Teresita Castillo, Lipa, Philippines, 1948  (Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace )

 

Status: Currently Being Investigated

 

Episcopal Remarks:  An Imprimatur was awarded to an official account of the visions by Bishop Alfredo Verzosa December 8, 1948. A Theological Commission of April 1951 produced a negative report of Constat de Non Supernaturalitate and this was signed by 6 Bishops. Later however some of them would later say that they were coerced into signing under threat of excommunication. One bishop even announced on his deathbed that he was forced to sign the verdict against his free will. Neither Bishop Obviar nor Bishop Verzosa were consulted by the investigators and the commission was ostensibly judged deficient. The case was re-opened in 1991 and is currently being re-investigated since 1993 by order of Archbishop Gaviola for a “speedy report”. 1

 

Corroboration by Other Seers: N/A

 

Biographical Information: Teresita Castillo was born into a prominent family, her father having been governor of the Province of Batangas. Influencfes by convent school values, “Teresing” (as she is affectionately called), nurtured a secret desire to join the Carmelites. On her 21st Birthday, July 4, 1948 Teresita fled her home and entered Carmel, the Covent of Discalced Carmelites, in Lipa. Of course, when her family learned of her action they attempted to dissuade her by promises and threats. But all to no avail. She was determined to become a Carmelite novice.  Within one month of her arival at the convent, on the night of July 31st, 1948 Satan visited Teresita in her cell and attempted to convince her to leave the convent. She rejected Satan, but he did not give up –rather Satan appeared to her three more times, again trying to force her to leave the convent through fear and threats. A foul odour accompanied Satan. In contrast when Our Lady first appeared to Teresing in August, She was surrounded by an overpowering and pleasant fragrance. Our Lady appeared to the seer three times during August, then for fifteen consecutive days in September at the vine in the convent garden, with one final appearance on November 12, 1948. The seer was amazed at this rapid succession of supernatural occurences. It is reported that Teresita asked “Why is it like this? It life in Carmel really like like this?”

 

…The Messages started on September 12th while Teresita was praying in the garden when suddenly a vine began to shake. Then Out Lady appeared to the seer and requested that she kiss the earth and return to this same spot fort fiteen consecutive days. The seer complied and messages were given to Teresita.  Our Lady requested the vine be blessed which had also been done. Later She also requested a statue (Image) be placed at the site of the apparition. This was also accomplished. The Messages stressed humility, penane, prayers, especially prayer for priests and nuns and to pray the rosary. Teresita was given secrets. The seer reports that there was one secret for herself, one for the community at Lipa Carmel, one for the world and one for China, none for Russia. Our Lady appeared sad during some of the apparitions because two nuns refused to believe. One nun had a miraculous healing some forty years later which she attributed to Our Lady –then she believed…There are accounts of a blue bird appearing at the vine before each apparition, accounts of the spinning sun, heavy fragrance of roses, and, of course, the “showers” of rose petals. Incredibly, whole roses were manifested out of thin air. (See Miraculous Rose Petals Here) Some people reported seeing the statue of Our Lady come to life. Warnings of persecutions, unrest, and bloodshed for “your country” were given by Our Blessed Mother during Her last apparition at the vine.  She also said: “The Church will suffer much” Just before she departed Our Lady said “What I ask here is the same I asked at Fatima. I bless this community is very special blessing. All these can be revealed now”

 

Many cures have been reported using the rose petals, including some remarkable instantaneous cures. There are reports of the blind being cured as well as other amazing cures. In one instance, a baby (Soccorro Mendoza Dichoso), born in December, 1948 with a hole in her skull experienced an amazing cure. The parents reportedly applied “rose petals” from the “shower” to the baby’s skull on January 28, 1949. The child was cured, the hole in the skull closed and the brain receded. This was confirmed by X-rays. Another reported healing occurred on December 24, 1950 when the Last Sacraments were administered to a girl dying of cerebral hemorrhage. Fr Casey applied a Lipa rose petal to the girl’s forehead, when instantly, upon the rining of the Angelus bell, the girl suddenly woke up as if nothing was wrong. She was cured.  One cure that is outstanding occurred to a child named Menania Maria Sungo who was born in 1940 with a severely deformed right foot. The sole of the foot was curled up, she could not wear a shoe on it and the leg had atrophied, shortened, and wasted away. In 1949 when the child was nine years old, her uncle brought to her family a bottle of water which had been placed overnight beside the statue of Our Lady (Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace). The child’s mother rebbued this water on the child’s foot every evening for one week and offered many prayers. Then one morning, the child awoke to discover that her foot was normal; totally cured. This caused a sensation amongst friends and neighbours. Neighbours remarked they experienced a strong fragrance of flowers around the child’s home. Meanwhile, the family of the Sungo household was shocked when a shower of rose ptals fell inside their own home. The statues of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace has been on several pilgrimages, traveling to Spain, to the United Stqtes and to other places. Smaller replicas of the statue have been distributed.

 

It is also reported that Teresita received the Host for Holy Communion on her tongue from an angel on an occasion when she was unable to attend Mass because she was sick in bed. Teresita had other mystical experices including visions of the Sacred Heart, of a multitude of angels and saints, of St Cecelia and Saint Terese of Lisieux. The seer was also seen to go into a state of unconsciousness, and then, whole lying on the floor, enact the agony of Christ on the Cross. This phenomenon was witnessed by the prioress, by Bishop Obviar, and by members of the Carmel Community at Lipa. As one nun put it: “The seven words would be reenacted and we really did see it!”

 

On January 23, 1949 the cornerstone was laid for the church known as the Chapel of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace, officiated by Bishop Obviar. Some twenty to fifty thousand people were present. The Church has been completed and was funded entirely by public donations. The Bishop of Lipa, Alfredo Verzosa, ordered the Carmelite sisters to withdraw the statue of Our Lady from public veneration because of all the commotion. He personally went to the convent on November 19, 1948 determined to do so himself. When he opened the door and enetered the convent a shower of rose petals fell on him. He fell to his knees and could not utter a word. Therafter, Bishop Verzosa supported these apparitions and applied his Imprimature to an official account of the apparitions at the vine.

 

Soon events were commercialized by some, and fake rose petals were being sold. The Carmel at Lipa suffered a series of attacks. On January 23, 1950 Bishop Verzosa was suddenly transferred from Lipa and virtually all power of the Lipa Diocese was placed into the hands of an Apostolic Administrator. Shortly thereafter, on February 27, 1950 Mother ceceilia was suddenly replaced. Bishop Obviar was also relieved of his duties. It was reported that many people distrusted the “showers” of rose petals and accused the nuns of somehow orchestrating these “showers” The seer was interviewed and interrogated by a psychologist, Fr Vlas, who reportedly attempted to have her renounce. She refused to do so. Then Dr Pardo, a psychiatrist, reportedly intimidated the seer seeking to have her admit insanity in her family. There are also reports that they submitted false documents for Teresita to sign and again she refused. However, the written report of Fr Blas states that “Fr Blas believes she is perfectly normal and not suffering from hallucinations”

 

In April 1951 the official investigation by the Church produced a negative report and was signed by six bishops; some of whom would later say that they were coerced into signing under threat of excommunication. The investigation appears to have been lacking. Neither Bishop Obviar  nor Bishop Verzosa were questioned by the investigators. Of some interest is that the bishops who signed the verdict that there was no supernatural intervention at Lipa Carmel, nevertheless kept the rose petals from Lipa given to them. One or more bishops announced on his deathbed that he was forced to sign the verdict against his own free will. After the Church’s decision was released the nuns were ordered to destroy all materials connected with the apparitions. They burned Teresita’s diary as well as Mother Cecilia’s diary. The statue of the Mediatrix was also ordered destroyed; however the nuns managed ways and means to save it from destruction. Our Lady had warned of persecutions. All those centrally connected with thgese apparitions were made to suffer. Stringent sanctions were imposed on the Community of Lipa. The doors of Lipa were closed, not only to applicants to the religious life, but also to hired help and to all outside assistance. The nuns were not allowed to see members of their own families. For a long time, Sr. Elizabeth single-handedly supported the community by begging. She was the only nun permitted to go outside the community and to attend to the community’s needs.

 

In February 1990 a strange new phenomenon was reported in the Granja District of Lipa, a few blocks from the Carmel. A white luminous outline of a female in prayer began to appear in the evenings on one of the leaves of a tall coconut tree. The silhouette was visible for ninety consecutive evenings. Then on May 21, 1990 the day after the silhoutte ceased, Sr Alphonse pleaded on her deathbed that the statue of the Mediatrix be again exposed in the Chapel of Carmel. The following day, Archbishop Gaviola instructed the statue be again displayed, the first time in forty years! Shortly thereafter the rose petals reportedly began to fall again at Lipa Carmel. Teresita and two other people were inside the Church in front of the statue of Mediatrix when rose petals suddenly began to fall. The rose petals were pure white at this time. Soon other happenings were reported. A few days later, six children playing in the garden at Carmel saw the statue come to life. They reported “I saw her eyes tear and Her feet come closer together; I held her hand and it was soft; I saw her dresss blow in the breeze; I held her dress and it was soft; When I kissed her feet I felt them move.” Petal showers have occurred with some regularity inside Teresita’s home and other places, too. Several witnesses, including a priest, were present when full roses materialized out of thin air and landed on the stairs, altar and bedroom of the seer’s own home.  2

 

There have been reports of a spinning sun, of strange light on the top of the vine, of plants in the garden turning to face the apparition site, of the strong fragrance of roses. The statue of the Mediatrix of all Grace  was the centre of attraction during one period, when the following was reported by witnesses (a) the statue moved inside its glass case (b) the eyes of the statue raised and were gazing into the distance. (c) the rosary on the statue moved as if the statue was praying the rosary (d) Little children saw the dress of Our Lady move, they touched Her dress and Her feet which were soft, and when they kissed her feet the toes wiggled. When the nuns at Carmel burned the petals and other material as ordered, a blue flame arose four feet above the pyre and lingered until all was consumed 3

 

The rose petals were the trigger for physical healings as well as conversions. A report of November 1948 states that a rose petal fell in front of a man in the cros. He picked it up and an instant conversion occurred. He had been a member of the Masonic Lodge.  Amazing physical healings occurred when rose petals were applied to ailing victims. In some instances water which had the rose petals dipped into it was the catalyst for cure. 4

 

Teresita now reports that she has begun to receive messages from  Mary again.  On July 16, 1991 Archbishop Gaviola decalred the statue of Mediatrix would be exposed to the public at Lipa Carmel, during his entire term as archbishop. A secret new commission has been set up by the archbishop and he asks for speedy investigation and report. Teresita left Carmel never to return to the order. At present she works assisting in the production of the English-Tagalog dictionary.  Very begative media articles together with sham dealers in “Rose Petals” helped turn public opinion against these apparitions. This together with the Chuch’s negative report, submerged these apparitions for some forty years. Recent efforts of television investigative reporter, June Keithley helped bring some of the true overlooked or suppressed facts to the attention of the people and the Church. As a consequence the Church has now set up a new committee to investigate the apparitions. 5

 

Total Number of Apparitions 19 (1948): August 18, 19 (twice in seer’s cell); September 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, November 12.

 

References

1. Peter Heintz A Guide to Apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary (Gabriel Press, Sacramento, California 1995) p. 156

2. ibid p. 152-157

3. ibid p161

4. ibid p164

5. ibid p157


The Messages

 

(Taken from Peter Heintz A Guide to Apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary (Gabriel Press, Sacramento, California 1995) p. 157-161

 

The devil, July 31, 1948: Satan made three loud knocks on her cell door, then a foul odour, then a harsh voice which frightened her. When the seer showed her rosary to him, he departed leaving a soot covered hoof print on the floor

 

Virgin Mary, August 18, 1948: “Wash the feet of the prioress Mother Cecilia and drink some of the water” This was reported to the prioress who was “dubious”

 

Virgin Mary, August 19, 1948:  Initial request was repeated and complied with. Mother Cecelia received a locution from Our Lady telling her that the seer would carry a sign of confirmation. The sign occurred when mother Cecilia next saw the seer with circles of blood around her eyes. The feet washing event occurred that very day.  Later that evening Our Lady appeared disguised as a nun and said “Your Mother made a wise decision in obeying Me. Now that you have given Me proof of your humility, and your Mother of her simplicity, I can now proceed. Both of you will always remain under My mantle”

 

Virgin Mary, August 20, 1948: The seer saw showers of rose petals fall for the first time. This phenomena was repeated many times both inside the convent and outside in the garden. Many clergy, religious and pilgrims witnessed these rose petal “showers”. The rose petals contained miraculous images of Jesus and the Blessed Mother and other holy scenes, and were collected and cherished and saved by many, even to this day.

 

The devil, August 22, 1948: The evil one physically attacked the seer.  Mother Cecilia became physically involved in this incident….The seer awoke and felt unseen hands trying to strip her of her clothing. She struggled, broke free and fled to the stairway leading to the cell of the prioress. The prioress heard the commotion and came and helped free the seer….When it was over the seer became blind. Teresita regained her eyesight on September 7th. Mother Cecilia had a prophetic locution predicting that the seer would regain her eye sight. The seer suffered many times during the period of these apparitions, and it is reported that Mother Cecilia received locutions and prophetic messages of these sufferings before they occurred.

 

Virgin Mary September 14, 1948: Our Lady requested the place of the apparitions be blessed in the presence of the community. This was likewise accomplished.

 

Virgin Mary, September 15, 16, 1948: Our Lady requested Her image be struck and placed at the site of the apparition and that it become a shrine for prayer. The statue was enshrined.

 

Angels, September 16, 1948: The seer saw Our Lady arrive accompanied by little angels. The angels dissapeared one by one. At other times the angels are reported to have visited Teresita in her cell

 

Virgin Mary, September 21, 1948:  “Pray, pray, pray for a soul, My daughter…I ask you to honour Me on Saturdays especially in these devotions: (i) Our Lady of Mount Carmel (ii) Our Lady of Snow (iii) Our Lady of the Holy Roary (iv) Our Lady of Perpetual help (v) Immaculate Heart of Mary (vi) Our Lady of the Abndonment and Refuge of Sinners (vii) Our Lady of Lourdes (viii) Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (ix) Our Lady of Good Counsel (x) Holy Name of Mary (xi) Our Lady of Loreto (xii) Our Lady of Remedy (xiii) The Seven Dolors”

 

Virgin Mary, September 22, 1948: “To My daughter who does not believe Me, I do not oblige you to believe. It is enough that you do not believe. But do not block nor debase My secret place, nor despise My words. I do not oblige you to listen, nor to obey them if you do not wish to, for you have free will. Neither should you honour Me on Saturdays if you are not inclined to.”

 

Virgin Mary, September 25, 1948: “I wish you all to consecrate yourselves to Me on October 7th and be My slaves”

 

Virgin Mary September 26, 1948 (final apparition): “Pray for the conversion of sinners throughout the world. Pray for those who have rejected me and for those who do not believe my message in the different parts of the world… Spread the meaning of the Rosary because this will be the instrument for peace throughout the world. Tell the people that the rosary must be said with devotion. The love of my Son will soften the hardest of hearts. My motherly love will be their strength…Be humble and simple because humility and simplicity are the two virtues I love most”  Our Lady requested that a Mass be held on the 12th day of every month and asked that the community consecrate themselves to Her. Before departing she identified herself as “I am Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace”

 

Suffering the Passion, November 5, 1948: Sr teresita suffered the passion of Jesus. This began exactly at 12 noon.

 

Virgin Mary, November 12, 1948: “People do not believe My words, pray My child, pray much because there will be persecutions. Pray for priests. Pray for the conversions of sinners throughout the world. What I ask here is exactly what I asked at Fatima….Pray. The people do not heed my words. There will be persecutions, unrest, and bloodshed in your country. The enemy of the church will try to destroy the faith which Jesus has established and died for. The Church will suffer much….Do penance for those who do not believe…Do penance for priests and nuns,  be not afraid, for the love of My Son will soften the hardness of hearts, and My Motherly love will be their strength to curse the enemies of God….Propagate devotion to My Immaculate Heart”

 

The Saints, undated, 1948: St Therese of Liseux, also called “Little Flower”, accompanied Our Blessed Mother during some of the appairtions. (Recall St. Therse’s words: “From the heavens I will left fall a shower of roses”); St Cecilia, it is reported Teresita had visions of St Cecilia and other saints and angels as well as visions of the sacred Heart”

 

Angels, undated, 1948: Teresita was ill and unable to attend Mass. The angel brought her communion.

 

The devil, undated 1948: Satan appeared with fire around his head and around his body. Teresita resisted him.

 

The devil, undated 1948: Satan awoke the seer from her sleep by violently rocking her bed

 

Miraculous Rose Petals, January 24, 1991: Rose petals were reported to have fallen again at Lipa Carmel.