Ave regina caelorum, ave domina angelorum: salve radix, salve porta, ex qua mundo lux est orta: Gaude Virgo, gloriosa, super omnes speciosa, vale o valde decora, et pro nobis Christum exora.
Hail, Queen of Heaven, Hail Lady of the Angels. Hail, Root, Hail the Door through which the Light of the world is risen. Rejoice, Glorious Virgin, beautiful above all. Hail, O very fair one, and plead for us to Christ.
“Embrace Mary for she is the very gate of heaven who brings to you the glorious king of the new light”
[I wrote most of this piece some years ago.... I want to say about 10 yrs ago... It is only a portion of a booklet titled: "The Violet of the Andes"- which I wrote on Mother Mariana. Yet to be published. I had put in on the blog some time ago but I repeat it again for you!]
by Kathleen Heckenkamp
In the first antiphon during the Procession on Candlemas it is written:
“Embrace Mary for she is the very gate of heaven who brings to you the glorious king of the new light”
It is in this forgotten feast day that we recall how Simeon was the first to “embrace” Mary as he took the Infant Child into his arms and said “Now my eyes have seen my salvation…” one of the very first to accept Christ as the Savior of all men - "the Glorious King of the New Light!" What exactly was this "New Light" ? It was the fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures - culmination of the Old Law with the beginning of the New One.... the New Light simply put was the Catholic Church! It's Law, It's Doctrines. In this "New Light," Simeon saw this Newborn Babe and His Church and embraced it along with Mary as Simeon understood that it was only because of Mary's "Fiat" that any of this was possible.
Our Lady specifically asked that her feast of “Good Success” coincide with the feast of the Presentation for a number of reasons. One reason Our Lady mentioned to Mother Mariana was that it should be especially remembered since this date had always brought “great gifts and mercies” from Her.
Another reason is due to this feast recalls an event that was both joyful and sorrowful for Jesus and Mary. It is the “Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary" and also the First Sorrow of Mary in the “Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary.”
Hence, this mystery of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Presentation of Our Lord is both joyful because it was the actual documented moment of the realization of the Savior being physically present amongst His chosen people - a moment that had been prayed for and dreamt about for centuries by the Jewish race. Yet it was sorrowful, since it was also the recognition of Our Savior’s sorrows, heartaches and pains that were to occur during the course of His life - culminating in the rejection of the Messiah by the Chosen People of God via the ignominious death of the cross.
Thus, by divine inspiration, at the moment of Simeon’s words “thy own soul a sword shall pierce”, Mary understood and accepted all of Her Son’s future grief as her own and offered it as a sacrifice. In other words, we would not be able to have the joy of this Feast Day without the sorrow of this Day as well for we could not have the Resurrection without the Crucifixion.
For St Alphonsus de Ligouri says of this day in the Glories of Mary:
“Thus, Mary not only offered her Son to death in the Temple but she
renewed that offering every moment of her life for she revealed to St
Bridget that the sorrow announced to her by the holy Simeon never
left her heart until her Assumption into heaven. In the Presentation
how much more deeply did she submit to God’s will and repeat ‘Behold
the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to Thy word’”
(Luke 1:38) St Alphonsus goes onto say: “The wills of Christ and Mary
were then united, so that both offered the same holocaust; she thereby
producing with Him the same effect, the salvation of the world.”
By meditating on these divine mysteries of the Presentation, the feast of Candlemas, and then comparing these apparitions of Mother Mariana, it can be said that Our Lady of Good Success had special designs upon Mother Mariana’s good heart and humble soul, desiring her to imitate her in her own way.
So too then, it can be suggested that not only is this a feast of the commemoration of Mary’s courageous sacrifice of Her Infant Son to His Heavenly Father in reparation for sinful Mankind, but also a feast in which Our Lady and Christ ask each one of us to partake in as we witness the Church’s passion and death in these times. They are asking us to imitate and share in this mystery like Mother Mariana, each in our own way, by offering our life with all of its joys and sorrows in union with our Blessed Mother and Our Savior. Additionally, we can meditate on the idea that we have been called to witness the Church’s Passion, Her own Purification, if you will, and to stand by the Cross as Mary did. Let us then implore Heaven that we may one day enjoy the Church’s Resurrection- Her Restoration and Her Triumph! Thus we see the joyful and the sorrowful are intermingled to make a most bittersweet feast day for all of us living through these days.
Also it would be good to recall what occurred on this date of February 2, 1634, Feast of the Purification, the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana.
Let us remember that this Feast of the Purification is also meant to recall that Mary humbly submitted to the Mosiac Law, despite the fact that she was totally without sin and needed no purifying.
It says in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
"According to the Mosaic law a mother who had given birth to a man-child was considered unclean for seven days; moreover she was to remain three and thirty days "in the blood of her purification"; for a maid-child the time which excluded the mother from sanctuary was even doubled. When the time (forty or eighty days) was over the mother was to "bring to the temple a lamb for a holocaust and a young pigeon or turtle dove for sin"; if she was not able to offer a lamb, she was to take two turtle doves or two pigeons; the priest prayed for her and so she was cleansed. (Leviticus 12:2-8)"
Our Lady needed no purifying, but, yet, she submitted to the Law as a humble lamb with her Son, the Lamb of God, knowing that is would be all of us and the Church that would need this purification and accepted her fate as Co-Redemptrix for all of us.
So this date of Feb. 2, 1634, was to be the last time Our Lady of Good Success was to appear to Mother Mariana on this particular Feast Day (which is now also considered the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success) for January of that next year, 1635, Mother Mariana would go to her eternal reward. As Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir loft before the Blessed Sacrament, as she often did, the Sanctuary lamp went out. Mother Mariana was left in complete darkness. The extinguishing of the Sanctuary Light signified the dire straits the Church would be in during these times.
Our Lady of Good Success was quite clear on what would be the demise of the Catholic Church—the general theme--a lax and perverse clergy. Certain members of the Catholic clergy would become as thieves stealing that Tabernacle light…thieves that would steal what is rightfully ours by virtue of our baptism in the Catholic Church—our Faith. They would rob us of Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition—ransacking the Church as it were leaving us in total darkness without even as much as the light of the Sanctuary Lamp (which signifies the presence of the Holy Eucharist---Jesus Christ, Himself). Our Lady of Good Success went into great detail to explain what the five reasons were for the extinguishing of the light.
- The first reason why the lamp was snuffed out was because in the end of the 19th Century and the 20th Century,heresies would prevail not only in Ecuador but Universally. “As these heresies spread and dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs.” (8)
- The second reason was that in these times the Conceptionist Community would shrink and even be infected with bad attitudes and false charity as a result of the pervading situation of the Church at the time. Many vocations would be lost as a direct result. “The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened.” (9)
- The third reason the lamp failed was due to the fact that during this century a worldwide campaign against the virtues of chastity, and purity would succeed in ruining the youth. Our Lady of Good Success affirmed, “There will be almost no virgin souls in the world.” (10)
The fourth reason the lamp was put out was to demonstrate how the Masonic and other secret sects would have so much influence on society and even the Church. “During these unfortunate times,” she foretold, “evil will invade childhood innocence. In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity.” (11)
Our Lady of Good Success could foresee that there would still be some good, faithful religious that would be willing to suffer all for the salvation of souls and sustenance of the Holy Catholic Church. “The secular clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to attain. How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a prelate and a father to guide them …many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger.” (12)
The poor priestly souls that would be left to uphold the Church would suffer greatly. “Against them the impious will rage a cruel war, overwhelming them with vituperations, calumnies and vexations in order to stop them from fulfilling their ministry. But they, like firm columns, will remain unswerving and will confront everything with a spirit of humility and sacrifice with which they will be vested, by virtue of the infinite merits of my most Holy Son, Who will love them in the innermost fibers of His Most Holy and Tender Heart.(13) Our Lady of Good Success implored that the people of this time should “clamor insistently” to the Heavenly Father for an end to ‘these ominous times’ sending to the Church a prelate and father who would restore the spirit to the priests”. (14)
- The fifth reason the lamp went out was due to those who have the financial means to help the Church but do nothing. Because of their uncaring attitude toward God and His Church, they would have allowed evil to seemingly triumph.
We need Divine Assistance and it will only happen when enough of us are praying the Rosary collectively for the intention of such a Purification of the Church! It is high time we join together and pray a rosary for this intention so we are calling upon all Catholics who desire this Purification to PRAY and IMPLORE HEAVEN to purify this Our ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH. We are the CHURCH MILITANT and we need to start ACTING like it!!!