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Queen of the Family
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|Our Lady's Messages to Teresing Castillo -- 2nd Part of a Series|
by Teresita Castillo
In the first part of this series, Teresita Castillo recounted her entrance into the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa on her 21st birthday. Opposition came from angry family members who stormed the convent; this was soon followed by disturbing visits from the Evil One. Consolation came with the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
September 1, 1948
I detected the presence of Mama Mary in our cell. I cried tears of joy. When I asked her who she was, she gave me three letters: B, V, M, meaning the Blessed Virgin Mary. What greater blessing could I ask for! Who would not love Mama Mary! She was so human and her voice sounded so real. She told me that our Mother Church would lose many vocations and that was why she was appealing for prayers, penance, and sacrifices. I was so surprised at what I just heard, because before entering Carmel, I was ignorant of what was happening around the world. My time literally was spent on the piano, three hours in the morning and another three hours in the afternoon, practicing for my grand recital.
My blindness gave me a lot of time to pray more to love more, and to analyze the messages of Mama Mary. I thank God for the grace He gave me to be able to understand my situation. Hurting words were said about Mother Prioress and myself. But we would not blame our detractors because they knew nothing about what was happening. Jealousy and envy cropped up, followed by malicious accusations of familiarity and favoritism. I felt sorry for those whose peace of mind was disturbed. All these trials were part of the intense moral sufferings both Mother and I had to go through. Thanks be to God, we were sustained by His grace and all these did not dampen our faith and courage. But if left alone, we would not have survived! It was truly a crucifixion of sorts for Mother Prioress and myself.
On one occasion, I thanked Mother Prioress for covering me with our blanked when the night was cold. She did this twice. She was surprised when I told her this because she had not done so. It must have been Mama Mary then! How could I refuse her anything, no matter how hard and difficult the sufferings could be.
Almost every day, I suffered pricks of pain like pins and needles. I offered all these for priests and nuns. During those days, we believed that priests and nuns were the representatives of Christ on earth. To me, they all seemed to be so holy. The Sisters in school sometimes showed impatience but they have sufficient reasons to be so. I once asked Mother Prioress why things happen this way. She told me that we all need prayers, priests and nuns included.
On another occasion, one of the Sisters promised to bring me to the garden for a walk. After this, I was led back to our cell. I smelt a sweet fragrance again and immediately guessed that Mama Mary was in our cell. Yes she was! She told me to gather all the petals on our bed. Even though I was blind, I did.
Before she left the cell, I begged her on bended knees to please allow me to kiss her feet. Much to my surprise, she consented. I could hardly believe, but it was really very true. I felt I could not do it, because it was such a big grace to me, and I felt so unworthy. But I did it! My feeling was beyond description. I was about to kiss the other foot when I thought to myself, kissing one foot was more than enough for me. I did not want to abuse her generosity. I thought that if I kissed the other foot, I would die of joy. Some Sisters told me I was stupid (tanga), because I did not grab that opportunity to kiss the other foot. Her foot bore a very sweet fragrance and her skin was very smooth. After this, she disappeared. If anyone could explain how I felt interiorly, God bless him through Mama Mary. Heaven must be so beautiful!
September 4, 1948
I noticed that Mother Prioress was with me often than before. I really appreciated her charity very much. She told me stories about people who were blind, and how much they had to suffer. She told me that there was a difference between being blind from birth and blind due to sickness or accident. She asked me which of the two would bring greater hardship. I answered her: “Mother, for me, perhaps being born blind would be easier to take, because one would not have any idea of the beauty of the world which God created for us, its nature, people with different cultures; the beauty of the sunrise and sunset which occur every day of the year; the beauty of the moon and the stars at night, etc. They get used to seeing nothing but darkness. But there is one consolation to look forward to – HEAVEN. The very thought that heaven promises eternal happiness is enough incentive for the blind to do better to attain the goal that they desire so much to reach. On the other hand, when a person becomes blind through sickness or an accident, this would be so much harder to take because he had already seen what the world looks like, most especially the people close to his heart.”
In Carmel, we were taught how to practice the spirit of death and holy indifference. I could have asked Mother Prioress if I would recover my sight, but I refrained from doing so because Mama Mary's call to penance was far more important than my curiosity. I hope and prayed that I, with God's grace, would be able to contribute a little to this call of the Mother of God. Jesus must be so sad to have sent His own Mother to come down to earth to tell men of His message of love. I think of her role as a Mother and an intercessor between God and His people. Perhaps this explains the title of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, she who mediates between God and His people.
September 5, 1948
I was prepared this day to undergo some physical pains, because Mama Mary asked me if I was ready to suffer in silence. She told me that this day's pains should be offered for several priests who were in danger of losing their vocation. Yes, the pain seemed to be as though I was lying on top of a bed full of pins and needles. My back was the most affected. The grace of God and the intention and reason for these pains gave me the courage to endure them. I hoped and prayed that these consecrated souls would realize that they were called to fight and defend the true Church of Christ. And if these souls did not have the courage to do so, then they should turn to Mama Mary for help to win the battle for the love of her only Son. She would never abandon her spiritual children. She would always be at our side to lead us to total indifference towards worldly matters. She was given to us as our Mother on Calvary, and for this reason, one lost soul would truly break her heart.
My little prayer to Mama Mary was a prayerful complaint. “Mama Mary”, I said. “Please help me. I am just a little one, yet I suffer like an adult. I feel I am going to die, and I will be happy to go, not that I do not want to suffer, but because I want to be with you, Mama Mary.”
Separation is not known in the language of Heaven; on the contrary, unity and love reign in the kingdom of God. A holy soul told me that in Heaven, eternal happiness means seeing God eternally with Mama Mary.
September 7, 1948
Mother Prioress was very happy because it was her birthday. After the Mass, Mother brought me to the parlor to see Bishop Obviar to get his blessing. I was happy to hear his voice again. After the blessing and greetings to Mother Cecilia, I felt fingers make the Sign of the Cross on both my eyes. I recovered my sight and I jumped with joy. I was happy to see both Bishop Obviar and Mother Cecilia very happy too.
I was tempted to ask Mother Prioress who touched my eyes, but I refrained from doing so. Little hidden sacrifices were so valuable in our spiritual life, so I suppressed my curiosity and up to this time, I have no idea as to who touched my eyes.
I was very happy to celebrate Mother's birthday with the whole community. One had to be blind to appreciate the value of seeing again. Thanks be to God.
For more information on the 1948 apparitions of Our Lady to Teresing Castillo, please refer to the book, Lipa by June Keithley-Castro.