She is talking from behind centuries. But the message is for our times. Every word spoken by our Mother at Quito in Ecuador in the early seventeenth century is worth reading over and over again. Because they are prophecies about how the world is going to be transformed into a cesspool of sin and its stench permeates even those holy places which were considered indomitable in the past.
Sr Mariana de Jesus Torres (Mother Mariana), a poor Spanish nun was awestruck by the vivid description Our Lady gave her, of a world gradually plunging into darkness. When Our Lady of Good Success appeared to her, everything seemed to be moving smoothly. Church was vibrant with faith. The earlier centuries had produced great saints and doctors of the Church. Dogma was dogma and the Church never wavered even in the face of the possibility of grave schisms leading to an unavoidable split. The Church was the torchbearer of morality and virtues. The secular world outside too, somehow seemed to be in equilibrium with its own checks and balances. Even in things secular, moral principles were recommended, though not everyone complied with them.
Everything was going to change. That was the message Our Lady gave Sr Mariana. It is not possible to discuss all those messages in a small article like this. So we will go through only a few among them. Before proceeding further, I should warn you that any person reading the messages of Quito might be confused to see certain words or phrases that were not in practice in early seventeenth century. For example, the messages as available to us today speaks of a takeover of the Church’s control by freemasons. We know that free masonary was instituted as an organisation in 1717 only. Then how did a message received in 1610 contain this word?
The answer lies in the fact that the first compilation of the messages received by Sr Mariana from Our Lady of Good Success was done as late as 1790, i.e a clean 180 years after the apparitions happened. Tradition has it that Sr Mariana appeared to Fr Manuel Sousa Peirrera almost 150 years after her death and revealed those messages to him. Fr Peirrera in turn compiled them for the benefit of the faithful. It doesn’t mean that till then her messages were not heard of. In fact as early as 2nd February 1611, a statue of Our Lady of Good Success was consecrated at the site of the apparition by the local bishop. Since then, the people of Quito celebrate her feast on 2nd February, and the tradition has been continuing through the past four centuries. All bishops of the Arch Diocese of Quito have promoted or supported the devotion to the Mother of God under the invocation of Our Lady of Good Success. In 1980 the Arch Bishop of Quito appointed a commission of priests to study about the authenticity of the tradition with available resources and documents. One of the major sources they used was ‘The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana’ written by Fr Manuel Sousa Peirrera in 1790. After detailed and meticulous examination of all the resources and documents the commission reported in 1985 that ‘they were authentic, not falsely introduced and worthy of credibility’.
As such we are convinced that this book can be trusted for knowing everything about Mother Mariana, the apparition she had and the messages received by her. Another useful source is the book ‘Prophetic Messages’ written by Msgr Luis E Cadena, the postulator for the cause of beatification of Mother Mariana. It is understood that the book bears an imprimatur of the Vicar General of the Arch Diocese.
Now let us have a quick look at what our Mother told:
-By the twentieth century there will be no innocence in children and no modesty in women.
-Those who should speak will fall silent
-Masonic sects will target children
-Woe to children of those days
-All customs will be corrupted
-Almost no virgin souls will be found in the world
-It will be difficult to get the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
-Confession will become rare. It will be available in Catholic schools only.
-Holy Communion will also become rare.
-Public and private sacrilege against the Holy Eucharist will increase
-Consecrated Hosts will be stolen to profane Eucharistic Species
-Jesus will be cast upon the ground and trampled by filthy feet
-Extreme Unction will be little valued
-Many will die without getting this sacrament because of the negligence of their family members
-The sacrament of Matrimony will be attacked and deeply profaned
-At that time it will be easy for everybody to live in sin
-Procreation of children outside wedlock will increase
-Secular education will increase and priestly and religious vocation will decrease
-Holy Orders will be despised and many among the clergy will be corrupted
-They will scandalize the Christian people
-At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout a great part of the twentieth, many heresies will be propagated
-Lack of a Prelate and Father to watch over the Church with paternal love, gentleness, strength and prudence
-Suffering to good pastors, good priests and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth, who, a prisoner in Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears.
-The small number of souls who will secretly safeguard the treasure of Faith and virtues will suffer a cruel, unspeakable, and long martyrdom.
-When everything seem to be lost and paralysed, then will begin the process of complete restoration.
Should the list continue? I think what is already written is sufficient to convince even a non- believer about the veracity, authenticity and urgency of the messages given by Our Lady at Quito. To those who still doubt the messages, I would humbly redirect them to what our Mother said in La Salette, Fatima and Lourdes or what saints like Francis of Assissi and Don Bosco prophesied. They match with these messages in most aspects. My request to the doubting Thomases is to ignore their urge to research the historical authenticity of the apparitions or the words used in the compilation. Just remember one thing. The apparition happened in seventeenth century and the prophetic messages were treated with high esteem by the clergy and laity alike, the apparition was approved by the local bishop, it was documented in 1790 and the tradition of devotion to Our Lady of Good Success has been continuing for more than four centuries with an ecclesiastical stamp of approval coming as late as the final decades of twentieth century. Are they not sufficient to encourage us to take them seriously?
The times prophesied by our Mother is now upon us. We have witnessed a century outrightly sold to sin and perversions. And the present one is no better. We are going from bad to worse and the worst is soon to come. Or has it come already? Our Lady gives us messages not to scare us but to prepare her children for the eventual great showdown between the army of the devil and her own army of which we are the frontline warriors. She has this final message to us.
“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”. Our hope is that with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin ‘we shall overcome’ this unhappy times soon and come out victorious to step into the place of perfect and unending happiness reserved for us.
May Our Lady of Good Success lead us to victory under the banner of her Son’s cross.