Mother of God! Is this the best you can do? Glow? Lame.[See update below!]
Hundreds have been flocking to a house in southern Belgium to catch a glimpse of a small statue of the Virgin Mary that reportedly glows in the dark.
Local media reported that 500 people visited the house in the quiet town of Jalhay on Wednesday to witness what is being referred to as “the mysterious glowing Virgin”.
The dull glow was first noticed in mid-January and has gradually attracted larger crowds. Local media have reported that some of those visiting the statue claim to have been cured of a skin condition.
The statue, about 30 centimetres in height, represents the “Virgin of Banneux”, from the name of a nearby village where in 1933 a young girl was said to have witnessed an appearance by the Virgin.
Father Leo Palm investigated the statue briefly but couldn’t find any explanation for the glow. It could prove difficult to determine the cause of the glow as the owners has refused any further investigation of the statue. Convenient. There are several ways to explain the “glow” but the people do not want it explained.
UPDATE (28-Mar-2014) It turns out the statue was covered in luminous paint.
A team of scientists from the science faculty at Liege University found that the statue was glowing in the dark because it had been covered with paint containing zinc sulphide.