In the years between 1594 and 1634, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a cloistered Conceptionist sister in Quito, Ecuador named Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres. During these forty years, Our Lady appeared to her asking that she wished to be known under the title of Nuestra Senora del Buen Suceso which in English translates to Our Lady of Good Success. She spoke to Mother Mariana about the future times that were to come for the Catholic Church particularly during the 20th Century. Our Blessed Mother described for her the grave crisis that would take place then in the Church and also society in general. In fact, the gravity of this crisis was conveyed so distinctly that it caused this poor sister to die from the effects of watching what was to happen to the Church in the future.
What was it that this good nun saw that caused her to die from the knowledge of the future? Our Lady told Mother Mariana that God was ready to punish the world for three main sins: blasphemy, impurity and heresy. Our Lady of Good Success prophesized to Mother Mariana about the “total corruption of customs” occurring at the end of the 19th and greater part of the 20th centuries due to the reign of Satan in society through Freemasonry. In this vision, Our Lady foretold that in these terrible times the sacraments would lose their importance and would not be held in high esteem among the faithful due to those who held a “position of authority”. In these times , these people would be used as tools of the devil to destroy the Church. Due to this deprivation of both sanctifying and sacramental graces amongst the faithful, many souls would be lost. Society itself would suffer greatly. A tremendous loss of vocations would be experienced.
In these visits, Our Lady spoke to Mother Mariana about the need for penances and suffering, prayer and self-denial for not only was it most pleasing to God, but it would be with these tools that the Convent would be able to sustain itself, the Church and the world. The Blessed Mother asked if she would be willing to become a victim soul for not only her convent and the people during the times in which she lived, but for the Church in future times which she had shown her. She told her that her Divine Son desired to give her “every type of suffering” in order to save souls. These visits were meant to instruct, guide and encourage Mother Mariana in her mission. Additionally, these apparitions contained many prophecies to demonstrate to Mother Mariana to know the dire state in which the Church would fall and also for future evidence to show the authenticity of these visions. These prophecies that were foretold would involve not only the local culture, society and government in Quito and Ecuador, but would also include the universal Church, society and culture in the world as a whole in the upcoming centuries.
One of the most striking of the prophetic visions occurred on the Feast of the Purification, February 2, 1634, the 40 th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana. Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir loft before the Blessed Sacrament, 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 this future epoch.
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 19 th Century and during the 20 th 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.”
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 . (This was to be considered a reflection of a more universal condition during these times). However, “ The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened.”
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 ”
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.”
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.” 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.
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”.
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.
On this day as well , t he Child Jesus prophesized to Mother Mariana the following (which lends credence to the other prophecies as we have seen these prophecies have already been fulfilled):
1. “The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception would be proclaimed during a time when the Church will be strongly attacked and my Vicar will find himself a prisoner”
2. “This will also be the case with the Dogma of the faith of the Transit or Assumption, body and soul into Heaven of My Most Holy Mother...”
3. "I will preserve this Church, so beloved by Me, until the consummation of time. It will be strongly attacked, but never conquered. For, if men are lacking, from Heaven will I send down legions of Angels for its conservation, defense and triumph. Then He added: "A thousand times cursed be the heretics and their followers who place in doubt these mysteries concerning Me and My Mother. Let them be cursed! And let their eternal abode be the center of the earth, together with the father of the lie, Lucifer, and his henchmen, amidst the fire created by Divine Ire for the rebellious angels and the men who follow them, severing themselves from the truth outside the Catholic Church.”
Due to the extreme wickedness that Mother Mariana saw in these visions of our era, she fainted and remained unconscious for two days. The doctor, unable to revive her, expected her death to be at hand. But Mother Mariana miraculously awoke and returned to health to live another year.
Our Lady commands a statue to be made Our Lady of Good Success commanded a statue to be made to her likeness for the solace of the people stating:
“...now I ask and command you to have a statue to be made for the consolation and preservation of my convent and for those faithful souls of that epoch during which there will be a great devotion to me, for I am the Queen of Heaven under many invocations... With the making of this statue I will favor not only my convent, but also the people of Quito— and all the people throughout the centuries.”
Our Lady of Good Success also told Mother Mariana that this statue was to be made, for these reasons:
“First so that men in the future might realize how powerful I am in placating Divine Justice and obtaining mercy and pardon for every sinner who comes to me with a contrite heart. For I am the Mother of Mercy and in me there is only goodness and love.”
“And second ...when tribulations of spirit and sufferings of the body oppress them and they seem to be drowning in this bottomless sea let them gaze at my holy image and I will always be there ready to listen to their cries and soothe their pain. Tell them that they should always run to their Mother with confidence and love...”
Our Lady of Good Success had requested that a certain sculptor, Francisco del Castillo, who was known not only for his artistic ability but also for his virtue and devotion to the Blessed Mother, create the statue. This sculptor worked long and hard on this statue. When he was about to put the finishing coat of paint on the statue he decided he would go to find the best paints he could acquire that would be the most fitting for the faces of Mother of God and the Infant Jesus.
Archangels complete the statue While he was gone something miraculous happened. From the very first apparition, Our Lady had promised that she, herself, would see to the completion of this statue. While the sculptor was away, Mother Mariana and the other sisters went to the choir loft to implore Our Lady of Good Success to keep her promise.
Later, that night, Mother Mariana found the upper choir loft, illuminated with heavenly brilliance. The Archangels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel appeared and bowed reverently before the Blessed Trinity as if acceding to a command. Then they stood before the Queen of Heaven and saluted her. The Archangels, along with St. Francis, drew near to the statue to miraculously finish it. Instantaneously completed, the statue was enveloped in light brighter than the sun and became animated as Our Queen and Mother entered into it singing the “Magnificat”. This most lovely of all visions took place at 3 o’clock on the morning of January 16, 1611.
When the Bishop was told of this miraculous occurrence, he ordered “ad aeternum” that a feast should be preceded by a Nine Day Novena 9 to Our Lady of Good Success beginning on January 24 culminating with her feast day on Candlemas Day, February 2 each year. And so it was and continues to be venerated and honored this same way each year. Our Lady specifically requested that her name be “Mary of Good Success of the Purification and Candlemas” and that this date, February 2, should be especially remembered since this date had always brought “great gifts and mercies” from Our Lady.
Finally, in closing, the words of Bishop Salvador de Ribera of Quito are printed below to demonstrate the ecclesiastical approval of this beautiful and timely devotion. On Feb 2, 1611, the day of the formal institution of the official devotion, the good bishop bestowed upon Our Lady of Good Success the keys of the cloister and the crosier into the hands of the miraculous statue with great reverence and honor, invoked her saying:
"My Lady, I deliver to Thee the Church... My Lady and my Mother, I deliver to Thee my soul. Open to me the doors of Heaven, for the life remaining to me is quite brief... Queen of Heaven and Earth, Thou who dost remain in Thy sanctuary governing Thy beloved flock, do not forget Thy poor children who are pilgrims on this earth, exposed to falls at every step. Let Thy arm sustain us and let the sweet love of Thy maternal Heart console us in our deep tribulations."
The graces and miracles that occurred during Mother Mariana’s life and after her death through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Success are too numerous to mention here. There were many other prophesies that have come to pass as well. Mother Mariana de Jesus was a mystic, prophetess, seer, and victim soul, who lived in Quito, Ecuador during its foundation as a Colony of Spain. Her life parallels only the greatest of the Church’s canonized saints such as St. Theresa of Avila and St. Catherine Siena. The details of all of her life’s sufferings accumulated into one lifelong martyrdom.
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