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Perth Virgin 'weeps' once more

The statue of the Virgin Mary, which became the centre of world attention last year when it appeared to be "weeping" rose-scented tears, began crying again on Good Friday.

The statue wept heavily and continued to do so over the following three days, according to Patty Powell, the figurine's owner.

Pilgrims from around the world are still flocking to the mysterious statue at her Rockingham home, which she has renamed The Holy Family House of Prayer.

Earlier this year the statue was isolated from contact with people and put in the care of Rockingham's parish priest for a month.

It did not weep during that time, though a single tear appeared in one eye on 9 February. The statue has since started weeping intermittently, according to Mrs Powell, who took photographs of fresh tears flowing from it on Good Friday.

The oily tears have been found to appear on days of religious significance in the past.

An investigation by the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth into the phenomenon failed to establish the source of the tears.

Announcing the results in February, Archbishop Barry Hickey said he could not conclude safely that the substance was of divine origin.

Archbishop Hickey declined to comment further on the phenomenon this week, saying only that it was a "private matter".

Under Archbishop Hickey's orders, the statue cannot be displayed in church property in the archdiocese.

Since Archbishop Hickey sanctioned publication of a report on the weeping statue in the diocesan newspaper last year, thousands have flocked to Rockingham to see the fibreglass image, which was bought in Bangkok in 1994.

The Advertiser

Church probe concludes statue tears are vegetable oil (27/2/03)
Archdiocese of Perth | Weeping Statue Finding: Statement by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth
Church rules WA's weeping Virgin is not a miracle (The Age)
Mary's tears not an official miracle, church rules (ABC)
Weeping statue 'not a miracle' (The Australian)

Mary's Well waters down to a trickle (Religion News Service)

28 Apr 2003