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636.0042Mobile#: (0922)8800748/(0922)8010066Email: [email protected] Ex-OFW yearly keeps date with Mama Mary By June Keithley CastroPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 03:39:00 06/28/2009Filed Under: Religion & BeliefMANILA, Philippines�Twice a year, on every eight of September and December, Emma de Guzman returns to the �Mountain of Salvation� to keep her appointments with the Blessed Mother.Her bi-annual commitment with the Virgin Mary started on a cold evening just before midnight of Dec.

8, 2004 in Caleruega, Batangas.

Emma and some 200 Marian devotees waited in anticipation of a pre-announced apparition by the Blessed Virgin.

Many of them had traveled from the United States and Canada for this much awaited occasion and had good reason to believe that the Virgin would appear.

For almost 15 years, they had witnessed spectacular manifestations of heavenly phenomena that appeared to Emma, the visionary.Emma was a young widow from Cabanatuan when she left the country in 1986 to support her three young children.

She first worked in Singapore and after a series of �strange coincidences,� when her contract expired, she was able to find work as a nanny/housekeeper in Canada.In 1991, her best friend, Sol Gaviola, organized a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Youngstown, New York.

It was there that this woman who �didn�t know the rosary or the Bible� began to quietly experience what seemed to be a supernatural phenomenon and embarked on an extraordinary journey that has mystified, stunned, and caused the conversion of many who have come her way.While praying at the Fatima Shrine, Emma had a mystical experience of such impact, she could barely crawl out of the small chapel.

Immediately afterward, she began to perceive what was bothering or affecting strangers around her.

In the weeks that followed, she started to �see� the Virgin Mary.Bewildered, she became fearful that she was losing her mind, but Sol realized that something spiritual was happening and called friends to come and pray.

Thus was formed the �La Pieta� prayer group.Educating EmmaMama Mary began to give messages and �educate� Emma on the faith, while those who prayed around her were astounded by the mystical phenomena that would occur: stigmata, escarchas or glitter which appeared on her body and surroundings, oil, fragrance, roses that came from her chest (as had occurred in the case of the Venezuelan mystic Maria Esperanza Bianchini) and much more.

Perhaps most impressive of all was her ability, while in a trance, to write messages in Aramaic and Koine or ancient Greek.In 2002, Emma was told to �return to your homeland� for the Blessed Mother would appear on her birthday (Emma was born on Dec.

8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and she would give a message for her people.

She was also told to look for a mountain, the �Mountain of Salvation,� for it was here that The Lady would appear.With much trepidation, constant prayers for discernment, Emma was pushed into looking for this �mountain.� Again, through a series of coincidences, she discovered the site on that cold night of Dec.

7, 2004.The following day, this text message circulated: �FROM FR.

AREVALO: Just reported: OUR LADY appeared this morning daw as previously announcd at BATULAO batangas abt a km frm salesian retreat hse.

Its director fr.


300 people were there from foreign countries.

It had been promisd 2 a local of d barrio.

Light nhail accompanied.�(Roughly translated, Fr.

Arevalo reported that Fr.

Paez had seen Our Lady appear in Batulao, Batangas, as did 300 other people.

The apparition was the fulfillment of a promise made to a local of the barrio.)By late afternoon, Fr.

Catalino Arevalo, the famous Jesuit theologian and the country�s foremost expert in Mariology, had been deluged by inquiries.IncognitoI called him.

Yes, he said he received a call from the Provincial of the Salesians, who in turn, had received a text from Fr.

Dennis Paez, rector of the Batulao retreat house regarding the apparition.Fr.

Dennis had apparently been touched by what he had seen or experienced.I got a hold of Fr.

Dennis a few days later.

He said he was present that night�but incognito.

The owner of the property, Gerry Villa (mother of the young man, Lenny, who was killed in that infamous hazing case) invited him to witness the event several months ago.

He agreed and Gerry was to send a car and a driver to pick him up.But on the night of Dec.

7, Fr.

Dennis, who was tired after a long meeting, had fallen asleep.

The driver came and left without him.When Fr.

Dennis woke up, he saw the lights from the retreat house and decided to hike over to the site.The apparitionPersonally, he thought this was a better way to observe the events.

As an overly skeptical person, he had mixed feelings about the whole matter.

He was concerned that his superiors and Church officials would accuse him of making the affair seem officially sanctioned.

He also worried that he would be questioned about withholding information regarding the �prophesied apparition.�So he watched from the sidelines.

Thirty minutes later, there was a commotion and the scent of roses filled the air.

That, he could dismiss.

And no, he didn�t see Mama Mary.

But he had what he thought was something better�a personal experience, something that touched him to the very core of his being.Fr.

Dennis left right away and did not see what the others saw�the visionary on her knees gliding over sharp gravel, the explosions of light, the tiny balls of fire, the sparkles that appeared on the trees, on the sandbags, on the ground and even on the faces of the pilgrims.At 8 a.m.

of Dec.

8, Fr.

Dennis went back to the site.

The crowd had gone but the caretaker and his two young children were there.

Anthony Limpo, the young engineering graduate who had hurriedly carved out a road and sandbagged the mountain ledge was also there and so were the sparkles.

He saw them on the trees, on the sandbags and on the ground.

Later, when Fr.

Dennis caught up with the pilgrims at the DAP (Development Academy of the Philippines) where he was supposed to co-officiate Mass, they still had sparkles on their faces.On his way to the DAP, Fr.

Dennis told the Father Provincial what happened.

When he arrived at the DAP, he heard confessions, assisted in Communion, spoke briefly to Emma, and then went home to take it all in.Then the texts and calls came flooding in.

He didn�t know what to think.

He had always been somewhat allergic to situations like this.

He had �put a wall on hysterics� and could remain detached.

But this time, he had been touched and was stunned that he would have to deal with it publicly.Lynn�s storyIt�s usually harder for priests.

Not so for lay people.

It was easier for Angela Bataclan and Lynn Manglapus to share their stories:Lynn was part of the Alabang La Pieta group.

On Dec.

7, 2004, they arrived at 2:30 p.m.

at the site and began the vigil at 6 p.m.

It was cold.

Lynn had on five layers of shirts and two pairs of pants and she was still shivering.

She couldn�t help but marvel at Emma who was attired in a white shirt, pants and a veil, which is what women used to wear in church.Lynn was able to make her way down the mountain and position herself near Emma who was reclining on a white sheet.

They do this because when she goes into ecstasy, or when she is in prayer, the escarchas (sparkles) appear on her face and body and often in the area around her.At around 11:15 p.m., as they were praying the rosary�the third Sorrowful Mystery, the crowning with thorns�Lynn noticed that Emma�s body began to shift.

She started to �glide� on her knees over the sharp gravel.

The fragrance of roses filled the air.Look at the stars(Checking Emma�s white outfit later on showed it was unsoiled, no scratches or wounds appeared on her knees.)Emma reached out and seemed to be speaking to beings around her.

Glitter began to appear on Emma�s face and soon, Bill Pote, the man beside her, was covered with glitter, too.Emma again received a message for the Philippines, and when she came out of her trance, she shared it with everyone.

Visibly exhausted, she decided to rest.Then someone shouted: �Look at the stars!�There were explosions of light but they were too high up to be fireworks.

The glitter was everywhere: in the air, on the trees, on the ground, and there were pulses of light, in and around the trees and the crowd was high with joy.Angela�s storyAngela�s story is one for the books.

Angela, who is in her 60s, is the coordinator of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chapter of La Pieta.Angela went up the Mountain of Salvation with 20 of her chapter members.

She was sitting with Brenda Padilla, the Alabang coordinator when Emma went into ecstasy and the commotion began.Angela turned to look at Brenda and saw that there was someone who seemed to be talking to her.

Strangely, the person looked liked Brenda�s twin!Suddenly, she saw that the area looked very crowded.

There were so many people and their faces looked exceptionally bright and happy.

Then she realized�they were angels!Baby angels�They didn�t have wings, but they had little balls of fire, the size of tennis balls, in their hands.

And they were throwing them at the people around them,� Angela said.�I asked: �Why are you so many? Where did you come from?� And they answered: �We are always with you.� I looked up and I saw baby angels.

They were in the trees playing,� she said.Angela looked at Brenda and they were both overflowing with joy.Since that night in 2004, Emma has returned twice a year to communicate with the Virgin Mary.

She said the messages for the Philippines were positive, that our humble people were �chosen� and the great gift of faith was bestowed upon us by God the Father.Find other mountains Since then, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles has kept a close watch on the events that had transpired in his archdiocese.

With the consent of the Superior of the Salesian order, he appointed Fr.

Paez as the spiritual director of Emma and the Philippine La Pieta chapter.Emma has also been sent to find other mountains�in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao�so that others may have an encounter with heaven.On Dec.

12, 2008, during the feast of Guadalupe, Emma had her first public apparition on a mountain in Cebu.If these apparitions are proven to be genuine, it is not a �coincidence� that heaven has picked a humble, joyful, overseas working mother to be the face of our �chosen� people.Today, Emma lives at the Marian Manor near the Blue Army Fatima Shrine in Bloomsbury, New Jersey.

Some members of her prayer group thought that it was time for her to �hang up� her feather duster, pail and cleaning implements so she could devote more time into spreading the messages of love, peace and joy.
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