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Church investigating weeping Virgin Mary statue in New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces continues to investigate a Virgin Mary sculpture in a Hobbs church that appears to be weeping.

The sculpture, which stands in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, has been attracting attention worldwide since visitors first reported the fluid in May.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of the diocese said Friday a sample of the fluid collected from the sculpture was sent for chemical analysis, and it was determined that it was olive oil, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported .

“Some of the witnesses claimed it smelled of roses, so something similar to the oil I bless and consecrate each year that we use for baptism, for confirmations and for ordination of the priests,” Cantu said.

That fact doesn’t preclude the occurrence from being deemed a church miracle. But an investigation is under way to determine whether there was a natural cause behind the liquid found on the hollow bronze sculpture, Cantu said.

The diocese also examined the interior of the statue and determined nothing irregular, Cantu said.

“There’s nothing on the interior that’s not supposed to be there, except for cobwebs,” he said. “So we took pictures; we examined it.”

Cantu was reassigned last week to a diocese in California. His last day in the southern New Mexico diocese is Sept. 28. But he said one of the items remaining on his agenda before he leaves is to take a trip to Hobbs and see the sculpture himself.

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