Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces

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Mary, Mediatrix of All-Grace
AMDG 3.jpg
The original image based on the 1948 Marian apparition, enshrined today in Lipa, Batangas.
LocationCarmelite Monastery, Lipa City, Batangas
DateSeptember 12–26, 1948
November 12, 1948
WitnessTeresita Castillo
TypeMarian apparition
Holy See approvalRejected — 1 June 2016[1]
Approved — 12 September 2015
Re-investigated — 1991
Suppressed — 11 April 1951
ShrineOur Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace Parish

Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace (Spanish: María, Mediadora de Toda-Gracia; Tagalog: María, Tagapamagitan ng Lahat ng Biyaya; Italian: Maria, Mediatrice di Tutta-Grazia) is a Marian apparition that allegedly took place in the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa, Batangas, Philippines, to a former Carmelite postulant, Teresita Castillo.[2] The apparition is known in the Philippines for the rose petals which allegedly fell within the vicinity of the monastery; some of these bear religious images, and are held by some to be miraculous. The Roman Catholic Church does not approve nor endorse the alleged apparition, which was ruled as non-supernatural by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in September 2015.

Initially declared "non-supernatural" after a thorough investigation by six Filipino bishops headed by Cardinal Rufino Santos on 11 April 1951, the case was reopened in 1991 with extensive research and investigation. In a reversal of fortune, on 12 September 2015, the Archbishop of Lipa Ramón Argüelles, against explicit direction from the Holy See and the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, formally approved the apparitions, declaring them "supernatural in character and worthy of belief."

On 3 March 2011, Pope Benedict XVI was presented with a statue of the apparition by Bishop Guillermo Afable during the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Ad Limina visit. On 9 March 2011, a life-sized Mediatrix statue brought by Filipino bishops was publicly displayed in the general Wednesday papal audience at Pope Paul VI Audience Hall. The original image is currently enshrined at the Lipa Carmelite Monastery, Batangas, Philippines. Devotees of Mary under this title are also closely affiliated with the movement pressuring the Holy See in to declaring the Blessed Virgin Mary as Co-Redemptrix.

On 11 December 2015, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith ruled out that the Marian apparition are definitively non-supernatural based on the coerced negative verdict of six Filipino bishops in 1951 and the alleged confirmation of the same verdict by Pope Pius XII in the 1960s.[1][3] The Archbishop of Lipa received the official copy on May 31 of final verdict. On 1 June 2016, Archbishop Arguelles released a public statement retracting his episcopal judgment on the controversial matter, reverting to the decision issued by the Vatican.


The Blessed Virgin Mary as "Mediatrix" is a proposed Marian dogma that is still debated by Catholic theologians; this is sometimes further defined by the title Mediatrix of all graces. It has its origins in Belgium where devotion under this title began, and the same Marian title was consecrated by Catholic bishops in China from 1946. The title given at Lipa was "Mediatrix of All Grace," (instead of the common 'of all graces' - plural and lower case). In Lipa, it is singular and upper case, meaning - a proper noun. Sr. Teresita has confirmed that "All-Grace" refers to Jesus or God (whom we refer too, as "All Holy," "Almighty," "All Knowing").

Description of the Blessed Virgin Mary[edit]

According to Teresita Castillo, the Virgin Mary was slightly stooped and dressed in white, with a narrow cloth belt about her waist. Her indescribably beautiful face was radiant, and her statues often show her dark hair flowing down her back underneath her white veil. Her hands are clasped on her breast, and a golden rosary hangs from her right hand. She is shown barefoot, and resting on clouds about two feet above the ground.

The 1948 Apparitions in Carmel, Lipa[edit]

The garden in Carmel, Lipa with the vine on which the Virgin appeared in 1948.

On August 18, 1948, Teresita Castillo—then a postulant at the monastery—noticed a heavenly odour, and upon entering her room saw a beautiful Lady in white who spoke to her: "Do not fear my daughter, He who loves above all things has sent me. I come with a message…" The Lady asked Sister Teresita to wash and kiss the feet of her Prioress, and drink the used water afterwards. The Lady said that the washing was a "sign of humility and obedience".[4]

According to the account, on September 12, 1948, Castillo was in the convent garden and noticed a vine shaking without any wind blowing. She then heard a woman's voice that instructed her to visit the garden for 15 consecutive days.[4] The next day, September 13, Teresita came to the spot at 5:00 p.m., knelt down and intended to say the Hail Mary. In the middle of the prayer, wind came, the garden vine moved, and a beautiful Lady appeared. Castillo described the Lady as having her hands clasped in prayer and holding a golden Rosary in her right hand. The Lady asked her to pray for priests and nuns.[4]

On September 14, rose petals began to shower within the monastery, and some of the nuns noticed rose petals outside their hallways. Again at 5:00 p.m., the Lady appeared once more at the vine and said "I wish this place to be blessed tomorrow." "At what time, Mother," asked Teresita. "Anytime your Mother Prioress wants, my child. I forbid you to forget the incidents of these fifteen days." Then the Lady vanished.

The Prioress, Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus, decided to consult with Servant of God Most Reverend Alfredo Obviar, Auxiliary Bishop of Lipa and spiritual director of the nuns. The bishop instructed the Prioress to demand proof from the Lady that she is from Heaven.

Days after the first shower of rose petals, total blindness affected Castillo. Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus then heard a woman's voice telling her to kiss the postulant's eyes so that the latter will recover her sight. In the presence of Bishop Obviar, the Prioress lifted Castillo's veil and kissed the postulant's eyes. Immediately, the girl recovered her sight, and Bishop Obviar no longer doubted the apparitions.

Later events[edit]

According to a later interview with the Prioress, Mother Mary of the Sacred Heart and Sister Mary Balthazar were ordered to burn several boxes containing leaflefts, novena booklets, rose petals, and other paraphernalia pertaining to the apparition, including Castillo's personal diary. The sisters were also ordered by the bishop to throw the image of the Virgin into a bonfire, but they instead hid it out of piety.

Castillo herself in an interview said she had met the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Cardinal Egidio Vagnozzi in 1951, and told him that she had already left the monastery to seek medical treatment. Cardinal Vagnozzi strongly disapproved, called Castillo the Devil, and asked her to leave his presence, even trying to shove her out the door. Castillo burst into tears and begged for his blessing, which he withheld.[5]

The current Archbishop of Lipa, Ramón Argüelles, noted that Bishop Obviar and Bishop Verzosa, who were on the commission, were forced to leave the investigation due to their lack of jurisdiction over Lipa. In a televised interview with ABS-CBN, Argüelles said no documents were compiled or even reached the Holy See in 1951, causing its immediate rejection.[6][7] In 1991, a petition to approve the apparition began once again.

Ecclesiastical Investigation and Canonical Approval[edit]

Shrine of Our Lady of Carmel of Lipa

An initial investigation report in 1951 was signed by six Roman Catholic bishops and declared the Lipa apparitions a hoax and "non-supernatural". One bishop later recanted on his deathbed, and a second investigation was opened in 1991.[8]

On 21 May 1990, then-Lipa Archbishop Mariano G. Gaviola, allowed the venerated image of Our Lady to be exposed again, after 40 years of being banned from the public. Devotion was reinkindled and devotees increase to this day.

Official document condemning the apparitions as non-supernatural citing Pontifical authority from Pope Francis overruling local episcopal judgment.

On 17 April 2005, Archbishop Argüelles issued a circular, stating that he found no objection to the devotion under this Marian title.[9] The Archdiocese of Lipa currently endorses Marian devotion to this title, which is not expressly prohibited as long as it does not counter Church doctrine. In Batangas province, local bishops often tolerate the devotion, which has drawn adherents including Filipino celebrities and politicians.

On 12 September 2015, Archbishop Argüelles formally released the canonical results of the investigation launched by the archdiocese, declaring the Marian apparitions to be "supernatural in character and worthy of pious belief". At present, a postulate for Canonical Coronation is pending submission to Pope Francis for pontifical approbation.

However, in May 2016, the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) under Cardinal Gerhard Mueller overruled the archbishop and rejected his 2012 decree declaring that the alleged Marian apparitions in Batangas in 1948 were authentic. Arguelles himself disclosed the ruling by the CDF in an archdiocesan communiqué on May 31. In its decree, the Congregation stated that Pope Pius XII had made a definitive confirmation in 1951 against the supposed apparitions declaring that they "were not of supernatural origin," which the local authority had no authority to overrule.[10]


The side chapel in the monastery church where the image of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace is currently enshrined.

Former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino had a close affinity with the Lipa Carmelite Monastery, which she visited often. Her later successor, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was also a frequent visitor to the convent, and on the Feast of the Assumption in 2007 signed Proclamation № 1362, declaring every 12 September a "National Day of Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation"[11] in honor of the Lipa apparitions.

The current Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes Arrastia Tuason, is a devotee of the apparitions, and displays a large statue of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace in her consular office in Rome.[12] Emma de Guzman, purported visionary, stigmatist and foundress of the Church-sanctioned "La Pietà" International Prayer Group,[13] said that Mary had declared herself to be "the Mediatrix standing in front of the Mediator".[14]

During his visit to Tacloban on 17 January 2015, Pope Francis venerated a replica of the image at the residence of the Archbishop of Palo.

On 1 June 2015, a replica of the image was venerated and processed in the Church of Saint Catherine adjoining the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and was attended by the Custos of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM.


  1. ^ a b Zulueta, Lito (June 1, 2016). "Vatican overrules Batangas bishop; declares 1948 Marian apparitions not genuine". The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ Eugenio, Damiana L. (1996). Philippine folk literature: the legends. University of the Philippines. p. 109. ISBN 978-971-8729-05-2.
  3. ^ "Vatican reverses ruling on Lipa Marian apparition". GMA News. June 3, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Villongco, Raphael M., "The Roses of Grace: The Apparitions of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa Carmel in 1948", Marian Messenger
  5. ^ Our Lady of Mediatrix Lipa Documentary - Interviews with Teresita Castillo and the Carmelite Nuns. Videotape 1990.
  6. ^ Prior to 1991, there was no record of the apparitions in the archdiocesan chanceries of Manila and Batangas, and no papers were present in the Apostolic Nunciature nor were any sent to the Vatican. The only document discovered in the records was a typewritten account of the events by the late Sister Mary Alphonse.
  7. ^ ABS-CBN News (18 November 2009). "Archbishop lifts devotion ban on miraculous Virgin Mary image" – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Peter Heintz, 1995, A Guide to Apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary Gabriel Press, ISBN 0-9645506-0-1
  9. ^ "Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace Parish".
  10. ^ editor), Lito B. Zulueta (Arts & Books. "Vatican overrules Batangas bishop; declares 1948 Marian apparitions not genuine".
  11. ^ "Proclamation No. 1362 by the President of the Philippines". 15 August 2007.
  12. ^ Office of the Ambassador of the Philippines to the Vatican, Pope Paul VI residence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4uNvPfw2lk
  13. ^ "CBCP Endorsement of the Pilgrimage". 1 August 2007.
  14. ^ June Keithley Castro, "Messages from Mama Mary" in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 September 2012

External links[edit]

  1. The Official Website of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace
  2. Did Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, appeared in Lipa?