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‘Miracle’ a glitch

CEBU, Philippines —  What happened at the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in Cebu City on May 20 was not a miracle.

This according to the statement the parish released yesterday, May 24, through the SNP Team Ministry. 

The parish said the blue shadow captured on camera shortly before the live feed of the Mass on May 20 “is nothing but video glitches coming from a distorted small light source.”

The parish arrived at the conclusion after examining the video.

The parish’s sacristan mayor, Michael Bacus, told The Freeman earlier that the technician called his attention 20 minutes before broadcast on May 20 because the latter reportedly saw a dark blue shadow on camera swirling slowly at the altar until it moved to the back of the image of the Virgin Mary.

Bacus then saw that from behind the image, the shadow moved to the Paschal candle placed right beside the Virgin Mary. He said they were “rattled” because they could not see in person what they saw on camera.

But the parish, in its statement, said:

“In trying times everyone is looking for a miracle. To the point that an ordinary event added with strand of extraordinary happenings may be misconstrued as miracles.”

The priest who was celebrating the Mass, Msgr. Roger Fuentes, also reportedly smelled flowers and felt the presence of the Virgin Mary when it happened.

The Freeman wanted to speak with Fuentes but he could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Bacus said earlier, however, that they have shown the video to Fuentes and the priest reportedly told them to embrace what they saw, as they must have been meant to see it.

“Gipakita namo ni Nyor ang nahitabo. Ingon siya namo nga as trabahante diri sa simbahan, gihatag gyud to namo. Kaning hitaboa ron, hundred percent para amo gyud to ingon siya. Kung wa pa lang gyud unta to ma-loading, makita gyud unta ang pagsaka niya,” Bacus had said.

(We showed the video to monsignor and he told us that what happened must have been for us, workers of the church. He said what happened was 100 percent for us. If only the broadcast went live immediately, we could have captured the shadow moving up into the air.)

Some parishioners reportedly went to the church to offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, including San Nicolas Proper Captain Clifford Jude Niñal, but the priests did not allow the offering as it might trigger an influx of people.

Niñal said the parish also rejected their request to take the image of the Virgin Mary for a procession in the area, as doing so might violate the policy on social distancing.

Mass gatherings are not allowed, especially that Cebu City is still under enhanced community quarantine.

Niñal said earlier it is not difficult for him to believe Bacus because he himself reportedly dreamed of the image of Christ the King, which is also at the shrine, before he became barangay captain.

He said he could not help but have goosebumps when he went to the church because the color of shadow was the same color of the cape on the Virgin Mary.

He said he is willing to believe that the event was a sign for healing from COVID-19.

In the same statement it issued yesterday, the parish said, “If in whatever way the video made us reflect on things and events that enrich our faith, let it be.”

And if the Virgin Mary wanted to convey a message as “ilaw ng tahanan and a caring mother, it would probably be stay at home.”  JMO (FREEMAN)


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