"For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord" Isaiah 55: 8
In October, 1689, a year before her death, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque wrote to her former Mother Superior, Mother de Saumaise, in a letter:
"I must confess that I have sometimes complained to Him for His not making use of men of learning and authority who, by their prestige, could much advance His cause. I think He gave me to understand that He does not need human power for that. The devotion and reign of this Sacred Heart will be built up only by the poor and contemptible, and amidst contradictions, so that no one will attribute anything to human achievement. Despite all opposition and contradiction, He will reign and make Himself known and loved, and that even by those who oppose Him. I am simply telling you what I think. I ask you to keep it secret and to consider me wholly yours in the love of this adorable Heart."
I decided to start this article off with a quote from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on her thoughts on how she thought the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should have been spread. However, over the course of time, she discovered that as God has said: "my thoughts are not your thoughts" and that God uses the "poor and contemptible" ones to spread devotion around the world. Whether it be devotion to His Sacred Heart or to His Beloved Mother, devotions seem to propagate like this despite many contradictions and obstacles.
It was twenty years ago on November 6th, 2000 that we were graced with the opportunity to visit Our Lady of Good Success. My husband and our son, Mike, and myself traveled to thank her for the grace of adopting four children from Colombia. We stopped in Quito, Ecuador before our adoption, hoping to get a glimpse of Our Lady in person. Our request for an audience with Our Queen was granted.
When we were allowed entrance to the Monastery, we were taken by the Mother Abbess, herself, leading the way with a bell to let everyone know that the visitors were present. When we entered the Upper Choir Loft, we knelt at the feet of Our Lady and that moment I promised her that I would do everything to help spread the devotion in the USA - of course not knowing what we could or would do. I made a promise to the Mother Abbess as well and she gave us a holy card with the image above of Our Lady of Good Success and some prayers, one novena booklet in Spanish and a tiny medal. Not much in the way of material to start an apostolate.
Spanish Edition booklet given to us by the Mother Abbess.
Our history actually started a bit sooner with the reading of "Prophecies for Our TImes" by Dr. Mariana Horvat.
I gave this book to many family and friends...and at that time, encountered my first little interference when a priest from his pulpit attempted to discredit my efforts to spread the devotion of Our Lady of Good Success by spreading doubts in the minds of the Catholic Faithful that the apparitions and messages were doubtful. This would not be the last time we would encounter opposition. In fact, at every step of the way we experienced obstacles - a computer starting on fire when we attempted to put the Nine Day Novena online before the Feast Day in 2003, a crash of our computer and loss of the hard drive with weird scratches on it preventing any recovery of our files...and the list goes on and on...
A few years later, Dr. Horvat would write another book in which she placed 2 prayers that we had brought back from Quito - and that she had translated:
Then, eventually, the Novena and Prayer Booklet would be made available in print in 2003. The very booklet that the Mother Abbess had given to us in 2000 was finally translated into English by Dr. Marian Horvat. We are now in our 6th edition.
Over the years, we have had many ups and downs, but we have continued on. And after twenty years, we can honestly say that God has used us- poor and contemptible as we are via word of mouth and the printed material to spread the devotion of Our Lady of Good Success!
We have been so blessed to know you all and to truly count you as our friends!
This Thanksgiving we give thanks to God for knowing about the wonderful devotion to Our Lady of Good Success, for through her, we met you!
As well, we have been blessed to know many good priests and religious over these 20 yrs. - many of who have helped as well with prayers, blessings and advice. We are so very grateful to them!
One in particular was Fr. Luigi Villa who were met in 2008 via phone and then, in 2010, in person. He is seen below giving us his blessing. He had been given mission to fight Ecclesiastical Freemasonry in the Church via Padre Pio.
Our first collaboration was his Chiesa viva #413 "Our Lady Condemns Masonry" which Fr. Luigi Villa's right hand man and our good friend of many years now, Dr. Franco Adessa wrote. When Fr. Villa had learned about Our Lady of Good Success, he said: "She is my general and will lead the battle!"
So one can see that with this work of spreading the devotion to Our Lady of Good Success, we have truly had many blessings and adventures! We have had many joys and sorrows throughout and now we are also twenty years older... with 12 grandchildren to boot!
We have tried to spread devotion the Sacred Heart, the Holy Face, St Michael and other wonderful devotions over the years.
We ask for your prayers during this month of our 20th anniversary for the grace to know how else we can help Our Lady and Our Lord - most especially if you could say a little prayer for our family on Thanksgiving as it is the 20th anniversary of bringing our four adopted children home from Colombia- and we all remember the turkey sandwiches in the shape of a turkey that we ate on the way back to the good old USA!
Here is a bit of nostalgia - one of our first newsletters ever from 2006
The Christmas Novena is featured there! Advent is around the corner...you may want to start it on the Feast of St. Andrew- Nov. 30!
In Jesus and Mary,
The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success