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An apparent miracle occurred recently at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs, New Mexico when worshipers noticed that a statue of the Virgin Mary was crying real tears. How could that be?! Bishop Oscar Cantú took a sample of the fluid and sent it to a lab for analysis… and scientists were baffled there was a perfectly natural explanation.

“…we determined it was olive oil, a scented olive oil,” Cantú said. “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.

The fact it is olive oil doesn’t preclude the occurrence from being deemed a church miracle. But an investigation is still underway.

Spoiler: The investigation is a waste of everyone’s time.

But that didn’t stop many Catholics from visiting the statue as if God was sending a cryptic wet message to the faithful.

The sculpture… has been attracting worldwide attention. Visitors have been flocking to the church since the fluid on the sculpture was first reported in May.

Visitors are… not very smart. Especially when they claim the “tears” have changed their lives. It’s similar to someone who listens to the vague advice of a fortune teller then believes their decisions are better as a result. It’s confirmation bias all around.

At least Cantú is asking a valid question: Even if it is just olive oil, how the hell did it get there?

Asked whether the church will be able to rule out a human cause for the sculpture’s purported tears, including the possibility for a hoax, Cantú said he has to look into that.

“But even if it were (a hoax), we are not sure how it would be done, physically,” he said. “Because it is hardened bronze. We’ve examined the interior, and there’s nothing on the interior.

It could be a prank. It could be someone who’s around the oil accidentally getting it on the statue. The possibilities are out there; none of them need to involve absurd Christian conspiracy theories.

In the meantime, the priest should hand out some holy bread and enjoy the show.

(Image via Shutterstock)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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