How can someone go from being influenced by secular media like MTV to becoming a devout advocate for the Virgin Mary?
Raised on the secularism of MTV, Castillo describes himself as having a morality shaped by mainstream culture, confessing, “My morality was formed by MTV, and I had a couple of Catholic friends, but they were living the same sinful lifestyle.”
Many in today’s age can relate— feeling influenced by the secular world and disconnected from faith.
The turning point for Castillo was not an ordinary one. His time at the University of St. Thomas opened his eyes to Catholic philosophy.
“I was intellectually turned on and super attracted to Catholicism, except I had never met Jesus Christ,” he explains.
It was during a confirmation retreat that he experienced the raw power of Eucharistic adoration. “It’s as God put his finger into my soul,” Castillo says, describing his encounter with the Eucharist. “I felt like God said in the depths of my soul, only one thing: I love you.”
But it wasn’t just intellectual and spiritual awakenings that pulled Castillo closer to the heart of the Church. He faced a profound battle with lust, addiction, and a chilling supernatural experience that brought him face to face with a demon.
Yet, in that darkness, the light of Our Lady shone through.
“I just had an understanding of the power of the Virgin Mary from that one encounter with just saying the words ‘Hail Mary,'” Castillo testifies.
His relationship with Mary, her role in his life, and his advocacy for Marian devotion are so important to his journey.
“Marian devotion first and foremost is Christocentric. The more I pour into her, the more I surrender to her, the more I become like Jesus,” he emphasizes.
With Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s example, Castillo highlights the significance of surrendering to Mary’s will and allowing oneself to be transformed by her grace.
In the words of Castillo, “If all you can say is ‘Mary, help me’, that’s all it takes. Just saying her name with love and devotion can change lives.”