A painting of the virgin Mary reveals what look like tears in a Chicago church facing foreclosure. Worshippers have flocked to Chicago's Trinity Greek Orthodox Church because of this supposed "sign from God," reports the Chicago Tribune.
Father Nicholas Jonas tells the Chicago Tribune that on Sept. 8, he looked in disbelief when he saw water streaming from the virgin Mary's eyes in a painting. Athena Metropoulos, a church employee, had rushed into his office to tell him about the "weeping virgin."
Fox News reports that Jonas put cotton balls underneath the painting to absorb the "tears," which he found to be an oil-like liquid.
Jonas posted two photos of the painting on Facebook, saying the church's "Icon of the Panagia is weeping! We cannot leave Sacred Space!"
The following Monday, worshippers flocked to the Greek Orthodox church to see what they call a "miracle." Some say it's a sign that God would save the church from foreclosure.
About $8 million in debt, Holy Trinity faces a bankruptcy hearing today, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Jonas says he hopes the judge will give the church more time to raise the money they need to escape foreclosure. He says the church already has a potential investor.
The Rev. Dobrivoje Milunovic, priest at the nearby Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, says the weeping painting is a miracle but also a warning from the virgin Mary.
"This is a calling on all of us to change our lives," he says. "We need to turn to her in prayer and humility. And cleanse our hearts and souls of inequities so we may find salvation."
Evangelical Pastor Mark Driscoll warns Christians from honoring Jesus' mother above her status as a human being. He says believers must honor her without forgetting that she was "not sinless ... did not remain a virgin forever ... [and] is not a co-mediator or co-Redeemer alongside Jesus."
Meanwhile, some claim the tears on the painting are fake, to which Jonas responds, "Look. There are no pipes hooked up to drip water."
What do you think? Is this a sign from God? A coincidence? Something else? Let us know in the comments section below.
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