Palavayal (Matters India): Thousands of people belonging to various religions Wednesday flocked to a Catholic church in Kerala, southern India, after news spread that a crucifix at the altar had shed blood.
However, Church authorities dismissed it as baseless hype.
Sajeevan Plathottam, secretary of St John’s Church in Palavayal, told Matters India, that school children first saw blood marks on the crucifix when they went to the church to pray at noon. They then informed parish priest Father Thomas Pattamkualam, who along with the parish council members inspected the crucifix and found red marks on the crucifix.
The parish is under Tellicherry Syro-Malabar archdiocese.
The parish priest and his assistant did not answer repeated calls to their mobile numbers.
Monsignor George Kudilil, spokesperson of the archdiocese, told Matters India that he has seen video clips of the crucifix sent by the parish priest. The parish priest informed the archdiocesan officials that there was no truth in the miracle story. The suspected blood marks could be from the paintings done last year, Fr Kudilil added quoting the parish priest.
Jose Kappil, a Catholic from a neighboring parish who rushed to Palavayal hearing the news, told Matters India that he saw red marks resembling blood starting from the two ears of the Jesus’ figure on the crucifix. The red marks came down beyond the loin cloth. He, however, did not see blood flowing from the crucifix.
Tellicherry archdiocese has been reporting so-called miracles for the past few years.
In November 2013, more than 100,000 people visited Christ the King Church, Vilakannur, 35 km south of Palavayal, in three days after news spread that Jesus’s face appeared on the Sacred Bread during Mass.
The archdiocese then conducted various tests and sent it to the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church for further scrutiny. Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Church, then closed the matter and forbade further discussion about the host.
Another phenomenon occurred at Balal, a village in Kasargode district, some 25 km north of Palavayal, in December 2014. A Marian statue in the house of Omana, a Hindu widow, started producing honey and oil. Ever since, thousands of people have flocked to the house to pray and collect oil to apply on sick people.
Omana, who was bedridden, claimed that an old woman had come to her house and rubbed some ointment on her. She felt cured and looked around for the old woman, but nobody else had seen her. The Marian statue began to ooze honey and oil after that.
Anitha Jose, who visited Balal in the first week of September, said that she found some 400 people praying in the house. “Every person is given 3 spoons of oil, but no money is collected,” she told Matters India.