Thousands of people thronged a south Mumbai church on Monday to see water oozing out a cross and to collect what they believed was holy water, though church officials shied away from giving the occurrence any name.
The St. Joseph Church in south Mumbai's Umerkhadi area is 72 years old and the cross beside it, from where the water is oozing out, is more than 150 years old.
Father Dominic Pereira, the head of St.Joseph Church in Umerkhadi, admitted that he also saw the water but told IANS: "But I have absolutely no explanation for it."
As the news spread like wildfire during the night, thousands of Christians and people from other faiths rushed to the church to get their share of what they believe could be holy water.
Some enterprising youths got small vessels and filled it with the "holy water" and they distributed it to people in tiny plastic cups.
Father Anthony Charanghat, spokesperson for the Archbishop of Mumbai, said it was too early to say anything or explain the development.
"Before we give it any name, we have to first scientifically verify the phenomenon and that is a long process. However, if it helps people in coming closer to god, we welcome it. Though we don't want religion to be reduced to such incidents alone," Charanghat told IANS.
He recounted a similar incident in Vasai (Thane district) a few years ago, when water was seen oozing out of a large iron cross. Later, the cause was found to be simple - it was only some rainwater that had accumulated inside the cross.