Pope Francis on September 5, 2019, visited Matthew 25 House in Maputo, Mozambique, an outreach sponsored by the Apostolic Nunciature in the country. The house serves youth and street children.
The Holy Father presented a gift to the house, an image of the Sacred Heart of Mary.
This effigy of the Sacred Heart of Mary is only seemingly a simple reproduction in enamelled plaster, as in reality it is an exact copy of the miraculous “Our Lady of Tears”, venerated in the Sicilian city of Syracuse since 1953, following a prodigious event which took place in the modest bedroom of the young Iannuso couple. It was indeed here that Lucia spent her first difficult pregnancy, which also caused the partial loss of her sight. This condition worsened over the weeks to the point that, on the night of 29 August, she became completely blind. As she awaited the morning with her husband, completely despondent, unexpectedly at around 8.30 not only did her vision return as before, but her gaze turned towards the pious image placed at the head of the bed. Astonished and incredulous, she saw large tears fall on the face of the Madonna, and began to call to her husband: “The Madonnina is weeping!”
The news spread rapidly in Syracuse, and the radio, the newsreels, and the press gave great emphasis to it throughout Italy and in the world. That prodigious miracle caused a great sensation, and in just a few hours the home of the Iannuso couple was transformed into a destination for pilgrims, as everyone wanted to see that plaster bust depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which the young couple had received as a wedding gift.
The tears were confirmed, at more or less long intervals, both inside and outside the house, from 29 August until 1 September, and there were many people who saw them with their own eyes, who touched them with their own hands, who gathered and tasted the salt of those tears, while a filmmaker recorded one of these miraculous moments. Indeed, not only is Syracuse the sole perfectly documented case of miraculous tears; the commission of doctors and analysts engaged by the Archiepiscopal Curia also succeeded in sampling the liquid as it flowed from the eyes of Our Lady and, after submitting it to microscopic analysis, the scientific response was that they are human tears.