There Is a Message in Her Silence
A dear friend who assists us in Quito, Ecuador as our representative spoke to me recently about all of the happenings in his city. He was very concerned about the fact that once again Our Lady of Good Success would not be visible for public veneration- i.e. the Church of the Immaculate Conception would remain closed again this year. It has been the only church in Quito that has remained closed for two years through the worldwide crisis that originated in Wuhan, China and spread globally into every country.
He had an appointment to visit with the Mother Abbess of the Conceptionist Monastery the other day- the first day of the novena. He was bothered by Our Lady’s absence of her physical presence in Quito during the Novena and Feast Day, So, he asked Mother if there was a message in Our Lady’s absence and what appears to be her apparent silence to the outside world. The Mother Abbess replied that indeed “There is a message in Her Silence.” However, she did not elaborate…. He asked how they were faring with all of the lockdowns, and mandates most especially with the most recent being no access to anything such as markets, banks, transportation and public building such as doctor’s office etc. with the health pass. She replied that “Don’t worry…. We are safe inside…. healthy… We are protected under Our Mother’s mantle.” With that reply, in fact, the Mother Abbess was distinguishing this message by her own lack of a detailed response. She did not enlighten him any further and she has left all of us to meditate on the fact that Our Lady of Good Success has retired from public veneration. I pondered these questions myself: Does Our Lady really wish us to feel her lack of presence in our lives? Has she truly abandoned us?
My friend who, in a special way, represents us all in Quito, was devastated and worried. He has felt abandoned, perhaps, even punished. Certainly, sometimes when a mother is upset with her children, she becomes quiet and reserved. A mother who has any spirituality will spend those times in quiet silently praying that her child or children will repent of the wrongdoing and beg her forgiveness. Perhaps this is part of her message of silence…perhaps, as we know that the world has gone mad with fear over an illness and has acted so incredibly illogical many cannot think straight nor remember to get on their knees to pray for help.
Over the past two years, many people have called to ask if there were pilgrimages to Quito. I have spent a lot of time with them explaining that it was not a good idea to go to Quito at this time for so many reasons. Number one reason is that you would not be able to see her or even pray in the church there. I know that most of them hung up disappointed. However, we must remember that she had come over 400 years ago to warn us of these times. She came to warn her beloved Quito first. It is also this country that was brave enough to stand with Gabriel Garcia Moreno against the tides of Modernism being driven by Freemasons and consecrate their country to the Sacred Heart. How could she then abandon this country? We must go back and reread her words to her Quiteñian children.
It was on January 16, 1599, Our Lady of Good Success appeared to Mother Mariana saying these words,
"In the 19th Century, there will be a truly Catholic President, a man of character whom God, Our Lord, will give the palm of martyrdom on the square adjoining this convent. He will consecrate this Republic to the Sacred Heart of my Most Holy Son, and this consecration will sustain the Catholic Religion in the years that will follow, which will be ill-fated ones for the Church."
It is in these words that Our Lady tells the children of Quito that their Catholic Faith will in fact be sustained during these ill-fated times for the Church. So, it would be good for the people of Quito to remember her words and turn to her and implore her to give them the graces to be able to be sustained! We cannot be sustained by grace if we do not ask for it!
It is my opinion that she is asking us to meditate on her life as well. Why did she asked to be named: Virgin of Good Success of the Purification and Candlemas? Why this feast day?
It was the custom to offer sacrifice to God in thanksgiving for His gift of life found in a newborn, i.e. a first-born son. This sacrifice was offered forty days after the birth of the infant son. We call it the Presentation. Jesus Christ Our Lord then was offered to God. He was the epitome of a first-born son. He was the One in fact that the Jewish race had been waiting for centuries. Even more, in Him, can we find Eternal Life.
In Luke we read about this feast of the Presentation: “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” [Luke 2, 34-35]
With this feast day, the Church commemorates the glorious event of Our Lady and St. Joseph presenting Our Lord in the temple along with her own purification which was unnecessary. However, do we fail to remember that there was a great sorrow that pierced the heart of Our Lord and Our Lady on this day?
In trying to discover the gravity of her message of silence, one may turn to Sister Maria de Agreda, another Conceptionist Sister–a contemporary of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, who was born in 1602 and lived in Spain. She was given detailed revelations by Our Lady on the life of Her Son, and all that surrounded the Holy Family and Christ’s Ministry and her life until Her death. It has been written that our own dear Mother Mariana was given similar enlightenments by Our Lady but these writings were lost. The following excerpt is from Sr. Agreda’s First Volume of the City of God, “The Incarnation”:
“At the moment when the priest Simeon mentioned the sword and the sign of contradiction, which were prophetical of the passion and death of the Lord, the Child bowed its head. Thereby, and by many interior acts of obedience, Jesus ratified the prophecy of the priest and accepted it as the sentence of the eternal Father pronounced by his minister. All this the loving Mother noticed and understood; She presently began to feel the sorrow predicted by Simeon and thus in advance was She wounded by the sword, of which She had thus been warned. As in a mirror her spirit was made to see all the mysteries included in this prophecy; how her most holy Son was to be the stone of stumbling, the perdition of the unbelievers, and the salvation of the faithful; the fall of the synagogue and the establishment of the Church among the heathens; She foresaw the triumph to be gained over the devils and over death, but also that a great price was to be paid for it, namely the frightful agony and death of the Cross (Colos. 2, 15). She foresaw the boundless opposition and contradiction, which the Lord Jesus, was to sustain both personally and in his Church (John 15, 20). At the same time, she also saw the glory and excellence of the predestined souls. Most holy Mary knew it all and, in the joy, and sorrow of her most pure soul, excited by the prophecies of Simeon and these hidden mysteries, she performed heroic acts of virtue. All these sayings and happenings were indelibly impressed upon her memory, and of all that She understood and experienced, She fergot not the least iota.”
The little Infant Jesus spoke to her during the days following His Presentation in the Temple upon seeing her crying on meditating on the future sufferings and death of Her Son, Her King which gives us cause to imitate her:
"My dearest Mother and my Dove, dry up thy tears and let thy purest heart be expanded; since it is the will of my Father, that I accept the death of the Cross. I desire that Thou be my companion in my labors and sufferings; I long to undergo them for the souls, who are the works of my hands (Ephes. 2, 10), made according to my image and likeness, in order to make them partakers of my reign and of eternal life in triumph over my enemies.”
Let us continue to read and meditate now on the words of Our Lady to Sister Maria de Agreda in: “The Instruction Which the Most Holy Queen Mary Gave Me”:
“My daughter, the doctrine and example contained in the foregoing chapter will teach thee to strive after the constancy and expansion of heart, by which thou mayest prepare thyself to accept blessings and adversity, the sweet and the bitter with equanimity. 0 dearest soul! How narrow and unwilling is the human heart toward that which is contrary and distasteful to its earthly inclinations! How it chafes in labors! How impatiently it meets them! How insufferable it deems all that is contrary to its desires! How persistently it forgets that its Teacher and Master has first accepted sufferings and has honored and sanctified them in his own Person! It is a great shame, yea a great boldness, on the part of the faithful, that they should abhor suffering, even after my most holy Son did suffer for thee and when so many of the just before his Death were led to embrace the cross solely by the hope that Christ would once suffer upon it, although they would never live to see it.… and, when the occasion of tasting the chalice and the cross of suffering is at hand, thou must not turn away in sorrow and affliction from the sufferings, by which the sincerity of a loving and affectionate heart is to be tried…” “…for thou canst not follow Christ, if thou refusest to embrace the cross and rejoice in it, nor shalt thou find me by any other way (Matt. 8, 34). If creatures fail thee, if temptation or trouble assail thee, if the sorrows of death encompass thee (Ps.17,5), thou must in no wise be disturbed or disheartened, since nothing displeases my most holy Son or me more than placing a hindrance or misapplying the grace given by Him for thy defense. By misusing it and receiving it in vain, thou yieldest great victory to the demon, who glories much in having disturbed or subjected any soul that calls itself a disciple of Christ and of me; and having once brought thee to default in small things, he will soon oppress thee in greater ones. Confide then in the protection of the Most High and press onward trusting in me. Full of this trust, whenever tribulation comes over thee, fervently exclaim: "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 26, 1). He is my Helper, why should I hesitate? I have a Mother, a Queen and Mistress, who will assist me and take care of me in my affliction."
In Matthew, we read what the Holy Family did after the Presentation to the world represented by the Three Kings:
"And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him." [Matthew 2: 14]
In the book: “The Incarnation” the next chapter which speaks about the Flight into Egypt, Our Lady explains to Sr. Agreda that in the days following the Presentation, she starts a novena in thanksgiving for the nine months in which she carried the Child Jesus in her womb, and she then daily re-presents Him in the Temple to the Heavenly Father on each day. On the fifth day of the novena, the Heavenly Father speaks to her and informs her that she cannot continue with this novena but must leave there immediately as Herod was seeking to murder the Child. Our Lady was given a vision to know what could happen to Her Son if these words were not heeded. The Lord told her to follow the directions of St. Joseph and though her heart was filled with sorrow for the thought of Her Infant in such danger, she awaited the instructions of her spouse. St. Joseph was given a dream that night and they left at midnight to the land of Egypt. Certainly, while making this novena in thanksgiving for the birth of her Son, she did not expect the message she received. However, she replied with utmost obedience to these instructions. It is with these thoughts in mind that might this be an answer to our question of her silence? For five days after the beginning of her novena, she given another mission of protecting the Child Jesus even more by leaving the land that she knew and loved- her homeland to go into the desert of Egypt.
Let us conclude with this mediation with the words of the Apocalypse Chapter 12. These profound words inform us about our times that we are currently living in according to Sr. Lucia of Fatima as she told us they could be found in Chapters 8-12:
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his heads seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God, day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child: And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
It is extremely compelling to note that above the beautiful and blessed city of Quito that has been graced by numerous visits from the Mother of God, an enormous statue of 135 ft. overlooks her inhabitants – her children. It is the statue representing the Woman Clothed with the Sun, The Virgin of the Apocalypse holding a chain to cast Satan into Hell to be chained there for eternity. And there is a little-known tidbit of history that is quite unique and mysterious. In the Upper Choir Loft of the Conceptionist Monastery near to the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Good Success, the first such statue made in Colonial Quito at that time rests. It is a beautiful miniature hand-painted statue of 14 in. And above the altar of one of the other famous churches of Quito, the Church of San Francisco there can be found another lovely statue of this Virgin of the Apocalypse created by the artist, Bernardo de Legarda. This church was the home of the Franciscans that were once the directors, guides and the chaplains of the Conceptionists. And also, it has been predicted that they will one day return as such to their rightful role.
It is my opinion that in Her presence as the “Apocalyptic Virgin” lends even more credibility to her message and leads us to even more contemplation. This Apocalyptic Virgin has become famous around the world and is well-known to originate from Quito, Ecuador.
Our Lady of Good Success promises: “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… In order to dissipate this black cloud, that prevents the Church from enjoying the clear day of liberty, there will be a formidable and frightful war, ... This night will be most horrible, for, humanly speaking, evil will seem to triumph. This, then, will mark the arrival of my hour, when I in a marvelous way, will dethrone the proud and cursed Satan, trampling him under my feet and fettering him in the infernal abyss. Thus, the Church and Country will be finally free of his cruel tyranny.”
In conclusion, let us, then, continue to have recourse to Our Holy Mother in these times, retiring with her into the wilderness, into the desert, if need be, that is into the silence of our hearts and homes, as she did, to “clamor insistently… for an end to these ominous times.” After all, did not Our Lady of Good Success exhort us to do this? Let us with sorrow for sin, offer our sufferings, pray and wait patiently for the message and sign from God that we are out of clear and present danger and the Herod’s of the world that seek the death of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church have left this world! Could it be that we must retire there for more years even without the visible presence of her love…or perhaps even without the physical presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist? Maybe…. However, thankfully, we have three Conceptionist Sisters who lead us into this desert with their words and their actions and their prayers. They say to us: “Don’t worry…. We are safe inside…. We are protected under Our Mother’s mantle.”
Let us reread then the words of Our Lady of Good Success as Her message in the 1600’s is even more authentic for us in these times than ever. Like Mary, let us ponder them and keep them ever present in our hearts! May we too find Her here with us in our domestic sanctuaries and in our hearts! May we always find protection under Our Lady’s Blue Mantle of Good Success!
“A simple, humble faith in the truth of My apparitions to you, my predilect child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls docile to the inspirations of grace, for Our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science.” (Our Lady of Good Success, Feb 2nd, 1610)
To read more on the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success: