation from God.

 After experiencing this phenomenon, after eighteen hours, Alphonsine’s body returned to its normal state and the young seer finally awoke.

 Similarly, the visionaries of Medjugorje were also shown the afterlife. As in Kibeho, the Medjugorje visionaries describe seeing three realms – heaven, purgatory, and hell. Two of the visionaries, Vicka Ivankovic and Jacov Colo, report being physically taken by the Virgin to these locations, while the others were simply given visions of these realms.

 Heaven, according to the Medjugorje visionaries, is a huge place of great lights, beauty, and immense joy. Meadows, mountains, hills, beautiful countrysides are all present; people possess an inner light, radiating a serene joy from their presence. Purgatory is a very sad and chilling place. The visionary Vicka described it as a gray area with misty fog through which people could be heard trembling, weeping, moaning, and where an extreme loneliness permeates the atmosphere. Hell is even more disturbing. The visionaries have described it as a vast space with many people and a great sea of fire in the center. According to the visionaries, the people in hell are enraged, cursing, ugly, angry. They enter the fires naked and come out horrific, no longer in human shape, in vastly darkened, blackened skin.

 What is fascinating is that, in addition to the similarities of the Kibeho visions, these descriptions of the afterlife given by the Medjugorje seers match the Fatima visions as well. As one of the three secrets of Fatima, the visionary Lucia Santos was shown a vision of hell. She later described this vision thus:

 “Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent.”

 It is interesting how the Medjugorje visionaries described a sea of fire in the center of hell, like Sister Lucia did in Fatima. It is further interesting how the Medjugorje visions describe people who, after entering the flames, no longer resemble humans but take on different (inhuman) forms with darkened, blackened skin. Incredibly similar to Sister Lucia’s vision in describing what appeared as a “repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent.”

 The similarities are important for they show a coherency in these apparitions, pointing once again to the same spiritual source in each location. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who has been an astute observer of these matters, once observed: “I am fascinated with the coherence of Medjugorje with other Marian shrines, apparition sites. I always say that there is a grammar of Mary’s apparitions. That style has something special with Our Lady. I think that theologians have to study the syntax of Mary’s apparitions and in that context to study the phenomena of Medjugorje.”

 The same coherence that Cardinal Schonborn spoke of, between Medjugorje and other Marian shrines,  Pope John Paul II noticed years ago, once famously explaining that “Medjugorje is the fulfillment of Fatima.” Given the fact that the late Polish Pope likely constituted one of the individuals in the third Fatima secret, his expertise on the matter, and his role as the great pontiff, are unmatched.

 What is noteworthy is that there are even more similarities, and thus more coherence, between Medjugorje, Kibeho, and Fatima. Perhaps Fatima’s most famous event occurred when thousands of people – many of them skeptics – saw the sun dance in 1917, thus a visible supernatural sign was given by God to prove the authenticity of the apparitions. The miracle of the dancing sun has been reported also a few times at Kibeho while the visionaries experienced their apparitions. At Medjugorje, likewise, the miracle of the dancing sun, which was seen once in Fatima and a couple of times at Kibeho, has been so frequent and so constant that a simple online YouTube search will produce several video clips of the phenomenon in the Bosnian village, recorded by countless of pilgrims, thousands having witnessed the occurrence. This is very important to note because it was the widely reported miracle of the dancing sun, witnessed by an estimated of 70,000 people in Fatima, which quickly led to the approval of the apparitions by the Church. 

 Invoking Fatima, it is also noteworthy that the famous apparition of Portugal prophesized the coming of World War II and the end of Communism in Russia. Thus both Medjugorje, in correctly prophecizing the wars of the former Yugoslavia and the end of Communism in the region, as well as Kibeho, in correctly prophecizing the Rwandan wars and genocides, have their predecessor in the apparitions of Fatima. Again, as Cardinal Schonborn acknowledged, there is a syntax, a coherence between Mary’s apparitions.

 There is one major difference between Fatima and Kibeho, on the one hand, and Medjugorje on the other. The difference is not spiritual but ecclesial. Both the Fatima and Kibeho apparitions have concluded and have been subsequently approved by Roman Catholic authorities. In Medjugorje, on the other hand, the apparitions have not concluded but continue to this day, nearly thirty years later, and are currently under investigation by the Holy See.

 Before becoming Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger acknowledged that in investigating Medjugorje what the Church will consider are the facts and the fruits. The fruits, of course, have been abundant. From the millions who have converted and reawakened their faith at Medjugorje, to the thousands that have discovered their vocations to the priesthood at Medjugorje (see, “The Amazing Fruits of Medjugorje – Religious Vocations Point to Authenticity” on MinistryValues).

 But, as the Holy See continues its diligent investigation of Medjugorje, it will no doubt (to quote Cardinal Schonborn’s advice) also look for the coherence of Medjugorje with other Marian apparition sites, especially those that have been approved by the Church. This is where the facts come in. In this sense, the coherence present between what is happening in Medjugorje and what happened in both Fatima and Kibeho, from the catastrophic prophecies of war and genocide, to the spiritual messages of prayer, fasting, and conversion, to the extraordinary supernatural signs and witnessed miracles like the dancing sun, to the coherent visions of the afterlife at each of these three locations, is both abundant and impossible to ignore. All of the evidence points to the presence of the same spiritual source at each site – the Mother of God.

 Daniel Klimek recently completed his Master’s degree at Yale Divinity School and is now pursuing a Doctoral degree in Spirituality at Catholic University in Washington D.C.