When the Virgin Weeps …

An icon of the Virgin and Child has started to weep. The icon, in the home of a Greek Orthodox family, began crying tears of oil three weeks ago. The family named Altindagoglu live in the commune of Garge-Les-Gonesse which is 8 miles (14 kms) north of Paris. A young member of the family told […]


An icon of the Virgin and Child has started to weep.

The icon, in the home of a Greek Orthodox family, began crying tears of oil three weeks ago.

The family named Altindagoglu live in the commune of Garge-Les-Gonesse which is 8 miles (14 kms) north of Paris.

A young member of the family told the French radio station France Info that her aged aunt prays in front of the icon every morning, and three weeks ago, touching the Virgin’s face her finger had become wet. Having a closer look (and tasting the wetness too) she realized that the Virgin was weeping oil.

Quickly, the news spread through the neighborhood, then the commune, and then down to and throughout Paris, and, well, now the house has become a place of pilgrimage with dozens of people turning up every day to see and dip their fingers in the Virgin’s oily tears for themselves. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of France even said a mass in the house yesterday. The local Catholic padre also called in to see it for himself. He told France Info that he has heard of this kind of thing, but now for the first time he has seen it with his very own eyes.

The icon, which is not large, hangs on a wall in the family’s living room. The wall below it is wet from the oozing oil, but not the wall behind it. However, when the icon is taken off the wall the Virgin stops crying.

The icon has been looked over by just about everyone who has so far come to see it, and there is no trickery involved; there is no hidden pouch of oil.

At least a hundred people a day arrive from all over France, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium to see the icon. Not all are Orthodox, some are Catholic, some are Muslim, and even non-Believers go too.

It has not been reported what kind of oil it is – rape seed (colza), maize or corn, or olive.

Is the icon perhaps hanging in a spot where there is a warm draft and its paint is being liquified? But then the oil should be colored should it not which is not the case. And why would it be drafty there only now when the family has had the icon for some years; it had been a gift from a Lebanese uncle who is a priest.

As those of you who know me personally are aware I collect icons (other religious artifacts too) so when I hear about weeping icons I check mine. So far they are all still dry. But one of my icons looks remarkably like the weeping one. The one on the photo on the right is mine.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

2 Responses

3-6-2010 at 13:28:36

If its an oil painting, it would, presumably be linseed?? What do the painting experts or scientists say about it?

3-6-2010 at 15:03:34

I see that you have your doubts. The icon has not been scientifically examined or tested yet. Right now it's just being touched and kissed a lot with prayers being said over it. Maybe it will never be tested.

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