Chicago worshippers on Monday flocked to a century-old Greek Orthodox church that is facing foreclosure to see what some say is a sign from God after a caretaker witnessed what appeared to be tears streaming from the eyes of a painting of the Virgin Mary over the weekend.
Rev. Fr. Nicholas Jonas told the Chicago Tribune he was in his office at Chicago’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church early Sunday morning when a caretaker told him about the painting.
Jonas said he investigated and placed cotton balls at the bottom of the painting to absorb an oil-like substance pouring from the eyes of the Virgin Mary. He posted a picture of the painting Sunday night that shows streaks of liquid residue coming from the Blessed Mother’s eyes, which give the appearance that she’s crying.
"I can't explain why she is tearing, but I do know as human beings we are usually crying for two reasons: either joy or sorrow," Jonas told Chicago’s WLS.
The church is scheduled for a bankruptcy hearing Tuesday. Following Jonas’ social media post, many people visited the church to see the painting. More than a hundred candles were lit, according to the Tribune. Some worshippers viewed the phenomena as a sign of a coming miracle indicating the church would be saved from foreclosure.
“Mary weeping is a sign, and the miracle is actually in our hearts,” Laura Tovar, whose sister was married at the church, told the Tribune.
Jonas, however, said he’s not sure the tears are a sign the church would be saved and he “would just rather say that the Virgin Mary is talking to us. I would just let her finish her conversation. And, let’s see what happens.”