Church cautions public on rumors of a miracle-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
RESIDENTS of Alcantara streamed yesterday into the St. Agustin Church in Barangay Poblacion after hearing reports that the head of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima moved from its usual position.
Parish secretary Jembic Puerto reportedly noticed the change. He said that no one had touched the image, located in the center of the altar.
Msgr. Esteban Binghay said that the parish priest, Fr. Marcelino Agravante, plans to present his report to the Archdiocese within the week.
Binghay, episcopal vicar of the parishes in southern Cebu, said that while the Archdiocese studies the alleged miracle, he urged the public not to leap to conclusions.
PO1 Madried Aparre of the Alcantara police said that parish workers noticed the change after they had a dawn rosary yesterday.
As the word spread, residents of Barangay Poblacion and other barangays in Alcantara went immediately to St. Agustin Church. The police deployed its personnel upon the request of municipal officials and parish workers.
“Daghan na kaayo ang mga tawo nga gustong mo-halok sa imahe (So many people want to kiss the Virgin’s hand),” said Aparre in a phone interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
Officer Aparre added that residents from nearby towns also went to Alcantara to see the image.
Parish workers, though, are verifying if the movement may have been caused by the quake last Oct. 15 that hit Bohol and Cebu.
Fr. Peter Monteron, the parish priest, was in Bohol yesterday to distribute their relief goods.
Aparre said that many of those who went to see the image said they believed it was a miracle. The police already cordoned off the image to prevent any movement.
Visitors, however, are allowed to view the image and offer flowers.
In a separate interview, Msgr. Binghay said there are other forces beside God that could cause such an incident.
“Bisag ang yawa kahibaw sad mohimo ug milagro ug kahibulonan (Even the devil can cause such wonders),” Binghay said.
But he added he cannot blame some people if they want to believe in a miracle now, considering their ordeal after the earthquake. The quake killed 198 persons, injured 651 others and left 11 missing.
“Basta duna’y katalagman, ang ato ra gyud tuyo ug tumong kay ang Ginoo ra (Whenever there is a calamity, we always think of God),” Binghay added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2013.