The news that an archbishop in the Philippines has fully approved apparitions that occurred at Lipa near Manila during the 1940s immediately brought forth a plethora of alleged wonders.
First and most immediate, a pilgrim image of Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, in Caloocan City (Metro Manila), began oozing oil profusely and continuously on September 14, 2015, two days after the historic official Church approval of the apparitions by Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles.
“Mediatrix of All Grace” was the title given the Madonna during that appearance and the exuding statue is a replica of one at the site.
The archbishop, in his official pastoral letter, said that “the events and apparition of 1948 also known as the Marian phenomenon in Lipa and its aftermath do exhibit supernatural character and is worthy of belief.” That came after decades of Church (including Vatican) rejection.
The question: do the word “events” and “phenomenon” (one plural, one singular) include the second most prominent phenomenon at Lipa: the alleged and widespread falling from the sky of rose petals with holy images on them?
Soon after the apparition to Teresita Castillo, a Carmelite nun, began, the entire convent, then the city, then the archipelago were caught up in the wonder. Heaven’s own calling card. Hundreds and thousands gathered near the convent. The town of Lipa was the scene of a horrible massacre during the war, and as if to erase those scars, Heaven granted the nation witness to beautiful and extraordinary events, including figures in the clouds and the rose petals that fell from the sky with likenesses of Jesus on them. Looking upward in astonishment, crowds of Filipinos claimed to see the petals materialize like manna out of thin air, and when the bishop visited the convent, intent on bringing a halt to the “hoax,” a shower of petals fell on him as he entered the convent.
There were tangible petals colored red, yellow, and orange, anxiously gathered as souvenirs; and when botanists analyzed them they concluded that the petals were of a variety known only to Russia, which is nearly two thousand miles to the north.
These petals have continued, at Lipa, periodically, through the decades.
What do you see? Could something so detailed be for real? Just religious medals pressed against petals for the effect? Little is left, it seems, to the imagination (unlike most such images). Remarkable indeed.
We report. You discern.