The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana
Fr. Manuel Sousa Pereira - 1790
Format: Paperback, 252 pp.
Publication Date: 2005
The only centuries old source
available on the topic.
Used as evidence for the beatification
process of Mother Mariana.
The first of two volumes by Fr. Pereira.
Translated by Marian T. Horvat
Who is Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres?
She was a Conceptionist nun in Quito, Ecuador, in the 17th century who received apparitions and revelations from Our Lady. Our Lady described an enormous crisis in the Church that would take place in the 20th century. She asked Mother Mariana to become an expiatory victim for that crisis.
How did Our Lady describe this crisis?
Impurity, heresy and blasphemy would innundate the Church. The remedy for that situation would be linked to the devotion of Our Lady of Good Success. She promised to intervene and defeat the evil when the abuse of power by the religious authorities reached its apex.
Why is this devotion so important for each one of us?
Our Lady said she wanted to be honored under this title now, in our difficult times. She promised to give her good success to those who had recourse to her under this invocation.
Volume I reports the first three apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success, Mother Mariana’s childhood and early life in the Convent, her trials, sufferings, and favors.
This devotion has been approved by Church authorities since 1611.
Visit Our Lady of Good Success Home Page
Read the Foreword
About Fr. Manuel Pereira
Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
The story and prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success are inseparable from the person of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, a Conceptionist religious who traveled from Spain to the New World at age 13 to help found a convent in the city of Quito, Ecuador. This saintly soul received apparitions of Our Lady with revelations regarding future events, especially the grievous situation of the Catholic Church in the 20th century.
Our Lady told her that in our lamentable times, heresies would abound, the corruption of customs would be almost complete, and the light of Faith nearly extinguished. To atone for the heresies, blasphemies, and impurity of our days, this 17th century nun was asked to become an expiatory victim. The vocation of Mother Mariana links her, therefore, to the crisis in the Church and society that we are experiencing today.
The publication of my two short works, Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for Our Times (1999) and Stories and Miracles of Our Lady of Good Success (2002), has generated a great interest in this admirable Conceptionist sister and these revelations. The broad acceptance for those revelations encouraged me to publish this biography of Mother Mariana, which is the source of the data used in my books.
Also, many questions have been addressed to me. Among other things, readers are asking: Is this an approved devotion? Why are we only hearing about Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres and her prophecies now?
First, let me assure my readers that this is not some new or questionable devotion. The devotion to Our Lady of Good Success has been approved by the Bishops of Quito since February 2, 1611, when the 8th Bishop of Quito, Salvador de Ribera (1607-1612) blessed the miraculous statue and formally installed Our Lady of Good Success in the Abbess’ chair of the Convent. Every February 2 for the last 394 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 1991, the Archdiocese of Quito petitioned Rome for a canonical coronation of Our Lady of Good Success as Queen of Quito, a ceremony that took place on February 2, 1991. The same year, the Church of the Conceptionist Convent was declared an Archdiocesan Marian Sanctuary.
Second, the great virtue of Mother Mariana and the truth of the revelations she received from the Mother of God have been demonstrated by incontrovertible historical evidence. After examining extensive data on her life, Archbishop of Quito Antonio J. Gonzales issued an episcopal decree on August 8, 1986 to initiate her Cause of Beatification. He named Msgr. Luis Cadena y Almeida as postulator for the cause and established an ecclesiastical tribunal to begin the first phase of the process. This 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 Mother of God. It also acknowledged her supernatural gifts and charismas during her lifetime. (1)
Her cause of beatification was initiated
in August 1986.
Since then, Msgr. Cadena y Almeida has compiled an impressive arsenal of documentation, testimonies, and works – many of which he published with ecclesiastical approval – that demonstrate the sanctity of life of Mother Mariana and the truth of the prophecies she received. I have cited material from these works in footnotes of this biography to provide some interesting details and background regarding her life, as well as to show how the prophecies she received have been fulfilled most accurately. (2)
1. The decree and numerous other documents were published in a work written by the Postulator for Mother Mariana’s cause, Msgr. Luis Cadena y Almeida, entitled La Mujer y la Monja Extraordinaria (Quito: Libreria Espiritual, n.d.).
Included in his compilation of evidence was the 571-page handwritten biography of Mother Mariana written by Fr. Manuel Sousa Pereira, O.F.M. in 1790. (3) The work by Fr. Pereira has special value because he based it on primary sources from the Convent archives. Such sources included the Autobiography of Madre Mariana, written at the command of Bishop Pedro de Oviedo and approved by him, as well as several other early biographies written by Franciscans who knew her. (4)
2. Msgr. Cadena y Almeida dedicated one work specifically to the demonstration of how the prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success have been confirmed by History. It is entitled Mensaje Profético de La Sierva de Dios Sor Mariana Francisca de Jesus Torres y Berriochoa (Quito: Libreria Espiritual, 1989).
3. The complete Spanish original title of this work is Vida de la Reverendissima Madre Mariana de Jesús Torres, Española y una de las Fundadoras del Monasterio Real de la Limpia Concepción en la ciudad de Quito.
Volume I of Fr. Pereira’s well-documented work is being presented here in its first English translation for the benefit of the growing number of devotees of Our Lady of Good Success in the United States.
Its English translation is The Life of the Most Reverend Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, Spaniard and One of the Founders of the Royal Monastery of the Immaculate Conception in the City of Quito.
4. Fr. Martin de Ochoa was assigned to write an account of the life of Mother Mariana shortly after her death. Fr. Francis de Anguita, her spiritual director and confessor, also wrote a work on her life. In 1650, 15 years after her death, at the mandate of the Royal Audience of Quito, Don Diego Rodríguez Docampo wrote an account of her life and prophetic gift she received. Fr. Pereira also referred to a biography written by Fr. Bartolomé Ochoa de Alcano y Gamboa in 1760.
Third, the reason why this devotion and these important prophecies only became known some 300 years after they were revealed is answered by Our Lady herself. On February 2, 1634, at the end of her life, Mother Mariana was praying, humbly beseeching Our Lady to hide her name and person. At that moment, the Mother of God appeared to her and assured her that only after three centuries of silence, in the 20th century, would her name and the truth of these revelations become known.
In those days of great calamity, a filthy ocean of impurity would inundate the world and the ingratitude and betrayal of religious souls would compel Our Lord to let His justice fall on a beleaguered world, Our Lady told Mother Mariana. In those difficult times when the Church would be so embattled and suffering from within, Our Lady told her, she wanted to sustain the faithful and be invoked under the title of Our Lady of Good Success. She promised to give good success to those who had recourse to her and fostered devotion to her under this particular title.
Just as Our Lady predicted, the prophecies only became known to the larger public at the end of the 20th century, when the devotion began to spread outside the borders of Ecuador.
Volume I of Fr. Pereira’s work relates many details from the early life of Mother Mariana until the year 1594. In these pages, you will find a detailed account of the two deaths and resurrections she experienced, her four unjust imprisonments inside the Convent, and her heroic sacrifice of suffering mystically in Hell for five years to ransom the soul of the “captain,” the rebellious sister who led the non-observant faction inside the Convent. It also records the first three revelations of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana.
I believe that the reader will eagerly anticipate Volume II, which Tradition in Action intends to publish as soon as possible. In it, Fr. Pereira completes the story of the marvelous life of Mother Mariana, recounts the history of the miraculous way the statue of Our Lady of Good Success was completed, gives many more prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success, many about our times, and leaves us the stirring Last Testament of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres.
It seems to me an opportune time for the life of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres to become better known to the English-speaking public. The prophecies she received from Our Lady of Good Success help us understand the enormous crisis the Church is suffering today with the introduction of the errors of Modernism at the turn of the 19th century, and the victory of Progressivism inside her walls at Vatican Council II in the early ‘60s. This victory marked the beginning of what has been called by its own partisans the “conciliar Revolution,” which changed the face of the Catholic Church, her doctrine, her liturgy, her laws, her institutions and customs, and abolished her traditions.
Finally, I should remark that Our Lady of Good Success also gave a message of great hope. She promised her intercession at the very moment when the evil will seem to be triumphant and when the ecclesiastical authority will abuse its power. This would mark, as Our Lady said, “the arrival of my hour, when, in a marvelous way, I will dethrone the proud and accursed Satan, trampling him under my feet and fettering him in the infernal abyss.” (5) These words harmonize perfectly with the message of hope Our Lady delivered to the three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
5. Horvat, Our Lady of Good Success – Prophecies for Our Times, (Los Angeles: TIA, 2000), pp. 57-8.
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