Mother Mary cries Sabah, Malaysia
Home of crying statue of Mary slowly turning into a shrine
Above photo is pilgrims visiting the weeping statue of Our Blessed Mother.
March 7, 2015 - Reported [theantdaily.com]. The private home of Michael George, 52, a self employed Kadazan at Kg Mahandoi in Penampang, a district in Sabah whose residents are predominantly Catholics, is slowing becoming a house of prayer and a place for devotion to the Virgin Mary. It all started around 8pm on March 2 evening when his youngest son, aged 16, saw tears rolling down the eyes of a statue of Mary at their home, some 12km from the capital city of Kota Kinabalu. He quickly went to his mother, also named Mary, asking why 'the Blessed Mary' was crying. Since then, word quickly went viral on Facebook and WhatsApp, with images of the statue with wet eyes and droplets on the cheeks.
There has been a steady flow of visitors to their home from near and far who, perhaps out of curiousity, simply wished to see for themselves the actual statue that is said to have been mysteriously crying. A large group of devotees joined family members last night, in saying the Rosary in honour of Mary the mother of Jesus. Michael's wife, Mary Fabian, said the statue was a gift from her sister Rita who brought it back from Manila after a visit there one-and-a-half years ago. She told Theantdaily that the latest 'crying' occurred on March 6 on two occasions at 5.30am and 2.40pm. Michael's sister Joy who lives next door made a live recording of it on her mobile phone and she showed it to this writer during a visit there yesterday evening. The images of the statue seen here with teary eyes, especially from the right eye of the statue, were taken by her.
The statue of Mary placed in the living room of their home has been turned into a form of a shrine, with pilgrims placing flowers around it. At the foot of the statue is a sign saying, “Do not touch. Tq”. I asked Michael's father George Bongu, 73, who was present, what this 'crying' phenomena could mean in the context of the current situation in Sabah, and Malaysia as a whole, knowing that 'crying' is normally associated with sadness. “I think she (the Virgin Mary) is giving a sign. She can see what is happening now. She is asking us to prepare ourselves, prepare ourselves in prayer,” said Geroge, who has eight children, three boys and five girls, Michael being the eldest. It should be noted, however, that the Catholic Church authorities world-wide have been very careful in their approach and treatment of weeping statues. They have set very high barriers for their acceptance. Only a very small number of weeping statues have been recognised by the Catholic Church. For instance, in [Syracuse Sicily, Italy], the 1949 shedding of tears from a statue was recognised by the Catholic bishops of Sicily on August 29, 1953.
To date, only one single example of a combined weeping statue and apparition, the [Our Lady of Akita] in Japan, was approved by the Vatican. The unusual nature of those apparitions was that the entire nation of Japan was able to view the tears of the statue of the Virgin Mary on national television. The last time Malaysians heard of such a phenomenon was in November 2012 when one of the window panes at the [Sime Darby Medical Centre] at Subang Jaya was purportedly showing an image of the Virgin Mary. The glass panels were later removed and delivered to the Marian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Klang.
There was an earlier report suggesting that the statue of Mary at Michael George's home be placed in a church nearby where it could be viewed and assessed by the public and the church. George, a retired civil servant, said he was not in favour of this, explaining “It is happening in the family, keep it in the family.” Mary Fabian who owns the statue chipped in, “I wish to keep it here too. It belongs to me.” He said the family has been staying in the village for five generations now since his father Wong Bongu acquired the land. Aside from his children, grandchildren, George has two great grandchildren. Priests of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu are aware of the situation and is assessing the case of the sobbing statue of Mary at Kg Mahandoi in Penampang, Sabah.