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Miraculous Icon in Israel Leaking Oil

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer An icon of St. George in a Greek Orthodox church in Ramla, Israel is drawing blocks of Christians after it began to leak a mysterious oil. According to a report by the Associated Press, Fr. Nifon first spotted the oil last week while preparing for Sunday morning services. He took the picture down, cleaned the oil, then put it back. However, a church member named Aida Abu el-Edam, said that "after 20 or 25 minutes, he looked again and he saw the oil again and said, 'This is a miracle."' The Greek Orthodox patriarch inspected the painting this past Sunday, el-Edam said, and the church has sent a sample of the oil to a laboratory for testing. Father Nifon said the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate had asked him not to speak publicly or to answer questions about the oil, so that believers could draw their own conclusions. Within days of its discovery last week, the site has already begun attracting pilgrims from all over Israel, including curious Jews and Muslims. A nun has begun rubbing the oil from the bottom of the icon with cotton balls and handing them out to the faithful. "People these days, they've forgot God and this is a sign to tell them, 'I'm still here,' said another member of the church, Edith Fanous, 31, who says she has been attending St. George's since she was a little girl. Fanous said she was singing in the church choir last week when the oil streaks appeared. She guessed as many as 1,000 visitors had been to the church since then. Skeptics say the streaks could be nothing more than paint running on a hot day, but Fanous doesn’t think so. "This icon is 114 years old," she said. "It passed through so much weather, hot and cold. And now that we have air conditioning in the church it's started to melt? I don't think so." Another parishioner, Kosty Tannous, 33, attributed the streaks to God who sees trouble in Israeli society. "There's war and discrimination," he said. "I see a lot of discrimination against Arabs here in Israel, and maybe this is a good lesson for everybody to love each other and live with each other with equal rights." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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