03/29/2007, 00.00
SRI LANKA

Another statue of the Virgin sheds tears of blood at Mannar, where civil war rages

Its’ the third case in under a month to occur in the north of the country, deadlocked by civil war. Now the statue has been moved from the convent to the local cathedral of St. Sebastian.

Mannar (AsiaNews) - A statue of Our Lady in Sri Lanka’s war-torn Mannar district has reportedly shed tears of blood.

 This is the third such report to come from the north of the island since last month, following similar claims made about two statues in Jaffna District. All three statues are in places that are in the thick of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

Church sources told AsiaNews that the statue, which was situated in a house of religious Sisters, has been moved to St Sebastian’s Cathedral on Mannar Island. People are flocking to see it.

In Jaffna town, a statue said to have cried blood in early February was transferred to St John the Baptist Church, where it remains to this day. The other statue that reportedly shed tears of blood is an image of Our Lady of Vailankanni (a Marian shrine in southern India) in Chavakacheri, another town in Jaffna peninsula.

The reports come as the war goes from bad to worse in Sri Lanka, inflicting untold suffering on civilians. Ongoing fighting between the Sri Lankan security forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Meanwhile, civilians are being abducted and killed daily in the north and east and elsewhere.  Others are arrested and detained for long periods without formal legal charges against them.

 

One priest from Mannar Diocese told AsiaNews: “I think every mother in the north and east is crying blood in her heart because of the atrocities taking place here. Anyone who has a heart - and I think Blessed Mary has a big heart - will cry these days in Sri Lanka.”

 

 

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