When you think of a pilgrimage, there are many images and places that come to mind. The Camino de Santiago, Chartres, Fatima, and Lourdes in Europe, and Auriesville and Starkenburg in the U.S. all come to mind; but there is another pilgrimage which has become an annual tradition especially among the faithful attending chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X, and for good reason: Quito, Ecuador.
It was over 400 years ago when the Mother of God appeared to Mother Mariana de Jesús (Torres) of the Conceptionist Franciscan Nuns of the Royal Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, in Quito. Our Lady came with troubling messages concerning our own times, which as prophesied by Our Lady Herself, went widely unnoticed until recently. But now, we should and must certainly pay attention to these messages.
Our Lady’s apparitions in Quito were the first in a series of apparitions (including La Salette, Fatima and Akita) warning of a crisis of the Faith, a crisis within the Church, and a crisis in the social and political orders.
The Meaning Behind the Name
If you’ve ever been to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in France, you’ll know that the focus has been taken off of Our Lady’s warnings, and the aspects of “love” and “forgiveness” have been exaggerated.
It is the same way with Fatima. Between Pope John XXIII calling the three children seers “prophets of doom” and the obfuscation of the Third Secret, the true message of Our Lady of Fatima has been carefully controlled by certain people and groups of people who wish to use the words of the Mother of God for their purposes, and not for Heaven’s.
In this manner, the message of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso de la Purificación, "Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification," has also been hidden and obfuscated partly due to parties that do not want to see the Church painted in a negative light, and partly because of a “lost in translation” kind of error.
The title “Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso” has been shortened in English to Our Lady of “Good Success,” but this is actually an error. The word “suceso” does not translate directly to “success” in English, but is closer to the word “event.” But “Our Lady of the Good Event” begs the question “what event?” And here lies part of the true meaning of Our Lady’s message.
The Purification was the moment in which Our Lady was shown the true nature of Her Divine Son’s mission on earth: to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind, purifying them in His Precious Blood. Just as the blood of one turtle dove washed the other allowing it to go free and symbolically fly to Heaven, Our Lord’s Blood frees us from our sins, through Baptism and the Sacraments, to fly from our chains of bondage to Heaven. It was at this moment that Our Lady began to suffer the wounds of Her Son’s Passion and Crucifixion, a sword piercing Her heart; a sword of sacrifice and suffering that She would carry with Her until the day of Her Assumption into Heaven.
It is this sense of sacrifice and Divine victimhood that has been lost in the priesthood and the religious life since Vatican II. The Mass is no longer considered the sacrifice of Our Lord, renewed and re-presented on the altar, but a meal between friends, presided over by a priest who is scarcely needed more than the laity. This fundamental change of the very nature of the priesthood has been a huge contributing factor to the loss of vocations in the Conciliar Church. The priest has had his raison d’être taken away from him, and without this self-sacrifice, there is less and less grace being poured down from Heaven on the Church and the faithful.
A second sense of sacrifice that has been lost, but which can be renewed by Our Lady of “Buen Suceso de la Purificación,” is the sacrifice of the religious life: men and women who give their souls and their lives to the service of God on earth, to pray, suffer, and work for the fulfillment of God’s Will. Since the “New Church” is all about peace, love and joy, the virtues of long-suffering, penance, and submission to the Will of God have been lost and replaced with fruitless platitudes, and an erroneous understanding of why mankind exists at all.
Our Lady of “Buen Suceso” wishes to renew these truths, and purify God’s Holy Church with the true Sacrifice of the Mass, and the sacrifice of the individual renouncing himself, through the religious life. This is made especially clear when Our Lady told Mother Mariana that She Herself will be the Abbess of the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception, in a sense takeing the religious name “Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification.” It isn’t a title like “Our Lady of Fatima” or “Our Lady of La Salette.” Rather, “Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso de la Purificación” is essentially a religious name; and without souls dedicated to the religious life and to prayer, the restoration of the Church will never occur.
The True Message
When Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana, She told her of the almost-total destruction of the Faith and the Catholic Church in the 20th Century:
“Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to ensure general corruption.”
“Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in authority.”
“The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden sacrileges!”
“In those times, the sacrament of Extreme Unction will be largely ignored.… Many will die without receiving it, being thereby deprived of innumerable graces, consolation, and strength in the great leap from time to eternity.”
“The Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned. Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing this sacrament. They will make it easy for all to live in sin, thus multiplying the birth of illegitimate children without the Church’s blessing….”
“Secular education will contribute to a scarcity of priestly and religious vocations.”
“The holy Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this both the Church and God Himself are oppressed and reviled, since He is represented by His priests.”
“The devil will work to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every way, working with baneful cunning to destroy the spirit of their vocation and corrupting many. Those who will thus scandalize the Christian flock will bring upon all priests the hatred of bad Christians and the enemies of the One, Holy, Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church. This apparent triumph of satan will cause enormous suffering to the good Pastors of the Church… and to the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is king and father.”
“Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground.”
“At the end of the 19th century and throughout a great part of the 20th, many heresies will be propagated in these lands.…”
“The small number of souls who will secretly safeguard the treasure of Faith and virtues will suffer a cruel, unspeakable, and long martyrdom. Many will descend to their graves through the violence of suffering and will be counted among the martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the country and the Church.”
“To be delivered from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Son has destined for this restoration will need great will-power, perseverance, courage, and confidence in God. To try the faith and trust of these just ones, there will be times when all will seem lost and paralyzed. It will then be the happy beginning of the complete restoration….”
“In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license.… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.”
“There shall be scarcely any virgin souls in the world. The delicate flower of virginity will seek refuge in the cloisters.… Without virginity, fire from heaven will be needed to purify these lands.”...
“Sects, having permeated all social classes, will find ways of introducing themselves into the very heart of homes to corrupt the innocence of children. The children’s hearts will be dainty morsels to regale the devil.…”
“Religious communities will remain to sustain the Church and work with courage for the salvation of souls.… The secular clergy will fall far short of what is expected of them because they will not pursue their sacred duty. Losing the Divine compass, they will stray from the way of priestly ministry mapped out for them by God and will become devoted to money, seeking it too earnestly.”
“Pray constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of My most holy Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.”
“In those times in the secular clergy there will be much to desire. Because the priests will neglect their sacred duty, losing the Divine compass, they will stray from the path charted by God in the priestly ministry, becoming fond of money and striving to obtain it to excess. And, since the Church will suffer the dark night of the lack of a prelate and father who watches over with paternal love, with gentleness, strength, sound judgement and prudence, many of them will lose their spirit, putting their souls in great danger.”
When reading what Our Lady told Mother Mariana over 400 years ago, the vivid imagery of things like the changing of all of the Sacraments after Vatican II, the Spotlight scandal, the sacrilegious distribution of Holy Communion at “Mega Masses” (and “regular” Masses for that matter), the exodus of vocations from the Church, the propagation of homosexualism and “gay marriage” within the church (e.g. Fr. James Martin, S.J.) immediately comes to mind. The list is non-stop, and the accuracy with which Our Lady describes these things makes it almost seem as though it would have been impossible for anyone to write these things so long before they actually happened.
Who, in the 16th and 17th centuries could have possibly predicted these things, other than Our Lady?
Our Response to Our Lady’s Apparitions
Father Adam Purdy, the Society of St. Pius X priest behind the organization of their pilgrimage to Quito, sees a solution within these almost apocalyptic messages to Mother Mariana.
“I think She lists a program. You can look at it from the side of all of these evils. For example, She goes through all the Sacraments. We know that all the Sacraments after Vatican II have been changed. She lists all the Sacraments and the destruction that’s going to happen to them; so we can see the side of devastation, but if you flip it around, it’s actually telling you what needs to be done to restore.”
“So, Baptism is not going to be given, and Confirmation neither. Well, the ministers of the Church better start teaching and providing for that. And the Holy Eucharist being profaned – this has to stop, which is why the whole scenario of the “New Mass” needs to stop. And we see this loss of the priestly spirit. What would Archbishop Lefebvre say? It’s time to restore the priestly spirit!”
“It’s only going to happen when young men go to the seminary… And young men are only going to go to the seminary when they are the fruits of a solid Catholic upbringing, from solid Catholic parents, parents who possess good spiritual lives, and a kind of culture that supports them, which is the work of a mission.”
“You know when the Jesuits came to these countries in South America, they didn’t come to [just distribute] the Holy Eucharist. They came to establish Catholic civilization from the ground up. From the dirt. Right from the ground up. To create a whole Catholic way of life.”
“And this is the program. The Sacrament of Matrimony. We need to teach of the glories of the married state, the responsibilities of the married state. The graces, and the means of sanctification contained within the married state. We have to teach how offensive to God all these other things are… All these unnatural things.”
“It’s a program that She’s putting before our eyes, if we’re looking at these things rightly. And all of us who have this kind of awareness of what’s going on, we must really bend ourselves to put into this program… A program in which we will go forth and multiply, and make all things new again.”
A Warm Reception
This program that Our Lady presents to us, also hinges on the prayers of souls devoted entirely to God in the religious orders. She told Mother Mariana that it is these good and holy souls that counterbalance the priests and religious who are not faithfully discharging their duties.
It is true that we need to be open to the call of God for ourselves (or, if married, our children) to enter the priesthood and religious life as Traditional Catholics, but it would be an error to say that those who enter religious life within the framework of the Novus Ordo are not doing so for the love of God. I believe most of them are; they are just lacking in a solid, traditional Catholic formation. Just as people convert to the true Faith of God in the secular world every day, it is possible for the priest and religious to convert to Tradition, to understand the errors and the heresies with which they were surrounded for so long. Monsignor James Byrnes, Father David Phillipson and Father James McLucas are well-known examples of this transition.
During our pilgrimage in Quito, we began every morning by processing through the streets of the thoroughly-Catholic city, carrying a statue of Our Lady to the religious houses all throughout the city’s historic center (Augustinian, Carmelite, Dominican, Jesuit, Mercedarian, etc.) The response I observed on the part of the religious (priests, brother and sisters) was most encouraging. They received Our Lady, as well as the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X, with a warmth, joy, and gratitude, that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
For example, when I was with an SSPX priest and a group of Traditional Catholics at Paray-le-Monial in France, we were actually thrown out of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart where Father was preparing to offer Mass. Just a few years ago, in Auriesville, New York, the Jesuits called the police on the Society’s pilgrimage led by Bishop Bernard Fellay, and we were forbidden to have Mass (or even process as a group) within the Coliseum of the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs.
But in Quito, there was nothing but love, appreciation, and admiration for the priests and laity keeping the True Faith of Jesus Christ alive, in this time of near-universal corruption.
Is it possible that this small spark of faith could reignite the flame of Catholicism in Ecuador, a country consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by its saintly President in 1874? God knows, but we cannot stop trying and praying. We cannot stop promoting the message of Our Lady of “Buen Suceso.”
It is impossible to give what we do not have. And, without pride or a sense of superiority, it is safe to say that we have the Catholic Faith and we can give the Faith as it was given to us, to those disposed to receive it. From what I saw in Quito over the past week, they are hungry and ready for it.