Holy Icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice streams fragrant oil Windsor, Ontario - Canada
Holy Icon streams oil.
Members of a youth group and the priest at [St. Simeon Church] witnessed "streams of liquid" coming from an image of Virgin Mary and her child that the church considers an icon.
"They wiped it off," said spokesperson Lina Khoury. "They didn't really think anything of it."
The church said it happened again later the same day when a different parishioner was praying.
"They found oil all on the ground, on the podium, coming down from the icon," said Khoury. Since then, the church has live streamed the event on Facebook.
According to the church, hundreds of visitors have come to Windsor to see the icon, which Khoury said represents "hope and healing."
St. Simeon hosts services in English and Arabic, set in the Byzantine Greek Melkite tradition as part of the Catholic Church.
"Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs," said Khoury. "As faithful Catholics, we don't wait for oil to come from an icon for us to believe. This is just a blessing."
Church members have taken turns to guard the icon around the clock.
August 14, 2019 from [here] - Thousands making pilgrimage to Windsor church to witness weeping artwork.
The aromatic oil dripping from an image of the Virgin Mary and Child for seven days finally dried up this week, but the number of visitors and interest in what’s been happening at Windsor’s St. Simeon Stylites Catholic Church certainly hasn’t.
Hundreds of the faithful continued to line up Wednesday at the Melkite Catholic Church to see the image painted on wood that began secreting oil Aug. 6.
More than 3,000 people have made the pilgrimage to the church that sits next to Riverside High School on Jerome Street.
“The oil dried up at 3 a.m. Monday,” said parishioner and church spokesperson Lina Khoury. “It had been shedding oil continuously since Aug. 6.”
The church is named after St. Simeon Stylites, who was known for his fasting and prayers. The Melkite Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Orthodox branch of Catholicism, traces its roots back to the region around Antioch, Turkey and the earliest Christians.
The whole church smelled of flowers, but it was a smell I had never smelt before.
Khoury said officials from the diocese in Montreal were down last week to begin an investigation and gather samples of the liquid for testing.
“It’s very strict process that must follow canon law,” Khoury said. “We’re being very careful not to call anything a miracle.”
Regardless of the official findings, sisters Anna and Katrina Jzrawi said the impact of the icon has been miraculous. The duo was part of the youth group that first witnessed the pooling of oil on the icon Aug. 6.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” admitted Katrina Jzrawi. “I thought someone was just doing something.
“The priest (Father Gerard Abi Saab) cleaned it up before we were going home. It was lying flat, but when he went to stand it up, oil was pooled on it.
“The whole church smelled of flowers, but it was a smell I had never smelt before.”
Word spread quickly among the 70-member congregation and by 10:30 p.m. that evening the church was full and remained that way overnight.
Since then, about 350 people a day have been coming to the church from as far away as Quebec and the Midwestern United States. A busload from Ohio paid a visit this week.
London’s Mariana Pepe made the trip with three friends after discovering the story on social media.
“We came because something that seems miraculous, was happening so close,” said Pepe, who is taking Catholic Studies for Teachers at the Western University.
“You hear about these things, but they’re usually in other parts of the world.”
Though she was disappointed to learn the oil had stopped, Pepe said the excitement in those gathered Wednesday is evidence of the impact of the event.
“It seems miraculous when God does stuff like this because it increases faith and brings people together,” Pepe said.
“Though the oil has stopped, I’m going to get to experience something new and beautiful in a Mass with a different perspective and in Arabic. It encourages us in our faith.”
The icon was created by a Ukrainian artist and is called the Holy Icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice.
The Holy Icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice is credited with helping cure people from addictions of any kind.
Father Saab, who has opted not to comment until the diocese completes its investigations, purchased the painting in Lebanon a couple of years ago. He displayed it for the first time at the beginning of August and within the week the oil secretions began.
“I think Mary is trying to send us a message to open our eyes,” Anna Jzrawi said. “We hope we can figure out this message.
“All the people coming to our church is a big sign. This has been a blessed gift.”