The Miraculous Crying Virgin Mary in Lija
There is a little neighbourhood known as “Tal-Mirakli,” or “The Miraculous Neighbourhood,” in the centre of Malta. The church in Lija, built in 1664 in the place of a previous church, is now surrounded by a quiet residential area. However, locals in the area were initially drawn in by an occurrence that took place within the church in 1743. Those in attendance claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary wiping away a tear. Unbelievably, the island had a strong earthquake the next day, but no fatalities were reported, which was viewed as a miraculous occurrence. The locals immediately connected these two occurrences, giving the church the name of “Tal-Mirakli,” which is still in use today. Legends frequently mention the Madonna crying, however a plaque that goes with the artwork gives a different narrative, claiming that the Madonna started sweating instead of crying.
Adding to the intrigue, the earthquake of 1693 was still fresh in people’s minds. The legend’s strangeness is heightened by the fact that no official records of an earthquake happening in the 18th century exist. The chapel itself radiates tranquilly and simplicity and holds evening devotional services every day.