Weeping cardboard Christ draws Texas pilgrims

ROBSTOWN — Religious pilgrims have come to this Coastal Bend town by the hundreds to glimpse an image of Jesus they say began weeping inside a wood-framed house following a grandmother’s prayers for a baby in a Houston hospital.

The pilgrims were told that the tears were in response to prayers from a young grandmother for her critically disfigured grandson.

The Catholic Church has not yet investigated the claims.

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In a small living room where Gloria Fino, 34, clutched a Bible to her heart, the cardboard print of Christ was displayed.

Fino, a Catholic, dabbed cotton balls against two streams of oily substance that trickled from the outside corners of the image’s eyes. She gave them to visitors, one after another.

“I got to wipe the tears,” Jamie Gonzalez, 30, said as she steadied herself on the porch with the walker she needed to enter the home. “It’s just faith.”

As the droplets continued to form, visitors took photos in hopes of capturing the mysterious fluid. Fino took the print off the wall, turning it around to show the back.

She said the droplets began to flow late Friday night. She had been praying for her 3-month-old grandson, Isaac Tijerina, who was born with his internal organs outside his body.

Isaac remained in Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and Fino said doctors’ reports have not been encouraging.

“I’d been praying to Jesus to send him home,” Fino told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in today’s editions. “He had a tumor the size of a volleyball that busted.

“If you’re here and hearing me, give me a sign,” was her request to Jesus, she told about 30 people in her home at noontime Monday. “At first there was a big tear just hanging there, not running. Just there in the corner of his eye.”

She said she summoned her father from his bedroom to see.

“We can’t always rely on the scientific,” said Monsignor Richard Shirley, vicar general for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “If it’s God, it will endure.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Associated Press, USA
May 11, 2004

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