When I was in elementary (Escuela de San Lorenzo Ruiz in Parañaque City), at the height of the infamous Agoó Apparition in La Unión province, we had an elderly teacher who relayed to us another Marian apparition which happened decades before. It was in Lipâ, Batangas. She told us that a shower of rose petals fell from the sky, and that she was one of those who were fortunate to grab hold of a petal that has up to that day never withered.
A couple of days later, she brought the miraculous petal to school and showed it to us. True, it hasn’t withered yet! But I couldn’t make anything out of the supposedly faint image of the Virgin Mary etched in that petal (she didn’t allow us to touch it).
I have to admit that the abovementioned recollection is a very faint one. I could hardly remember the exact details of that episode in my youth. Strangely, it may or may not have even happened! Anyway, I still remember how we call that elderly teacher of ours: Teacher Ludy. She was already a grandmother at that time. And I’m not even sure if she’s still alive or not. If she still is, I hope that she still remembers me so that I’d be able to talk to her about it.
I was just reminded of the above recollection when the below newstory captured my attention:
Lipa bishop lifts ban on ‘Our Lady’
Lipâ Archbishop Ramón Argüelles confirmed that he had lifted the 1951 ban on the public veneration of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace.
In a phone interview Tuesday night, Argüelles said he lifted the ban on Nov. 12 as “there was nothing wrong in praising apparitions” as he was well-aware of “the love of the people for the Blessed Mother.”
“The Blessed Mother has [protected] the country from calamities,” he said.
In 1948, the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared 19 times to Teresita Castillo, a novice in the Carmelite Order in Lipâ City. Rose petals with holy images reportedly fell from the sky. In her last apparition to Castillo, the Blessed Virgin identified herself: “I am the Mediatrix of All Grace.”
Although the veneration of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace was permitted by then Bishop Alfred Verzosa, the Philippine church hierarchy declared in 1951 that “there was no supernatural intervention in the reported extraordinary happenings including the shower of rose petals in Lipa,” according to the website www.marymediatrixofallgrace.com.
Image displayed again
In 1992, Archbishop Mariano Gaviola granted permission to once again display the image of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace. In 1993, he declared his personal conviction that the Lipa apparitions were worthy of belief, according to http://www.miraclehunter.com.
As the years went by, the ban seemed to have been disregarded as new proofs of the apparitions’ authenticity were presented and accounts about the bishops’ high-handed suppressiveness in 1948 were brought to light.
A repeat of the shower of rose petals is said to have occurred some years ago but the Carmelite nuns kept a low profile. Some people have petals in their possession.
In 2005, Arguelles resurrected the veneration for Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace with “increased activity and devotion” and plans to place statues representing the Virgin of Lipâ, in every diocese, according to www.miraclehunter.com. Inquirer.net
Suddenly, my mind shrank into a vortex of reminiscences and ended up on that almost faded scence from my youth.
I’m positive I’ve seen one of those petals.
Now for the queries regarding the Inquirer.net newstory:
Why lift the ban just now? Why were the witnesses of this Marian apparition silenced? And worse, those who silenced them were Church authorities! Why did they do such a thing?!
If the issue here is to ward off intrigues and accusations of “false claims” or “wild invented stories” from anti-Catholics, then why destroy the evidence?
Are those Carmelite nuns, particularly Sister Teresita Castillo, still alive? If yes, where are they? And where are the other people who have in their possession those miraculous petals?
The local Catholic Church should provide the answers to those who are interested in this Marian controversy.