17 July 2013

Our Lady de Bato de Lipa?

Well, that is what I have chosen to refer to an item on the regional news this afternoon about a supposed image of the Blessed Mother etched on a piece of rock in some lady’s front yard in a village somewhere in the city of Lipa. The rock has now started to draw devotees.

Moreover, the lady who found the rock has started to ‘heal’ people. So thus, devotees and those with ailments and wishing for a miracle cure have started to arrive. To be fair, the lady does not charge for her ‘healing.’

But I am reminded of the 1982 Ishmael Bernal classic ‘Himalâ’ starring Nora Aunor as the supposed visionary and healer Elsa; and her cathartic declaration at the end of the movie, “Walang himalâ!”

Of course, the city of Lipa was the site of a series of apparitions by the Blessed Mother to a Carmelite nun in the late forties. The Blessed Mother in these apparitions is now referred to as Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces.


To make a long story short, I think people who see these alleged apparitions or images sincerely believe in what they are seeing. That can’t be bad; and indeed, the Catholic Church usually takes a tolerant if non-committal attitude to these.
This was different. My own father was part of a crowd that witnessed petals dropping down from out of nowhere when he once went to see what the fuss was all about.

I myself have examined rose petals from the appartions with faces of the Holy Family mysteriously etched on them. If this was a hoax, then whoever was behind it went to great lengths just to pull it off.

Personally, I don’t think the images that I saw on the rose petals were the work of human hands. Neither does the Archdiocese of Lipa, which has formally approved the apparition to pave the way for an investigation by the Holy See.

But this image of the Blessed Mother on the rock reported by the regional news is just one of several in recent times.

In the early nineties, there was what people even jestingly referred to as ‘Our Lady de Buko,’ a supposed image of the Blessed Mother that appeared on palm fronds when the street lights were turned on in the evening.

I did not personally go to see for myself; but I know people who did and there was no consensus if, indeed, the image of the Blessed Mother – even her silhouette – was really visible.

Later on in the decade, people claimed that the rings of a tree trunk that had been sawn off formed the image of the Blessed Mother. The fact that the tree was inside the grounds of a local church made the image even more mystifying.

Now, this one I saw with my own – you might say – skeptical eyes. I used to hear Mass in this church and once went up close to see for myself. Never saw it! The pattern could have been anything.

This afternoon, the news crew was thoughtful enough to flash the rock which contained the alleged image. Personally, I could not see what the lady who found the rock saw.

To make a long story short, I think people who see these alleged apparitions or images sincerely believe in what they are seeing. That can’t be bad; and indeed, the Catholic Church usually takes a tolerant if non-committal attitude to these.

After all, these offer further evidence of devotion to the Blessed Mother, which can’t be a bad thing.

On the other hand, I think those who see just see what they want to see, you see?

My own take on these apparitions is that if the Blessed Mother ever crosses from where she is to make her presence felt in our dimension, she will leave no doubt that it is her. Just as she did in Lourdes, in Fatima, in Medjugorje and even the Carmelite convent here in Lipa.

And she will not make non-definitive appearances on some dusty palm fronds, a sawn off tree branch and a piece of rock that the lady this afternoon said she had to pick from a dust pan.











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RELATED STORIES:
Carmel
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