For many years now, we have been friends and benefactors of the Carmelite Cloistered Monastery in Quito, Ecuador titled: Monasterio de Sts. Jose y Mariana de Jesus - Dizcalced Carmelitas de Carmen Alto. In English: The Monastery of St Joseph and St Mariana of Jesus- the Discalced Carmelites of Carmen Alto. This monastery was once the home of St. Mariana de Jesus Paredes y Flores. This housing arrangement was predicted by St Mariana herself before she died as she stated that one day her residence would be the home to religious and so it came to pass!
We have been in contact with the Mother Superior this past week as she is familiar with the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success and our travels to Quito to visit. They, too, honor Our Lady under this title and since the beginning of our pilgrimages, we would always make a stop there to get a tour of the home of St Mariana of Quito.
She called to tell us that she would not be in town as she and 2 other sisters and a priest have been asked to travel with the monastery's relics of Ecuador's first saint: St. Mariana de Jesus Paredes y Flores (different person from our dear sainted Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres- however they lived in basically the same era and even knew each other. )
However, they have found themselves in a quandary as there has been some kind of extraneous costs for the trip- for one of the sisters. The Mother Superior asked me if we could loan her $3,000 so they could leave by the expected date of Feb 1, 2019.
Of course, we do not want to loan her the money- we would like to donate this money to the monastery. So we are asking if some generous souls could help us with donations so we can help them to make their pilgrimage to the Holy Land and their Mother House in Avila, Spain!
We have asked the Mother Superior if she could send up some of St. Mariana's 3rd class relics for anyone who donates - and we would also include a prayer card from us in English as well.
We are putting out this request ASAP as February 1 is coming fast upon us!
The Mother Superior told me that anyone who donates will be remembered on this pilgrimage and rosaries would be offered for our intentions!
There are a number of ways to donate. Here is one way- click here:
Otherwise call us at:
or send a check or money order to:
The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success
913 N Lake Rd.
Oconomowoc Wi 53066
God bless you always!
As Mother Veronica would say:¡Dios los bendiga siempre!
Here is a little history on their "Santita"- St. Marianita de Jesus and a painting of the Saint Mariana of Quito that hangs in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, Ecuador!
St. Mariana Paredes:The Lily of Quito
by Kathleen M. Heckenkamp
Mariana de Paredes y Flores was born in Quito on the Eve of All Saint’s Day-October 31, 1618 and baptized on November 22, the feast of St. Cecilia. She was the eighth child of Captain Jeronimo Zenel Paredes y Flores from Toledo, Spain and Dona Mariana Jaramillo de Granobles a native of Quito. Dona Mariana was middle aged when she became pregnant with Mariana. Her pregnancy was quite troublesome and miscarriage was feared. However despite all of this, Dona Mariana carried her to term, delivering a most beautiful and delicate baby girl. Interestingly enough, Mariana’s arrival onto this earth was proclaimed in the Heavens on All Hallow’s Eve. There, glimmering above the house where Mariana was born, shown a cascade of stars in the shape of a palm leaf not so unlike that blessed star above the stable in Bethlehem so many thousands of years ago.
There are many examples of her sanctity in her youth…Mariana was, in fact, no ordinary child. Like St. John the Baptist she did penance from infancy. It is said that she fasted taking nourishment only twice a day during her babyhood. Her mother was very concerned and had even procured several wet nurses to interest the baby in taking nourishment-all to no avail.
Perhaps, the devil, noticing in this infant, her predilection for penance and suffering, and sensing that this child was destined for spiritual greatness, caused dreadful accidents to happen to Mariana as she was miraculously saved from drowning, a deadly plunge off a remodeled second story building onto a pile of stones and rock and even escaping a crushing death from stone walls collapsing just seconds before where she had been playing with her friends. In all of these situations she came out unscathed. Divine Providence was definitely demonstrating its power of direction in her life.
As she grew into childhood, she and her neighborhood friends and cousins would construct altars at playtime and process around the gardens imitating the church ceremonies they had participated in with their parents. She would lead hymns and prayers. On a number of occasions she was so successful at winning over souls for Christ that she convinced her friends to join her and leave home and go off to the missions to convert heathens even risking life if need be. .
These rather public attempts at a religious life at such a young age disturbed her sister and brother -in-law whom she lived with. Afraid of what the neighbors and friends would say about what some might call flagrant displays of religiosity and fanaticism, they asked Mariana if she would not like to be a religious in a convent. She agreed that she would indeed like to join a convent as she had already consecrated herself to Our Lord making vows of chastity, poverty and obedience at the age of ten. So it was decided that she would enter a convent. However through a series of failed attempts to enter numerous convents in Quito, Mariana discerned that Divine Providence did not consider a religious life for her.
At this point, it is said she had recourse to her confessor, Father Monosalvas. This good priest went to her family and made them see that Mariana should be allowed to live as a religious in seclusion in their own home. Inspired by God through this saintly priest, they resigned themselves to aid Mariana in whichever way she wished to live.
And so it was at the age of twelve her vocation was decided. Many people that knew her in the parish church were shocked by such a thing! First, had been g ranted permission to receive the Holy Eucharist at the very young age of eight years old. Then at the age of twelve, she was allowed to receive Holy Communion daily. Now this! It was an outrage!. This incident created such indignation in the community that the priest that had allowed it was called into question. He was asked to defend his decision before the religious of Quito including the bishop. In the end, the decision was upheld. This still did not put an end to the gossip about her living as a religious at home. Mariana suffered greatly because of all of this. However she did so very willingly as to imitate the sufferings of Our Lord in His own humiliations and insults.
Mariana wore the habit of a Jesuit and the veil and cord and scapular of the Third Order Franciscans. Her confessor regimented her days with 5 hours of prayer, and spiritual reading, one hour for weaving and sewing to earn her keep and 4 hours of rest. The money earned for her handiwork was given to the poor. The remaining time was spent in works of mercy. Every day at noon, the poor would come for assistance from St Mariana. She was not the most educated of people. She could read and write and play a musical instrument or two. Despite her somewhat limited education, she managed to found the first organized Catholic Action, the first free clinic in Quito and “a seventeenth century kindergarten” for the Indian and Negro children. She fed, bathed and clothed them. She took care of their ills with medicines. She was able to accomplish much in these hours with them.
In 1645, when St Mariana was 26 years old, Quito suffered from three terrible scourges. First there were earthquakes killing more than 2000 persons and destroying many churches. Then there were epidemics of measles and diphtheria which eradicated over 12,000 inhabitants. Finally, the volcano of Pichincha erupted after being dormant for over 80 years, terrorizing the city. The whole city of Quito felt keenly that the Wrath of Almighty God was upon them.
On March 26, 1645, the fourth Sunday in Lent, Mariana’s confessor, Father Alonso de Rojas, declared from the pulpit of St Mariana’s parish church “La Compania” that all of the disasters which had occurred were the result of sin and a call of God to the people to repent. He offered himself to God as a propitiatory victim and asked that he might die to save others from the punishment that they deserved. Sitting right in front of the pulpit, Mariana listened intently to his sermon,. She rose from her seat and gracefully spoke in a loud and clear voice so that all could hear her. She proclaimed that she would take the place of Fr .Rojas as victim soul for Fr Rojas was greatly needed in Quito because he was an excellent priest. She asked Our Lord to accept her offering “in defense of her country, her compatriots and her kindred” and she besought Him “that she might be chastised for everything in the city which deserved chastisement.”
After Mass, she left silently and went straight home. God had accepted her sacrifice for she was immediately struck with a mortal illness. From that moment on, the terrible menace caused by the earthquakes, plagues and volcano was terminated. Quito, the city that she loved dearly, was freed from disaster. The word of her “sacrifice” passed quickly through the city. Quito feared to lose their dear friend. Many prayers and novenas were offered for their victim soul but to no avail
She suffered in her last illness for 2 months. On May 26, 1645, Ascension Thursday, she passed into Paradise.
Her Spiritual Adviser, Hernando de La Cruz on the event of her death stated: “We have a new advocate in heaven, for Mariana is already there… Do not put on mourning and do not drape the house in black. This is a day of jubilee; it is Mariana’s day of triumph. Therefore adorn the drawing rooms with tapestries, as you would on any other day of jubilee. Spread the bier on which the coffin is to stand with crimson and decorate it with the masses of flowers, which all the convents will send, vying with each other to provide the most beautiful offerings….. The servant of God is already rejoicing in His Presence.”
As well, it is written that at the funeral of Mariana de Jesus, our own holy patroness, Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres went to paid her respects. During the wake, Mother Mariana made her way through the throngs of people and upon seeing Marianita, she exclaimed that she was a saint! Thus, the proclamation was made by her as well!
On the occasion of Mariana de Jesus’Canonization Day July 9,1950 Pope Pius XII pronounced:
”A victim of her first love, she ended her days as a holocaust of charity in 1645, offering her life for her people.. She did not live in a cloister, because Providence wanted her to be out in the world; but she aspired to the same perfection as the most observant religious. She was not a great historic figure, but today she is the pride of a great nation which acclaims her as its ’national heroine’ She did not give her time exclusively to charity, but in the end she gave her life for her brethren. She loved the Church as much as the most zealous defender of its rights and she honored it with her virtues. Finally, she was not martyred by the fury of another but she knew how to mortify herself with her own hands.”
Prayer to Obtain a Favor:
Oh God, thou didst make to bloom an iris from amongst thorns, Saint Mariana de Jesus. By her virginal purity and continuous penance, we implore thee to grant our requests (mention request).
Through her merits and intercession, may we always be worthy to grow continuously in Thy love as she did, despite the temptations of this world. Amen
Blessed St. Mariana de Jesus, Lily of Quito, thou didst live a most innocent, pure and radiant life in this world by constant prayer and penance, by faithful love
to God and by serving of the weak and less fortunate
men, intercede for us that God may grant us the grace to imitate your virtues
in order that we may persevere in the way of the gospel and join thee in eternity. Amen
The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success
913 N. Lake Rd Oconomowoc, WI 53066 USA