OUR LADY OF GOOD SUCCESS
This story of a historic visit from Our Blessed Mother begin in Spain, and then takes root in Quito, Ecuador. February 2 is the feast day of Our Lady of Good Success.
On February 2, 1594, as Mariana was praying to the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Good Success, she received an apparition. Our Lady of Good Success, smiling, dressed in gold, stated:
“I am Mary of Good Success, whom you have invoked with such tender affection. Your prayer has pleased me very much. Your faith has brought me here.
Your love has invited me to visit you.”
Our Lady spoke of difficult times to come for both the world and the Church. She foretold corruption and oppression within the Church, as well as the unavailability of the sacraments. She spoke of the crisis in the Church, particularly in the clergy. She asked Mother Mariana to suffer in penance for the sins of the world, which Mariana readily and graciously did, without complaint.
Years later, on January 16, Our Lady of Good Success appeared to Mother Mariana as she was praying in the choir loft of the convent church, and prayed that a statue be made in her likeness. Our Lady of Good Success further told Mother Mariana that the statue she commanded be built would serve the following two purposes:
“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...”
After years of suffering, and eventual approval from her bishop, Mother Mariana had a statue commissioned by sculptor Francisco del Castillo, a talented artist and known devotee of the Blessed Mother. The statue took years to complete, and before the artist could apply the final coat of paint (which he needed to travel some distance to secure), the Blessed Mother re-appeared to Mother Mariana, fulfilling her word that she would see to the completion of the statue. The night before the artist was to return with the paint, Mother Mariana was alone praying in the choir loft. Our Lady of Good Success appeared with the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael along with St. Francis of Assisi. The Archangels acknowledging their Queen bowed and intoned a prayer: Saint Michael prayed with these words: “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy Daughter of God the Father.” Saint Gabriel followed, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy Mother of God the Son.” Lastly, Saint Raphael prayed, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy, Most Pure Spouse of the Holy Ghost.” All together they chanted, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy Temple and Sacrarium of the Most Holy Trinity.”
Miraculously, the statue was immediately completed, and then became animated as Mary moved into the statue itself. Our Lady of Good Success began to sing the “Magnificat” in the most beautiful of voices. With her, a choir of heavenly spirits began to sing “Salve Sancta Parens” which awakened the rest of the convent. The sisters rushed to the choir loft and found the statue transformed and surrounded by a heavenly light.
Forty years after her initial visitation, the Blessed Mother again appeared to Mother Mariana, on February 2, 1634, the Feast of the Purification of Mary. It was the last time Mother Mariana would be visited by Our Lady of Good Success, as she died the following year. Again, Mother Mariana was praying in the choir loft of the convent chapel when the sanctuary light blew out, and she was left if total darkness. Our Lady went explained that the sanctuary light was extinguished as warning of the terrible times ahead for the Church.
She explained that a lax clergy would be responsible for dire times, and that certain members of the Catholic clergy would become as thieves stealing the Tabernacle light—our Faith. The Blessed Mother provided five reasons for the trials of the Church:
1) The spread of heresies: “As these heresies spread and dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs.”
2) False charity and the loss of vocations: “The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened.”
3) 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.”
4) Secular influence would oppose 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 foresaw 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!" Our Lady of Good Success implored that we should “clamor insistently” to the Heavenly Father for an end to these ominous times.
5) 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.
Our Lady of Good Success then promised:
“The small number of souls, who hidden, will preserve the treasures of the Faith and practice virtue will suffer a cruel, unspeakable and prolonged martyrdom. Many will succumb to death from the violence of their sufferings and those who sacrifice themselves for the Church and their country will be counted as martyrs. In order to free men from the bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my most Holy Son has designated to effect the restoration, will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence of the just. There will be occasions when all will seem lost and paralyzed. This then will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”
Due to the extreme wickedness that Mother Mariana saw in these visions, 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. In her last will and testament, Mother Mariana encouraged us to look to Mary, Our Lady of Good Success, as a model for love, charity, and mercy. She wrote of the deep connection between the Blessed Mother and the Infant Christ, as well as the advocate that Mary is for all of mankind. Mother Mariana encouraged us to turn to the Blessed Mother during the difficult times of our life, saying:
"Star of the stormy sea of my mortal life, may your light shine upon me so that I do not stray from the path that leads me to heaven."
Today, we look to Mother Mariana and her willingness to suffer and offer penance for others. We pray in a special way for the intercessions of Our Lady of Good Success, that we may be willing to suffer, offer penance, and keep the faith of Christ in times that are challenging. We pray, too, for the Church and the leaders of the Church, and for heavenly guidance.
Let us not only preserve the true Catholic faith, but do our best to spread the faith and bring the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ to those souls who feel most abandoned. Let us pray that Our Blessed Mother of Good Success leads souls to the Church of her Divine Son.