I don’t believe in coincidence, or that things happen by chance. I believe that we are guided to what we need and what is good, even though we may seem to be steeped in tumult and confusion at times. Yet, during those times, times which can even lead to near despair, a light begins to shine again, and nearly every time for me comes from an expected way. When it comes again and again from multiple ways, I pay attention and understand that it has meaning for me, even if it is unclear what that meaning actually is.
The history of the Blessed Mother’s visits to a nun, Mariana de Jesus Torres, in 16th/17th-century Quito, Ecuador and how I came to know of this is one of these experiences in my life, and it has been a couple of years in the making. Today I learned that this is the anniversary of our Lady’s visit to the nun in 1611 where she told her, “Woe to those of the 20th Century … great calamities will befall the people of this epoch.” I have been thinking for some time about posting information about this visitation of the Blessed Mother. When I learned of the anniversary being today, I decided to share this because several weeks ago I have begun honoring the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Good Success in accordance with the request she made to the nun in Quito all those centuries ago. It has been a private matter between her and me, but she doesn’t seem to want it to be a private matter. I just didn’t know when I should or how I should spread the devotion. Hello blog!
I have never heard of the appearance of our Lady in Quito, never heard her of her statements, until a couple of years ago. When I did, I made the assumption that I was being told of one of those apparitions that is not approved and which can lead to confusion among Catholics. I hold fast to the apparitions at Fatima and Lourdes, somewhat to those at La Salette and Akito, but shy away from the Garabandal and Medjugorje apparitions, not to mention the many others that have been denounced by the Church. I understand that other Catholics feel strongly in favor of Garabandal and Medjugorje, and I am particularly intrigued by the very real spiritual and physical blessings that I have heard and even witnessed about Medjugorje, but the Church has not approved yet of these and I have to be uncommitted to their truth now, although I don’t knock anyone who is convinced. For example, a friend of mine went to Medjugorje. One night we were praying the Rosary at our parish men’s group, and he told me about making the trip, how wonderful the experience was, and what he did there. I expressed my scepticism. He mentioned kind of nonchalantly that his Rosary beads had changed while he was there praying the Rosary, from silver-colored to gold-colored almost completely, and he had watched it happen as he prayed. “This is the Rosary,” he said and he showed it to me, pointing out the original color still visible in a few places and I saw that most of it was now gold-colored. Knowing him to be a good, solid, pious, sane man, I had no reason to doubt what he said. Something happened there, I could see in his eyes and in the Rosary beads he showed me, that I held and examined. But I cannot give this my full assent until the Church approves what is happening there.
The apparitions of our Lady at Quito are approved by the Church, and the things she told of to come in the 20th century four hundred years previously have made me take notice and have led me to honor her specifically under the title of Our Lady of Good Success. It turns out that this has not been kept a secret and many people do know of this. Information can be found at many websites and I recommend to everyone to spend some time reading and listening to what is available.
For me, this began a couple of years ago, in a way that is only apparent in hindsight. A friend of mine told me about a priest whom he has known for many years, whom he knew when he wasn’t a priest, and how he had been surprised and very impressed by the priest’s reversion to the Faith, having known him before he did, how he came to be a priest, how on fire he was and still is and how he has become a staunch defender of the Faith, the Church, and the traditions of Catholicism. He kept telling me to look him up and that I wouldn’t be disappointed and I would appreciate him for being a good, solid, straightforward, man’s man priest. I wrote his name down, but I never found my way to look him up.
Several weeks ago, I learned about Our Lady of Good Success and the apparitions. Late at night, and intrigued by what I read initially, I began to seek more information. I was led to a youtube file which was recorded last September. The file is an audio recording of a presentation by Father Isaac Mary Relyea. I stopped and read the name again, recognizing it. Father Relyea is the priest my friend had told me to look into. Had I done so a year ago, this presentation would not have been done yet. I find it intriguing that I had been told many times to look into him but hadn’t, that I had known of this priest’s story from a friend who knows him and knew him back when, and that I only actually hear him when the history of Our Lady of Good Success comes to my attention and I seek out information on her and also find him. As I said, I don’t believe in coincidences. His presentation is powerful and moved me.
In a nutshell, our Lady told of the problems that would befall the Church, priests, bishops, religious and society in the 20th century, problems that we are all very familiar with today, and which still vex us. It is too much to recount here, but I urge everyone to take the time to read the above-linked article, listen to Fr. Relyea’s presentation, and then seek more information. Then you will understand why I have been specifically honoring her in my prayers as Our Lady of Good Success, and why you might then also. According to Fr. Relyea and what others have expressed, she has asked that this be done when she spoke to Mariana de Jesus Torres in her apparitions four hundred years ago. I have been wondering though why this has been so unmentioned by the Church when it seems so poignant for our times.
I love being Catholic and I love the Blessed Mother!