AN official of the Archdiocese of Cebu urged Catholics not to conclude immediately that the shedding of “tears” of a statue of the Virgin of Lindogon in Sibonga, Cebu is miraculous.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cebu, said that while there is nothing wrong with being devoted to the Virgin Mary, the faithful should proceed with caution in believing in miracles attributed to her.
Tan made statement after receiving reports that the Virgin of Lindogon allegedly shed tears in front of devotees a day after her birthday last Thursday.
“It is good to be devoted to the Virgin Mary. But please, let us proceed with caution in claiming that it is miraculous in nature. The true miracle is that Mary gave birth to Jesus who established our Church,” Tan told Sun. Star Cebu yesterday.
In an interview yesterday, lawyer Divine Marcial-Flores said she and a fellow devotee witnessed the shedding of tears of the statue of the Virgin of Lindogon at dawn yesterday.
Flores said she and a group were in Lindogon from Sept. 7 until yesterday to assist the Marian monks in their plan to construct new classrooms for school children in the area.
They also witnessed the festivities at the Lindogon shrine during the Virgin Mary’s birthday last Thursday.
Flores said that while she was sleeping at 3 a.m. yesterday at a mini-hotel a few meters away from the Lindogon Shrine, one of her friends, also a devotee, called her.
The friend, who refused to name herself, told Sun.Star Cebu that she was staying at the shrine at that time when she decided to approach the image of the Virgin Mary to offer prayers.
While praying the rosary, she noticed drops of water flowing from the image’s face. She said the image was crying.
“Nihunong gyod ang akong kalibotan. Dugay kaayo ni-sink in sa akong hunahuna nga nahitabo to sya (It took for me to realize that it happened),” the devotee said.
She decided to call Flores about it.
When Flores joined her friend, she also saw the statue “crying,” she said.
Flores took out her phone and started taking pictures and videos of the image.
She then prayed the rosary with her friend.
Flores said that many might question the “miracle” that they saw yesterday, but she didn’t care.
“Bahala og unsa ang pagtuo sa uban (I don’t care what people say). Para nako, I know what I saw. And it had strengthened my faith in her,” she added.
In a separate interview, Msgr. Esteban Binghay of the Archdiocese of Cebu said that the “miracle” that happened at the Lindogon Shrine is a sign that the Virgin Mary is calling to all the faithful to go back to God.
“Gitokhang na ta ni Mama Mary and if you don’t respond to it, basin matikwang ta,” Binghay told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
Binghay, who is a frequent celebrant at the Lindogon Shrine, said he can attest to the authenticity of the miracles that happened there.
But he advised devotees to continue believing without resorting to fanaticism.