Latest update on Mary’s Statue in Baton Rouge…August 6

For those who are interested, below is an article printed in the Baton Rouge newspaper, The Advocate on August 6.  It provides the latest information on the alleged miraculous statue of Our Lady of La Vang.  This statue attracted attention after appearing to bleed from the left temple area on July 6, and then to cry a few days later.  The statue has also been observed to change expressions, and to appear to be smiling beautifully at times. 

Since the owners’ welcome visitors, I am publishing their address here which is:  1000 Broadmoor Circle, Baton Rouge, LA.

Below is the story from the Baton Rouge newspaper.

Virgin Mary statue draws visitors to Broadmoor home

by naomi martin

Advocate staff writer

August 06, 2012

Ever since word started spreading July 5 of the bleeding Virgin Mary statue in the front yard of a house on Broadmoor Circle, the once quiet dead-end street has transformed into a bustling scene lined with yellow police tape and cars from all over the country.“The Wisconsin license plate kind of struck me,” said neighbor Greg Miller, 52. “But there have been California, Florida, a lot of other out-of-state plates. It seemed for a while like it might be the No. 1 tourist attraction in town.”The home is owned by Hoa Nguyen, who is from Vietnam and does not speak English.His nephew, Manh Bui, 40, estimates that more than 10,000 people have visited the statue in the last month.The apparitions first appeared July 5, Bui said, when their statue of Mary appeared to be bleeding from her temple. The next day, he said, she appeared to be weeping.Three days later, Mary and Jesus both appeared to be smiling, he said.

At all hours of the day or night, a congregation can be found sitting in rows of chairs beneath tents in front of the Mary and Jesus statue, which is illuminated by flood lights and surrounded by flowers.

Bui said he stands guard all night.

Some neighbors said they have called the police to complain about the traffic and parking problems. Some said they have come home to see unknown cars parked on their lawns.

Police routinely drive by just to check on the situation, said police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

“There haven’t been any problems,” he said. “We just heard a lot of people were going there.”

The heavy traffic doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon.

The Nguyens are consulting attorneys to see if they can pour concrete on their front lawn and build men’s and women’s bathrooms on the side of their house, Bui said.

But as the Nguyens consider making the scene permanent, neighbors are growing tired of the heavy traffic on their usually calm — and narrow — dead-end street.

“It’s caused major traffic problems for us,” said neighbor Brodrick Hampton. “We almost had a wreck last week coming into the subdivision. We shouldn’t have to negotiate to come home.”

Hampton said he has stopped walking his dog on his street because he had to dodge too many cars. Now he throws around balls in his backyard so the dog can exercise.

“I’m very big on freedom to worship, but this is causing an issue with us being able to live our lives,” Hampton said. “We just want to go back to our normal lives.”

While the neighbors said the Nguyens and their visitors have all been very respectful and friendly, they say the traffic and parking issues are growing inconvenient.

One week the garbage truck couldn’t get through the street, said a neighbor, Preston Olinde, 56.

He said living down the from the pilgrimage site is “hectic.”

“It’s gotten better since the beginning, but sometimes they block traffic,” he said.

Some neighbors questioned why the statue couldn’t be moved to a church, which would be better suited to handle the traffic.

Bui acknowledged there is “a lot of cars,” and that the homeowners are concerned about the neighbors’ gripes.

But, he said, the homeowners have no intention of closing down the site.

“It’s gonna keep going,” Bui said. “It’s getting stronger and stronger every day. It’s gonna be going on for a long time because people are being healed so they keep coming back and bringing their families.”

Feuding families have said they were able to reconcile after praying to the statue, Bui said.

One Dallas woman who was preparing for surgery told Bui she received a call from her doctor notifying her she was healthy and didn’t need surgery anymore, Bui said.

Donna Couvillion of Baton Rouge said she has visited the statue almost every night over the last month.

“We come here to get our graces and blessings,” she said.

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Update…Statue of Mary in Louisiana

[youtube.com/watch?v=qH6EtS1fkPI]

(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.)

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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…..

Is Mary weeping in Louisiana?

(Click here for update — posted July 16)
In Baton Rouge, LA, there is a small community of Vietnamese families who live within a few blocks of one another. They have great devotion to Our Blessed Mother, and they proudly display large statues of her in their front yards. It now appears that one of these statues may have been touched by Heaven.

As I was driving to Mass from my Carmelite meeting this afternoon, I happened to call my sister. The first thing she said was, “Where are you?” When I told her, she instructed me to make a turn and head toward a nearby street. As I drove, she read, over the phone, the spirit daily news story your will find beneath this post.

One of the statues belonging to a Vietnamese family has been reported to be shedding tears and bleeding. This began about two days ago. I am usually a skeptic about such matters, but knowing the history of devotion to Our Lady among these dear people in our city, I cannot believe that they would ever perpetrate such an offensive hoax.

The rain had been pouring all day, and was still drizzling as I parked my car among a dozen or so others on the street, and walked over to a gathering of about 20 people…most of them taking pictures.

What a sweet face this statue has…and little wooden clogs on her feet. The blood was clearly visible, and seemed to have dripped down the side of her face from a larger pool on the left side of the head of the statue. There appeared to be tears on her face, but since it was raining, I couldn’t be sure…although the statue was beneath a protective covering.

I stayed a few minutes, praying Hail Mary’s, and looking on in wonder. Was I witnessing a miracle?

Back in the car, my sister and I thought it more than a coincidence that I had called her while so close to the area, when I would have soon been quite far down the road in a different direction.  My sister herself had discovered the story while reading spiritdaily.com on her iPad Friday as she grabbed some lunch, again… not far from where the statue is located. She too has seen it.

As I drove on to Mass, my sister read a more recent story which included the news that a priest has taken blood samples from the statue for analysis.

I arrived at church early to pray a rosary.  Later at Mass, I experienced an especially deep peace. Coincidence?

If ever Our Lady had reason to cry, it is certainly in our times, as so many have alluded to lately on their blogs. The dear family who owns that statue is no doubt deeply devoted to Mary, as are the many families nearby with beautiful Marian shrines on their properties. Is it surprising that Mary would come to these beloved ones who so publicly manifest their love for her?

As for me, this brief experience has deeply impressed me with the need to pray more…especially the rosary. As I confided to my sister, I have felt Mary calling me to come closer over the past few months.

O Mary, I am sorry that you even had to call….that I have not always been your faithful daughter.  I promise to do better.  May your children join together to dry your tears!

(For those interested in visiting the statue, the family has invited everyone to come, and has released their address to the local media.  You can find this beautiful statue of Our Lady at 1000 Broadmoor St., Baton Rouge, LA…..right off of Airline HIghway and Goodwood Blvd.)

             Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 7, 2012       On a hot July afternoon Hoa Doan, a resident of Baton Rouge, noticed the statue of the Blessed Mother in her yard weeping tears from her eyes and bleeding from what appeared to be human blood from her head.   Hoa Doan immediately called her friends and family to come and pray with her after she discovered her ordinary statue of the Blessed Mother turn into what appears to be a heavenly phenomenon.  The women did in fact come and prayed throughout the entire night before the mysterious statue!  Hoa Doan is encouraging the rest of the community to witness this heavenly phenomenon and to come and pray with Our Lady!   This statue is called Our Lady of La Vang, often referred to as the Vietnam Saint. Beginning in the sixteen century the Vietnamese Catholics began to pray to Our Lady of La Vang because they were being persecuted.  Is this a sign from heaven to the family who owns the statue or is it for the community of Baton Rouge or is it in fact a sign for the  entire world?! One thing is for certain Our Lady is getting the attention of the community but what is Our Lady trying to tell us?  We might be able to find the answer in scripture when Jesus performed his first miracle. Our Lady was the first one to prompt Jesus to change the water into wine but in the end she said, “Do whatever he tells you!”  Our Lady is always pointing to her son and her son is always pouring out his love and mercy to his children.  In the past when blood was exuding from a statue it was usually “a sign of the times” and of what may come!   In any case it is an invitation to pray more and to pay attention to our own spiritual conversions!     Editor, Tricia Parsons

(This story was covered by a local television station: http://www.wafb.com/story/18967671/witness-mother-mary-statue-bleeds-in-baton-rouge)