Catia, Good Friday, March 28, 1997:
Katya's wounds while suffering the stigmata. Katya's hands healed the next day.
On Good Friday of 1997, a statue of the Christ, crowned with thorns, began to weep again in the main cathedral of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Is this an example of what Jesus spoke of as He enterered Jerusalem the week of His Passion: "I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out." [Luke 19:40]
This inexplicable phenomenon took place at
pm on Good Friday in the city's
Metropolitan Cathedral, just minutes before the ceremony for the Liturgy of the Seven Words.
During Holy Week of 1995, the miraculous
occurrence took place repeatedly during the recital of the Rosary.
Since then, the number of devotees to the Crying Christ have grown to
around a thousand, one
hundred of which were standing in front of the statue when its eyes
The watery liquid afterward transformed into a blood-like substance
gives an impressive countenance on the face of Christ.
The Archbishop, Rene Fernandez, observed that for God nothing is impossible and that He is able to show Himself through various forms, creatures and revelations, even if they are extraordinary as is the case here.
He said that in the Catholic Church there are principles of proof that have to be adhered to before recognizing a given miracle. He also said that officially the Church has not carried out an investigation, although they have already formed a committee to take up the matter.
The information that must be obtained is sent to the Vatican. According to Archbishop Rene Fernandez - "If it is true, God would be making an appeal, He calls in all sorts of ways. Today within the human race, it is increasingly common that man ignores what relates to God to a frightening degree. Man puts God to one side," he affirmed.
Since 1995, various scientific studies have taken place, the conclusions of which are astounding and underline the fact that Cochabamba has fast become the center of a supernatural event. Recordings have been made of the crying, samples have been taken and sent to the laboratory. And lastly, the statue itself has been subjected to computerized examination. A laboratory report put together in April 1995 outlined the fact that the liquid analyzed was "hemoglobin, hetero protein of a red color that exists in hematoid, or red globules."
The Tears of Christ
article was written by Ron Tesoriero and it arises from his making
the documentary, "... the stones will cry out", about a statue of
Christ that is crying
and bleeding in Cochabamba, Bolivia:
I came to know about it in April of 1995 when I spoke by telephone with Doctor Ricardo Castanon from Bolivia. He told me that a statue of Christ had commenced to cry and bleed in Cochabamba, a city in central Bolivia. He also said that he had witnessed it happening and had taken a sample of the blood like substance that had come from the statue and that he proposed to have it analyzed.
He also told me that in early March of 1995 Nancy Fowler, of Conyers, Georgia, USA visited Bolivia on a three day speaking engagement, where she spoke at certain gatherings about her apparitions of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Dr. Castanon said that on 7 March 1995, whilst Nancy was still in Bolivia, she said to him, "Jesus appeared to me today and said, `I will leave a sign of My presence in this country'."
Dr. Castanon further told me that Nancy left Bolivia on 9 March 1995, on a morning flight, back to the United States. At 6:00 pm on that same day the statue of Christ in Cochabamba began to cry and bleed.
The statue that is crying in Cochabamba [the Christ of Limpias] is the same shape, size, color and mold as the statue that Nancy has in her prayer room in Conyers, Georgia.
Decision to Examine the Phenomena
I had worked with Dr. Castanon when I recorded the medical and scientific testing done on Nancy, which was the subject of the book that I wrote and the documentary that I made entitled, "Why DoYou Test Me?"
Dr. Castanon and I agreed that it was important to examine fully the Cochabamba story, as it appeared to have a strong connection with Nancy's case.
I met with Dr. Castanon at Conyers at the
end of June of 1995, to plan the testing that we had proposed to
do on the statue in Cochabamba, and of the DNA tests of the blood from
Whilst at Conyers, on the evening of 30 June 1995, I took the opportunity to interview Nancy about what Jesus had said to her and about the sign He said He would leave in Bolivia.
At the time of my interview with Nancy,
George Collins [Nancy's scribe] was the only other person present, and
he took notes of what transpired during my questioning of Nancy. As I
began to ask Nancy a series of questions, Nancy did not appear to be
listening to me.
She responded by saying,
"Jesus is appearing to me at this moment."
I could not see what Nancy said she was seeing. I suppose it was an attempt by me to test the truth of Nancy's apparitions when I asked Nancy this question, "Ask Jesus whether I should make a documentary on the statue of Christ that is crying in Cochabamba and the statue of the Virgin Mary which was claimed to have cried in Civitavecchia [near Rome]. And ask Him what I will find when I investigate these stories."
As I asked this question I had these specific thoughts - If I was at home seated at a table at which my children were doing homework and a child of mine asked me a question concerning his homework, as a father concerned for the child, I would provide him with the answer to his question. If Jesus [who is God, the Father of us all] was really present, then He would provide to me the answer to my question.
Nancy, who could not possibly have known my thoughts, surprisingly responded in this way, "Ron, Jesus said, `Go ahead with your plans. A teacher does not do the homework for the student. A student does the homework and presents it to the teacher. I went before you and left the work for you to do. You walk with Me. Go in peace.'"
As became apparent during the documentary that I subsequently made, entitled, "... the stones will cry out," there was along the path of my investigations undeniable evidence of God's hand working in an astonishing way.
God's Hand at Work in an Astonishing Way
On 13 October 1994 Catalina of Cochabamba, came to Conyers. She knelt at the foot of the crucifix on the "holy hill" behind Nancy's house, and prayed that she may become a victim soul and to be able to bear some of Christ's suffering. Catalina told me that at the moment of her prayer she began to feel a burning feeling in the palms of her hands, in her and in her side. She returned late to Cochabamba and prayed for the conversion of a relative of hers who had abandoned her faith.
The person she prayed for was Silvia Arevelo, who subsequently became converted and, as a consequence, purchased the statue of Limpias, which cried and bled on the day of her purchase.
The plaster statue of Limpias, found to be crying in Cochabamba, is a 30 cm high bust of Christ showing Christ's face in the last moments of crucifixion. It was purchased from a store in Cochabamba, on 9 March 1995 by Silvia Arevelo, a 37 year old airline hostess. Within a matter of hours of her returning home after purchasing it, the statue began the effusion.
Witnesses spoke of how the statue, on a number of occasions since then, has wept what seems to have been tears and blood from the eyes and blood from the crown of thorns region on the head.
On 25th May 1995, Oswaldo Rioja, a reporter from Channel 4 Television in Cochabamba, and his camera assistant, were assigned to report on the story. They did not believe the claims. At 5:00 pm on that day they set up their camera in front of the statue, and watched and waited. Within about 45 minutes the statue began to shed what seemed to be tears from the eyes which turned to blood, and to then shed what seemed to be blood from locations on the head. They were convinced that what they saw and filmed was not the product of a trick or fraud.
A Commission of Enquiry, set up by the local Bishop, Bishop Rene Fernandez, has declared the event authentic and has authorized the veneration of the statue.
The Camera Records the Falling Tears
During the production of the documentary, the statue wept on two occasions whilst the camera was rolling. The film footage of the tears falling is probably unparalleled in history.
The Scientific Examination
Within hours after the weeping, the statue was subjected to a CAT scan analysis which was filmed. That analysis showed that the statue was solid plaster with a void of air inside. No liquids or mechanisms were found inside it. If there was a perforation in the plaster at any point, even the thickness of a human hair, the CAT scan would have detected it.
The sample of the blood like substance from the statue was given to Gentest Laboratories in the United States for testing. The laboratory was not told the origin of the sample. They found that the substance was blood and that it contained human DNA. An Australian State Government Forensic Testing Laboratory confirmed the American findings when they tested another sample which was given to them.
In August 1995, whilst Dr. Castanon and I were in Cochabamba for the filming of the documentary, Dr. Castanon removed from the head region of the plaster statue a piece of what appeared to be a dried blood scab from the many encrustations of blood that had formed around the crown of thorns region of the head of the statue of Christ.
The scab like substance was transported in a test tube to Australia where I had it analyzed by another Australian Forensic Laboratory. In transit the particle seemed to have broken apart, and part of the sample was found to be blood. One part was found not to be blood, nor to be of human origin, and this surprised us. Subsequent examination of this particle by a forensic specialist, who knew nothing of the origin of the sample, concluded that the particle was "the tip of a vicious thorn or spine from an arid region possibly from a date palm or hawthorn bush". Legend has it that Christ's crown of thorns was made from such a hawthorn bush.
When I got to the final stages of making the documentary, I went again to Conyers to speak to Nancy about whether she would be willing to ask Jesus, why it was that He chose this particular depiction of Himself as a sign.
I began discussing the subject whilst
Nancy's sitting room, in which were present Dr. Castanon, Neurologist
Norma Agosto, and some other people. As I began to ask Nancy a series
questions, Nancy said, "Ron, I see a saint appearing behind you. I do
know who that saint is."
Dr. Norma Agosto said, "I can also see the saint you are talking about. The saint is St. Ignatius. I recognise him by the way he looks and the way he is dressed." Nancy then said, "Jesus told me today that a saint would appear and someone else in the room will tell you who it is." As I continued to speak to Nancy, Nancy said, "I still see St. Ignatius standing behind you. I also see a triangle of blue light."
I received no direct answer from Nancy to the questions that I asked. I sensed that Nancy's visions of St. Ignatius at the time of my asking the questions may have been intended to point me to the answers I needed.
When I returned to Australia, I began reading some books and literature on St. Ignatius. It became clear from my reading that part of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius involved a meditation on the suffering of the crucified Christ as distinct from a meditation on the glorified Christ as Lord of Heaven. It was from such reading of the spirituality of St. Ignatius that I composed the concluding words to the documentary which are as follows:
"This sorrowful image weeps and bleeds in a way that science cannot understand. The image is of God in the form of Jesus Christ not peacefully enthroned in his glory as the Lord of Heaven, but as the victim that man rejected and crucified 2000 years ago. We are left to reflect and to wonder about the tears that mysteriously cry out from the stone cast in Christ's image. Could it be, as the theologians suggest, an expression of the heartfelt sorrow of our Creator who is wounded by this world's rejection of Him today?"
A Theological Explanation
During the making of the documentary, Anne Montgomery of Gentest Laboratory, the scientist who had carried out the DNA tests of the "blood" from the statue, was asked, "How can you explain human blood coming from a plaster statue?" She said I can't. I think you had better ask a theologian."
The question was put to a theologian who responded by drawing our attention to the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 19, verse 35 for the explanation:
"So they took the colt to Jesus and,
throwing their cloaks on its back, they lifted Jesus on to it.
As he moved off, they spread their cloaks in the road, and now, as he was approaching the downward slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out: 'Blessed is he who is coming as King in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens! Some Pharisees in the crowd said to Him 'Master, reprove your disciples,' but He answered, 'I tell you, if these keep silence, THE STONES WILL CRY OUT.'"
The theologian went on to explain that the Pharisees wanted to silence the voices that were proclaiming God and Jesus said that if you did not permit them to praise God then the stones would do this. He said that, "I believe Jesus was prophesying that there would come a time when man would no longer proclaim God and the stones would cry out in proclamation." He said, "We are living in those times and that the statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary weeping around the world are doing the job we should be doing, proclaiming God in the world, the reality of God, the supernatural, and we are not doing that."
We felt it appropriate in view of the theologian's explanation of the happenings in Cochabamba to title the documentary, "The Stones Will Cry Out." Available at www.greatcrusade.org
Professor Castanon once provided a concluding comment concerning the testing of Nancy Fowler's apparitions that can also be applied to the weeping statue in Cochabamba. Shaking his head, and in a quiet, pensive way he said:
"I do not
think we can explain these things. We think that man is very
intelligent and that we know everything. Sometimes we have to be humble
and say `Here is another kind of power that we do not understand, and
that could be God.'"
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