Skip to content

A 'Weeping Image' of the Virgin, 10 Years On

Interview With Bishop Girolamo Grillo of Civitavecchia

CIVITAVECCHIA, Italy, FEB. 10, 2005 (Zenit) - When asked about an image of the Blessed Virgin that allegedly wept tears of blood, Bishop Girolamo Grillo recalls a famous line from Scripture.

"A tree is known by its fruits," says the prelate, 10 years after the tears were first reported in the town of Pantano, near Civitavecchia, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Rome.

The phenomenon was first manifested on Feb. 2, 1995. The bishop of Civitavecchia was a direct witness of the lacrimation on March 15 of that year. In this interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire, he assesses its effects.

Q: What has happened in these 10 years?

Bishop Grillo: Judge for yourself. Since then the presence of pilgrims has not only not diminished, but it has been purified from all obstacles of sensationalism.

The people who go to Pantano are impelled by a great need for conversion. And it is demonstrated by the fact that I have had to arrange for the continual presence of five confessors.

They have told me that they have been able to reconcile many people with God who have been estranged for many years; not rarely, also offenders.

Close to 1,000 broken families, due to divorce or separation, have been reunited, and today this is anything but usual.

Many women have been granted their desired maternity and then they come to have their children baptized here.

Finally, many have asked for baptism, including former Muslims. So why not make these fruits known to the world?

Q: Are you planning any special initiative for the 10th anniversary?

Bishop Grillo: A dossier has been prepared which will soon be published at the national level. Moreover, there are 44 visitors books, full of visitors' signatures and thoughts, which in my opinion reflect all the anxieties of our time, but also all the hopes of those who turn to Mary.

Q: And is a special celebration planned for these days?

Bishop Grillo: Every year, on the night of February 1-2, the faithful leave from the city center and arrived in the town of Pantano, walking the 12 kilometers of the trajectory. This year there were 1,500, who weathered intense cold.

Don't forget that up to 20 years ago, Civitavecchia was considered "the Stalingrad of Latium" -- 60% communist, an anti-clerical and anarchic city. Today I think this event has left its mark.

Of course, if it is true that the Virgin wept, I don't think she wept only for Civitavecchia.

Q: What has this event meant from the pastoral point of view?

Bishop Grillo: As bishop I am very happy because St. Augustine's Parish in Pantano has become a center of evangelization not only for the city, but for Italy and the whole world. In the last registry, relative to the months of November and December 2004, I counted 12 foreign pilgrimages, from Sri Lanka to Latin America.

We make every effort to indicate true devotion to Mary, that which leads to Christ. And I think this teaching is amply received.

As for the rest, I think these things need time to settle, a period of waiting, and great patience. The supernatural, especially in a world that doesn't believe in God and that has lost values, cannot be demonstrated if it doesn't bear fruits.

Q: And what fruits has it borne for Bishop Grillo?

Bishop Grillo: After that morning of March 15, I was under shock for two or three years. The Virgin unsettled my life and drove me to greater inwardness. On my part, the effort has increased to be attentive and open to the needs of the faithful. Because of this, I am much more dedicated to spiritual direction, in addition to pastoral work.

Q: Has the Blessed Virgin ever spoken to John Paul II?

Bishop Grillo: In the course of the last "ad limina" visit, the Holy Father asked me about the eventuality of building a shrine.

I told him that I was willing to do so but I also asked him to help me open a house for the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in Civitavecchia. In fact, I would like the spiritual and material fruits of a shrine to be also and above all in favor of the poor.


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Mary, Virgin, Weeping, Blood, Tears, Grillo, Pantano

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.