In 1953 in Syracuse, a bride and a groom had been presented with a plaster plaque portraying the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The newlyweds were very poor and went to live with the husband’s parents for some time. The plaque was hung on the wall over the headboard of the bed.

The wife, Antonia, had a difficult pregnancy and suffered with convulsions and clouded vision. One day, after a seizure and a bout of temporary blindness, Antonia opened her eyes and noticed that the plaster plaque portraying the Virgin Mary was weeping. When she called out to her relatives and told them that the effigy was weeping, nobody believed her. But later, everyone saw that the small statue really was in tears.

Tears kept flowing from the statue’s eyes for a few days and were seen by the people that flocked around Antonia’s house. Filmed sequences of the plaque showed the phenomenon. The tears were collected and sent to laboratory to be analyzed. The tests showed that they were human tears.

The Catholic Church declared the lacrimation a miracle. Now a church has been built in the area, where more than sixty years ago there were an unsurfaced square and a cluster of low houses.

I remember as soon as we arrived in Syracuse and parked our car at the end of the square, there were so many people in the square and around the house where the miracle happened that it was impossible for us to move on. As I wanted to see what was going on, my father, who was taller than average, picked me up so that I could see the happenings.

I noticed a line of detached one-story houses on the opposite side of the square and people standing and looking at those houses. Suddenly, I heard a voice that sounded like stammering.

What happened?” I asked my father. “Why is that person stammering?”

That man has been cured miraculously. He couldn’t walk, but now he has left his wheelchair and is walking.”

When I returned to the same place many years later, the square and the low houses didn’t exist anymore. The plaster plaque portraying Our Lady had been moved inside the new church to be exposed to the believers.

Excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

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