All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator.—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many staunch Mediatrix devotees have conveyed to us their feelings of joy and hope on the vindication and approval of the apparitions in Lipa. It has been so inspiring for us to feel the devotion to the Mediatrix growing among us around the country.
Let us hear this Sunday from a niece of the visionary Teresing. She too has been silent so long that it’s a joy to speak out about her aunt.
“It has been 52 years for many of us early believers to be rewarded with really good news. But we have kept the faith, Sister Teresing!” says Marilou Castillo Herrera Villegas. Her mom, Aida Castillo Herrera, was the only sister of Teresing in a family of six children.
“The Castillo clan is very blessed to have Tita Teresing in our family. I personally saw how she led a pious and spiritual life which made God present in our home through prayers. Because of her deep love to our Blessed Mother, she instilled in us the importance of saying the daily rosary as a family, a devotion which most members of our clan are still practicing,” Marilou intimates.
She then describes the sisters’ closeness growing up. “She and my mom had a fervent wish when they were still alive and that was to be neighbors. This wish was granted in 1995 when Tita Teresing purchased a house right behind my mom’s place. For several years, they had breakfast in the morning, played the piano together in the afternoon, and shared endless stories and precious moments that drew them closer to one another,” recalls Marilou.
When Marilou’s mom passed away in 2002, Teresing became their second mother.
“And when she was bedridden, our family visited her every Saturday and prayed the rosary with her. This became our sacred duty until her death on Nov. 16, 2016,” she says.
Since Marilou was privileged to be with her aunt on most occasions, she saw Teresing’s utmost simplicity and humility.
“She did not ask for any honor or did not expect special treatment,” says Marilou, adding, “I remember an occasion when she was invited to attend mass in our parish to be celebrated by a healing priest. The organizer wanted her to join the recessional usually done before the start of the mass and to reserve a special place for her in front of the congregation. When I relayed this to Teresing, she strongly objected and said that she would just pass quietly at the side of the church and would stay at any place inside the church, otherwise, she would politely decline the invitation. No fanfare really for Teresing because, as she always reminded the people, it is only God, our Lord Jesus, and Mama Mary who deserve to be glorified and honored!”
Teresing’s selflessness was also noteworthy, her niece says. “One night, a close friend called me in the middle of the night asking if Teresing could talk to a confused woman who wanted to abort her child. I immediately urged her helper to wake her up and immediately thereafter, Teresing was on her way to do another mission of service. She hurriedly went to see the troubled woman unmindful of what time it was. To God be the glory and thanksgiving because another baby was saved from being aborted!”
Teresing’s gift of discernment was also amazing. “She knew if a person had a problem even before he/she would tell her. And more often than not, she could sense the specific concern of a person,” Marilou recollects. “And Teresing preferred to suffer in silence. There were months when her body emitted a rose-like scent and people would touch her. I witnessed how she prayed very intensely to request Mama Mary to give her physical sufferings instead of giving her this ‘grace.’ True enough, she suffered quietly in pain because of sciatica problems until her death. Whenever we saw tears in her eyes, we knew that the pain was unbearable, but she never complained.”
Marilou is grateful to Teresing for entrusting to her some of her compilations of Mama Mary’s messages and one of the statues of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace that she personally owned. Marilou considers the statue as the most precious pamana (inheritance) Teresing left her. “And most important, I am eternally grateful to Teresing for inspiring me to become God’s faithful servant through the example of how she lived her life. Teresing fulfilled all the roles that God gave her with such an amazing grace. She was someone who was and is dear to people’s heart in general and to Mama Mary in particular. She is still such a special part of our family and will never be far from our hearts,” she explains.
At the wake of Teresing, Marilou said, “Although we are still praying for the recognition of the apparition of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa Carmel, we are consoled by the fact that Teresing, throughout her life, was able to bring more souls closer to God, in Jesus, through Mama Mary.”