Lipa Visionary Tells Her Own Story: The apparitions of Our Lady to Teresing Castillo PDF Print E-mail

First of a Series

by Teresita Castillo

In loving obedience to the zealous lovers of Mama Mary, I will try my very best to write down the most I could remember after 40 years of complete silence. So, before I start, I humbly beg for your understanding and trust in me. I do not ask you to believe my little story; just listening to it is more than I deserve. I cannot also assure you that every detail of what happened to me in Carmel will be included here. There are a few messages that I cannot divulge. Aside from this, 40 years is a long “past”, and my age is heading fast towards the reality of being included in the list of “senior citizens”.

On July 4, 1948, on my 21st birthday, I left home at 4:00 a.m. to escape from our house to enter the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa City. Bishop Obviar’s jeep was to pick me up at the back of the ruined municipal building at 4:00 a.m. I had a last glance of our house as we passed by on our way to Lipa. It was not easy for me to leave my good parents behind . Being the youngest, I do admit that I was the favorite. They were just waiting for the day of my graduation recital in piano before they bought a grand piano as their graduation gift for me. What made me worry was the fact that my parents were going to order the grand piano from Germany. My parents were always happy to see me play the piano for them, but most especially when an elder brother of mine and my only sister and myself played piece after piece. They showed us all the love and care they could. So, leaving them behind was not easy for me.

I heard my birthday Mass inside Carmel. My family started to look for me in Carmel and finding me there, my brothers wanted to get me out of the convent to bring me back to our parents. My eldest brother through the grill pointed his gun at me to shoot because he told me he preferred to see me dead rather than be a Carmelite. I was told by Mother Prioress to rest early because of the tensions I went through. So, I slept early only to be awakened by my brother’s voice shouting and calling my name to go back to my parents. Mother Prioress ran to our cell. I begged her not to give me back to any of the members of my family. Seeing that his shouts were of no avail, my brother turned his fury on the massive doors and started pounding on them with violence. The Out-Sisters called for some policemen, but God intervened and my furious brother left before the police arrived.

JULY 31, 1948

My first encounter occurred during the Great Silence which means that nobody may talk with anybody except for emergency reasons. I was in our cell praying when I heard three knocks. I did not see anyone come in. After a little while, I heard a man’s voice, very rough and guttural in nature as though coming from a deep, hollow container. He gave me a vivid picture of how my family was. He said that my father, who was at that time the presiding judge of the Court of Relations, could not study his legal cases, because I was told that he used to stand by the window waiting for my return. I was also told (and this was confirmed by others) that after each meal he would leave two spoonfuls of rice for me. This was indeed a very touching attitude of my poor father. I suddenly felt homesick, so much so that I was on the verge of crying. Then I heard the voice again telling me that he will leave signs of his presence in our cell. With shaking knees and trembling hands, I somehow managed to grope for our little lamp, and sure enough there were two black footprints and their shape was so different from that of a human being.

MY REACTION — I was shocked and couldn’t move an inch. I was trembling. I did not know what to do. I thought I was praying, but was not. I thought I was thinking, but was not. One thing I realized, I had my rosary in my hand. I ran to Mother Prioress crying, trembling and upon reaching Mother’s office, my knees gave way. Having heard my story, Mother brought me back to our cell, and told me to say the rosary over and over again. I did what I was told and slept.

AUGUST 1, 1948

The same voice came back to me at around 3:00 a.m. He kept repeating the same thing to me. I heard many footsteps running down below our cell. Mother Prioress gave me a crucifix and a small bottle of holy water and gave me instructions as regards to the use of the holy water and crucifix.

MY REACTIONS — This time I was really afraid because I was thinking that my eldest brother whom our former Mayor Esteban Mayo knew very well, would ask his help to bring me home. If he could shoot me in the parlor the day I escaped, he could easily have hired some men to kidnap me. My mind was distracted from what just happened, by thinking that my father who was a very influential politician could easily arrange for me to be kidnapped. My thoughts were focused on two things: was this a trick of my family to get me out, or was it really the devil tormenting me? But then, why pick on me if it was the latter?

The following days were peaceful and I asked my guardian Angel to please take care of me. I kept myself busy, by studying the rules of Carmel, memorizing some Latin prayers, and adjusting myself to a very different kind of life. Laundry work was the hardest and not knowing how to wash clothes, both my hands soon had small holes in them. This reminded me of little violets, small though they may be, but when bunched together they would become a very beautiful offering to Jesus. Painful, yes, but very pleasing to the Mother of God.

FIRST FRIDAY OF AUGUST 1948

Devotional cards were drawn by the Community in honor of the Sacred Heart. I got “Victim”. We can easily conclude what this word meant. Then I told myself: “What’s next Mr. Whoever You Are”?. I prayed hard because to be a victim is not at all easy.

MY REACTION: Resigned.

AUGUST 7, 1948

It was a Saturday when I smelt a very sweet fragrance like that of white lilies while I was on my way to our cell. I thought perhaps a close relative of mine died or something like that (an old belief). When I reached our cell, I immediately heard a very sweet voice, a voice beyond description which said:

“My daughter, sufferings will always be with you until the end of your life”.

I did not see anyone, and the words came as a shock to me.

MY REACTIONS — I was stunned, speechless and motionless, but not so afraid. I asked myself whose voice that was. It was very different from the previous one.

AUGUST 11, 1948

At about 3:00 a.m., I was awakened by the shaking of my bed which lasted one minute. Then I heard the usual hoarse voice. He told me that I had an obligation to my parents — to take pity on them, and if they die of loneliness, I would have to answer for that. He also told me that I was wrong in loving and respecting the Bishop and Mother Cecilia [Ed.: the prioress]. Soon after this, there he was before my eyes. I was terrified with an unbearable sense of fear. He was terribly ugly. He hit me and the marks were seen by the Mother Prioress. She then embraced me for the first time. I was crying. She put my head on her shoulder and patted my back and that was the time I really missed my parents. Mother Cecilia comforted me, and I saw tears in her eyes. If you would like to know how the devil looked like, I will try my best to describe him to you. He was around 5 ft. tall. He was surrounded by fire, which was only about an inch wide. His eyes were bloodshot. Those glaring eyes could not look at me, but looked to the left side of our cell. His face seemed oblong in shape and his voice was the same as before. His foul odor convinced me that he was something totally evil. I was almost ready to give up my vocation, when suddenly I began to think that if I did so, the devil would be the winner and I, the loser.

MY REACTION: I was scared but my fear did not last long. Suddenly, I changed my mind. With God’s grace, I was determined to win the battle. He disappeared after being sprinkled by me with holy water as I had been told to do so by Mother Prioress.

AUGUST 18 , 1948

The fragrance of lilies was all over the place. When I reached our cell, a beautiful lady was inside. She was dressed in white, immaculately clean and her hair was long. The most beautiful part of her was her eyes. Then she spoke:

“Do not be afraid. My Son has sent me to bring you a message.”

She told me that the trials I went through made her sad. I was consoled. She was really a mother. I could hardly believe or imagine that she was there, sitting on my bed! She said that the enemy was jealous of Mother Prioress, but Mama Mary encouraged me to love and trust Mother Prioress. I was also told to wash Mother’s feet, then drink the water I used. When I told Mother this, she was embarrassed and thought it might be some kind of trick. I was told that two holy pictures would be given to Mother Prioress. When I saw the pictures I immediately recognized that they were mine. Mama Mary is really a very human and a down to earth Mother. I was told to analyze the lesson the two pictures gave or taught us. I couldn’t see the lessons they gave us till the following morning during our meditation. I was almost sure that the lesson was about simplicity, detachment and obedience. The sign that Mother Prioress was waiting for, was at least manifested in my eyes. One single drop of blood in my eyes was enough for Mother Prioress to give in to the washing of her feet. During those days, all Carmelites were barefooted and anyone can guess the kind of water I was to drink. For every gulp I took, my stomach revolted. However, I was only too happy to do it for the love of Mama Mary. On the part of Mother Prioress, I saw that she was embarrassed, but I am sure to offer that to Mama Mary also. Right after our meal I ran to the comfort room and threw up all the water.

I am not sure of the date (August 18 or 19) when the beautiful Lady was telling me about a kind of suffering I will have to undergo for a priest. She was almost in tears so I accepted whatever suffering she wanted me to bear. Then we were talking about conversion, simplicity, humility, generosity, and cooperation of all those who will understand the true meaning of penance and sacrifice. She said that if the world would continue the way it was heading during those days, she would suffer most because she was a witness to the suffering of Her Son.

In Carmel, the Sisters are periodically called one by one by the Prioress to ask how they are, whether they have problems, complaints, etc. When my turn came, I asked her only one question: “Mother, why was I chosen by the devil to be tormented and then why was I chosen by Mama Mary to be the instrument to impart her message? I am far from being good, because I am an obstinate child, stubborn and have a will of my own. I was spoiled being the youngest in the family.” She told me that God has His own way of converting people. Simplicity was very well explained to me. She gave me examples easy enough to do as a beginner.

AUGUST 20, 1948

This was somewhat a Red Letter Day for me. I was in our cell, fixing our bed, when I heard a sound similar to that of a bird flapping its wings. When I looked up, I noticed a strong, sweet smell and then I saw petals falling from nowhere, because there was no hole in the ceiling. When the petals reached the floor they formed into a cross, so I said to myself: O, my Jesus what is happening to me now? I did not run this time, but simply walked towards the door of Mother’s office. I asked her to go to our cell to see the petals. She had asked me where I got those petals. I told her I did not get them, but only saw them falling from above. Both of us could not solve the mystery. Mother Prioress gathered the petals and brought them with her.

MY REACTION: It remained a mystery to me. (It is a mystery which Mama Mary alone can solve after so many, many years.) Fear did not creep into my soul. I felt somehow that I was heading towards some consolations. I was not scared; on the contrary I was happy because there was nothing ugly or unbecoming in what I saw. The sweet fragrance, if I may say so, made me feel that heaven was so near Lipa, Carmel. I remembered what Mama Mary told me about being simple, so I just trusted and believed in Mama Mary’s love and care. I felt I was just a child who received a grand gift from a loving mother. Mama Mary henceforth became the essence of my life. She made me feel loved.

I cannot remember the date, when suddenly I was being pulled down the stairs and felt I had nothing on. Just as well, Mother Prioress was outside her cell and saw me. She immediately ran to me and grabbed my hand, trying to pull me up, while someone was pulling me down. I was already feeling so weak, and thought I was going to die from exhaustion. It was like a tug-of-war game. But with God’s grace Mother Prioress made a sudden and strong pull and the next thing I remember was the devil lost his grip and Mother won. She embraced me and brought me to her office, almost out of breath because of her asthma. Then I asked Mother whether she saw me with no habit on. I was happy when she told me I had my habit on all the time during the struggle. The following day, Mother Prioress brought me to the parlor to see Bishop Obviar. Still confused, I asked His Excellency to kindly explain to me what had happened. He was so kind enough to tell me that the devil can play tricks of all kinds. “He can make you feel you had nothing on, but in truth you were wearing your postulant dress,” said the Bishop. What a relief! But then all of a sudden darkness surrounded me—I could not see anything. I was blind! Trouble started in the Community from this day on. That time I also felt that my whole body was being pricked by pins and needles.  The pain was not so bad – most specially when I learned that these sufferings were for certain priests and nuns.

Second Part of the Series