CHICAGO — A bankrupt church in the Belmont Central neighborhood faces an emotional moment as church leaders will remove an icon of a "weeping" Virgin Mary.
Parishioners at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox have been guarding the Virgin Mary icon all night long, and say they're preparing to fight to keep it there.
Church leadership are slated to take the icon down Wednesday morning in the hopes of authenticating it, but members are doubtful they'll ever see it again.
Parishioners said this miracle has been a source of financial hope, in the midst of their pending bankruptcy sale.
Holy Trinity said a custodian discovered the Virgin Mary "weeping" Sunday. The tears streaming down her cheeks are a sign from God, worshippers said, in the midst of their fight to keep their church.
Visitors have been coming to see for themselves and donate to the bankrupt church.
A judge approved the $2.5 million sale of Holy Trinity on Wednesday to the Universal Church, which is another denomination.
Parishioners also upset the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, which oversees the church, wants to take possession of the icon to determine its authenticity. That could happen Wednesday.
The Metropolis of Chicago saying:
“After a period of prayer and examination, the Metropolis of Chicago will return the icon to the Holy Trinity parish and will issue an official statement on the nature of what was observed.”
Parishoners said attorney will be filing a motion Wednesday to make sure their weeping icon can not be removed.
The sale of this church won't be final for another 74 days or so.