ROME (Reuters) – Thousands of Italians have flocked to a small town outside Naples armed with mobile phones in the hopes of filming a statue of the Virgin Mary that residents say has miraculously moved her legs.
Parishioners at St. Peter’s church in Acerra said they had witnessed the plaster statue’s legs turn flesh colored and move “as though she were walking toward us.” One man told reporters last week that he had filmed the “miracle” on his mobile phone.
Hundreds of pilgrims have since converged every day on the southern Italian town of 40,000 bearing video cameras and cellular telephones in a bid to capture the miracle themselves.
A spokesman for the local bishop said a team of Church experts was investigating the incidents to verify if “there is a natural cause that we still cannot explain or whether we are looking a preternatural phenomenon.”
Monsignor Antonio Riboldi, the Bishop Emeritus of Acerra said he was skeptical. “In the past, the Madonna has made apparitions in a field or in a cave, but she has never appeared on a mobile phone or a video camera. She doesn’t tend to make a spectacle of herself.”