(the video above is somewhat outdated, as it does not show the extension of the tarp/ rain shielding installed by the owners, or the additional lighting and chairs. There are many more bouquets of flowers as well. Also, there are now gatherings of 50 or more people at times during the evening.)
I recently wrote about a statue of Our Lady which has drawn considerable interest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and surrounding areas. I promised to post updates for those who are following the story.
First I would like to put to rest rumors that the statue has “cried blood” or had blood coming from its mouth, nose, etc. This is not true. I have summarized below the facts of what has transpired thus far.
The statue of Our Lady of La Vang has graced the front lawn of the owners for about seven years. On Thursday, July 5, one of the owners noticed that blood was seeping from the left side of the statue’s head and dripping down past her eye onto her cheek. Friends and neighbors quickly gathered to pray, and stayed throughout the night. Since that time, the statue does not appear to have continued to bleed, but has wept on two or more occasions. My sister was present during one of these, and observed the flow of water down Mary’s face. (This can be observed in one of the pictures below.)
What have been of great interest are the pictures snapped by visitors with iPhones which have produced some unexpected views of the statue.
There are photos in which what appears to be a tiny fetus can be seen on Mary’s left cheek. In another picture (see below) the tiny arm and hand of a child can be seen near the origin of the flow of blood. This particular statue happens to be located about a half mile from the only abortion clinic in Baton Rouge.
A pair of very interesting photos (below) exhibit the appearance of the statue when bleeding/crying in contrast to its normal appearance. I have personally visited the statue on four different days. The first time was July 8, when the flow of blood was still very visible. There were only a handful of other people present, and I was able to observe the statue up close for several minutes. I recall the sweetness of Mary’s face and that of the Christ Child. But, I do not remember that either of them were truly smiling.
On subsequent visits, I have found the faces of Mary and little Jesus to each possess the most lovely smiles. The eyes of Mary in this statue are particularly arresting, so full of tenderness and sweetness.
People have been visiting almost non-stop throughout the day until late in the evening. The owners, who live in a modest home on a side street, welcome everyone, and have put out chairs and added extra lighting as well as some protection from the frequent rain for those who stay to pray. The rosary is prayed several times daily both in English, and in Vietnamese.
The owners have also given out hundreds of bottles of blessed water, which are placed at the base of the statue. Visitors are free to take a bottle with them. The statue itself is now surrounded with dozens of bouquets of flowers brought by those who come to pray.
People are eager to share their interesting photos, and the owners copy the most significant ones and tape them up near the garage for viewing.
Meanwhile, the front lawn has been trampled by the hundreds of people who have come over the past 11 days. The owners brought in some sand to cover the now muddy grass. They refuse offers of money to help with these and other expenses such as the bottled water and lights etc.
There is always an atmosphere of respect, peace, prayerfulness and sharing on the premises. People quietly exchange iPhone pictures and tell stories about how they came to know of the statue. They browse through the larger photos that are posted near the garage.
Directly in front of the statue, people sit quietly, or pray the rosary.
There has been no public report yet on the results of the blood test taken last week. The pastor of the local parish is out-of-town on vacation this month, and so far, there has been no word from the local bishop. People continue to come…..