Friday, September 9, 2016

266. Recreating a “Miracle”: AN IVORY MEDIATRIX VIRGIN

In September 20105, the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith issued an official statement that concludes that the alleged series of apparition of Our Lady in Lipa to Carmelite postulant Teresita Castillo are not of supernatural origin.

 The Philippine Church hierarchy had declared the events a hoax in 1951, which resulted in the statue of the Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Grace—as the Lady was so titled--being withdrawn from popular public veneration. In fact, it was ordered to be destroyed but the Carmelite nuns, instead, stowed it away for safekeeping.

 Thirty years after, Lipa’s Archbishop, Msgr. Mariano Gaviola gave permission to bring out the image of Our Lady and, in 2009, Archbishop Arguelles ordered the lifting of all bans to the devotion to Mary Mediatrix of All Grace.

 Just when everyone thought that the Lipa events would finally be recognized, the 2015 Vatican pronouncement put an end to Filipinos’s optimistic speculations, neither endorsing or approving her cult. Nevertheless, this did not dampen the devotion of Filipinos to our Lady.

This ivory representation of the Mediatrix Virgin was fashioned from an antique, but generic Virgin on a base. Transformed by the Lopez Workshop, the figure with ivory head and hands and manikin body was posed to assume the image of Mary following Teresita’s description. Instead of clasped hands, her hands were outstretched to her side.

The figure was then dressed in white satin with simple gold trims at the hems. Drapings were formed to simulate that of the original carved image through light graceful folds anchored in place by pins. 

The result is a pure, simple figure that mimics the serene beauty of the original Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Grace, who, miracle or no miracle, would still inspire our faith and devotion.

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