of All Graces
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.
Initially declared by a local bishop as
non-supernatural in 1951, the case was reopened in 1991 and is pending
investigation by the Holy See while the Metropolitan Archbishop Ramon Arguelles
of Archdiocese of Lipa found "no objection in the veneration of Mary and its
doctrine" under this title. Presently, the Marian veneration is tolerated by the
Archdiocese of Lipa and the Archdiocese of Manila.
On March 3, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI was
presented a Mediatrix statue by Bishop Guillermo Afable during the Catholic
Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Ad Limina visit. On March 9, 2011, a
life-sized Mediatrix statue brought by Filipino bishops was publicly displayed
in the general Wednesday papal audience at Pope Paul VI Audience Hall.
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
Description of Mary:
According to Castillo, Mary's hands
clasped on her breast, a golden rosary hanging in her right hand, slightly
stooping, her dress was simple and pure white held in the waist by a narrow
cloth belt. Her feet were bare and resting on clouds about two feet above ground.
Her face, indescribably beautiful, was radiant.
An initial investigation report in 1951
was signed by six Roman Catholic bishops and declared the Lipa apparitions as a
fraud and "non-supernatural". However, one bishop later recanted on his deathbed,
and a new investigation was opened in 1991. The apparitions have to this date
have not received approval from the Holy See and are still pending under
On April 17, 2005, Filipino Archbishop
Ramon Arguelles issued a circular finding no objection to the devotion under
this Marian title. The Archdiocese of Lipa, Batangas endorse Marian veneration
under this title and are not expressly prohibited by the archdiocese in the
Philippines as long as it does not counter the doctrines of the Roman Catholic
Church. Local bishops often tolerate the veneration of Mary under this title in
Batangas province, at times even with the participation of local Filipino
celebrities and politicians.
The religious image described and sculpted
according to the vision of Teresita Castillo is licensed and approved by the
Archdiocese of Manila for public veneration in various Filipino religious
communities. Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Madam Mercedes Arrastia
Tuason is a known devotee of the Marian title and displays a large statue in her
consulate office in Rome.
On 12 September 2015, the Archbishop of
Lipa, Ramon Arguelles formally released the canonical results of the
investigation launched by the Archdiocese of Lipa, declaring the Marian
apparitions to be authentic and worthy of pious belief. At present, a postulate
for Canonical Coronation is pending submission to Pope Francis for pontifical
approbation. The original image described and sculpted according to Castillo's
vision is licensed and approved by the Archdiocese of Manila for public
veneration in various Filipino religious communities.
The Official Website of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace
Did Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, appeared in Lipa?
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