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NHCP rejects bid to declare Lipa Carmelite Convent a nat'l historical landmark

BATANGAS, Philippines – The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declined to declare the Lipa Carmelite Convent with the statue of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace as a national historical landmark.

In a letter signed by NHCP Chairman Rene Escalante 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 a reply to an earlier request made by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and Justice Harriet Demetriou and endorsed to his office by the Office of the President.  

In October 2017, Mandanas sent a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, requesting him to raise the Lipa Carmelite 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," Mandanas 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 the Filipinos," he added.

Escalante meanwhile explained that NHCP has no competency to validate and confirm the veracity of the extraordinary religious events or 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. 

In June 2017 Mandanas signed Proclamation No. 02-2017 declaring the site of the Lipa Carmelite Convent with the statue of Mary Mediatrix of All Grace as part of an important cultural property and heritage of the province that needs to be preserved, protected, and promoted.

Despite the denial, Mandanas said he will not appeal the earlier decision of the historical commission. – Rappler.com 

Image of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Lipa City, via Shutterstock