Isn't it a shame, that in our time the miraculous is so often consigned to the dustbin of superstition? Years ago, we wrote about the "house of tears" in the Houston area. This is a home where many icons allegedly have wept oil -- oil some say heals. A priest at a local Coptic Orthodox Church, Father Bishoy George, tells us there is no doubt that it all started with the legitimate and astonishing healing of a boy. The tears began November 11, 1992, we learn from local media, when a woman named Nahed Ayoub momentarily left her leukemia-stricken son, Isaac, resting in the bedroom. On one wall was a small portrait of Jesus, a gift she had received years ago from a friend.
As we reported, "On Monday, November 11, 1991, Isaac became very sick. While lying in his parent's bed, about 2:30 p.m., mumbling some prayers and looking to a portrait of Jesus Christ hanging on the Eastern wall of the bedroom, he saw the eyes of Jesus in the picture moving and the figure of Jesus protruding out. He screamed, calling for his mother. Nahed came running and examined the picture. There was an oily liquid shedding like tears from the eyes of Jesus. [Another priest named] Father Ishak was called to verify this unusual occurrence. What Father Ishak saw was no different than what the Ayoub family had seen. They all thought that this was a sign of a miracle that could have been happening to Isaac.
"Isaac, who turned 13 on Christmas Eve, said he was reaching for a tissue when he noticed that the eyes of Jesus of the picture followed him. He ran to his mother," reported the Houston Chronicle. "'He was screaming and screaming,' said Nahed Ayoub, co-owner of a downtown restaurant. 'I tried to calm him down. He said the eyes of Jesus were moving. He said, "Don't go back to the room." But I left him and I put my hand on the picture and my palm filled with the oily tears.' The family was frightened by the heavy flow of tears, [the father] Tharwat Ayoub said. A veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he works in Shreveport, Louisiana, and commutes to his Houston home on weekends."
We'll be in Shreveport in December for a retreat and would love to visit!
The picture was taken to St. Mark's church and prayed over by clergy in case it was the product of evil.
The boy's physician, Dr. Atef I. Rizkallah, wrote a testimony declaring it to be a miracle (from what we understand, Isaac had been sent home from Texas Children's, because there was nothing further they could do, and told he had three months to live).
It was stage-four leukemia. But with God, there are no "stages" (nor time-frames).
We hear another report that the bedroom at one point filled with light and Jesus "came out of it" to touch him. We have tried, thus far without success, to reach the family. It was after the light and change in the picture that it began to exude oil. Soon, other images in the home did the same, as did those brought there by visitors.
At our last retreat, in Ohio, a woman from Pennsylvania who had been to the "house of tears" brought an image of Mary with Infant that then shed tears; she showed us a video clip and the tears seem to twinkle: quite remarkable. She has a strong medical background and observed that, at the same time that it seems more and more difficult for people to be "awestruck," people have a deep desire to know that God still does miracles! Jacqueline emphasizes that although the original miracle was authenticated by the Coptic Orthodox Church, the tears on her picture -- the twinkling -- have not been investigated and thus each is to use their own discernment.
"While it may be tempting to attribute the twinkling to the movement of air or vibrations," she says, "all sources of possible air movement were removed and vibration is not possible because the picture was sitting on an immovable surface."
For our discernment indeed.
"No doubt," Father George insisted to us, referring to Nahed. "It's true. It was really a great miracle."
She herself is relieved of serious headaches when she uses tears from the picture.
Below are some examples of statues and pictures brought there.
This is Jacqueline's twinkling picture:
At the retreat, Jacqueline also gave us some beautiful photographs of a pilgrim Fatima statue she had in her home, with reflections she said were unusual and not caused by anything apparent (like a prism or stained glass). At any rate, Our Lady of Fatima: Her month has arrived!
"Yes," she says. "No reflections from any prism or stained glass. There is a regular window in my living room which has some brief sun early in the morning. There are large trees in front of the window which shade it the rest of the day I will send you a picture of the window. As I state, I sit there nearly every morning and drink my tea and I have never seen any other rainbows on the wall. There are no prisms or angles in the glass at all. Just a storm window and the glass window. No bevels in the glass."
YouTube snippet (but twinkling difficult to see):