...By Muyiwa Aderinto for TDPel Media.
Vatican Academy to Investigate Mystical Phenomena Worldwide
A Vatican academy is set to investigate ‘mystical phenomena’ around the world including ‘weeping’ statues of the Virgin Mary, stigmata and ghost sightings under plans for a new dedicated observatory.
Investigating Global Mystical Phenomena
The Pontifical Mariana International Academy (PAMI), a scientific institution of the Holy See, aims to explore “around a hundred ongoing phenomena” in Italy alone.
The specialist observatory, which still awaits Church authentication, will “evaluate and study apparitions and mystical phenomena” globally, according to Vatican News.
Delving into Ghosts, Stigmata, and Interior Locutions
The observatory will investigate ghost sightings, interior locutions, and stigmata, which believers perceive as bodily marks, scars, or pains corresponding to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion wounds.
Mariologist Father Gian Matteo Roggio, speaking about the launch of the new Observatory Scientific Committee, told local Italian media that the Church is closely following approximately 100 ongoing phenomena in Italy.
Curious Case of Weeping Mary Statue
PAMI’s first session, beginning on Saturday, will look into an intriguing case involving a weeping Virgin Mary statue in Trevignano, near Rome. Gisella Cardia, an Italian woman who claimed her statue could cry blood and multiply gnocchi and pizza, is now under investigation for fraud.
Thousands visited Cardia’s statue of Our Lady of Trevignano Romano, which reportedly “wept” blood, believing it brought messages from Mary.
Some even claimed she had predicted the COVID-19 pandemic. However, church investigators found that the blood was actually from a pig and not holy, as reported by local media.
Cardia is believed to have fled after allegedly defrauding her followers of tens of thousands of Euros in donations.
Previous Instances of ‘Weeping’ Virgin Mary Statues
The Church has previously investigated similar cases of “weeping” Virgin Mary statues. In 2018, a New Mexico church found a Madonna statue that appeared to be leaking olive oil.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hobbs, US, stated that the church would determine whether the sign was good or evil.
That same year, a Virgin Mary statue in Argentina was seen “weeping” tears of blood for the 38th time.
The Virgin of the Mystic Rose statue has been linked to several “miracles,” including a woman whose three-inch tumor reportedly vanished after visiting the statue.
Expansion of Local Scientific Committees
PAMI’s new observatory plans to introduce local scientific committees to create a larger network for further investigations.
Father Stefano Cecchin, a committee member, explained that the observatory’s purpose is to activate national and international commissions to evaluate and study mystical phenomena worldwide.
The observatory will also promote training and updating activities, high-level dissemination and consultation activities, and transdisciplinary research activities in collaboration with academic institutions, both lay and ecclesiastical, as well as the publication of research results.
Exorcism Demand Increase Amid Pandemic
Father Roggio has previously discussed mystical phenomena, including the increased demand for exorcisms during the pandemic.
The Catholic priest told The Telegraph that people’s vulnerability to the idea that Satan or an evil entity had taken over their lives had grown due to the pandemic.
This crisis led to an increase in requests for exorcisms as people grappled with poverty, anxiety, and depression.