We often wonder why Our Lady comes to us, miraculously and cries. When we began our trip to Sicily, we didn’t know about Our Lady Who Cried. We went to Siracusa because we heard of the great Greek and Roman amphitheaters. But you cannot visit Syracuse or Siracusa as it is known in Italy, without visiting the Shrine of Our Lady Who Cried. Quite honestly, we were more than a little skeptical, until we discovered all the invaluable, indisputable scientific evidence assuring us it was legitimate. Like Bishop Ettore Baranzini, we have always had reservation when it came to alleged apparitions and purported miracles. Only when Mother Church verifies do we write and make programs.
Our story begins in Syracuse on the 29th of August, 1953, Five months before, Antonina and Angelo Jannuso were married. Because they were a struggling young couple, with Angelo a poor worker earning the barest minimum wages, they accepted his brother’s gracious invitation and moved into his small house on Via degli Orti di E. Giorgio. The day of their marriage, they received a plaster plaque of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a wedding present. Although they were what we would call, lukewarm Catholics, barely doing their Church duties by going to church on Sundays, they reverently placed the plaster plaque on the wall above their bed.
Soon after they were married, they discovered they were to know the blessing of giving birth to a child. The couple was overjoyed, but typical of the hardworking poor class of Sicily, things were not going to be easy. They discovered Antonina had toxemia. This not only caused her to have excruciating convulsions, the convulsions, at times, resulted in her suffering bouts of blindness. On the day of the miracle, August 29th, Antonina was blinded, due to a seizure resulting from her convulsions. She was totally blind from three in the morning until eight thirty that evening, when her eyesight was totally restored.
She later wrote that she turned to the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over her bed, to give thanksgiving to Our Lady for her returned eyesight, when to her utter astonishment what did she see, but the plaque of Our Lady was crying. She called out to her sister-in-law and aunt who, when she recounted what she had seen, thought she was delusional due to her illness. She said she then insisted they look closely at the image of Our Lady. They reluctantly did as she asked. When they moved closer to the image, they too saw the tears flowing from the eyes of Our Lady, and attested to the fact they, as well, saw some tears run down Her face unto the headboard of her bed. Needless to say, upon witnessing the image crying, they had mixed feelings – fright mixed with awe and wonderment. They immediately set out to advise the neighbors. They removed the plaque from the wall and carried it outside so the neighbors could see what they had seen. The neighbors could do nothing less than confirm that which they too had seen. The image of our Lady was shedding tears!…