There is a direct connection between the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Good Success.
February 2nd, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary also known as Candlemas, marks the 40th day after the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the length of time that a woman, who gave birth to a son, would have to wait to be purified according to the old law. The law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, would be in a state which the law calls unclean for a period of time. If a woman gave birth to a son the length of time would be 40 days. If she gave birth to a girl the length of time would be 80 days.
Upon the expiration of this time the mother would bring to the Temple a lamb and a turtle-dove. These items are symbols of purity and fidelity. In cases where the persons were poor, two turtle-doves were sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest and the woman was then cleansed of the legal impurity and reinstated to her former privileges. Inside the Temple, Simeon and Anna, guided by the Holy Ghost, are waiting to see the Child. Mary, the living “Ark of the Covenant”, also guided by the same Holy Ghost, welcomes the saintly old man and puts the Salvation of the world into his arms. Being promised that he would not die until he had seen the Savior, Simeon says, “Now you can dismiss Your servant in peace, O Lord, because my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Devotion and zeal to honor God by observing every prescribed law given by Him, prompted Mary to perform this act even though her miraculous conception exempted her from it. She always was and will always be a spotless virgin who conceived Our Lord and Savior by the Holy Ghost. Because of this she was not subject under the law but submitted to it most humbly.
Now comes Candlemas. What is Candlemas? There are three principal popular blessings that are granted by the Church. The first two are ashes and palms. The third has lost it’s popularity but by the grace of God I hope revives and that is the blessing of candles on Candlemas Day, February 2nd. On this day each member of the family receives his or her own blessed candle which is to be used and lighted on birthdays, baptismal anniversaries, first Holy Communion, and in sickness. On this day, Candlemas Day, the father, at home, begins to gather the family for prayer by candlelight.
Father: Lord Jesus Christ, the true Light that enlightens every
man who comes into this world, pour forth Your blessing
upon these candles; sanctify them by the light of Your
grace and mercifully grant that as candles by their visible
light scatter the darkness of night, so too our hearts,
burning with invisible fire, may be freed from all blindness
of sin. With the eyes of our soul purified by Your Light, may we
discern those things that are pleasing to You and helpful to us,
so that having finished the darksome journey of this life, we may
come to never-fading joys through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior
of the world. In perfect Trinity You live and reign God forever.
Other prayers can be said then after the evening blessing. One popular prayer is by Abbot Gueranger: “O Blessed Mother, the sword is already in your heart. You fore-know the future of the Fruit of your womb. May our fidelity in following Him through the coming mysteries of His public life bring some alleviations to the sorrows of your maternal heart.”
Our Lady of Good Success told Mother Mariana, “They will have recourse to me under the invocation of Our Lady of Good Success, and I now ask and command that you have a statue made for the consolation and preservation of my convent and for those faithful souls of that epoch during which there will be great devotion to me, for I am Queen of Heaven under many invocations.” Mother Mariana was hesitant to go forward with this request from Our Lady. She prayed from January 21 to February 2, 1610. In the early morning hours of February 2nd Our Lady of Good Success appeared to Mother Mariana in the upper choir. Our Lady had a very serious and solemn demeanor and said, “Perchance you do not realize that I am an all-powerful Queen, and that I gave you this order having full knowledge of all these things that disturb you?” Our Lady continues, “Why do you doubt? Why do you tremble, when there is nothing to fear? This convent is my foundation and I love it more than you possibly could. With the making of my statue I will favor not only my convent, but also the people of Quito and all people throughout the centuries.” Mother Mariana had such deep humility and contrition that Our Lady forgave her.
Our Lady of Good Success continued to warn Mother Mariana about the 20th century, “During this epoch the Church will find herself attacked by terrible assaults from the Masonic sect, and this poor Ecuadorian land will be agonizing because of the corruption of customs, unbridled luxury and extravagance, an impious press and secular education. The vices of impurity, blasphemy and sacrilege will dominate in this time of depraved desolation, and those who should speak out will be silent. A simple humble faith in the truth of my apparitions to you, my most favored child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls docile to the inspiration of grace…” Mother Mariana hastened and went to her spiritual director and after much prayer and meditation he ordered Mother Mariana to go to the bishop to request that the statue of Our Lady of Good Success be made. The bishop gave his approval and a sculptor was assigned. With the finishing touches awaiting, the night before the sculptor was to return, Mother Mariana and all the sisters gave greater efforts to their prayers and asked Our Lady to complete her statue herself as she had promised. While Mother Mariana said her early morning prayers alone in the sanctuary, the church was filled with celestial lights. Then the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael saluted the Queen of Heaven. St. Michael bowed and said, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy, Daughter of God the Father.” St. Gabriel said, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy, Mother of God the Son.” And St. Raphael said, “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy, Most Pure Spouse of the Holy Ghost.” Then in unison they intoned: “Hail to Thee, Mary Most Holy, Temple and Sacrarium of the Most Holy Trinity.”
In a flash the heavenly trio ascended to the upper choir and finished the statue. Then the heavenly choir started singing the Salve Sancta Parens and as they sang the Queen of Angels approached the statue and entered into it with great joy. It was 3am and at the very moment the holy statue took on life and sang with the celestial choir the Magnificat.
On January 24th a novena was said in preparation for the statue’s formal installment and on February 2nd, 1611, the bishop blessed the miraculous statue under the name of Mary of Good Success of the Purification (or Candlemas Day). Let’s all pray to Our Lady of Good Success that one day this day, February 2nd, the Feast of the Purification or Candlemas Day, will become a first class feast day to honor Our Lady of Good Success!
To hear more about this great feast and the connection with Our Lady of Good Success listen to MAGNIFICAT RADIO from 6am – 8am and from 3pm – 5pm, CST, USA, Monday, February 1st, when Your Morning Tradition interviews Kathy Heckenkamp, co-founder of Our Lady of Good Success Apostolate. Click the LISTEN LIVE button at MAGNIFICAT MEDIA.
Here’s a link to Kathy’s apostolate: Our Lady of Good Success