From 1594 to 1634, in Quito, Ecuador, a Conceptionist sister, who would become the Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, received apparitions from the Mother of God that were approved by the local bishop during her lifetime. In 1906, when her casket was opened, her body was found to be incorrupt and was redolent of the fragrance of lilies.
Her story has a dramatic beginning. In 1566, at the age of 13, she left her homeland of Spain with her aunt to found a Coceptionist order in Quito under the authority of Philip II.
On the voyage over to Ecuador, a great storm arose and a seven-headed serpent (Satan) arose from the sea to oppose the women on their mission. Then Our Lady appeared during the storm with the Christ child, holding a cross that had a lance at the end of it.
She slew the serpent and the waters became calm. To this day the sisters in this order wear a badge to commemorate this event.
Later, in 1582, she saw the tabernacle door open and Christ emerged in his sufferings at Calvary while his Mother cried tears of pearls. Mariana asked if she was to blame for this and Our Lady replied, “No; not you, but the criminal world of the twentieth century.”
Mariana then heard the voice of the Father and saw three swords over the head of Christ which represented punishment for the twentieth century and beyond. Their names were: (1) “I will punish heresy”; (2) “I will punish blasphemy”; and (3) “I will punish impurity.”
The Mother of God asked Mariana to suffer for the sins of the twentieth century and she consented. The three swords then fell from the head of Christ and plunged into Mariana, who died and then stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
She was judged blameless and then given a choice: remain in heaven or return to earth and suffer for the sins of the twentieth century. She chose the latter and was miraculously resurrected.
Many more details about Mother Mariana’s life and the accompanying apparitions can be found in the excellent book, Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for Our Times, by Dr. Marian Horvat, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject. This article cannot possibly give an exhaustive treatment of these events but instead will attempt to help the reader become more conversant with its content.
The days will grow darker and darker but the story does have a happy ending:
On December 8, 1634, the archangels, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael appeared to Mariana with the Queen of Heaven, and Gabriel was carrying a Ciborium filled with hosts. Our Lady then predicted events over two hundred years into the future for the reign of Pius IX:
“His pontifical infallibility will be declared a dogma of the Faith by the same Pope chosen to proclaim the dogma of the Mystery of My Immaculate Conception. He will be imprisoned in the Vatican by the unjust usurpation of the Pontifical States through the iniquity, envy and avarice of an earthly monarchy.”
All this occurred.
She also foretold that, in the nineteenth century, “…there will be a truly Catholic president, a man of character whom God Our Lord will give the palm of martyrdom on the square adjoining this convent. He will consecrate the Republic to the Sacred Heart of My Most Holy Son, and this consecration will sustain the Catholic Religion in the years that will follow, which will be ill-fated ones for the Church.”
This “truly Catholic president” turned out to be Gabriel Garcia Moreno (1821-1875) who consecrated Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1873. He was assassinated, just as Mary said, by members of a Masonic sect and Pius IX paid tribute to him “as a victim of his faith and Christian charity.”
Our Lady of Good Success also told Mother Mariana about turbulence in the Church at the end of the 19th century and especially after the mid-20th century and how Satan would wreak havoc through the Masonic sect. The unfaithful religious would do much damage, because “under the appearance of virtue and bad-spirited zeal, would turn upon Religion, who nourished them at her breast.”
All seven of the Sacraments would come under attack in different ways: “It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and also that of Confirmation…the devil will make a great effort to destroy the Sacrament of Confession by means of people in positions of authority.”
There will be an unspeakable profanation of the Holy Eucharist in our time: “…the enemies of Jesus Christ, instigated by the devil, will steal consecrated Hosts from the churches so that they may profane the Eucharistic species. My Most Holy Son will see himself cast upon the ground and trampled upon by filthy feet.”
People will not esteem the Sacrament of Holy Unction and many will die without receiving it. Our Lady predicted that, because of this, “many souls will be deprived of innumerable graces, consolations and the strength they need to make that great leap from time to eternity.”
Like the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony will be profaned in a multitude of ways resulting in “iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of faith until it reaches a point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs.”
Priestly and religious vocations will greatly decrease and “the Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised…the demon will try to persecute ministers of the Lord in every possible way and he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation, corrupting many of them.”
Our Lady told Mariana that five major things will help extinguish the light of faith:
- (1) heresy;
- (2) loss of vocations and turmoil and loss of vitality in convents;
- (3) the spirit of impurity (i.e. sexual impropriety);
- (4) priests becoming careless in discharging their duties and losing their way through attachment to wealth and riches;
- (5) the indifference of those with great wealth in helping the Church as it goes through tribulation and suffers deprivation.
As these prophecies unfold and the days grow darker and darker, the number of faithful will be small and their faith will be sorely tested. However, the Mother of God promises that just when it seems all is lost and paralyzed, she will intervene and trample Satan under her feet.
She will turn the tide. There will be a Great Restoration and Jesus will reign through Mary. May we receive many graces from Our Lady of Good Success so that we may triumph with her in the difficult days ahead!
image: Prsswt / Shutterstock.com / Our Lady of Good Success Statue at the Immaculate Conception Church (Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción) – Image