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Is Our Lady of Good Success a
Vatican-Approved Apparition?

 

Definitive Proof - A Papal Coronation


Hello Marian,

I casually mentioned Our Lady of Good Success and Mother Mariana in a conversation with some friends. One of my friends, then, said she had read and listened to a talk about it, and she was very amazed by what she was hearing. However, another friend of hers told her that she did a Google search of it, and the Vatican had not approved it, and that the groups who are promoting it are not in good standing with the Church.

I assured her that the archbishop himself had approved it, but she wanted to know if the Vatican had approved it. Does the Vatican need to approve an apparition? What documentation can I show my friend to assure her that this is legitimate? I found a document showing that the archbishop approved it. Is there something more? Granted it is a private revelation and one is not obligated to believe it, but I would still like to show her that it is true.

Your help is appreciated.

    In Maria et Jesu,

    S.R..
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Dr. Horvat responds:

Hello S. R.,

Let me try to help you so that you will have more arguments to convince your friends.

I have already addressed in various places the question of the approval the Church has given the apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success from almost its beginning in the early 17th century to our present days (here, here and here). Now, I will specifically address the question of the Vatican’s approval of this apparition and provide documentation, thus, I hope, laying the matter to rest.

1. The canonical Coronation

papal coronation our lady of good success

Above, the episcopal decree announcing the Papal Coronation, below, the commemorative booklet

papal coronation Our Lady of Good Success

In the picture at right you see a translation of the decree issued by Archbishop of Quito Antonio J. González announcing the Canonical Coronation of the Statue of Our Lady of Good Success in the Convent and Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Below it is the cover of a small book titled Historical Memorial of the Canonical Crowning of the Sacred Image of Blessed Mary of Good Success. This book was published by the Archdiocese to commemorate that event. It was written and compiled by Mons. Luis E. Cadena y Almeida, postulator for the cause of Ven. Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres.

The book presents an account of the crowning as well as all the official decrees made on this matter.

The first decree, addressed November 27, 1989, was sent to the Vatican petitioning John Paul II to issue a papal order approving the coronation, based on these three reasons:
  1. “The 379 years of public devotion, uninterrupted and gradually increasing, that the statue of Mary of Good Success has received in this Church of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception;
  2. “The Convent of the Immaculate Conception, which is the oldest in the city of Quito, has experienced a special protection of the Blessed Virgin under her invocation of Good Success and has remained constant, notwithstanding the pretentious ambitions of some [Liberal] governments who tried to take over the Convent’s property;
  3. “The special devotion that the people of Quito have professed and continue to profess for this venerated statue, a devotion that is manifested especially on the novena and annual feast of the Candlemas on February 2” (Memorial Histórico de la Coronación Canonica, pp. 26).
The case was given for examination to Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, then Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. He issued an order of approval on December 13, 1989 (Ibid, pp. 27-28).

With this permission to proceed, on January 7, 1991, Archbishop Gonzalez issued the solemn decree approving the coronation made on behalf of the Pope, that is, it was a Papal Coronation.

The Papal Coronation took place on February 2, 1991, before the main altar of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception. “A Day of Glory” is the title Msgr. Cadena gave to his description of the joyful event (ibid., pp. 37-42). Officiating at the ceremony were the Archbishop himself and Cardinal Pablo Muñoz Vega, with a multitude of priests, religious sisters and the faithful of Quito in attendance.

Therefore, in the list of Canonically Crowned Images, under the country of Ecuador, we find it recorded that Our Lady of Good Success was officially crowned February 22, 1991, under the authorization of Pope John Paul II.

I do not think you can find better evidence of the Vatican’s approval of this devotion than a canonical coronation authorized by a Pope.

2. Declared a Marian Sanctuary

sanctuary
But there is more. The Convent of Our Lady of Good Success was raised to the category of an Archdiocesan Marian Sanctuary on January 7, 1991. To have such status, the Sanctuary must be a Church-recognized site where Our Lady has been honored by pilgrims under a devotion approved by the Church.

Having met all these conditions and in response to the growing number of pilgrims world over traveling to pray before Our Lady of Good Success, the Archbishop of Quito agreed to honor the Church and Convent of Our Lady of Good Success with this new title in the Marian Year of 1988.

The title itself guarantees the approval of the Church and Vatican for the devotion.

3. Beatification process for Ven. Mother Mariana

In the early 1980s the Archbishop of Quito established a commission of priests to study the life and works of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres. A major source used in this study was the The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana written by Manuel Sousa Pereira in 1790. After a thorough investigation, the ecclesiastical commission pronounced that the documents and sources they studied were “authentic, not falsely introduced, and worthy of credibility.” (Mensaje Profético de la Sierva de Dios Sor Mariana Francisca de Jesús Torres y Berriochoa, Quito: Fundación Jesus de la Misericórdia, 1985, pp. 8-9).

This, of course, included the many prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success that you can read in the English edition of The Admirable Life. Based on this report, on August 8, 1986, Archbishop Antonio J. Gonzalez issued an episcopal decree to initiate the Cause of Beatification of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres.

The decree affirmed that Mother Mariana had practiced all the virtues to a heroic degree and was distinguished for her devotions to the Passion of Christ, the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin. It also acknowledged her supernatural gifts and favors during her lifetime, including her gift of prophecy.

Mons almeida y cadena

Msgr. Luis E. Cadena y Almeida outside the Bishop's Palace in Quito, a prolific writer on Our Lady of Good Success

Once again, we have the Church, by means of an ecclesiastical commission that carefully examined all the documents of the case, declaring her confidence in the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success to Ven. Mother Mariana.

The Archbishop also named Msgr. Luis E. Cadena y Almeida as the postulator for her cause. He compiled an impressive collection of historical documentation and testimonies, publishing them in numerous books and booklets to promote her cause.

One book in particular titled Prophetic Messages is worthy of comment, since it provides the historical data demonstrating the exact fulfillment of the prophecies Mother Mariana received from Our Lady of Good Success and the Christ Child. This book has the imprimatur of the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Quito.

Another proof of the confidence of the Church in the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success.

4. Constant approval of the Bishops of Quito

As I have noted in the Introduction to The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana, the devotion to Our Lady of Good Success has been approved by all the Bishops Quito since February 2, 1611. On that date, Bishop Salvador de Ribera consecrated the Statue with holy oils as “Mary of Good Success of the Purification or Candlemas.”

procession

Each year the people - with Church approval - carry a small statue of Our Lady of Good Success through the Quito streets at dawn

Every February 2 for the last 406 years, the Convent and the people of Quito have celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Good Success with the full approval of the ecclesiastical authority.

In 2011, the Jubilee Year commemorating the 400th year since the Consecration of the Statue, the Archdiocese authorized the recitation of a public novena in Quito in preparation for the feast day of Our Lady of Good Success on February 2.

The novena follows:

“O Mary, Our Lady of Good Success, our Queen and our Mother, in the name of Jesus and in His love we ask you to take charge of our concerns and to bring them to a good success! Pray for us and pray for the Church in her affliction!

Litany of Loreto…”


Perhaps one of the most convincing proofs of the authenticity of this devotion is to know that the recent Archbishops have generally followed the progressivist current more than the conservative wing.

Therefore, despite the dire prophecies about the current crisis we are witnessing in the Church that came after Vatican II opened her doors to the modern world, despite the fact that many traditionalists see those prophecies as predicting a change of doctrine that resulted from Vatican II, the religious authorities of Quito support this devotion.

Conclusion

I believe that the Canonical Papal Coronation is sufficient proof that the Vatican has approved the devotion and that the constant episcopal support for over 400 years speaks of the unquestioned endorsement of the Catholic Church for the devotion to Our Lady of Good Success in Quito.

This brings us to the second part of your friends’ argument, “that the groups who are promoting it are not in good standing with the Church.” Certainly this is a weak plank to stand on.

Instead of looking at the evidence that shows the Church’s longstanding approval for this devotion, they point their fingers at traditionalist groups they do not like and pretend this devotion cannot be true because they support it.

Needless to say, the argument is groundless. It is a condemnation by association. Even if those groups were wrong in their positions on other topics, an authentic devotion to Our Lady should not suffer from those errors. In fact, their support for this approved apparition speaks in their favor: By spreading this extraordinary devotion these groups show one more reason why they should be accepted.

In my opinion, this baseless accusation serves to show how biased and irrational many progressivist or pseudo-conservative Catholics are with regard to what traditional groups support. Instead of gratuitious complaints, they should first make an objective and open-minded study of the facts.

    Cordially,

    Marian T. Horvat

Posted May 25, 2017

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