A self-styled seer who claimed to have holy visions after her statue of the Virgin Mary started crying blood has fled after a church probe found it was pig’s blood.
Thousands flocked to see Gisella Cardia’s predictions after her statue of Our Lady of Trevignano Romano began weeping blood.
They believed she brought messages from Mary and some said she’d even predicted the COVID pandemic.
But Cardia, 53, has been exposed as a fraud after church investigators discovered the blood her statue wept was not holy and in fact, came from a pig, according to local media.
Officials believe she has now fled after fleecing her followers with tens of thousands of Euros in donations.
Cardia – originally from Sicily – moved to Trevignano in Italy after her ceramics business went bust.
Judges gave her a suspended sentence for fraudulent bankruptcy.
When she arrived in her new home in 2016, she then made a visit to the pilgrimage destination Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina with her husband Gianni.
She bought a statue of Our Lady of Trevignano Romano and once home claimed that it had started to cry blood.
Cardia quickly set herself up as a prophet, claiming visions came to her on a hilltop above Lake Bracciano.
She claimed that every third month after that, on the third day of the month at 3pm, the visions would appear again.
As people started to flock to the area, her Gisella Cardia association began to rake in a fortune in donations from beguiled followers.
Meanwhile, her local church diocese of Civita Castellana began to investigate.
Under orders from the Bishop Marco Salvi, a commission of experts including a theologian, a psychologist and an expert in canon law, was dispatched
They also apparently sent an exorcist to make sure that if the so-called holy messages were not hiding “something under the influence of the evil one”.
The church also recruited experts in exposing fake miracle workers.
But as scientific tests began on the holy blood, Cardia fled and suddenly left Italy, reports local media.
A private investigator has reportedly filed a criminal complaint against the woman and she has now vanished together with her husband.
Local media reported that her bank accounts have been cleaned out and the funds from her association are missing.
It is believed that she is either in Romania where she has a cousin or in Poland where she apparently has a large following, according to local media.
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