Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces
Lipa, Philippines, Dec 28, 2016 / 02:49 pm (CNA).- The story of Sister Teresita Castillo and the supposed Marian apparitions of Lipa City, Philippines reads something like a mystery novel.
Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace is an alleged Marian apparition that took place in the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa, Batangas, Philippines, to a religious postulant, Teresita Castillo. The apparition is known in the Philippines for the rose petals which showered within the vicinity of the monastery, some bearing religious Catholic imagery which believers hold to be miraculous.
Our Blessed Mother appeared 19 times to a novice, Sister Teresita Castillo, in the Carmelite order in Lipa City, Philippines. Sister Teresita recounted that Our Lady stressed to her, humility, penance, prayers for the clergy and the Pope, and to pray the Rosary. She also reported that there was one secret for herself, one for the Carmel convent in Lipa City, one for China, and also one for the entire world. On June 4, 2015, Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa, declared, “Mary Mediatrix of all Grace of Lipa is ‘worthy of belief’.”
The 1948 Apparition:
On August 18, 1948, Teresita noticed a very heavenly fragrance, and upon entering her room she saw a beautiful Lady in white who spoke to her: "Do not fear my daughter, He who loves above all things has sent me. I come with a message…" The Lady asked Sister Teresita to wash the feet of the Mother Prioress, to kiss it and drink the water afterwards. The Lady said that the washing was a "sign of humility and obedience".
According to the account, on September 12, 1948, Sr. Teresita Castillo noticed a vine shaking without the presence of wind. Then she heard a woman's voice who told her to visit the garden for 19 consecutive days. The next day, September 13 at 5pm, Teresita came to the spot, knelt down and intended to say the Hail Mary. In the middle of the prayer, wind came, the garden vine moved and a beautiful lady appeared. She described the lady as having her hands clasped in prayer and holding a golden Rosary in her right hand. The lady asked her pray for priests and nuns. On September 14, rose petals began to shower within the monastery. Some of the religious sisters living in the convent began to notice rose petals outside their hallways.
Again at 5:00 pm, the lady appeared once more at the vine and said "I wish this place to be blessed tomorrow." "At what time, Mother?" asked Teresita. "Anytime your Mother Prioress wants, my child. I forbid you to forget the incidents of these fifteen days." Then the lady vanished. On the other hand, Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus, the Mother Prioress, decided to consult His Excellency, the Most Reverend Alfredo Obviar, the auxiliary bishop of Lipa and spiritual director of Carmel, on what to do on the alleged apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The bishop instructed the Mother Prioress to demand from the lady a proof that she is from Heaven.
Days after the first shower of rose petals, total blindness affected Teresita. The Mother Prioress heard a woman's voice telling her to kiss the postulant's eyes will recover her sight. One day, in the presence of Bishop Obviar, the mother prioress lifted the veil of the postulant and imparted a kiss to Teresita's eyes. Immediately, the girl recovered her sight. Bishop Obviar no longer doubted the claims of her apparition.
According to an interview with the Prioress of the Carmelite Monastery, Mother Mary of the Sacred Heart and Sister Mary Balthazar were ordered to burn several boxes containing leaflefts, novena booklets, rose petals, and any religious paraphernalia pertaining to the apparition. The sisters were also ordered by their bishop to destroy the statue of the Virgin Mary but instead hid it out of religious devotion. The personal diary of Castillo was also consumed in the fire. According to an interview with Teresita Castillo, she had met Cardinal Egidio Vagnozzi in 1951 and expressed to him that she had left the Carmelite monastery to seek medical treatment. The papal nuncio strongly disapproved, called her the Devil and asked her to leave his presence and tried to shove her out the door. Castillo cried tears and begged for his blessing, which he refused.
According to the Archbishop of Lipa, Ramon Arguelles, two of the bishops in the commission were forced to leave the investigation due to their lack of jurisdiction of Lipa, Bishop Versoza and Bishop Obviar. In a televised interview with ABS-CBN network communications, Arguelles noted no documents were compiled or even reached the Holy See in 1951, causing its immediate rejection. In 1991, a current petition to approve the apparition once again is currently went underaway in Rome.
Former Philippine president Corazon Aquino had a close religious affinity with the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa and visited often, as well as former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who on the Feast of the Assumption 2007, signed "Proclamation No: 1362" of September 12 as a "National Day of Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation" in honor of the alleged Marian apparitions.