Tests on crying Madonna fail to show hoax

Perth scientists said yesterday there is no obvious scientific explanation for the flower-scented tears seeping from a statue of the Virgin Mary, a phenomenon that has drawn thousands of pilgrims to a church in Rockingham.

The statue, which has reportedly been "weeping" on and off since the Feast of St Joseph on 19 March, was analysed this week by independent scientists at two universities. A research chemist at Perth's Murdoch University, Doug Clarke, showed the statue to be weeping oil, which he considers to be olive oil with a jasmine aroma.

"My gut feeling is someone has been very clever," he said. "I believe the statue is a fake because I don't believe olive oil can materialise from a fiberglass statue. I believe the oil has been put there, though how I don't know.

"There is an explanation for all these things. But you need more tests to find out how it's been done."

Many sick people have queued hoping for a cure from the oil.

The statue's owner Patty Powell said she believes the statue is crying because "God is trying to give us a message. The message to me is the world is in so much turmoil."

Earlier this week, Perth's Archbishop Barry Hickey, said that no official proceedings would be made to have the statue's powers formally recognised by the church. He told the local Catholic newspaper that he could not say if the weeping was natural or supernatural, but the sight of Mary weeping had already had powerful spiritual effects by calling people back to God.

"I can't see a natural explanation for it, but that doesn't mean there isn't one," he said.

Weeping statue put to the Str (Today Tonight 12/9/02)
A suburban miracle (Today Tonight 9/9/02)
Expert pours cold water on Perth's miracle Madonna (Ananova)
Weeping Madonna subjected to scientific tests (CathNews Discussion Board)

Washington Times-UPI

13 Sep 2002