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Meet Teresing Lat Castillo, Lipa Visionary

By DEEDEE SIYTANGCO

ANGEL THOUGHTS

Miracles are a re-telling in small letters of the very same story which is written across  the whole world in letters too large for us to see.—C. S. Lewis

Dr. Robert M. Magsino has very fond memories of  his auntie, Lipa visionary Teresita L. Castillo.
“Sister Teresita Castillo, more popularly known as ‘Sister Teresing,’ is the visionary of the Mary Mediatrix apparition of in Carmel Lipa City in 1948. She is the cousin of my late father Dr. Vicente L. Magsino. My grandmother Maria Lat is the sister of Tita Teresing’s mother, Amanda Lat Castillo. Sister Teresing was the daughter of the late Batangas Governor Modesto Castillo,” Bobby, as he is called, says.
Robert, who runs the family-owned Mary Mediatrix Hospital in Lipa city, recalls that when they were growing up, they would often have reunions with the Lat family.

“It was a big clan, which includes the Lat-Magsino, Lat-Castillo, Lat-Sansianco, and the Lat-Opulencia families. Most of the Lat families came from Malvar and Tanauan. The reunion was my earliest account of meeting my Tita Teresing, but what I only knew of her back then was she was a Carmelite nun who came out of the convent. Nothing about the apparition was ever mentioned in any of our reunions or family gatherings. They never talked about the apparition among us relatives,” Bobby recalls. This was also the period when talking about the apparition was discouraged by the local church. But the devotees never doubted and continued to go to the Carmel convent and pray to the Lady.

“I left for the US in 1980 to pursue my Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology fellowship training. But it was only around 1990, when Monsignor Gaviola exposed the Mama Mary Mediatrix statue, that’s when I believe the story of Sister Teresing was publicly revealed. I was not sure about this, but that’s when my family started sharing stories about her.”

Gaviola allowed the public veneration of the Mediatrix statue that Teresing personally supervised after the sun “danced in front of over a thousand pilgrims in the courtyard of Lipa church.” He become a staunch believer in the Lipa apparitions after that miraculous happening.

“When I came back home in 1996,” Bobby relates to us, “my father told me stories about my aunt Teresing and the Mary Mediatrix apparition. I became a follower and devotee of the Mediatrix.”
Bobby became a daily mass goer. “Up till now, I go to Carmel church daily since our house is just across the church. My father then showed me the original letters Tita Teresing wrote to him. She was confiding to my father accounts of her experiences about the apparition. My father was her confidant. He also used to take care of her medical needs until he himself got sick. I took over taking care of Tita Teresing in 1996.”

Bobby’s experience of taking care of his Tita Teresing allowed him to witness how she lived, her simplicity and her child-like innocence.

“I also saw how prayerful she was and how solemn she prayed every time I joined her in attending mass at Carmel church,” he says. “She was such an inspiration to grow in the faith.”

Bobby can’t forget how once his auntie Teresing called him and told me that she could not sleep. He prescribed her some medications to help her get some sleep.

“She told me that something was bothering her,” Bobby says. “She said that she would be coming to Lipa and would go to Carmel. That was about the same time Ricardo Cardinal Vidal was going to Lipa and also it dawned on her that the reason she could not sleep was because she was destined to talk to Cardinal Vidal.”

That was about the same time that the ZTE Broadband issue with China was all over the news. She told the cardinal that the message of the Fatima apparition is the same message she received during the 1948 apparition.

“The message was to keep praying the Holy Rosary, and to consecrate oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 15-minute meditation, and the Sanctification of the clergy,” Bobby says. “But instead of praying for Russia, Teresing, said the Lady requested people pray for China, and pray against China’s plan of ruling the world using its money.”

Dr. Robert Magsino with the visionary, Teresing L. Castillo, in a family reunion

Dr. Robert Magsino with the visionary, Teresing L. Castillo, in a family reunion

Bobby had another memorable experience with Tita Teresing. One time she went to their house for lunch.
“We mentioned that my niece Jasmin who was two years old then, had not started to walk. She was a special child,” he recounts. “Teresing asked that the child lie down on the sofa and she touched her legs and we prayed together with my family. The room suddenly was filled with the scent of roses. I was at Tita Teresing’s side because she was leaning forward, I tried to smell if it was her perfume but I did not smell any perfume, and in the first place she never used perfume. After the healing session the scent disappeared.”

Two days later, Jasmin started to walk.
“Teresing She called me up a couple of days later and was asking about Jasmin,” Bobby relates. “I said ‘Tita, she started to walk!’ Tita said, ‘tingnan mo ito kung hindi pa ako tumawag hindi pa ikukuwento (Look at this guy, had I not called, you would not have told me)!’”
Tita Teresing also confided to Bobby that Mama Mary surprised her with roses on her birthday, every July 4 and on other occasions, too. She had no idea how and left them there, but it happened a few times. Every year on her birthday, she would go to Tagaytay and have a retreat. One birthday, she did not see any roses and she went home sad, but when she got home she saw several roses in her prayer room.

Tita Teresing also received messages from Mama Mary between 1991-1994, and Grace, her adopted daughter, says that when it happened, she would smell the scent of roses and her room would be illuminated brightly, which she could see on the gaps on the floor and door. Out of respect, she never entered the room when this was happening. Occasionally, Teresing was sorely tempted by the devil himself. In all forms, gruesome, smelly, sometimes glowing like big cinder. He tried to intimidate her but she always fell on her knees and prayed to Our Lady. On several occasions, he physically hurt her leaving painful, red scratch-like marks all over her body, which Bobby saw and touched.

Bobby also relates that he gave the late Fr. Fernando Suarez a one-foot statue of Mary Mediatrix, which he asked Andre Mabaquiao to make for him several years ago. Fr. Suarez was a Mediatrix believer and a good friend fo Teresing. She, in return, believed in him and  had great faith in his healing gift.

“On his birthday, Fr. Suarez called me up at 11 p.m. and told me that the statue I gave him was shedding tears with a fragrant rose scent,” Bobby says. “I told Fr. Suarez, niloloko mo ba ako (are you kidding)? Ang sagot niya, tatawag ba ako ng 11 ng gabi na birthday ko kung linoloko kita (He answered, would I call you at 11 p.m. on my birthday if I was joking)? He told me later that he left it in Butong in their house and it would shed tears from time to time. I never got to see it myself, however.“

Bobby continues: “This year’s first Saturday, Fr. Suarez was in Lipa and we had our first Saturday breakfast with our group. No one thought it would be the last time we would see him. I asked again how is the Mama Mary and he said it still shed tears one in a while. When Fr. Suarez passed away on Feb. 5 and I went to his wake, I was looking for the Mama Mary but I couldn’t find it. I asked his mother where it was and she said it was in their home. I told her, Fr. Suarez said the Lady shed tears. She confirmed this to be true.”

Because of his devotion to Mary, Bobby helped put up the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa. It has branches in the provinces. He confesses he hasn’t been active as much as he would want to because of his role as president of the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center.

“The hospital was built in 1994 and my parents asked Bishop Gaviola if they can name our hospital instead of Magsino Medical Center to be Mary Mediatrix Medical Center. Bishop Gaviola granted it because my parents were both devotees and Tita Teresing used to visit Msgr. Gaviola a lot, and I believe was telling stories about my father. My father and Tita are of the same age and they grew up together.”

Bobby rues that fact that the wonderful experiences with Tita Teresing was left unrecorded.

“I wish I could recount each and every one of them. Nevertheless, there is one thing I will always remember of my Tita Teresing, she inspired me and strengthened my faith and devotion to our mother, Mama Mary Mediatrix of All Grace!”


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/05/31/meet-teresing-lat-castillo-lipa-visionary/)

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