Our Lady of Good Success - Questions
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Links between Our Lady of Good Success
in Quito & Madrid

Marian T, Horvat, Ph.D.
Hello TIA,

I love your site! Thank you for providing valuable information about this truly blessed devotion.

May I call upon your expertise to answer a few questions?

Could you explain the link between the statue of Our Lady of Good Success found in Spain (in a cave by two priests) and the one created in Quito?

It appears they're one and the same albeit different in size. Also, Mother Mariana was aware of the miracles linked to the statue in Madrid by way of her connection to the Royal Court. Had she seen the original statue?

Were both locations meant to have the same statue? Did Our Lady ever refer to this connection when speaking to Mother Mariana? Wouldn't Mother Mariana find the duplication interesting? I believe I'm missing an important part of the story.

Thank you in advance for providing any insights.

     Warm regards,

     K.A.

______________________


Dr. Marian Horvat responds:

Hello K.A.,

Thank you for your compliments on our work on Our Lady of Good Success.

I am pleased to address your questions.

madrid virgen

Above, Our Lady of Good Success in Madrid; below, Our Lady of Good Success in Quito

olgs
The original statue of Our Lady of Good Success was discovered in 1606 by two religious Obregones who were traveling from Madrid to Rome to ask Pope Paul V's approval for the habit of their Minim Congregation for the Service of the Sick (Mínima Congregación de los Hermanos Enfermeros, or Obregones), which was founded by Brother Bernardino de Obregon (1540-1599) to serve the sick in the Spanish hospitals.

Along the way to Rome, in the Triguera mountains in the province of Castellón, a terrible storm broke out, and the brothers, seeking shelter, entered a cave that was miraculously lighted on that dark night. In it they found the statue. In the picture above right I believe that we can say that there are some similarities between this original statue in Madrid and the statue in Quito.

When they arrived in Rome, they showed the statue to Paul V (1552-1621) who said, "Brothers, you have had a good success on your trip. So also you have a good success having your aspiration answered." [Hermanos, buen suceso habéis tenido en vuestro viaje. Téngalo también vuestra pretensión"]

He took off the gold cross that he wore and placed it on the Virgin. Then, he placed the Obregones under the protection of that image, which he gave the name of the Virgin of Good Success.

The name he chose was not an innovation, as Our Lady had long been invoked as the Virgin of Good Success of the Purification by women asking for good success in their pregnancies and, later, by extension, by sailors leaving on dangerous sea voyages.

That statue of Our Lady of Good Success became an inexhaustible source of graces and wonders, which were first experienced by the inhabitants of the city of Valencia, where the religious brothers took her.

Soon afterwards the Virgin of Good Success was tranferred with solemn splendor to the recently completed Iglesia de Buen Suceso in Madrid, which was connected to the Royal Hospital. There also there were many miracles and favors received for those who had recourse to her.

Mother Mariana and the Founding Mothers had not seen this statue, since they arrived in Quito to found the first Conceptionist Convent in the New World in 1576 and the statue in Spain was only discovered 30 years later, in 1606. Therefore, they could not have copied it in Quito. However, the Mothers were in close communication with Spain and, later, they probably heard about the miraculous discovery by the Obregones of the statue of Our Lady of Good Success and the many miracles she was working in the Royal Hospital in Madrid.

As reported in my book, on February 2, 1594, Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir of the Convent, recommending her community specifically to the Holy Virgin of Good Success. This is also reported in the Introduction of the Novena written by Fr. José M. Urrate, S.J., a Novena that received an imprimatur from the Archbishop of Quito Carlos Maria in 1941.

madridid

Shrine of Our Lady of Good Success in Madrid

When Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana, she carried the Divine Child in her left arm, like the statue in Madrid. When Mother Mariana asked the purpose of this heavenly visit, the Virgin responded, "I am Mary of Good Success, the one whom you have invoked with such tender affection."

Our Lady told Mother Mariana that she desired to be honored by the community as the principal Abbess until the end of time and ordered her to have a statue made just as she appeared before her with the title of Good Success. Then, Our Lady instructed the Mother to remove the cincture from her waist and use it to measure her height so that the statue would have the exact height as she appeared before her. This is why the statue in Quito is much larger than the Madrid image.

This apparition took place in 1594, 12 years before the Obregones found the statue that shortly afterwards would be transferred to Madrid. Again, I believe that the possibility Mother Mariana was copying the statue in Madrid should be discarded.

The Virgin told Mother Mariana to place the crosier and keys to the Convent in her right hand as a sign that she would be its Abbess and protector, for the Devil would make strong efforts through the centuries to destroy it, but all in vain, for that Convent would endure until the end of the world. This is why the Virgin of Good Success of Quito appears with the crosier in her right hand, instead of the scepter that the statue holds in Madrid.

Both images have the same name. However, the name Good Success was given to the statue in Spain by Pope Paul V, while the name of the Quito statue had been chosen by Our Lady herself 12 years before. The Madrid statue holds a scepter, the Quito Virgin a crozier. One is small, the other life-size. Both are beautiful statues and have some similarities in their faces and both hold the Christ Child in the left arm. These are the analogies and differences of the two statues that occur to me.

Titles of statues

virgin of the Candelabria

Statues in various countries with the title Virgin de Candelaria

Regarding the title, it has always been an accepted custom in the Catholic Church for various individual statues to share the same name:
  • For example, the many images and paintings of the Immaculate Conception, a devotion that was particularly popular among the Franciscans of that time,

  • or the Virgin de Candelaria (Candlemas), an invocation that originated at the end of the 14th century with the discovery of a statue on one of Canary Islands.
The images can vary in size and presentation, as you see in the pictures at right, following the inspiration of the artist or guidelines of the patron who ordered them.

Thus, it seems that Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres would not have found it unusual or surprising that the Virgin of Good Success should request that another statue in Quito be made under this name, since it was a known title and particularly since she was invoking Our Lady by this name in her prayers when she appeared.

I hope this response adequately responds to your questions.

I would also suggest that you read the Long Novena of Our Lady of Good Success, as the story of the discovery of the statue in Madrid is found there, as well as this article on the statue of Our Lady of Good Success in Madrid.

    Cordially,

     Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

Posted February 14, 2019

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