Many parishioners at the St. Charbel’s Catholic Church in Sydney are convinced that a miracle happened while they prayed in church during mass on Sunday, July 5. The lips of a painting of the Virgin Mary over the church altar appeared to move as worshipers said prayers.
And following the incident, hundreds of other believers have flocked to the Maronite Catholic church in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, to witness the miracle of the painting of the Virgin Mary that appears to join worshippers in prayer.
Footage recorded by two young parishioners attending mass at the St. Charbel’s Church in Punchbowl, 17 kilometers southwest of Sydney, and uploaded online, shows the alleged miracle — the lips of a wall painting of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus that hangs over the Church altar appeared to move as the parishioners said “Hail Mary,” and “Our Father.”
When the camera focused on the face of the painting of the Virgin Mary, it appeared to show the lips of the icon praying along with the Catholic worshippers.
The movements of the lips appeared to match the prayer being said. In one recording, the movements were at first only barely visible, but toward the end of the prayer, the movements were more visible.
Hundreds of believers visiting the church to witness the miracle now watch the lips of the painting closely while praying in church to see if it moves.
Kirsten Keirouz, a parishioner who recorded footage of the lips moving, uploaded it to her Facebook page on July 5. The footage went viral with more than 50,000 views, according to the Daily Mail.
Kirsten said she was attending mass at the church with two friends, when one of her friends drew her attention to what looked like the Virgin Mary’s lips moving in prayer.
However, skeptics have dismissed the incident, saying that nothing unusual happened and that it was the shaky camera and flickering lights in the chapel that made the lips of the painted Virgin Mary appear to move. Others said it could have been a clever prank.
But Kirsten believes the incident was a divine miracle and has denied the claim that the lips appeared to move only because of the flickering lights in the chapel. She said she and her friends watched continuously as the lips moved, stopped, and moved again, and that the movements matched the prayer of the worshippers.
She said, “I believe it was a miracle, and not just lighting because we all saw it at the same time and because her lips would start moving and then stop and start again.”
“Once I looked up, I had no idea what they wanted me to look at and I saw her [the Virgin Mary] mouth moving. I then asked my friend; ‘Is it her mouth?’ She replied ‘yes.’ and then I got the shivers throughout my whole body. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I kept blinking in case I was seeing things.”
George Akary, another worshipper at the church, said he has also seen the lips move and that he also filmed it. Akary told the Daily Mail that he often looks at the religious images while praying and that he had seen the Virgin Mary’s lips move multiple times in the past.
“This is something I had seen a few times. This time I recorded it… I never thought to record it until I saw a clip a few weeks ago. These signs are to bring people to know God is really with us.”
Akary’s footage, also uploaded to Facebook, was recorded on Sunday, July 19, during mass at the church. In a comment on Facebook, he also denied skeptics’ claims that the Virgin Mary’s moving lips were an optical illusion.
“To clarify for the viewers… I saw this during mass and at the end of mass the rosary is prayed. I went to the altar and wanted to confirm via recording it. Lights are not relevant as I have seen this occur under various lighting and have considered those possibilities.
It is what it is… I also did notice whilst the people were praying the lips sped up or slowed down to the prayer been said.”
[Image: YouTube / George Akary]