PICTURES, MIRACULOUS: Certain pictures or images believed by the Roman Catholic Church to confer special graces upon those who look at them, on the intercession of the saint represented in them, and on condition of more or less subjective susceptibility on the part of the beholder. Among these graces are recovery from illness, discovery of secrets, inspiration to good works, and the like. The popular notion ascribes miraculous powers to the pictures themselves; but theologians take pains to explain that God alone is the wonder-worker, and the picture only the locality and occasion of the miracle, by means of the intercession of the saint, or sometimes the means by which the miracle is worked, as in cases where the image is supposed to speak, to weep, or to open and close its eyes.