FRESNO, California — – As the mid-day sun beat down, a group of parishioners huddled under a tree looking for shade, but seeking a miracle.
Rosemarie Navarro, a parishioner at a Fresno, California Catholic Church says, “I said my prayer and asked the Lord to give me a miracle cause I’m really, really sick.”
Navarro counts herself among the believers, a small but growing group that thinks the liquid dripping from this Crape Myrtle tree is the tears of God.
Parishioner Maria Ybarra says, “When you say ‘glory be to God in Jesus name’ the tree starts throwing out more water.”
On close inspection, arborist Jon Reelhorn agrees, something is falling from the tree in front of St. Johns Cathedral. But it isn’t water.
“The aphides will suck the sap, the sap goes through the aphid and then it is a honey dew excrement from the aphid and it gets so heavy in the summertime that it will drip down,” Reelhorn says.
He calls it a natural process. He also found another tree dripping across the street. And like the honey dew rolling off its leaves, clinical therapist Mark McOmber says the way people choose to interpret it can also be attributed to nature.
“Human beings inherently need to hope for things, things that they can’t understand, things they can’t see,” McOmber says.
Miracles are nothing new in Christianity. In fact, their origins can be traced back to before the time of Jesus. But for catholic Miguel Beja, this tree doesn’t qualify.
“For me it is a natural thing but for some they say its different,” he says.
Maria Ybarra was the first one to feel the drops this Wednesday and whether they are aphid waste or water, she believes they’re divine.
“I can tell you looking at it from a scientific standpoint and a spiritual standpoint it is the work of God manifesting here on earth,” Ybarra said.
Parishioners say the water started falling on Wednesday.