Already long thought of as miraculous, this ancient image was found to be crying tears of blood by two farmers who stopped into the Italian church often to pray. Calling more witnesses, one used a handkerchief to catch the tears. It was obvious that it was blood and not paint. St. Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, was head of the episcopal investigation. When the miracle was declared authentic he saw to it that a basilica worthy of the Mother of God would be built. The miraculous portrait has the place of honor over the main altar. The handkerchief stained with the bloody tears of the Madonna is kept in a silver and crystal reliquary for all to remember the miracle and the reason for which she grieves.
"The inner life of another that is known to God alone becomes to a much less degree open to us through friendship. It partially fills the desire of our incomplete, lonely hearts for completeness in another. Friendship brings out the best in a person through forgetfulness of self." - St. Thomas Aquinas