"Weeping" Madonna Statue Removed from Windsor Home
Posted Nov 09 2010 8:00am
After weeks of international attention that drew hundreds of religious pilgrims, a statue of the Virgin Mary that reportedly wept tears of holy oil has been removed from a Windsor, Ontario home. The statue owner, Fada Ibrahim, has told the press that "Mary herself asked to be moved" to her new home at a Maronite Catholic church in a Windsor suburb. Disappointed pilgrims arrived at the family's Garvey Crescent home to find the statue gone from the front lawn enclosure where it had been kept for weeks. A note attached to the front door of the house informed visitors that the statue had been removed and to stay off the property.
When word of the miraculous weeping first began to spread, the public attention led to a major disruption in the formerly quiet neighbourhood with tour buses bringing visitors from as far away as Woodstock and Mississaugi . Complaints over traffic problems, crowding, and noise led to the city ordering the statue's remova over infractions of the municipal building codel. The owner's claims also represented a major quandary for the local Catholic diocese which, on learning that Fada Ibrahim was an Orthodox Christian, was quick to pass on all responsiblity for investigating the miracle to her own parish. Her own parish priest, Father John Ayoub of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, has stated that he investigated the claim and found no evidence that anything miraculous was occurring. While he stated that Ibrahim was still a member of the parish in good standing, he added that "if you want to believe her, you're free to believe her".
Reports of miraculous appearances of the Virgin Mary are the focus of tens of millions of Marian pilgrimages each year. While most of these pilgrimages are to well-known sites such as Lourdes, Fatima, and Guadalupe which have been formally recognized by organized religions such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Coptic Churches, rumours of unconfirmed sightings and miraculous occurrences continue to draw the faithful in countries around the world. Often regarded as hallucinations or deliberate hoaxes by skeptics, word of mouth accounts remain a powerful lure for belieers.