In 1948, there was a Carmelite Postulant praying at the garden of the monastery. Suddenly a beautiful lady robed in dazzling clothes appeared. The lady appeared often to the postulant. Later, she introduced herself as “Mary, Mediatrix of all Grace.” Showers of roses from the sky were also reported and numerous people witnessed the said phenomenon.
One day, Bishop Verzosa went to observe this alleged phenomenon. At first, the bishop was skeptical. He went to the monastery to tell the nuns including Bishop Alfredo Obviar, who was then serving as the monastery’s chaplain, that they should display prudence. When Bishop Verzosa entered the monastery, roses allegedly fell upon him. The bishop was astounded. Bishop Verzosa knelt down and prayed. Henceforth, the bishop believed and allowed public visitations in the monastery. There was also a story that while dressing up, he discovered roses inside his shoes.
Excerpts from the booklet “Wonders of Lipa” written by Dr. Francisco Villanueva Jr. during his personal interview with the bishop on January 23,1949 noted the bishop saying, “Personally, I believe in the Divine Apparitions. But as a bishop and dignitary of the holy catholic church, subject to the jurisdiction of his holiness, the Pope, I cannot make any decision hastily, thus I appointed a committee of theologians, headed by Father Angel de Blas, rector of the University of Santo Tomas, to make a study on the theological aspect of the case.”
After some months, the bishop received a letter from Rome asking him to retire as Ordinary of Lipa. Bishop Obviar was also asked to leave his office. The administration of the diocese was transferred to the young Bishop Rufino Santos as Apostolic Administrator.
In 1951, six bishops comprising a commission declared that the Lipa miracle was a hoax.
Bishop Verzosa returned home to Vigan and lived in utter poverty. Rome gave him the title Titular Bishop of Capsa. Without having anyone to turn to, Bishop Verzosa suffered a traumatic nervous breakdown, which later on claimed his life.
Leilanie G. Adriano