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Q&A with Fr John Flader: Remarkable apparitions

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Statue of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador. Photo: Mark j, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
Statue of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador. Photo: Mark j, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

“Dear Father, I have a friend from Ecuador who says some nun from there made some extraordinary prophecies four centuries ago about situations today like the attack on marriage and the decline in religious practice. Do you know about this?”

I believe the prophecies to which you refer are those of the Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, who was born in Spain in 1563 and went to Ecuador at the age of thirteen. There she joined the Order of the Immaculate Conception in Quito and became the abbess three times.

On 2 February 1610 Our Lady appeared to her and asked that a statue be made of her with the title Mary of Good Success of the Purification. The statue was similar to one which had been found in miraculous circumstances in Spain around 1606 and was named Our Lady of Good Success by Pope Paul V. It was commissioned and blessed in 1611.

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One of the most extraordinary aspects of Mother Mariana’s life was the fact that she “died” three times. The first was in 1582, when she found herself before the judgment seat of God and was given the choice of remaining in heaven or of returning to earth to suffer as an expiatory victim for the sins of the twentieth century. She chose the latter.

Her second “death” was on Good Friday in 1588 after an apparition in which she saw the terrible abuses and heresies that would exist in the Church in our own times. She recovered two days later on Easter Sunday morning. After her death on 16 January 1635, her process of canonisation was opened and she has been declared Venerable.

From time to time she had revelations from Our Lord and Our Lady which are the source of the prophecies, later found to be “authentic, untampered with, and worthy of belief”.

One of the most remarkable prophecies came on 8 December 1634, when Our Lady told Mother Mariana that “pontifical infallibility will be declared a dogma of the faith by the same Pope chosen to proclaim the dogma of the mystery of my Immaculate Conception. He will be persecuted and imprisoned in the Vatican by the unjust usurpation of the Pontifical States through the iniquity, envy and avarice of an earthly monarch.” All of this came to pass two centuries later during the pontificate of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

Our Lady told Mother Mariana that at the end of the nineteenth century and especially in the twentieth, Satan would reign almost completely. She said: “As for the sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolises the union of Christ with his Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of faith until it reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. The effects of secular education will increase, which will be one reason for the lack of priestly and religious vocations…” It goes without saying that all of this has been borne out in our times.

As regards the priesthood, Our Lady said: “The sacred sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised. …The demon will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way and he will labour with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation, corrupting many of them. These corrupted priests, who will scandalise the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church to fall upon all priests. This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good pastors of the Church….” Again, we see this verified today, among other ways in the widespread clerical sexual abuse crisis.

“Moreover, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled impurity which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, those who should speak will fall silent.” This too has been a lamentable feature of our times with the widespread use of pornography, the lack of modesty and other sins against chastity.

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