“What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
(From William Shakespeare's play: “Romeo and Juliet”)
Shakespeare wrote these lines as young Juliet’s memorable response to explain her passionate feelings of her undying and unchanging love for Romeo, despite the conflict of the 2 families as if to say: “Who cares what you are called …I only care about the person, not the name…” One could say Juliet was a bit naïve about life as she was only a young teenager in the throes of her first love and was not aware of what consequences falling in love with the enemy could have for her. Poor Juliet…
For a name is most often given to define what the characteristics of a person, place or thing has in order to help us to remember what exactly it is or what it does. And so when we say: “What’s in a name?” One could say: “Well, everything.” For instance, naming a child an unpopular name could cause them great distress in life and even cause some insecurities and lack of confidence as a result. Perhaps that’s why most parents-to-be spend so much time pondering over appealing names for their “little bundles of joy.” Could one suggest that when naming an infant, the parents are naming their child in such a way in hopes that this child will hold the virtues or characteristics that the name is known for? For example, the name Michael means: "Who is like God?" which refers back to that first battle of good against evil with the result of St. Michael saying to Lucifer: "Who is like God?" as he cast him into the eternal regions of the fiery abyss. One might suggest that parents who like the name: “Michael” would have hopes of having their son grow up to be a strong and confident man who loves God and will defend Him.
Additionally, when we think on an even more spiritual realm, has not Heaven itself, deemed the naming of babies important as angels have been sent on special occasions to announce the names for babies for the parents? Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. John are just 2 examples.
Regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose name, experts say, could mean: "bitter sea” if it came from Hebrew language. However, if it is Egyptian-based, it could mean: “cherished or beloved.” The Catholic Encyclopedia states that the most popular interpretation of the name of Mary is “Stella Maris, (Latin) or Star of the Sea.” This interpretation dates from the time of St. Jerome (d. 420). Furthermore, one could speak of a variety of phrases which are used as titles for Our Lord and Our Lady. All we must do is recite the Litany to the Sacred Heart and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary for an assortment of poetically fitting titles for both of them!
When one gets into the translations of names from one language to another, it is a whole other ballgame. Often, translations are far from literal. And bad translations can truly be a disaster!
Over the course of the 15 yrs., as this apostolate has been busy spreading devotion to Our Lady of Good Success, we have been asked about this magnificent title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most people had never heard of Our Lady of Good Success and most people, upon discovering Our Lady under this title and then learning about her history, have found this to be not only a comforting name, but also a designated beacon of hope in a sea of despair!
Some have argued that the translation is not a literal translation and wanted to know who translated this Spanish title: “Nuestra Senora del Buen Suceso” to “Our Lady of Good Success.” Since it is said that the very literal meaning is: “Our Lady of Good Event or Outcome.”
As of now, we do not have any idea who originally labeled her as such, we probably never will… But whoever did translate this title to “Our Lady of Good Success” rather than “Our Lady of Good Event” had to have known that the faithful would respond better to that title. Besides, when people are praying for a certain intention don’t we all want a “good success”? Every little event in our lives we hope has a “good success” so it makes perfect sense to translate it as such. Furthermore, over the course of the years, we have gotten phone calls from people who had lived in other countries and who were taught about Our Lady of Good Success and even taught prayers to her in English. We received one such phone call in 2005. A woman called us to tell us that one such prayer was taught to her in Malaysia by missionaries in the 1930’s. She told us that her catechism class was taught by these missionaries who had their students bring a small handheld blackboard and they had to write their lessons on the blackboard and memorize them. This woman recalled that one lesson was to memorize a prayer to Our Lady of Good Success which goes like this:
“Our Lady, Our Queen and Our Mother, in the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, please take this cause into thy hands and grant it ‘good success.”
A few years later someone else called to make us aware that this prayer was in the “Precious Blood and Mother” Manual from The Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood (See images of the manual). There is an Imprimatur by the Archbishop of Edmonton, Henry O’Leary and Nihil Obstat by James Charles McGuigan, Vicar General in this manual. The date of the original compilation of this manual is not given, but we found out that James Charles McGuigan was Vicar General in 1923 and moved rather quickly to become rector of St. Joseph's Cathedral in 1924, then onto Protonotary Apostolic on September 13, 1927, and later made the rector of the newly established St. Joseph's Seminary that same year. On January 30, 1930, he was appointed Archbishop of Regina by Pope Pius XI. At age 35, McGuigan was the youngest archbishop in the Church at that time.
He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 15 from Archbishop Henry O'Leary. Archbishop Henry O’ Leary was the other ecclesiastic that approved the manual and gave the book an imprimatur. The point being that this manual was approved in the years between 1924-1927 because of the dates of installation as Vice General and Archbishop of these 2 ecclesiastics, respectively.
And why is this so important? We want to let the devotees of Our Lady of Good Success know that this translation was not just some Modernist contrivance, but a title that has been beloved by Holy Mother Church for almost 100 years!
Recently, our new son-in-law who has a fondness for old Catholic books was at an antique store and found a Catholic Bible from 1953 which had a section in the front called “Manual of Prayers” and under the subtitle of “Prayers for Children,” we once again found that sweet little prayer to Our Lady of Good Success.
We are still in the midst of digging deeper into the history of this prayer, but we
We are still in the midst of digging deeper into the history of this prayer, but thank God and Our Lady that we have found another treasure from Church History to verify the authenticity of this beautiful translation of “Nuestra Senora del Buen Suceso”! We are grateful for all of the prayers that have been answered through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Success and our apostolate has been blessed under this inspiring title!
“They will have recourse to Me under the invocation of Our Lady of Good Success, whose Statue I ask and command that you have made for the consolation and preservation of my Convent and of the faithful souls of that time, an epoch when there will be a great devotion to Me, for I am Queen of Heaven under many invocations.” (Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana, January 21st, 1610).
Prayer to the Most Holy Virgin of Good Success
Printed with ecclesiastical approval, in Quito, 1887, the first prayer that has been printed in the capital of Ecuador in honor of our Queen – Mother.
Oh Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, Sustain my soul with the plentitude of grace, of which thou are full. Direct me, govern my life along the path of virtue that I may attain the perfect fulfillment of God's obligations.
Obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins. Be my refuge, my protection, my defense, my guide, during the pilgrimage of this life. Comfort me in my afflictions. Sustain me in dangers; be my safe haven in the storms of adversity.
Grant to me Oh Mary, the interior rekindling of my heart for the holy occupancy of thy Divine Son Jesus alone. Remove from me all that is weak and miserable, all sin, neglect, despair, faintheartedness and human respect. Completely banish from my heart the sins of pride, vainglory, self-love and all earthly interests that may be an obstacle to the effectiveness of Thy patronage.
Oh sweet Mother of Jesus! Oh Queen Mother of Good Success! Direct thy motherly gaze upon me. And, if through fragility or malice, I have attracted threats from the Eternal Judge and grieved the Sacred Heart of my gentle Jesus, cover me with Thy mantle of protection and I will be saved.
Thou art! O Mary! The most prudent Virgin, Refuge sinners, do not allow me to be exposed to the occasions of sin, and if I would stumble into any fault, grant me abundant tears that, day and night, I may lament my sin.
Thou art! Oh Mary! my hope and consolation, through thy mercy, I hope to one day greet Thee as the Glorious Queen of Heaven. Amen
(200 days indulgence once a day Leo XIII. February 27th, 1886 Rescript of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences)
Hail! O Resplendent Lily of Purity! Hail! Lavender Rose of the Celestial Garden of Paradise!
Oh Thou, from whom the Incarnate God desired to be born and nourished with virginal milk, succor us, poor sinners, now and at the hour of our death Amen.
Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Quito, May 28, 1943, With permission, Victor Moscoso M. Carrillo, Vicar General Humberto M. Angel Jacome, Secretary
In gratitude and thanksgiving for Our Lady’s Heavenly aid and all her devotees’ spiritual and temporal assistance!
The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success
1288 Summit Ave Suite 107, Oconomowoc, WI. 53066 phone: 262-567-0920
Donations are always greatly appreciated and needed to fulfill our work! Thank you!