THIS is not the first time that the image of the Virgin Mary in Lindogon had “shed tears” after a lawyer and her fellow devotee witnessed the statue “crying” last Thursday.
Frater Ma. Joseph Magtoto of the Martin Monks of the Eucharistic Adoration (Evangelizer), who is the founder of the shrine in Simala, Sibonga, Cebu, said he was surprised to learn that photos of the “crying” image of the Lady of Lindogon have circulated on the social networking site Facebook.
But Magtoto said this is nothing new as the image also “shed tears” in 1998 when several residents in the area were struck with dengue.
One of the monks, Brother Martin, asked the parish priest to lead a nine-day penitential rosary walk to ask for the Virgin’s intercession.
Days later, residents started smelling flowers even though the area is barren and has no flowering plants.
During the birthday of the Virgin Mary on Sept. 8 that year, the image of the Lady of Lindogon “shed tears” and those struck with dengue reportedly got well.
Magtoto said the devotees recalled that the image has cried five times since 1998 and the most recent incident was last Sept. 8.
Josephine Cordova, 50, a Marian devotee and a volunteer in the shrine, told Superbalita Cebu that she also saw the image shed tears.
Cordova believes that the Lady was glad that she has once again made a “miracle.”
Marian devotees have flocked to the shrine as Cebu is celebrating a long weekend because of the holidays.
People endured the long queue and the heat to pay their respects to the image.
In a separate interview, Delia Chavez, 55, also a volunteer, said that in her eight years of serving the shrine, the Lady who has granted her prayers.
A woman named Terry Brooks from Pampanga, who was leaving for the US, donated the Our Lady of Fatima image to the Marian monks in 1998.
The monks took the image to the hills of Lindogon where they started building the Sanctuary Castle of Mama Mary.
According to old Simala residents, more than 60 years ago, a wise man named Ingko Niyong Villamor predicted that the hills of Lindogon would become holy once a miraculous white lady, which is believed to be the Virgin Mary, would reign in the place.
Since then thousands of Marian devotees have visited the shrine, which now resembles a castle.
“We cannot force those who don’t believe the image sheds tears. They can’t see because they don’t have faith,” Cordova said in Cebuano.