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Believe it or not - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears

Updated on May 19, 2014
The shrine - our lady of tears
The shrine - our lady of tears | Source
Sanctuary - Our Lady of Tears
Sanctuary - Our Lady of Tears | Source
Inside the Sanctuary - Our Lady of Tears
Inside the Sanctuary - Our Lady of Tears | Source
sun streams through the chapel of our lady of tears
sun streams through the chapel of our lady of tears | Source
inside the sanctuary - our lady of tears
inside the sanctuary - our lady of tears | Source
The garden outside the our lady of tears sanctuary
The garden outside the our lady of tears sanctuary | Source

Believe it or Not – the Story of our Lady of Tears

I’m in Siracuse in Sicily, Italy, rushing around in stifling heat. I want to see all there is to see in the short time I have available. And there’s plenty to discover.

The city is noted for it’s Greek history, art, legend, architecture, amphitheatres, and culture.

However, wherever I wander, a large, cone shaped building dominates the skyline. It’s intriguing. I’m becoming more and more curious

Finally, I find time to visit – it’s The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Tears. This Sanctuary was built in memory of what is said to be a miraculous event that occurred in a humble home in the nearby Via degli Orti.

The Beginning.

This story begins in 1953. A young couple have received a wedding gift. It’s a small, commercial, plaster plaque representing the Madonna. They are thrilled. Happily, they hang it on the wall in the bedroom.

On the morning of August 29th that year they notice something unusual,

The Madonna figure on the plaque begins to weep. The tears continue to fall for three days.

Naturally, the news of this happening spreads rapidly and crowds of people queue to see what is quickly termed a miracle.

The tears are analysed by a committee and pronounced ‘human tears.’

And then miracles begin to happen – the sick begin to recover from illness. More and more people flock to witness the plaque, to pray and be healed. The city of Siracuse soon becomes a destination for Christian believers.

The Sanctuary Today

By December 1953 the Archbishop of Sicily had agreed to the construction of a sanctuary for the plaque.

Designed to resemble a gigantic teardrop, the structure was created by two Frenchmen, Michel Arnault and Pierre Parat. The upper part of the sanctuary has a surface area of 4.700 sq metres and a height of 74.30mt.

There is another iron structure 20 metres high and inside it the plaque of the Madonna.

The sanctuary can accommodate 11,000 people. The circular edifice has18 entrances - a truly amazing building for one small, inexpensive plaque.

The little house on Via Degli Orti 11, where the Madonna first shed her tears, is now an oratory where Mass is often celebrated.

The physicians and scientists who studied the event could offer no natural explanation for the occurrence and in several documents deemed it extraordinary.

But the questions lingers. Did this really happen? Do you believe it or not? It seems the response to this question is really up to the individual.

Some other happenings.

Here’s a glance at some bizarre happenings on a similar theme.

Often reported in the media are appearances of the image of Jesus or the Madonna.

Curiously, it is almost always at breakfast time. Images on pancakes and toast seem to top the list. No sanctuaries have been built to house them yet. The alternative seems to be eBay which in some cases have proved lucrative

Several years ago a report from Florida tells of a sighting of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich.

Kept on a night stand for many years the owner claimed to have had had excellent luck at the casino.

In 2004 the grilled cheese sandwich was listed for sale on Ebay. It was bought by the Golden Palace casino for $28,000.

There are also documented sightings of images on - the bark of a tree, an ice cream, and curiously, on a kitten.

One sighting was reported on a potato, so keep your eyes peeled.

And while we’re on the subject check out the Jesus/Mary toaster or Holy toast bread stamper, also available on eBay.

I have seen them for sale in touristy gift shops but haven’t yet been tempted..

Errr – wonder what’s next.


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    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Hello Flourish, thank you for commenting - oh dear, now I'm wondering about the kitten! These 'sightings' never cease to amaze me. hanks again - Maj

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      What an interesting hub, and the thought that images were thought to have appeared on things as diverse as a cheese sandwich, ice cream and a kitten. I do wonder what happened to the kitten.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      Hi Nell and thank you for the info - I definitely wasn't aware of pareidolla. I will remember! Yes, a visit to this place is interesting. I did not know about the sanctuary so when i found it it made a big impression.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Its called pareidolia when we see what we want to see in toast etc, but great hub, and I would love to visit, that would be amazing!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      thost - thanks for the visit and the vote -I agree, never quite know what we are going to find but there's always something.

    • thost profile image

      thost 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thank you for this interesting information. It is written "Seek and you will find". I will vote this Hub up.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      peachpurple - thank you for stopping by and your comments - the sanctuary was very peaceful and cared for - I think you would have been pleased, a quiet but welcoming atmosphere. Best wishes...

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      interesting article. Frankly speaking, many years ago, i heard and read some news that our lady was shedding blood tears too. Everyone was stunned and worried. Not only in only location but many. I prayed everyday for HER to stop crying and beg for forgiveness for our sins. Really worrisome!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Vellur - thank you so much for your comments and vote - much appreciated - hope you get to be there one day.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      WOW!! Interesting ! I wish I had seen them too. Voted up interesting and informative.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hello Kay - thanks for stopping by - keep alert - you never know. Or you could purchase a holy toast stamper - not quite the same though.

    • profile image

      Kay Readdy 5 years ago

      Intriguing story. I haven't witnessed anything nearly as exciting on my cheese sandwiches, but shall be examining them more closely from now on - at breakfast time, of course.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      pagesvoice - thanks for your most interesting comments. Siracuse, Italy is a great place to visit - I will write about the other attractions soon.

      I love your Tipperary Hill story - my brother-in-law was Irish - such fun. Miss his blarney. Thanks again for the vote and comments.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting. There are many events that have happened throughout time and they leave many of us scratching our heads in wonderment. Perhaps when we leave the physical world any questions we have will be answered. Let's face it. None of us are getting out of here alive.

      Siracuse is the sister city of my hometown. I grew up in the suburbs of Syracuse, New York where we also have large Greek and Italian communities. In addition to the Polish areas we have a large Irish community that resides in Tipperary Hill and boasts the ONLY working traffic light where GREEN is on top and RED is on the bottom.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      tebo - thank you - yes it is a fascinating place- I didn't know about it until we arrived.

      Such an interesting story...

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I have heard of this before but not in the detail you have explained. Must have been incredible to see. Interesting hub.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Michelle - thank you for this share - much appreciated.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Sharing this again!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hi Michelle - Siracuse is well worth a visit - so much to see and do. Hope you make it one day. Thanks for stopping by...

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      ignugent - lovely you stopped by - it is indeed an interesting place -

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      I would love to visit this place! Thanks for the information, Travmaj!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub. Thanks for sharing this information. It must be a wonderful place. :-)

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Valley - thank you once again - I really appreciate your thoughts and comments - this place did intrigue me - and yes - how things change. To me, travel means I find something to capture the imagination. I wish, like some people, my creativity would flow without all the moving around! Cheers and thanks for the vote -

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hi WND - thank you for your comments - I am always fascinated when I discover something like this with such a fascinating history. I had no idea what the building was - and it is so interesting. I like to think of miracles too.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Mhatter - yes, I know what you mean - it is intriguing though. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 5 years ago usual, a really interesting hub...but also quite poignant with regard to the sharp contrast between the historical and the modern reaction to miracles. I look forward to reading your hubs Maj, they are so diverse and interesting...your travels obviously get your creative juices flowing...thanks for sharing...voted up and awesome:-))

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      Interesting hub. That must have been a wonderful building to see.

      Miracles do happen. It's something to think upon.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      At my age, the world will not end if I choose to believe. Thank you for this.


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