Esat Altindagoglu said the tears began flowing from the icon hanging in the hallway of his house in Garges-les-Gonesse on February 12 and that some 50 people have been showing up at his door daily since word spread of the “miracle”.
“It’s a small miracle,” he said. “This is a message sent by the Virgin and her son.”
Esat’s wife Sevim, also a fervent believer, said she was praying before the icon when “I noticed that she was crying. I said to myself’ this is not normal’.”
Visitors who come from as far away as Belgium and Germany often bring a small wad of cotton to collect some of the oil from the icon that they believe holds healing powers.
A woman came in mid-February and explained that she was unable to have a child. She took a bit of oil with a handkerchief and placed it on her belly. Two days ago she called me and said that she could now have child,” said Sevim.
Over the centuries there have been hundreds of incidents of statues said to have wept blood, oil or water.
But the only one ever approved as a miracle by the Pope was Our Lady of Akita in Japan, in 1973, with all the others ruled out as hoaxes.