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The message of Lipa; its time has

On November 12th 2009, the Archbishop of Lipa, Philippines, the Most Rev. Ramon C. Arguelles announced
the setting-up of a new commission of enquiry into the apparitions of Our Blessed Lady that allegedly
occurred there in 1948 in the wake of World War II. Lipa, a city in Batangas Province, about 80 kilometers
from Manila, had been the scene of a terrible massacre carried out by occupying Japanese forces. Details of
the massacre remain sketchy to this day, but it is quite probable that, in what must have been a manifestation
of indescribable brutality and barbarism, several thousand civilians were butchered.
The claimed supernatural events of 1948 centered around Teresita Teresing Castillo, a young novice in the
Carmelite Monastery in Lipa. Teresita was born on July 4 th. 1927, the youngest of seven children of a former
governor of Batangas, Modesto Castillo. At the time of the supernatural events, he was the Judge of the
Court of Industrial Relations.
Early on the morning of her 21st. birthday, July 4th 1948, Teresita left her fathers house and made her way to
the Carmelite monastery in Lipa, following an inner call to the religious life. This decision did not meet with
the immediate approval of her family, who made several attempts to take her back home.
Teresitas experiences of the supernatural realm began within a month of entering the convent. While her
later experiences, those now the subject of a renewed archdiocesan investigation involved apparitions of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, the first of them took the form of visitations of a far less welcome and much more
frightening nature.
On July 31st. the young novice heard three loud knocks at the door, then a repulsive voice accompanied by a
foul odour. When, to the great relief of the terrified novice her infernal visitor departed, he left behind, as
physical proof of having been there, a set of sooty footprints that were not of human origin. Over the
ensuing few days, there would be other such diabolic visitations that included physical assaults, (with the
bruises to prove it), and one incident in which the devil appeared on a wall with flames around his head.
Such manifestations from hell cannot occur unless they are permitted by God. And God only permits them to
happen because the outcome will be that the devil will be vanquished and humiliated. Therefore it would
seem to be the case that the devil was given leave to attempt to drive young Teresita Castillo away from the
convent, and so prevent the great manifestations of the Powers of Heaven that were to follow.
By August 18th. after a final assault had left the poor young woman battered and bruised, the Evil One was
gone. Thus began the series of apparitions, nineteen in all, which are now the subject of the renewed
investigation. The series of apparitions of Our Lady and other supernatural events lasted for a period of
almost three months, the news began to spread beyond the monastery walls to reach the ears of the local
population, and it did not stop there - rumors and accounts of the events spread throughout the main island
of Luzon, and much further throughout this archipelago of 7000 islands. Many thousands of people who had
only recently tasted the horrific brutality of the Japanese occupation began to make their way to Lipa,
hoping to witness the events and hear the great message of hope that the Queen of Heaven and Earth had
come to deliver.
It was on Sunday September 12th. the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, at about 5:00 p.m.as Teresita was
taking a quiet walk in the convent garden that suddenly, a vine began to shake. This immediately caught her

attention, since there was no wind, and nothing else in the garden was disturbed. She heard the gentle voice
of a woman; a voice so beautiful that it ravished the soul. Yet Teresita did not see anyone; as far as she was
aware, she was alone in the garden. The voice said, Fear not, my child.He who loves above all things has
sent me. Kiss the ground. Whatever I shall tell you to do, you must do. For fifteen consecutive days, come
to visit me here in this spot.
The next day, at the same time, Teresita returned to that same part of the garden as directed by the beautiful
voice she had heard the previous day. The young novice knelt and began to pray the Hail Mary, but she had
not gone beyond the words, .full of grace when the vine once again began to shake. This time, she
saw the most indescribably beautiful young woman, standing on clouds a mere two feet above the ground.
She was stooping slightly towards Teresita; her hands clasped on her breast as if in prayer, and a golden
rosary hung from her right hand. She wore a simple dress of purest white, held at the waist by a narrow cloth
belt. A radiantly beautiful smile adorned the Ladys face, and she said, Be faithful to come here, be it rain
or sunshine Teresita, mesmerized by such unearthly beauty asked, Beautiful lady, who are you? The lady
replied, I am your mother And with that, she disappeared from sight.
.On September 16th. Our Lady requested a statue to be made and placed at the site of the apparition. I want
a statue of myself so that my little ones can see me. Describe me to your chaplain, because I want my
statue to look as you see me, and be as large as the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes which stands inside the
cloister. I ask this from Carmel. I wish that my image be placed here. This place must be cleaned, so that
it may become a shrine for prayer.
The sculptor Cristobal was commissioned to make the statue in accordance with the description given by
Teresita Castillo at Our Ladys request. When the statue was installed for public veneration, many unusual
events occurred, including spontaneous healings and the miraculous shower of rose petals that would
become the hallmark of the Lipa apparitions.
The crowds who gathered beyond the convent walls would soon witness great prodigies, including figures of
holy personages in the clouds, a spinning, pulsating sun, and as tangible proof of the supernatural nature of
the events, thousands upon thousands of rose petals bearing sacred images of Jesus, Mary and other saints.
The spinning sun and showers of rose petals are evocative of Fatima, where rose petals also fell from the
sky. However, unlike those petals, which seem to evaporate before they reached the ground, those which
fell at Lipa were gathered up by thousands of witnesses. In what would seem to be another strong
association with Fatima, the petals which fell at Lipa were examined by botanists and found to be of a type
native only to Russia.
On September 27th. the fifteenth consecutive day since the series of apparitions began, Our Blessed Lady
delivered the following message to Teresita. Announcing herself as Mediatrix of All Grace. Our Lady said,
Pray, my child. The people do not heed my words. Tell my daughters that there will soon be unrest,
persecutions and bloodshed in your country. The enemy of the Church will try to destroy the faith which
Jesus established and died for. The Church will suffer much. Pray for the conversion of sinners
throughout the world. Pray for those who rejected me, and for those who do not believe and trust me.
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. Propagate the devotion to my Immaculate
Heart. Do penance for priests and nuns. But be not afraid, for the love of my Son will soften the hardest
of hearts and my motherly love will be their strength to crush the enemies of God. What I ask here is the
same as I asked at Fatima.

Teresita also received secrets, which he has closely guarded until this day; (she is now eighty two). All she
has ever revealed is that there was one secret for her Carmelite community, one for the Philippines, and one
for China. (Whether or not the bulk of Our Ladys messages were recorded in Teresitas diaries, we do not
know, since they were ordered to be destroyed).
Some of Teresitas ecstasies were witnessed by others. On one occasion, she was seen to fall to the ground in
an apparently trance-like state and re-enact the agony of Jesus on the Cross. This was witnessed by Auxiliary
Bishop of Lipa, Alfredo Obviar and a number of members of the Carmelite community, including the
prioress, Mother Cecilia Zialcita, who was also favoured with interior locutions. It was also reported that
Teresita received Holy Communion on the tongue from the hand of an angel and that, in addition to the
apparitions of Our Lady,, she also had visions of the Sacred Heart, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Cecilia, as well
as hosts of angels.
The immediate post-war years would see the most rapid extension of communist domination in many parts
of the world. The defeat of Germany in the European war, and the infamous Yalta Conference facilitated
Russias territorial hegemony and her political and military domination of Eastern and Central Europe and
Central Asia. As the supernatural events of Lipa were unfolding, the communist forces of Mao Zhedong
were seizing control of China, leading to the deaths of an estimated seventy - to one hundred million people.
(Despite the illusion created by China opening up to the West and embracing free market principles, Maos
communist heirs and successors are still in total control; the Church is persecuted, and China aggressively
covets the natural resources of the Americas, Africa and Australia, the vast oil reserves of Central Asia, and
in addition, the fresh water supplies of Chinas neighbours).
We know only too well that, had Our Ladys requests at Fatima been heeded, World War II would not have
occurred and the menace of communism would have been neutralised. It is also undoubtedly true that, had
the message of Lipa been accepted by the Church and embraced by the people, the now very real and
immediate threat posed to the Asia/Pacific region by communism would never have developed. But the
Church did not accept the supernatural character of the events, the propagation of the message was stifled,
and for the great majority of Filipinos, it faded from memory.

The Response of the Ecclesiastical Authorities

The Bishop of Lipa at the time of the events, Alfredo Verzosa, did accept their supernatural character, as did
his auxiliary, Bishop Alfredo Obviar. (Bishop Obviar had witnessed Teresitas Passion ecstasy. Bishop
Verzosa was convinced by witnessing at first hand a great shower of rose petals). Unfortunately, the papal
nuncio in Manila did not share their enthusiasm. Instead, he orchestrated a campaign to discredit the
phenomena and obliterate Lipa from the consciousness of the Church. Bishop Alfredo Verzosa was stripped
of all administrative duties; he remained a bishop in name only. He had used his familys wealth to rebuild
churches and schools damaged during the war. Despite this, he was falsely accused of having mishandled
war reparations and diocesan finances. This good and faithful bishop of the Catholic Church was effectively
banished from priestly life, going into exile at his home in Vigan, where he worked to supplement a modest
family income by rolling tobacco leaves. Bishop Alfredo Obviar was also removed and remained essentially
inactive until he was eventually appointed Bishop of Lucena. (Bishop Obviars tomb at Lucena has become
something of a place of pilgrimage in its own right, and it is reported that many favours have been granted
through his intercession).
A commission of Filipino bishops was established to investigate the matter though they never so much as
interviewed a single witness; they were in reality a wrecking crew! The prioress, Mother Cecilia Zialcita,

was transferred to another convent and assigned the duties of a scullery maid. (She is said to have
prophesied at her death that the investigation into the events of Lipa would be re-opened and proper
devotion to Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace would be restored)
Teresita was subjected to a regime of intimidation, bullying and threats in an attempt to induce her to sign a
false confession that the events at the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa in 1948 were a hoax of her own
making. Such was the protracted intensity of this treatment that it eventually took a great toll on her health,
and she was compelled to spend long periods of time at the University of San Tomas hospital. Because of
this, she failed to complete the necessary minimum period of time as a novice of the Carmelite Order, and in
1950 she was obliged to leave the convent. .
Prior to his removal, Bishop Verzosa had permitted public devotion to Our Lady under the title, Mediatrix
of All Grace. However, in 1951 the bishops commission declared that there was no supernatural
intervention in the reported extraordinary happenings, including the shower of rose petals, at Lipa.
Bishop Verzosas successor, Rufino Santos ordered that no petals were to be given to anyone by the Lipa
Carmelite community; the statue requested by Our Lady herself was to be destroyed, and Teresita Castillos
diary and that of Mother Cecilia were to be burned. While the nuns complied with the command to burn the
diaries and the miraculous rose petals, they could not bring themselves to destroy Our Ladys statue, and
they wrapped it carefully in rags and jute and hid it in a cellar. As for the bishops commission, while it did
appear that their negative judgement had been unanimous, some of them confessed before their deaths that,
though they had privately believed the events to be genuinely of supernatural origin, they had been
intimidated by the threat of excommunication unless they denounced the apparitions as fraudulent.

The Tide has turned

On May 21st. 1990,a member of the Carmelite community, Sister Aphonse, pleaded on her deathbed that the
statue of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace be exposed in the convent chapel. The request was granted the
following day, and the statues forty years in the wilderness were at an end. It would later be reported that,
on January 24th. 1991, rose petals again fell from the sky at the Carmelite Monastery, and six young children
playing in the garden claimed that the statue came to life. Later that year, Archbishop Mariano Gaviola
overturned the forty year ban and gave permission for public veneration of the statue. The following year, he
expressed his personal conviction that the events at the Carmelite Monastery in 1948 are worthy of belief.
In the Jubilee Year 2000, then Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales announced the creation of a new parish, to
be dedicated to Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, in the southern part of Lipa City -Antipolo del Norte where
the Carmelite Convent is located. (Archbishop Rosales is now His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales,
Archbishop of Manila and Primate of the Philippines).
And so to the present. On November 12th 2009, Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, who succeeded Gaudencio
Rosales as Archbishop of Lipa, issued a decree announcing the formation of a new commission to
investigate the 1948 Lipa apparitions. The decree stated:
Inasmuch as, in the year 1951 a decree issued by the then Administrator of Lipa Rufino J. Santos
banned public veneration of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa Carmel;
Inasmuch as, in the year 1991, the Most Rev. Mariano G. Gaviola lifted the forty years ban;
Inasmuch as, the faithful came unceasingly on pilgrimage to the Carmel of Lipa and have obtained
favors from Mary Mediatrix of All Grace;

Inasmuch as, there is need to deepen and spread the message and meaning of the visit of our Blessed
Inasmuch as, many written documents on the wonders of the Blessed Mother Mediatrix of All Grace
have cropped up;
I deem it necessary to create a new commission to evaluate the documents still available since the
events of 1948 until the present moment and to advise the present Church leadership, especially in the
Archdiocese, on the proper pastoral approach towards this ongoing pilgrimage to the Chapel of the
Mediatrix of All Grace.
When contacted by Marrah Erika Lesaba of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Archbishop Arguelles stated that,
there is nothing wrong in praising apparitions and that he was well aware of the love of the people
for the Blessed Mother adding, The Blessed Mother has [protected] the country from calamities.
And what of Teresita Teresing Castillo? It has been reported that Archbishop Arguelles has given his
permission for her to speak about the events of 1948. However, it seems that she is keeping a low profile and
declining to be interviewed. Though still the same quiet humble soul she was all those years ago, she is no
doubt delighted to have been vindicated after so many long years. But one would suspect that it is not her
own vindication that is the cause of her greatest satisfaction. Rather, we can be sure that she is more thankful
for the posthumous vindication of her prioress, Mother Cecilia Zialcita, who, because of her unwavering
love, confidence and support of Teresita, paid the great price of being banished from Lipa Carmel and given
the status of a scullery maid. We can be certain that Teresita is thankful for the vindication of Bishop Alfredo
Verzosa, who was falsely denounced, stripped of all his duties and effectively exiled. And Bishop Alfredo
Obviar, who has now been lifted up before the Causes of Saints, and who has already passed the first
requirement for canonization. But the greatest vindication, and that which will bring Teresita by far the
greatest consolation, is the vindication of the vitally necessary devotion to Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace.

Lipa; the Fatima connection

It is often said that the Marian Age, which continues to this day, began with the revelation to St. Catherine
Laboure of the Miraculous Medal at the Rue de Bac in Paris in 1830. While the apparitions of Our Blessed
Lady to Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531 stand well outside this time frame, Guadalupe is as much,
if not more for our times as it was for the times in which it occurred. Authentic, approved Marian
apparitions, though numerous and often quite distinct in character, all point to the most stupendous of them
all, and that is Fatima. Whatever can be found in any other approved Marian apparition can be found in the
message of Fatima.
The connection between Lipa and Fatima goes well beyond mere accidental similarities such as the
spinning, pulsating sun, and showers of miraculous rose petals. We are all familiar with the promise of
Fatima that; In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, Russia will be converted, and a period of
peace will be given to the world. The key to understanding the message of Lipa in the light of the Fatima
apparitions is that, at Lipa, Our Blessed Lady came as the Mediatrix of All Grace. The belief in Marys
universal mediation of grace is as old as the Church itself; it is contained within the deposit of faith.
However, it has not as yet been given dogmatic definition.
There is a most beautiful description of the Coronation of our Blessed Lady contained in The Mystical City
of God, as narrated to Ven. Mary of Agreda by the Blessed Virgin herself, in which is described the solemn
pronouncement by which Mary is made the depositary of all heavens graces, to distribute according to her

pleasure. We read; You shall be the Friend, the Defender and the Chieftainess of all the just and of our
friends. All of them you shall comfort, console and fill with blessings according to their devotion to you.
In view of this we make you the Depositary of Our riches, the Treasurer of Our goods; We place into your
hands the helps and blessings of Our grace for distribution. Nothing do We wish to give to the world
which does not pass through your hands; and nothing do We deny which you wish to concede to men.
Grace shall be diffused on your lips for obtaining everything which you wish in heaven and on earth, and
everywhere shall angels and men obey you, because whatever is Ours shall be yours, just as you have
always been Ours. And you shall reign with Us forever. (The Mystical City of God, Book 8; Ch. VIII).
There have been many great saints, among then St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Louis de Montfort, who have
believed that the longed-for era of peace would not be given to the world until the Church formally
proclaims Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces, Co-redemptrix and Advocate. This was also the view of the
great Belgian Cardinal Mercier who strove tirelessly to bring devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate
Heart of Mary and her role as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix to far greater prominence in the Church.
Cardinal Mercier, in a letter to Fr. Francis Xavier Godts, stated that, I have always been convinced that
genuine peace will only pour out on the world when the universal Church conducts an act of homage in
Marys honour. And what act of homage could be more acceptable to her, and for us more beneficial than
this unshakable belief that in all things, and for all things, we depend equally on Mary the Mother of
Jesus, and on Jesus the Son of Mary.
The key to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the promised Era of Peace is the formal definition of
the fifth and final Marian dogma that she is Mediatrix of all Graces, Co-redemptrix and our Advocate with
her Divine Son. The other four Marian dogmas, the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, Marys
perpetual virginity and her Assumption into heaven were all conferred upon her by a singular privilege. The
title of Mediatrix of All Grace, Mary has earned for herself. This she did by virtue of her total, perfect
submission to the Divine Will, from the very moment of her conception up until the very last breath she
drew on earth. Her entire existence was one of unknowable suffering and sorrow. Mary maximally
participated in the redemptive passion and Death of her Divine Son, for love of God and for our salvation.
The Father is now demanding that the world recognize this, if we are ever to know true peace, it must first
be recognized by the Church, and embraced by the faithful. Our Lady came at Lipa as the Mediatrix of All
Grace. We are being challenged to examine how she came to possess this title. We are being asked to come
to know her as the Mother of Sorrows, and in so doing, to embrace our Heavenly Mothers sorrows as
though they were our own. In so doing, we joyfully consecrate ourselves to her Sorrowful and Immaculate
Heart, we give ourselves to her unreservedly as her instruments, by means of which her Divine Son will
establish His reign on earth. Our Blessed Lady came to Fatima in 1917 to tell us this. In 1948, she came to
Lipa to remind us. Let us hope that we never need to be reminded again. Because the next reminder

may not be so pleasant.

Stewart Davies December 2009.