The Miracle of Tears


We usually refer to an event whose origin cannot be explained as a miracle, because it contradicts human reason, experience, and the laws of nature. For the people of antiquity and the middle ages, the line between "possible" and "impossible" was much more permeable, because many phenomena had not yet been explored and thus could not be explained. Today this is quite different; however it is always left to the opinion of the individual to judge for themselves what a miracle is. Accordingly, the "the Miracle of Tears in the Wies" was treated with restraint. On 4th May 1738, the Lory family had brought the figure of a scourged savior from the Steingaden Abbey to their farm in the Wies and placed it as a devotional image in the bedroom. The figure was carried during the Good Friday processions from 1732 to 1734, and then stored in the attic "due to its pitiful appearance." Maria Lory then expressed the desire to take the figure to the Wies, which was granted.


On 14th July 1738, the figure was said to have shed tears during prayer. This incident was soon announced, although the Abbot of Steingaden Abbey wanted to prevent this. As the stream of pilgrims grew and the construction of a pilgrimage church began, the Bishop of Augsburg wanted to know more. So, in the autumn of 1745 he set up a high-ranking commission for a detailed investigation of the miracle. Ultimately, however, it did not find a conclusive answer to the question of the miraculous tears. The commission could not reveal any supernatural event, but it could also not deny it. So it is left to the opinion and assessment of each individual whether a miracle is seen more in the drops on the face of the scourged, in the consolation and the benefaction for the pilgrims, in the grandeur of the church’s art or...

 The starting point of it all was the faith of Mary Lory in the miraculous devotion of Christ.