Our Lady of Good Success Quito Ecuador
#11
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Death of Mother Mariana
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In the first five days of 1635, Mother Mariana remained very week, becoming worse every day. The seventh day, she began to suffer prolonged swoons daily. She did not remain in bed, however, but forced herself to always be with her beloved Sisters. On January 11, after Communion, she lost consciousness again and, after trying to stand, she fell to the ground. She then asked to be carried to the infirmary because those were her last days. She knew she would expire on January 16. And this day finally dawned.

Mother Mariana assisted and consoled each Sister in private, confessed herself, assisted to the Mass celebrated in the room with the presence of the Bishop, made her profession of Faith, received the Extreme Unction, then the bell rang to gather the Sisters for their last meeting with her. Then, she read her Testament, asking, ordering and commanding that it be followed by her successors and transmitted from generation to generation. She desired its text to always be at hand. After she finished speaking, the Friar assisting her, placed his crucifix it in her hands. She held it tightly against her heart. At the conclusion of the prayers, two large tears rolled down the rosy cheeks of Mother Mariana and, with a profound sigh, she expired.

The large bell, toning the hours, rang that moment: it was 15:00 o’clock of January 16, 1635.


The Testament of Mother Mariana

In her Testament, Mother Mariana addresses Jesus Christ saying: «My love, open to me the doors of Your Kingdom just as on that memorable day, You opened to me the blessed doors of the cloister of my Immaculate Mother where I sanctified myself by carrying out Your holy will under Your gaze alone. Behold me, weary of the harsh exile of mortal life where I suffered in silence and for love of You all the hardships that You sent me. The road was long, but I have finally reached its end. Open Your arms and permit me to rest from my labours and lay my weary head in the ardent fires of Your Divine Heart (...). Now I come eagerly to take possession of the blessed eternity that You promised me, when I will live under the mantle of my Immaculate Mother and in company of my Father, Francis of Assisi».

But the major worry of Mother Mariana was the conversion of sinners. She points out the means to convert sinners: the imitation of Christ in His meekness and heart humility and being united to Him and nailed with Him to the same Cross, to have Him always ready to hear the petitions and requests for the souls needing the divine help. It is important to note that the message of Our Lady of Good Success had been deemed by Mother Mariana so important for this poor world that her last thoughts were to promote the devotion and the messages received by Our Lady.

In her Testament, in fact, she wrote:

Quote:«When the Divine Master was hanging from the ignominious gibbet of the Cross on which He expired amid His almost infinite sufferings and torments, the testament that He gave to redeemed humanity was to leave us His Mother as our Mother. Addressing His Virgin Mother, He said: “Woman, behold your son!”, the beloved Disciple. Then He said to John: “Behold your Mother!”. Behold your Heavenly Mother, Our Lady of Good Success. She will always give you good successes».

«Have a great love for the Blessed Virgin. Imitate her virtues, above all, her profound humility and her ardent love for God and poor sinners. Love each other with a childish simplicity and innocence that permits no falseness of hypocrisy in your souls. Conserve and propagate the devotion to Our Lady under the tender invocation of Good Success, so that She might obtain whatever you ask of Jesus and Mary. You should also take supreme care of your great treasure and strive to make Her known and loved by the greatest number of souls possible, assuring them that with this devotion they will always attain good success in time and in eternity...».

«Have recourse to Her in all your spiritual and temporal needs. When your soul suffer temptations and hardships, and if the star of the divine vocation, by divine permission, is hidden from your soul’s sight, run to Her with confidence and say: «Star of the stormy sea of my mortal life, of my mortal life, may your light shine upon me may your light shine upon me so that I do not stray so that I do not stray from the path from the path that leads me to Heaven».


The Devotion of Our Lady Good Success

Mary of Good Success, Virgin of Good Success or Our Lady of Good Success was an invocation well known in Spain. The tracks of this invocation dates back to the time of wars of liberation from the Muslims. It is to the “Buen Suceso” that a magnificent altar was devoted by the victorious El Cid upon entering triumphant in the city of Almenara The meaning of the term “Buen Suceso” or “Good Success” is the miracle or supernatural intervention of the Mother of God calls in which She intercedes in favour of her children. It is the extraordinary event that converts an image of stone or wood, into a “door” to God or “gate of Heaven”.

The Virgin of Good Success was patroness of Sagunto-Valencia. It is a marble statue of 40 cm in height which is venerated in the Convent of the Religious (Servite) of the city. The legend says that the statue appeared floating on the waters of the sea, surrounded by 5 stars. Over time, other invocations of Our Lady were transformed into that of “Good Success”: in the area of Traiguera-Castellon, the people were venerating, as patroness of those lands, the Virgin of the Source of Health, found, according to tradition, by the two pastors: Anastasio and Jaime Sorlì, in 1384. This invocation had been changed into that of Our Lady of Good Success. In the area of Cabanes-Castellon, to the mother of a seriously sick child, Francisco Gavaldà – the future Bishop of Segorbe – one day, happened that, as she was praying before the Virgin of the Rosary, she saw that the statue begin to sweat. The mother wiped the perspiration of the statue with a cloth, then placed it under the pillow of her son. The next morning, the child woke up completely healed. This “Good Success”, first of many “Good successes” that followed, gave rise to the change of name of the sacred statue. Most importantly, however, the authoritative seal, placed on the invocation of Our Lady of Good Success which has been crucial to the success of the promotion of her devotion, originated directly from the will of a Pope: Paul V (1605-1621).

***

Bernardino de Obregon (1540-1599) was a young Spaniard, rich and proud. One day in 1567, he was so taken by the humility of a poor passer-by, that he changed his life and decided to devote himself to serving the poor and the sick. With the approval of the Nuncio and the King Philip II of Spain, he founded, under the Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of Paola, the “Religious Congregation of Minims for assistance to the sick” (which served mainly in hospitals). The vows were to chastity, poverty, obedience and hospitality.

In 1599, Obregon died and was buried in the General Hospital of Madrid, where his “Obregones” were working. The successor, Brother Gabriel de Fontanet, along with Brother Guillermo de Rigosa, in 1606, went to Rome to ask the Pope for the approval for the extension of their jurisdiction from the city of Madrid to the entire country of Spain. They made the journey on foot. As they have traveled past Valencia, near the border with Catalonia, crossing the sierra of Valdancha between Traiguera and Castellon, the two brothers lost their way and a terrible storm came upon them during the night. Praying to find a safe place to die as they both feared that storm’s fury would cause their death, they beheld a bright light, high in the mountain range. They decided to climb toward this light.

Upon doing so, they not only beheld this beautiful light within a cave but a shrine to the Mother of God with fragrant flowers or rare beauty growing there. As they entered the cave, they discovered a statue of a smiling Virgin Mary with Child Jesus in the left arm, a sceptre in his right hand and a wonderful crown encircled on her head. The statue was rather small, only 53 cm high, with the Child Jesus of 11 cm tall. They both had brown hair, black eyes, flesh colored skin. The Statue was made of cypress wood. Not only was there something miraculous in this discovery, but the wonder of the two Brothers was that they could not be able to imagine who could sculpture a work of art of such beauty and perfection! They placed the Statue in a basket and continued their journey to Rome. Pope Paul V received the two Brothers and heard the story of the discovery of the Statue. Understanding the supernatural nature of the event, He knelt down, put his pectoral cross around the neck of the Statue, embraced and kissed Her and exclaimed: «Look, She smiles! Why is She smiling? What a Good Success you have achieved with this trip! There is no doubt that Our Lady has decided to protect you and support you in your work. So I am not the one to go against Her. May your wishes have a Good Success!».

Then, Pope Paul V blessed the Statue, granted Her many indulgences, gave her the name of “Our Lady of Good Success” and commanded that Her devotion had to be promoted at once. In memory of the pectoral cross which Paul V had placed on Our Lady of Good Success, He authorised the Friars, of the Order to use a cloth cross on their black tunic. At the end, Paul V decreed that the “Religious Congregation of Minims for assistance to the sick” was erected to Religious Order.

On their return journey, the two Brothers, arrived in Valencia, which was in the grip of the plague. They discovered that nine of their twelve brothers died by contagion. They continued for Madrid and placed the sacred Statue above the altar of the church of the General Hospital, until, in charge of the Royal Hospital care of the Court, at the “Puerta del Sol” in Madrid, replaced the Statue in its infirmary. This hospital, founded by King Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile for the assistance and care of infected soldiers, was enlarged by the Emperor Charles V in 1529. King Philip II personally traced out the plan of its small church, and the Hospital and the church were declared Royal Patronage.

On June 6, 1611, King Philip II made the dedication of the new church and, in the presence of the Queen and the whole Court, placed the Statue of Our Lady of Good Success in the church, above the third chapel. Then, on September 19, 1641, with a solemn ceremony, the sacred Statue, which gave its name to the Hospital of the Court and to its church, was placed above the main altar. The church received considerable privileges: it was made a parish, depending on the Patriarch of the Indies, as Major Chapel of the Kings and of the Vicar General of the armies and the Armed Forces. The Statue remained, in this church at the “Puerta del Sol” in Madrid, for about two hundred years. It was moved during the horrors, the massacres and the destruction of the Spanish Succession War, when foreign armies invaded Spain and, in the courtyard of the Hospital, many heroes of Madrid were shot.

Following the ruins caused by war, the sacred Statue was placed in a niche of the Church of the Good Success, until when, in 1832, was moved, first, to the Royal College of Our Lady of Loreto, then, in the Chapel of the Royal Palace. The area of the Hospital of the Court and its church was assigned for other uses and so, over the years, in those places, new and magnificent buildings had risen. There was a project to rebuild the church of the Hospital of Good Success in an area called Prado, before the Botanical Garden, but the idea was abandoned. It was Queen Isabella II who insisted that the idea of rebuilding the church dedicated to the Good Success was not abandoned; so this was erected in the district of Pozas, in 1868, before the Hospital Central del Aire (the Military Hospital), even if not so large and magnificent as it was planned in the original draft of reconstruction. King Philip III placed there the sacred Statue with a privilege unmatched in Spain and in the world: this was the only church in the world where the Mass was celebrated from 5 am until 2 pm. Even in Rome itself there was no church holding such a privilege!
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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