A Short History of the Apparition at Lipa of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace
Dr. Francisco Villanueva, Jr. in his book “The Wonders of Lipa” (written in 1949, just about the time of the height of the Lipa apparition) made the following observation: “The first time that the Blessed Virgin had ever appeared in the Far East was in that place of the Philippines called Lipa City . This is a very special and great privilege granted by God and His Holy Mother to the Filipino people”.
It was in 1948, in a small Carmelite convent at Lipa, Batangas that the Blessed Virgin came to manifest her presence to her Filipino children through a young postulant Sister Teresita Castillo and she had some very important things to tell them. These heavenly appearances were authenticated with overwhelming and amazing miracles of conversion and physical cures, of visions and humanly unexplainable showers of rose petals inside and outside the Carmelite convent which according to Dr. Villanueva lasted seven months.
Early on, both Bishop Alfredo Verzosa and his auxiliary bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar were favorable to the apparitions. However, in 1951, the Philippine Hierarchy issued a negative judgment officially declaring the absence of supernatural intervention in the reported extraordinary happenings including the showers of petals at Carmel, Lipa.
The apparitions, which were once at the center of attention of the nation, were all but forgotten. The image of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace, which earlier had received the prayers of the faithful at Lipa was ordered withdrawn from public veneration.
Soon the messages of Our Lady of Lipa eclipsed into oblivion. An entire generation of Filipinos has grown up unaware of the events of 1948 at Lipa, ignorant of the role of Mary as Mediatrix of All Grace, therefore failing to benefit from the tremendous graces to be secured by recourse to the Blessed Mother under the title by which She identified Herself.
One of the few souls who kept the memory of Lipa alive in her heart during the long years of silence imposed by the Hierarchy was Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus, the prioress of Carmel during the time of the apparition. In December of 1982, she knelt before her superior and asked permission to die in order to hasten the cause of Our Lady in Lipa. The prioress, Mother Mary Aimee consented. Within a few days heaven accepted her proposition that in exchange for her life the cause of Mary would go forward.
Monsignor Mariano Gaviola who had been installed as Archbishop of Lipa in 1981 studied the case of the apparitions and in July 16, 1992 granted permission to expose once again the image of the Mediatrix of All Grace for public veneration. Then in February 1993, he publicly declared his personal conviction that the events at Lipa are worthy of belief thus paving the road wide open to a complete rehabilitation of Our Lady’s apparitions at Lipa.
To derive grace from the apparitions of the Mediatrix it now becomes incumbent upon us to pay close attention to what the Blessed Mother had imparted to us at Lipa.
During those extraordinary days, Our Lady singled out a new saint-St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, who was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947, just a year before the apparition. She made reference to the Marian spirituality that this saint taught in his writings and asked that the nuns to consecrate themselves to Her in this manner.
From the brief account of the apparition written by Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus, OCD the Mother Superior of Carmel, Lipa in the late 1940s we quote:
“One day the Apparition asked from the Community an individual consecration of its members to herself according to the spirit of St. Grignion de Montfort”.