Devout Catholics in Fresno, Calif., gathered to pray in front of St. John’s Cathedral this week, believing they had witnessed a miracle. But scientists say that what they’re seeing is easily explained as a natural phenomenon and a rather unpleasant one at that.
Last Wednesday, churchgoers noticed that the tree suddenly began to drip a clear liquid. Some members of the parish had never seen this happen before and apparently jumped to the conclusion that the liquid had been divinely sent, bearing miraculous powers.
"I said my prayer and asked the Lord to give me a miracle cause I'm really, really sick,” said parishioner Rosemary Navarro. She explained that she interpreted the dripping slime as the tears of God Himself.
"When you say ‘glory be to God in Jesus name’ the tree starts throwing out more water,” said another worshipper, Maria Ybarra of the seemingly miraculous Crape Myrtle tree.
However, a local arborist found that the miraculous “tears” were nothing but natural bodily functions of insects who get their food from the tree.
"Aphids will suck the sap, the sap goes through the aphid and then it is a honey dew excrement from the aphid," said scientist Jon Reelhorn. "It gets so heavy in the summertime that it will drip down."
The scientific explanation has failed to dissuade some worshippers, who continue to pray at the tree.
"I can tell you looking at it from a scientific standpoint and a spiritual standpoint it is the work of God manifesting here on earth," Ybarra said.
It was a mixed week for miracles. In Rhode Island, believers said they saw the image of the Virgin Mary embossed on a cross at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. But other observers say the image is only a water stain that actually looks very little like the Virgin Mary or any other person.
SOURCES: WPTV News Channel 5, MSN Now, Patheos.com