Several witnesses in the remote grotto in Donegal, Ireland reported that they witnessed a statue of The Virgin Mary come to life and weep for a considerable amount of time, before returning to stone. The site is visited by several thousand every year after becoming the site of an apparition which appeared there some 70 years ago. The 14 who had gathered on a rocky outcrop near the event stood transfixed for what appeared to be the better part of an hour.
Joe Coleman, a faith healer, said to the group that he had seen a vision of the Virgin, in which she told him to travel to Donegal, and that she would make herself known there on September 28, 2009. Gathering fellow pilgrims, they set off and prayed at the site for several minutes until the preset time when she would appear that night at 8 pm. “We went into the shelter facing the rock and at a few minutes to eight someone suggested we should start the rosary. We had no sooner started than someone shouted, ‘Look up!” said Mr. James Boyle, visiting the site with his wife and two children, “To the left of the cross, another cross appeared in the sky and as soon as it disappeared, another one appeared. It lasted about 10 minutes.” He added that shortly thereafter, people noticed the statue had begun changing color and shape, “She appeared to have a human face and her head turned and she looked at people. She looked down at the children who were at the front.”
The faith healer, Mr. Coleman, commented that the Virgin Mary, who appeared to him personally for years prior to the event, had told him that she would make herself known at Kerrytown on September 29. Father Seamus Meehan, a Dungloe parish priest said that there had been rumors about the Kerrytown grotto for several years, but added, “I would be kind of skeptical myself.”
Still, it appears the people who saw the apparition, whatever its source, were unharmed by their experiences, and were in fact quite excited to the point of being ecstatic after witnessing the event. And there have been other sightings of all manner of religious significance for several years. In Clearwater, Florida, for example, in 1999 an image appeared in the reflection of a building and stayed until vandals damaged it in 2004. Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, has a cross where Vicka Reinhold of Bosnia was instructed by a vision to go to. Images of the revered Virgin have been prolific throughout the past few centuries. Possibly most famous was ‘Our Lady of Fatima,’ which was a sighting that occurred to three children in 1917. The children reported their vision and said that the Virgin had told them that a “miracle of the sun” was to happen on the 13th of October. Some 70,000 spectators showed up that day, including columnist Avelino de Almeida, Portugal’s most influential, and himself pro-government and anti-clerical, wrote, “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.”