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Our Lady of Good Success or
Our Lady of Buen Suceso?

In Honor of ‘Maria Santissima del Buen Suceso de la Purificacion’

Our Lady of Good Success aka Our Lady of Buen Suceso aka Mary of Buen Suceso aka Holy Mary of Good Success aka... and on and on...

However, the official title that Our Lady asked for in Quito, Ecuador was:

The title Maria Santissima del Buen Suceso de la Purificacion which was also extended via the "godmother" or "madrina" of the statue, the Marquesa de Solanda to: Maria Santissima del Buen Suceso de la Purificacion y Candelaria which in English translates to: Most Holy Mary of Good Success of the Purification and Candelmas.

Wow, either one of those Spanish titles are a real mouthful, aren't they?!? Those titles are extremely difficult for me – an American – to read, much less pronounce! But there they are!

I imagine many devotees of Our Lady of Good Success are now more confused than ever! What is the correct title to call this beautiful Lady in Quito that came to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in the 1500-1600's to warn us about our times? You could say that they ALL are correct in one way or the other, but for us, Americans, must we say the complete official Spanish title, or a combination of sorts, or what?

Our Lady Good Success 1
Well, in order to answer this question, I thought I would share a little 20th century history of how the title Maria Santissima del Buen Suceso de la Purificacion came to be known as Our Lady of Good Success. And rest assured, Our Lady has well-accepted her title as Good Success for many, many years now! I will start with the most recent and how I discovered this historical data and go backwards... as I learned it.

In 1998 or 1999, when I read for the first time about Our Lady of Good Success, I was first taken by her face – that image that is on the front of the book by Dr. Marian Horvat titled Prophecies for Our Times. Reading the title of her name of Our Lady of Good Success, well, it sounded so good to my ear and expressed feelings of hope, inspiring me to know more about this Lady who I knew nothing about!

My first thought was what a sweet, innocent, child-like, yet motherly, face it was!!! I had no idea what the story was behind that photo – that miraculous image of the countenance of Our Lady!

Thus, upon reading the story – her prophecies and how they related to the era in which we lived, I was so excited that I wanted to spread this devotion! But, I thought I needed to know more... I scoured the internet looking for any other book that had been printed in English on the subject.

There was nothing except for an obscure green book titled: A Spanish Mystic in Quito: Sor Mariana de Jesus Torres by Msgr. Luis E. Cadena y Almeida, written in 1987 in English. The publishing date was marked as 1990 by "The Foundation for A Christian Civilization." It is in this book that one can also read that back in 1987, Nuestra Senora del Buen Suceso was translated as Our Lady of Good Success.

Msgr. Cadena y Almeida

Msgr. Luis Cadena y Almeida

This is fairly significant as this author, Msgr. Cadena y Almeida, was also the Postulator for the Cause of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres until his death. He was a very educated priest holding a doctorate in Philosophy, History and Letters. He was the director of the Archiespiscopal Archive of the Curia of Quito. He founded at least six Educational Institutions in Quito. He had also received a number of awards for education etc. (btw he presented all of his awards to Our Lady of Good Success in a solemn ceremony on October 6, 1985).

He bore all the credentials of a learned man – someone who should be put in charge to do the work that he did! In other words, this priest was no slouch! I had truly hoped to meet him, but, unfortunately, he died before I could get to Quito on my next visit!

He, also, wrote several other books on the topic of Mother Mariana and Our Lady of Good Success, but this book was the only one to be translated into English. I think this particular book is an important piece of historical evidence as it proves and verifies that the Buen Suceso was translated, or at least allowed to be translated by the Postulator for the Cause, to Good Success.

Text using the title Our Lady of Good Success

Text in English approved by Msgr. Cadena y Almeida using the expression Our Lady of Good Success

Additionally, the Official Title of the Blessed Mother appearing to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres was: Maria Santissima del Buen Suceso de la Purificacion and was translated there as Holy Mary of Good Success of the Purification.

Throughout the book, he often refers to Our Mother as Our Lady of Good Success. I would say that is quite a change from the official title. One wonders why he did such a thing?

Well, the best hypothesis that I could come up with is that as he pondered introducing this approved devotion to the English-speaking people – a devotion that was actually approved – give or take – 400 years ago i.e., in the Spanish Colonial period in Ecuador, he considered that there somehow needed to be an adjustment.

One can imagine this title would need to measure up to other prayers and devotions to Our Lady. For the last 150 - 200 years or so, the Catholic Church had gained a number of approved apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary. And guess what? The greater majority of these Madonnas had been titled in their English translation as: Our Lady of ... For example: Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, and on and on.

A  Spanish Mystic in Quito: Sor Mariana de Jesus Torres The book by Msgr. Cadena y Almeida from where the texts above were taken
As well, Our Lady of Fatima stated she was Our Lady of the Rosary but we never call her: Our Lady of Fatima of the Rosary and Our Lady of Lourdes stated that she was The Immaculate Conception but we never call her: Our Lady of Lourdes of the Immaculate Conception! It would be too wordy and superfluous! Thus, it would make sense that this postulator, in trying to assimilate this 400 years devotion into 20th century American Catholic Culture, wanted to have the English translation of the name to coincide with the other Marian devotions so as to, in a way, "fit in" or "catch up" with the other approved devotions to Our Lady.

And to me, an average Catholic raised in a solid Catholic Family, it really makes sense. Additionally, I have never seen any combined language in a title to the Blessed Mother such as this Our Lady of Buen Suceso before.

For example: we don't say: Our Lady of El Rosario – we say: Our Lady of the Rosary etc. I know that many people on trying to read or pronounce this "Spanglish" title of Our Lady of Buen Suceso have had a lot of trouble and become confused!!

One can see here that even in the "Last Will and Testament of Mother Mariana," the Postulator for the Cause of Mother Mariana, Msgr. Cadena y Almeida, has Mother Mariana call the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady of Good Success.

At the end of Msgr. Cadena's book on page 157, under "Acknowledgement," Msgr. Cadena wrote:

"After having written this modest book in order to reveal the preferential love of God for the Ecuadorean nation ... a miracle happened ... a generous hand drew it from obscure anonymity and will present it to the immensely noble and benevolent people of the United States of America."

Thus, it cannot be contested that Msgr. Cadena y Almeida made this translation particularly for those of us here in the USA!

Additionally I would like to add that I don't imagine he ever expected us to have to say the official Spanish title nor would he imagine her title here in the USA to be anything but: Our Lady of Good Success.

In fact, the following prayer was composed by Msgr. Cadena dedicated to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres which is more proof that it was his wish that we would not only call this Virgin of Quito who graced the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception Our Lady of Good Success, but that we should pray to her under this beautiful title as well!

Solemn Pledge to Mariana de Jesus Torres
by Msgr. Luis A. Cadena y Almeida

Blessed be thee, Mariana Francisca de Jesus Torres! Thy warnings of justice have struck our very bones. We acknowledge that we are in kinship with thee for having sown in these Andean Mountain ranges the white and blue lilies of the Immaculate Conception; for having won for us the gift of the Christian Faith and love for Mary; and for having sprinkled in our lives the iridescent gold of hope engendered by the devotion to the Mother of Good Success, the certain anchor of salvation.

By the example of thy life, resplendent with virtues; by the fulfillment of thy prophecies and the Divine message that thy hands placed in our consciences; by all the marvels of sanctity, love and graces worked by God to form thee, educate thee, and perfect thee; and by thy sacrificial and permanent self-surrender for our conversion and salvation; for these and all that we owe thee, we offer to thee our undying gratitude.

And, as a pledge of this, we also offer:
  • To be faithful to the devotion and propagation of the cult of Our Lady of Good Success.

  • To form a stronghold with our hearts, our minds and all our human and superhuman efforts in order to defend the interests, ideals and purposes inherent to the existence of thy foundation of the Royal Convent of the Immaculate Conception.

  • To join prayers and efforts of every kind to achieve from the ecclesiastic authorities the acknowledgement of the sanctity of thy life and thy work so that thou might be crowned with the honor of the altars for the glory of God, the Church and Ecuador and the World.
(N.B.– This prayer was written by Msgr. Dr. Luis E. Cadena y Almeida – Postulator for the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Mother Mariana Francisca de Jesus Torres y Berriochoa, Quito, March 1, 1987. This prayer was found in his book, A Spanish Mystic in Quito. This book bears an Imprimatur)

God bless Msgr. Cadena y Almeida for his good work to spread this devotion to the United States of America!!!

     Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...

     Kathy Heckenkamp
     The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success
     1288 Summit Ave Suite 107
     Oconomowoc, WI. 53066
     phone 262-567-0920
     website: www.ourladyofgoodsuccess.com


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted March 6, 2019

The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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