Our Lady of Caysasay
In 1603, a fisherman by the name of Juan Maningkad fished out his net in the
Pansipit River, in Taal, Batangas, a twelve inch tall image of OUR LADY OF CAYSASAY,
radiating with heavenly luster. Upon seeing this image, Juan, being a pious man
prostrated himself and venerated it, after which he carried the image home. Soon
enough, the whole village came to know about his remarkable catch. The town authorities
and the Vicar, who represented the King of Spain, went to Juan’s home to verify the story.
The image was later placed under the care of Doña Maria Espiritu, the widow of
the town’s judge, who had a special urn made for its safekeeping. Then, strange things
began to happen. Doña Maria found the urn empty one day, but the next
morning, the image was back in the urn. The incident was repeated a number of times,
so Doña Maria reported the matter to the parish priest. To investigate the mysterious coming and going of the image, the priest decided to set up parish volunteers to keep vigil beside the urn. With eager hearts they sat waiting and praying, and they did see the urn open by itself, as they saw with their own eyes the glorious image going out and coming back again.
This time, the priest decided that the villagers should now come with lighted candles and follow the image the next time it left. When this finally happened, the image led them to Caysasay, to the place where it was originally found. When the image returned to the urn, the priest decided to transfer it from Doña Maria Espiritu’s house to the town church for safekeeping. But the same thing happened in the church, until the image completely disappeared and was nowhere to be found.
After Several years in 1611, two women by the names of Maria Bagohin and Maria Talain, were gathering firewood near the place where the image ws originally found. They saw the image reflected in the spring water that had sprung on the spot. They looked up and saw the image atop the branch of a tall sampaga bush with two lighted candles on each side, amongst kingfisher birds called casaycasay which the Spaniards at that time pronounced as caysasay. They hurried back to town and reported to the parish priest. The people and the parish priest finally concluded that it was the Virgin’s wish to stay in Caysasay, so they decided to build a chapel on the very spot where the image was found.
It was also in 1611 that the first apparition of Our Lady to an almost blind native servant girl, Juana Tangui and around 30 women, was recorded by the church ordinario.
This was the first recorded Marian apparition in the country. From the miraculous cure of her eyes during the apparition, the well water, now known as “Balon ng Sta. Lucia” and the adjoining stream, now known as “Banal na Tubig” have been known to possess
miraculous attributes of healing to this day. An arch with pediment was constructed after 1611 over the wells, which generally marks the spot of her apparitions, and is today called “Banal na Pook”.
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