By Donald P. Ames
The Roman Catholic Church has long been famous (or should we say infamous) for the hoaxes which they have come up with. The interesting thing is that there are always so many people ready to believe them, and usually somewhere down the line, it adds to the treasury of local Catholic Churches. Consequently, when claims are made relative to “saint-hood” and “miracles,” most of us familiar with such a history have learned to take them with a grain of salt.
Teary, Bloody Statue
The latest hoax comes from Ste.- Marthe-aur-le-lac, Quebec. Here it seems a statue of the “Virgin Mary” was in the possession of one Jean-Guy Beauregard, a railroad worker in Montreal. On December 8, the statue was said to begin weeping (memories of similar events in Chicago and other cities in the U.S.). Word began to spread quickly, and soon crowds began to gather. Due to objections from the landlord, the statue was then moved to the home of Maurice and Claudette Girouard in Ste.-Marthe. In January, tears were not enough. The Girouards then reported to reporters that the tears on the statue began to mix with blood. Crowds continued to come. In less than a week over 12,000 people came to see the “miracle.” Newspapers and TV were brought in to spread the phenomenon.
However, like most hoaxes, sooner or later someone is going to catch on – and usually the “miracle” is moved elsewhere and passed off on another group of gullible people who want to believe such wild claims. Well, in this case, it seems the bubble burst early. The owner, when confronted with some scientific work done by the Canadian Broadcast Corp. on another tear-stained icon, broke down and admitted that the bloody tears were actually drops of oil that he had mixed with his own blood to produce the effect! Of course, the confession will likely be hidden from most Catholics, as the “miracle” is then moved to another city (or someone else tries to duplicate the act).
There was some other rather interesting work also discovered relative to the “tears” that had appeared as well. Since this has occurred in cities in the U.S., I thought some of our readers might like a little inside information on the probable source here as well. It seems, upon close examination, that the tears were not actual at all. In fact, what was found was that the face had been coated with pork and beef fat that would naturally liquefy in droplets and run like tears once the room was slightly warmed.
Such being the case, one is made to wonder if that is not what happened to the statues here in the U.S. that suddenly began “crying” in the past year. And also, one wonders why such an examination was not performed here to refute such a hoax?
According to the article, which appeared in the Indianapolis Star (January 18, 1986), there was another interesting little side-light to this whole episode. It turned out the Maurice Girouard, who had spokesman for the “miracle,” had also been previously convicted twice of practicing medicine illegally. That ought to cast a real cloud of credibility over any further such claims.
My point is simply that most such “miracles,” as some may wish to call’ them, have an explanation if one really wants to took for it. But us the Catholic Church is too busy enjoying the publicity to try to truthfully find a solution. Oh yes, they will keep their distance (“We do not take a stand on it, do not know all the details, it may be an exaggeration of the marvelous,” etc.) but rarely will they deny it, decline the publicity, or pursue the practice and publicly expose the fraud. This way they get the glory – and if the fraud is discovered, they have covered their tracks. If not, they can move to another town and produce another “miracle.” And the public flock to the event for all the publicity they get out of it.
Well, let’s expose this thing as widely as we can, and maybe people will pause and ask a few questions first the next time. In the words of the apostle Paul, “Be not deceived.”
Guardian of Truth XXX: 5, p. 138
March 6, 1986