The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declined to declare as a National Historical Landmark the Lipa Carmelite Convent and the statue of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa City, Batangas.
In a letter signed by Rene Escalante, NHCP chairman, to Rev. Mother Mary Cecilia de Castro, prioress of the Carmelite Monastery, he said the Lipa Carmelite Convent has no outstanding national historical and architectural significance that would merit its declaration as a National Historical Landmark.
Escalante’s letter was in reply to an earlier request made by Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and Justice Harriet Demetriou and endorsed to his office by the Office of the President.
In October last year, Mandanas sent a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte requesting to raise the Lipa Carmel Convent with the statue of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace as a National Historical Landmark and as a national cultural heritage property of the Philippines in view of the fact that it continues to draw multitudes from different parts of the country.
“One of the historical sites of the Province of Batangas is the Lipa Carmel Convent where extraordinary events and wonders have occurred and where the miraculous image of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Grace is venerated by pilgrims from different parts of the country and of the world,” he said.
“So many devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary will likewise rejoice at the recognition as an important landmark of the Philippines and as part of the heritage of Filipinos,” Mandanas added.
Escalante, however, explained that NHCP has no competency to validate and confirm the veracity of the extraordinary religious events (apparitions) that occurred at the site.
“We found out that the Vatican does not recognize the apparitions, through the decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated 11 December 2015, which confirmed the 11 April 1951 decree by the same by which the phenomena of Lipa were declared to lack supernatural origin” his letter read.