Pontiff appears to reference a woman who drew pilgrims to a statue near Rome she claimed shed tears of blood

Apparitions of the Virgin Mary are “not always real”, Pope Francis has said, in what appears to be an indirect reference to a woman who drew thousands of pilgrims to a town near Rome to pray before a statue that she claimed shed tears of blood.

“Don’t look there,” the pontiff said during an interview with Rai 1 on Sunday when asked about apparitions of the Virgin Mary.