Well traditionally Visita Iglesia is done by visiting seven churches while reciting the stations of the Cross. But this year, after our visita iglesia in Laguna, the day after we thought of visiting another church. Well eventually we ended up into visiting two churches in the province of Batangas. Both churches has miracles related or associated to it.
The first one, we visited the San Pio de Pietrelcina Shrine in the town of Sto. Tomas. Well, this is my second time to visit this church. This parish is relatively new yet this has become quite famous lately due the regular healing mass being done here every 23rd of the month. Also this also made famous the the healing masses performed by Father Fernando Suarez, a famous healing priest.
This parish started from a small chapel located on the same grounds and this was dedicated to St. Pio de Pietrelcina, a priest who experienced a phenomenon called stigmata, wherein he showed wounds and marks that Jesus Christ has suffered form His crucifixion.
The new church is built into wood in a round formation with a roof made of nipa. On top of its roof stands the image of the Virgin Mary. While inside hanging from the roof is a unique image of Christ that has two sides. The first side depicts Christ dying on the cross while God holds on Him, while the other side is the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. And around the church, statues of different saints also stands on guard.
Next to the church stands a tower where a museum about the life of San Pio may be found while under it is a well where visitors can get water believed to be healing.
After a short visit to San Pio, we originally planned to head back home, but suggested that we proceed to the city of Lipa, further south. This is to visit another church. We have seen this huge image of the head of Mary in the television and we thought of visiting it.
And this is to visit the church of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace. So we drove southwards to the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City. Well, we were sort of disappointed when we arrived there as we learned that we have visited the wrong site. Apparently the site for the head image of the virgin was in another town miles away to the north in Taytay, Rizal.
But then, we were fortunate in a way to learn that the Mt. Carmel Church is actually the site of the apparition of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace. So we took some time to visit the image of Mary Mediatrix inside the church and then headed to the Carmelite monastery beside the church.
We walked up some stairs that lead to a balcony facing the garden to which a vine grew where Mary Mediatrix of All Grace appeared to a religious postulant, Sister Teresita Castillo, on September 13, 1948 and rose petals began to shower with the monastery the next day. It was a very solemn place.
Well aside from hosting the Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, the church also has the Lady of Carmel within its church.
It was a very nice trip down south that day and was very special specially it was my first time to actually be in an apparition site.