Mainly, when miraculous events with statues are claimed, it's tears or exudations, often of oil: said to flow inexplicably. Sometimes, folks think statues have moved or that they vary in facial expression or countenance from one photo to the next.
Imagination? Deceptive phenomena? Or another sign -- in our times -- from Heaven? In Texas, it is a statue that reportedly has displayed what a devout group believes have been lips that move in sync with their own while they pray the Rosary. It sounds preposterous. But doesn't every "miracle"?
As a fellow named Don in the Houston area explained to us: "The statue was bought and painted by a friend in Philadelphia over twenty years ago. Some of Our Lady's messages late last year asked that we double our prayers, since things in the next three years will be getting a lot more serious.
"We have a prayer group that has been together praying for over twnety-seven years. We decided to meet every two weeks instead of once a month. The first week in January while we were praying in front of the statue I looked at it and to my amazement the lips were moving while we were praying. Every time that we met this year the lips would move. We later noticed that her eyes were moving and 'blinking.' We even saw her turn and bow her head.
"I called a friend who is a newsman for the morning show here in Houston, on ABC, and he sent a TV crew to my home, and they interviewed me for over an hour. My television friend that viewed it told me he has seen a lot of videos in the thirty-plus years he has done TV, and he said this was the most amazing video he had ever seen. Several of my friends including a priest told me the video inspired them to pray more, and that is what I think Our Lady wants of us. Copies have been sent to two bishops, but no answer from them. The video is under You-Tube as: 'Mary's lips moving.' It is most amazing. Anything that inspires one to pray more in these days we are living in is worthwhile. All this is for her to save souls."]
As a viewer named Kathy Gandolfo further explained (in the mailbag): "My husband and I just joined the prayer group about a year ago. In the spring, the leader of the group decided in prayer that we should start meeting twice a month because of all the world's problems. Shortly thereafter the statue in their den where we say the Rosary started to manifest blessings to us.
"Her lips started moving with us as we prayed the three mysteries.
"Sometimes she blinks her eyes and I have even seen her tilt her head down when others kneel during the fifth decade of the Sorrowful Mystery (the Crucifixion). Several weeks ago, I received an email about the Madonna icon in a church in Sydney doing the same thing. I decided to try to video this with my cell phone, which I did without telling the group, as I didn't want to make a spectacle and just recorded for a little over a minute. To my surprise, it was easily viewed on my phone, even though I was maybe twelve to fifteen feet away and it came out a little grainy. I sent a copy to [Don] and he sent that to our local ABC affiliate and they could also see it. They sent a crew out to his home and interviewed him and his wife for over an hour and a promo that day on 12:00 news Well, they decided not to air it. Our friend wanted to remain anonymous and didn't want his address to be given for fear that thousands would flock to their home. He is also sending a copy to our local Bishop. I thought you might like to know about it."
Here is the alleged such case in Sydney, Australia (video here).
And here's one, a case of a "moving" statue, in Syria (video here).
There is even an underwater statue in Bohol, Philippines, that is said to come "alive" (video here). Tough to believe. But so are our times.
The question, as so often: if they are in actuality paranormal, are they from a good source? Are such things sent from both light and darkness? And so there is that process of discernment, so complex and precarious and difficult or elusive that diocesan officials often decide to maintain a distance. In ancient times, pagan statues were claimed to come alive. In recent times, in Malaysia, have been reports of a Buddha statue that blinks and moves (video here).
And so we see how complicated it can get.
We'll stick to the Rosary group, and work from there.