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The Joyful Mysteries

without Distractions

The Joyful Mysteries (without Distractions)

Illustrations and suggested points of reflection from our booklet Praying the Rosary Without Distractions , available in our on-line store.

Also available in our store: the booklet Scripturally Based Rosary , ideal for individual study and prayer.

(Numbers other than the 10 Hail Marys refer to the numbers pointing to the beads in the above illustration.)

Skip to expert mode

1) Make the Sign of the Cross saying “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”, and say the Apostles’ Creed : “I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”

2) Say the Our Father : “Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

3) Say three Hail Marys for Faith, Hope, and Charity: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” – 3 times.

4) Say the Glory Be : “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

The First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation

5) Announce “ The First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation ” and then say the Our Father .

6) Say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.

  • The time for the Incarnation is at hand.
  • Of all women God prepared Mary from her conception to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word.
  • The Angel Gabriel announces: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee.”
  • Mary wonders at this salutation.
  • The Angel assures her: “Fear not . . . you shall conceive in your womb, and give birth to a Son.”
  • Mary is troubled for she has made a vow of virginity.
  • The Angel answers that she will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and her Son will be called the Son of God.
  • The Incarnation awaits Mary’s consent.
  • Mary answers: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.”
  • The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Spiritual Fruit: Humility

7) Glory Be Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Oh My Jesus O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

The Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation

8) Announce “ The Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation ” and then say the Our Father .

Say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.

  • Mary’s cousin Elizabeth conceived a son in her old age… for nothing is impossible with God.
  • Charity prompts Mary to hasten to visit Elizabeth in the hour of her need.
  • The journey to Elizabeth’s home is about eighty miles requiring four or five days.
  • Though long and arduous, the journey is joyous, for Mary bears with her the Incarnate Word.
  • At Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist is sanctified in his mother’s womb.
  • Elizabeth exclaims: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
  • “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
  • “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled.”
  • Mary replies: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit finds joy in God my Savior.”
  • Mary serves her cousin in all humility for three months until the birth of John the Baptist.

Spiritual Fruit: Love of Neighbor

Glory Be Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity of Our Lord

Announce “ The Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity of Our Lord ” and then say the Our Father.

  • Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem to comply with the decree of Caesar Augustus.
  • The hour for Mary to give birth is near, but there is no room in the inn.
  • In the stillness of the night, the Savior is born in a cave, Mary remaining a Virgin.
  • She wraps Him in swaddling clothes and lays Him in a manger.
  • In unspeakable joy Mary gathers to her bosom the Flower of her virginity.
  • Jesus enters the world in poverty to teach the lesson of detachment from earthly things.
  • The angel announces to the shepherds: “Today there is born to you in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.”
  • The angelic chorus sing: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth.”
  • The shepherds come to the stable to pay homage to the Infant Jesus.
  • The Magi come to adore the Holy Child and offer Him gifts.

Spiritual Fruit: Detachment

The Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation

Announce “ The Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation ” and then say the Our Father .

  • Observing the law of Moses they take Jesus to the Temple to present Him to the Lord.
  • According to the Law the firstborn male child of every family should be consecrated to the Lord.
  • Mary offers her Son to the Father, then ransoms Him back at the price paid by the poor.
  • Jesus is not subject to the law of Moses, yet to teach obedience, submits to it.
  • Mary is not subject to the law of purification, yet in humility she submits to it.
  • God had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah.
  • Recognizing the Child, he prays: “Now you can dismiss your servant in peace. You have fulfilled your word.”
  • “This Child is destined to be the downfall and rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed.”
  • And to Mary Simeon reveals: “And your own soul a sword shall pierce.”
  • After they fulfill all the Law requires they return to Nazareth.

Spiritual Fruit: Obedience

The Fifth Joyful Mystery – Finding Jesus in the Temple

Announce “ The Fifth Joyful Mystery – Finding Jesus in the Temple ” and then say the Our Father .

  • When Jesus is twelve years old, He goes with His parents to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
  • After the feast of the Passover, Joseph and Mary unknowingly set out for Nazareth without Jesus.
  • At the end of the first day’s journey they discover Jesus is missing.
  • His parents return immediately looking for Him.
  • This loss causes grief and anxiety beyond our understanding to the hearts of Mary and Joseph.
  • On the third day, they find Jesus in the Temple among the Doctors who were astonished at His wisdom.
  • Mary: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow.”
  • Jesus: “Why did you search for Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
  • Jesus goes down with them to Nazareth, and is subject to them.
  • Mary keeps all these things in her heart.

Spiritual Fruit: Perseverance

Closing Prayers

Hail Holy Queen Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our Sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us, the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Final Prayer Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Make the Sign of the Cross .

HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY LUMINOUS MYSTERIES

Expert Mode

  • Make the Sign of the Cross saying “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”, and say the Apostles’ Creed : “I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”
  • Say the Our Father : “Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
  • Say three Hail Marys for Faith, Hope, and Charity: “Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” – 3 times.
  • Say the Glory Be : “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
  • The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Oh My Jesus

Spiritual Fruit: Humility

Optional Additional Prayers

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us. (repeat after each line) Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins,

Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Divine Grace, Mother of Hope, Mother Most Pure, Mother Most Chaste, Mother Inviolate, Mother Undefiled, Mother Most Amiable, Mother Most Admirable, Mother of Good Counsel, Mother of our Creator, Mother of our Savior,

Virgin Most Prudent, Virgin Most Venerable, Virgin Most Renowned, Virgin Most Powerful, Virgin Most Merciful, Virgin Most Faithful,

Mirror of Justice, Seat of Wisdom, Cause of Our Joy, Spiritual Vessel, Vessel of Honor, Singular Vessel of Devotion, Mystical Rose, Tower of David, Tower of Ivory, House of Gold, Ark of the Covenant, Gate of Heaven, Morning Star,

Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Solace of Migrants, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians,

Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Confessors, Queen of Virgins, Queen of all Saints, Queen conceived without Original Sin, Queen assumed into heaven, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Queen of Families, Queen of Peace,

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray, Grant, we beseech you, O Lord God, that we your servants may enjoy lasting health of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrow to delight in joy eternal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness. As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.

Prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary

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joyful mystery presentation

A Rosary for Life: The Joyful Mysteries

The following meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are offered as a prayer for all life, from conception to natural death.

The First Joyful Mystery

The annunciation of our lord.

Prayer Intention:  For parents facing an unexpected pregnancy, that they lovingly accept the precious life God has entrusted to their care.

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-33, 38) As an angel proclaimed the conception of Christ in Mary's virginal womb, so do mothers and fathers learn every day of the conception of their child.  Let us pray to the Mother of all the Living that every child be treasured and protected from the first moment of conception as an inestimable and wondrous gift of God.

Our Father... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: inspire the hearts of all newly pregnant women with the joy of which you sang at the Annunciation...  Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: deliver all parents from fear, and implant in their hearts a joyful hope...  Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: pray that joy may embrace the lives of all expectant parents... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: pray for grandparents, that the witness of their joy might be a source of strength to their expectant children...  Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: be with all new parents, that the miracle of new life silently growing in the womb will awaken in them a commitment to cherish and protect their child...  Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: pray that all might be inspired by the wonder of new life and embrace God's overwhelming gift... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: watch over all new parents with your maternal care, from the first moments of new life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: rejoice with the mother who first feels the stirring of the child in her womb... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: intercede for all parents who long to carry a child in their arms... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Bless adoptive parents and rejoice with them in the beauty of their child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Second Joyful Mystery

The visitation.

Prayer Intention : That the family and friends of expectant parents might reach out and support them as they prepare to meet their child face to face.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:39-45) As the child in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy when the Blessed Virgin, pregnant with the Son of God, came to meet her, so may our hearts leap with joy at the wonders of new life promised in every expectant mother. Our Father... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Inspire us to rejoice with all expectant parents and to support them with our prayers... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Comfort expectant fathers when they are afraid... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Share your courage with all women who fear the coming birth of their child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Be close to all expectant mothers, as they bear the child of their womb... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Give us the joy of Saint Elizabeth and her son whenever we meet the miracle of new life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Pray that all our laws may protect and defend the innocent life which lives within each mother's womb... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Give courage by your example to those who greet the news of their pregnancy with fear... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Teach us to support all expectant parents and to increase their joy in the miracle of God's work within them... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Ask that God gives us the wisdom to support those tempted to abort their child's life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Inspire even those who perform abortions with the truth of him whom you bore in your womb... Hail Mary, full of grace... Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Third Joyful Mystery

The nativity of jesus.

Prayer Intention : That the love of the Blessed Mother and the Christ Child may be a source of strength for every expectant mother, especially mothers living in poverty, and that they both will be surrounded by joy and love.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." (Luke 2: 6-12) In the birth of every child we see the birth of Christ Jesus in the Bethlehem stable.  Let us commend all new mothers and fathers and every newborn child to the protection and intercession of the Mother of God and Mother of all Christians. Our Father... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Come swiftly to the aid of all who labor in distress... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Give your own courage to mothers who are alone or abandoned... Hail Mary, full of grace.. . Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Implant within the hearts of all grandparents the wonder known by the shepherds at the birth of your Son... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: pray for those who assist with the labor which brings new life: for skill and compassion... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Help us to welcome the gift of new life, as you welcomed the birth of your Son... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Strengthen the joy of all men and women who behold the wonder of new life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Let the face of the newborn child proclaim the Gospel of Life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy:  Guide the hands and hearts of obstetricians in their holy work... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: help us to proclaim the Gospel of Life in our care for each newborn child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: be present at the moment of birth to share in our joy... Hail Mary, full of grace... Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Fourth Joyful Mystery

The presentation in the temple.

Prayer Intention : That fathers of young children will model St. Joseph in devoutly practicing their faith, so that they lead their children to God by their words and example.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." (Luke 2:25-32) As Christ was consecrated to God at his presentation in the temple, so may we consecrate all children to that holiness, purity, and innocence by which they lead us to God.  "A little child shall lead them." Our Father... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: watch over every child and keep them safe and close to your Son... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Inspire all mothers to care for their children, as you cared for the child Jesus... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy:  Be with all fathers of newborn babies that they might glory in the wonder of new life... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Gently guide new parents as they lead their little ones to your Son... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Pray for the toddler who, like your Son, reaches out in hope to a brand new world... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Hold close to your immaculate heart the innocence and joy of each little child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Be a model of maternal love for those who need you the most... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Bless with your presence the room of each little child... Hail Mary, full of grace ... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Welcome home to heaven the soul of the miscarried child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Rejoice with us, as you did with Saint Joseph, at the first steps and first words of every child... Hail Mary, full of grace... Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Fifth Joyful Mystery

The finding in the temple.

Prayer Intention : For all children who have been lost and forgotten, that they may be led to a place where they are treasured, protected and loved.

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"  But they did not understand what he said to them. (Luke 2:41-50) As the Christ Child was found in the temple by the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, so we pray for all children, especially those lost and forgotten.  May the Gospel of Life impel us to find them when they are most in need and to lead them home to a place where they are treasured, protected, and loved. Our Father... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Bring joy to the lives of children who are abused in body or mind... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Deliver the abusive adult from the evil of their actions... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Guide those who work to find children who are lost... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Pray for all children unwanted or abandoned, and lead them home... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Be with parents unable to care for their children: teach them patience and holiness... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Teach young parents to treasure their child as you loved the Child Jesus... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Pray for doctors who have abandoned the practice of the faith: lead them home to your Son... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Intercede with your son for all who perform abortions that they may be freed from a blindness to the evil of their actions... Hail Mary, full of grace... Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Inspire all legislators by your love for us, that they might work for the protection of life... Hail Mary, full of grace...

Holy Mary, Mother of Joy: Guide, by your holy example, all who seek to lead us and lead them to a love for the Gospel of Life... Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.  

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Fourth Joyful Mystery— The Presentation in the Temple

By: Guest blogger on February 7th, 2023

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Fourth Joyful Mystery— The Presentation in the Temple

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary  |  To Jesus Through Mary  |  how to pray the rosary

Forty days after His miraculous birth, Jesus was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph to be formally consecrated to the Lord.     

As I think about this event in the life of Christ, my heart and mind are drawn to Mary. What was she thinking and feeling when she walked into the Temple—a mere forty days postpartum? Was she exhausted? In pain, her body still healing from giving birth?  

Was she still reeling from the miraculous events in Bethlehem? Pondering the visits by the shepherd and the choirs of angels that announced her Son’s birth?    

I imagine Mary and Joseph walking into the Temple, proud yet exhausted. Excited for this moment in their Son’s life, but also, maybe ready to be home.    

I imagine that Mary and Joseph, like most new parents, were settling into their new normal. A routine that revolved around nursing and diapers and sleeping when Jesus slept. Perhaps, in the quiet of their home, the miraculous was fading into the ordinary, the gentle rhythm of life with a newborn taking hold of the household.    

And then, suddenly, during a ritual with prescribed actions and words, something unexpected happened. The predictable and ordinary were overtaken by the extraordinary.    

Someone intrudes on their family moment.    

Simeon’s pronouncements, his recognition of the Messiah, must have hit Mary like a thunderbolt. His words a reminder that this Child belonged to more than just her- He was destined for the rise and fall of many so that the hearts of many would be revealed.    

The Gospels mention only a few moments of Jesus’ childhood, but in each of them, we see Mary sharing her Son with others at what usually would have been intimate family moments. She welcomed the shepherds at His birth. She opened her arms and allowed Simeon and Anna to hold her Baby. And later, she will realize He has left her side on a family pilgrimage. She finds Him teaching in the Temple, only to be reminded that He has work to do.    

Time and again, I am grateful that the Mother of Christ opens her arms to me, as she did in each of those moments, making space for me close to her Son. She does not get frustrated at sharing Him; she welcomes any and all into her family.    

Click here to learn how to pray the Rosary. 

Colleen Pressprich is a wife and mom with a passion for helping other families grow their domestic church. Author of Marian Consecration for Young Children and The Women Doctors of the Church . You can read more of her writing at ElevatorToHeaven.com.

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Introduction to the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are the first of the three traditional sets of events in the life of Christ upon which Catholics meditate while praying the rosary . (The other two are the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary . A fourth set, the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary  was introduced by Pope John Paul II in 2002 as an optional devotion.)

The Joyful Mysteries cover Christ's life from the Annunciation to the Finding in the Temple, at age 12. Each mystery is associated with a particular fruit, or virtue, which is illustrated by the actions of Christ and Mary in the event commemorated by that mystery. While meditating on the mysteries, Catholics also pray for those fruits or virtues.

Traditionally, Catholics meditate on the Joyful Mysteries while praying the rosary on Monday and Thursday, as well as on the Sundays from the beginning of Advent until the beginning of Lent . For those Catholics who use the optional Luminous Mysteries, Pope John Paul II (in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae , which proposed the Luminous Mysteries) suggested praying the Joyful Mysteries on Monday and Saturday, leaving Thursday open for meditation on the Luminous Mysteries.

Each of the following pages features a brief discussion of one of the Joyful Mysteries, the fruit or virtue associated with it, and a short meditation on the mystery. The meditations are simply meant as an aid to contemplation; they do not need to be read while praying the rosary. As you pray the rosary more often, you will develop your own meditations on each mystery.

The Annunciation - The First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Annunciation of the Lord , when the angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce that she had been chosen by God to bear His Son. The virtue most commonly associated with the mystery of the Annunciation is humility.

Meditation on the Annunciation:

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38). With those words—her fiat —the Virgin Mary placed her trust in God. She was only 13 or 14; betrothed, but not yet married; and God was asking her to become the Mother of His Son. How easy it would have been to say no, or at least to ask God to choose someone else! Mary had to have known what others would think, how people would look at her; for most people pride would prevent them from accepting God's Will.

But not Mary. In humility, she knew that her entire life depended on God; how could she turn down even this most remarkable of requests? From a young age, her parents had dedicated her to the service of the Lord; now, this humble servant would devote her entire life to the Son of God.

Yet the Annunciation is not only about the humility of the Virgin Mary. In this moment, the Son of God "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself . . . " (Philippians 2:7-8). If Mary's humility was remarkable, how much more so that of Christ! The Lord of the Universe has become one of His own creatures, a man like us in everything but sin, but even more humble than the best of us, because the Author of Life, in the very moment of His Annunciation, became "obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8).

How, then, can we refuse God anything He asks of us? How can we let our pride stand in the way? If Mary can give up all worldly reputation to bear His Son, and His Son can empty Himself and, though sinless, die the death of sin on our behalf, how can we refuse to take up our cross and follow Him?

The Visitation - The Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Visitation , when the Virgin Mary, having learned from the angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was also with child, rushed to her side. The virtue most commonly associated with the mystery of the Visitation is love of neighbor.

Meditation on the Visitation:

"And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43). Mary has just received life-changing news, news that no other woman will ever receive: She is to be the Mother of God. Yet in announcing this to her, the angel Gabriel also revealed that Mary's cousin Elizabeth is six months' pregnant. Mary does not hesitate, does not worry about her own situation; her cousin needs her. Childless until now, Elizabeth is beyond the normal childbearing years; she has even hid herself from the eyes of others because her pregnancy is so unexpected.

As the body of our Lord is growing in her own womb, Mary spends three months caring for Elizabeth, leaving only shortly before the birth of Saint John the Baptist. She shows us what true love of neighbor means: placing the needs of others above our own, devoting ourselves to our neighbor in his or her hour of need. There will be plenty of time to think of herself and her Child later; for now, Mary's thoughts lie only with her cousin, and with the child who will become the Forerunner of Christ. Truly, as Mary responds to her cousin's greeting in the canticle we call the Magnificat , her soul does "magnify the Lord," not least through her love of neighbor.

The Nativity - The Third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The Third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, more often known as Christmas . The fruit most commonly associated with the mystery of the Nativity is poverty of spirit, the first of the eight Beatitudes .

Meditation on the Nativity:

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7). God has humbled Himself to become man and the Mother of God gives birth in a stable. The Creator of the Universe and the Savior of the World spends His first night in that world lying in a feed trough, surrounded by animals, and their food, and their waste.

When we think of that holy night, we tend either to idealize it—to imagine it as neat and tidy as the Nativity scenes on our mantels on Christmas Eve—or we think of the physical poverty that Jesus and Mary and Joseph endured. But the physical poverty is merely the outward sign of the inward grace in the souls of the Holy Family. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). On this night, Heaven and earth have met in a stable, but also in the souls of the Holy Family. "The Beatitudes," writes Fr. John Hardon, S.J., in his Modern Catholic Dictionary , "are expressions of the New Covenant, where happiness is assured already in this life, provided a person totally gives himself to the imitation of Christ." Mary has done so, and so has Joseph; and Christ, of course, is Christ. Here among the sights and sounds and stench of the stable, their souls are one in perfect happiness, because they are poor in spirit.

How wonderful is this poverty! How blessed we would be if we, like they, could unite our lives so fully to Christ that we could see the fallen world around us in the light of Heaven!

The Presentation in the Temple - The Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Presentation in the Temple, which we celebrate on February 2 as the Presentation of the Lord or Candlemas. The fruit most commonly associated with the mystery of the Presentation is purity of mind and body.

Meditation on the Presentation:

"And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord" (Luke 2:22). Mary had conceived the Son of God as a virgin; she gave birth to the Savior of the World, and her virginity remained intact; through her piety and that of Saint Joseph, she would remain a virgin for her entire life. So what does it mean to refer to the "days of her purification"?

Under the Old Law, a woman remained impure for 40 days after the birth of a child. But Mary was not subject to the Law, because of the special circumstances of Christ's Birth. Yet she obeyed it anyway. And in doing so, she showed that a ritual concerned with the purification of the body was really a symbol of the purity of soul of the true believer.

Mary and Joseph offered a sacrifice, in accordance with the Law: "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:24), to redeem the Son of God, Who needed no redemption. "The Law is made for man, not man for the Law," Christ Himself would later say, yet here is the Holy Family fulfilling the Law even though it does not apply to them.

How often do we think that we don't need all the regulations and rituals of the Church! "Why do I have to go to Confession ? God knows I'm sorry for my sins"; " Fasting and abstinence are manmade laws"; "If I miss Mass one Sunday , God will understand." Yet here are the Son of God and His Mother, both purer than any of us will ever be, abiding by the Law that Christ Himself came not to abolish but fulfill. Their obedience to the Law was not lessened by their purity of soul but made all the greater. Might we not learn from their example?

The Finding in the Temple - The Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

The Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary is the Finding in the Temple, when, after a trip to Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph could not find the young Jesus. The virtue most commonly associated with the mystery of the Finding in the Temple is obedience.

Meditation on the Finding in the Temple:

"Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?" (Luke 2:49). To begin to understand the joy that Mary and Joseph felt on finding Jesus in the Temple, we must first imagine their distress when they realized He was not with them. For 12 years, they had been always at His side, their lives dedicated to Him in obedience to the Will of God. Yet now—what had they done? Where was the Child, this most precious Gift of God? How could they ever endure it if something had happened to Him?

But here He is, "sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46). "And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing" (Luke 2:48). And then those wondrous words emerge from His lips, "Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?"

He has always been obedient to Mary and Joseph, and through them to God the Father, but now His obedience to God is even more direct. He will, of course, continue to obey His mother and His foster father, but today marks a turning point, a foreshadowing of His public ministry and even of His death on the Cross.

We are not called as Christ was, but we are called to follow Him, to take up our own crosses in imitation of Him and in obedience to God the Father. Like Christ, we must be about the Father's business in our own lives—at every moment of every day.

  • Chronology of the Birth and Life of Jesus Christ
  • Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots
  • Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
  • Who Is the Virgin Mary?
  • Meet Mary: Mother of Jesus
  • Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
  • Catholic Prayers for the Month of March
  • The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Prayers for October
  • How Long Did Jesus Live on Earth?
  • 16 Christian Christmas Words
  • Compare Major Beliefs of 7 Christian Denominations
  • Israel Tour Pictures: Photo Journal of the Holy Land
  • Enjoy the Complete Christmas Story of the Birth of Jesus
  • Prayers for May, the Month of the Virgin Mary
  • The Annunciation of the Lord

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joyful mystery presentation

The Joyful Mysteries

The Five Joyful Mysteries  are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Advent:

See all the prayers of the Rosary

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed (Prayed on the Crucifix)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father (Prayed on the first large bead)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

3 Hail Mary’s… (Prayed on the first three beads)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be… (Prayed before the first decade)

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

joyful mystery presentation

Scripture:  In the sixth m onth the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel s aid to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. ”

And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”

And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you ; therefore the child to be born *  will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who w as called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.   (Luke 1:26-38).

Our Father. .. 10 Hail Mary’s Glory be …

Fatima Prayer: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.

Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation

joyful mystery presentation

Scripture: In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of M ary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why i s this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be e  a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45).

Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity

joyful mystery presentation

Scripture:  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be e nrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in  swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. An d an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace am ong men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:1-14).

Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple

joyful mystery presentation

Scripture: And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord , “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” No w there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to h im by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit *  he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to d o for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eye s have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.”

And his father and his moth er marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,

“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken ag ainst (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanu-el, of the tribe of Ashe r; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and p rayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:22-38).

Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding in the Temple

joyful mystery presentation

Scripture:  Now his pare nts went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; a nd all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying whic h he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.   (Luke 2:41-52)

Concluding Prayers:

The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina) Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Optional closing prayers:

Let us pray: 

O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. Grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pour forth we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary:

This prayer to Saint Joseph—spouse of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron saint of the universal Church—was composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical,  Quamquam Pluries . He asked that it be added to the end of the Rosary, especially during the month of October, which is dedicated to the Rosary. The prayer is enriched with a partial indulgence ( Handbook of Indulgences , conc. 19) and may be said after the customary Salve Regina and concluding prayer. It may also be used to conclude other Marian devotions. (From  www.usccb.org )

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.

Pope Francis asked that the following two prayers be added to the rosary for the month of May 2020 to help spiritually combat the coronavirus pandemic.

FIRST PRAYER

You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the foot of the cross, were united with Jesus’ suffering, and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”, you know our needs, and we know that you will provide, so that, as at Cana in Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us. For he took upon himself our suffering, and burdened himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection.

We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God; Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from every danger, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

SECOND PRAYER

“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.

In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.

Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic.  Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply.  Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them.  Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.

Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew.  Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.

Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others.  Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.

Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.

Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.

Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.

Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need.  Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.

Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.

To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.  Amen.

Scripture quotes taken from The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. See copyright information.

Featured image: Annunciation by Loenardo da Vinci via Wikimedia

Catechist's Journey

The Joyful Mysteries: The Presentation and Carrying the Light

Joe Paprocki Christmas

Presentation - Detail from "The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary" by Netherlandish Painter (possibly Goswijn van der Weyden, active by 1491, died after 1538), ca. 1515–20, public domain via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today, we continue our reflections on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary by looking at the Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation.

One of the distinguishing features of the Christmas season is lights. As December rolls along, more and more homes light up inside and out with Christmas lights, which serve to dispel the darkness of winter. As each Sunday of Advent reaches us, an additional candle is lit on our Advent wreaths, increasing the light just as the light around us is reaching its lowest point of the year. And then, of course, there are the lights on our Christmas trees! Sometimes they are white, sometimes they are multi-colored, sometimes they blink, and sometimes they remain steady. Whatever the case may be, no Christmas tree is complete without lights.

And why is that? Well, if we look closely at a traditional Christmas tree, we will notice the following:

  • A star or an angel on top of the tree—This symbolizes heaven or the divine.
  • Ornaments and lights—These represent the stars and planets.
  • A nativity scene under the tree—This, of course, represents the Incarnation, the Word made flesh.

Thus, the Christmas tree, as a whole, tells the story of the divine reaching down and connecting to earth. The lights play an important part in this story, since the light increases as the tree widens at the base. This represents the Light of the World that has come to dispel the darkness of sin.

As we reflect on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation, we recognize instantly the significance of light in reference to Jesus, who would later refer to himself as the “light of the world.” In particular, the words of Simeon emphasize this notion of light as he proclaims with joy that his eyes have seen the One who will be “a light  for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel .” (Luke 2:32) It is no coincidence, then, that the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as Candlemas) has traditionally been the day on which we bless candles that bring light into our homes.

Of course, the point of all of this is that we are to carry the light of Christ to a world that is mired in darkness. As we reflect on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, let us each ponder the ways we can bring this light to those we encounter: in our homes, at our places of work, in our communities, and in our world. And let us each pray for the light of Christ to dispel the darkness and despair that too often threaten our spiritual wellbeing.

Now, if you decide to leave your Christmas lights up until February 2 , you have a good explanation for doing so, since, in many ways, the Feast of the Presentation is the real end of the Christmas season!

Image: Detail from “ The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary ” by Netherlandish Painter (possibly Goswijn van der Weyden, active by 1491, died after 1538), ca. 1515–20, public domain via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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The annunciation of the lord to mary, 1st joyful mystery.

I was in prayer: it was evening. I was praying towards Jerusalem because my people prayed three times a day, morning, noon, and evening facing Jerusalem. I was praying for the Liberation of my people. I was praying that soon the Messiah would come to take away all hatred: to take away all sins from my people. As I was praying, there suddenly appeared an angel. At first I was afraid because it was the first time an angel had ever come to me. When I heard him say "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" I was very confused at this greeting and yet I was very humbled that an angel would call me full of grace: that I had gained favor from God: that I was called to bear His Son. I asked the angel how this could happen? I am a virgin: I had intended to be a virgin the rest of my life even though I agreed to live with Joseph. The angel assured me, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you: the shadow of the Most High will enwrap you and the child to be born of you will be called Son of God." At that instance, I remembered the prophesy of Isaiah. The prophesy of the Messiah. The prophesy that He would be a suffering servant. A servant rejected by His own people and yet raised by God. Knowing that, I said, "Behold the handmaid, the servant of the Lord: be it done to me according to Your word."

My children, be always open to seek the will of God in your life no matter what it is. Never be afraid of God's will. God's will always does contain suffering but God's will also brings peace. God's will contains Joy. Pray to the Heavenly Father: pray that He will give you the grace through my prayers to accept His will in all things. Place yourself at God's disposal and He will do great things for you and with you.

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The visitation of mary to elizabeth, 2nd joyful mystery.

As soon as I realized by Gabriel's message that Elizabeth, my cousin, who had been barren for a long time and who was yet now old, had nonetheless conceived, I was prompted by God's grace to go to help her in her need. She was in her sixth month: I went from Nazareth to Judea. I was only pondering the message that the angel had given me. It all seemed so wonderful that God would use me for His kingdom; for His glory. As I arrived at Zechariah's house, I greeted Elizabeth. I had heard that Zechariah had become mute: he had doubted the Lord: he doubted that God could work a miracle in his life. As I entered and greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth shouted for joy and said, "Blessed are you among all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me." Out of Elizabeth's mouth came the confirmation of Gabriel's message: that I had conceived the Son of God and later all ages were to proclaim me as blessed as the Mother of their Lord; the Mother of God. I began to sing the hymn of praise that came from my heart. I was so filled with God's Love that I had to share my Joy with Elizabeth and her house hold.

My children, never doubt that God can work a miracle in your Life even if things seem humanly impossible: all things are possible with God. Trust Him, trust Him my children. As I visited Elizabeth out of love, I wish to visit you out of love. I wish to come into your situation whatever it may be: to be present with you and to pray with you and for you. God will manifest His power if we believe. Elizabeth told me, "Blessed are you who have believed that the Lord's words would be fulfilled in you." Trust in the Lord. I am with you to pray with you. Offer this mystery to the Heavenly Father that He will also work a miracle of grace in your life: ask the Heavenly Father for the gift of faith and absolute trust in His work. I am praying with you and for you.

The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

3rd joyful mystery.

Joseph and I came to Bethlehem because there was a decree that all should go to their ancestral town to be registered. In obedience, Joseph and I went. God even used the oppression of the Roman government to bring about your salvation: because in this time of oppression, my Son, your Savior, was born. We looked for a place but there was no room in the inn: the town was so full. What was offered us was a stable not too far from where the shepherds were guarding their flock. It was soon that my Son was born: that the King of Kings would be born a pauper. It was soon that the very Word would be made flesh. Joseph left me in the stable and went outside for a while thinking that he was not worthy to be present at such a great miracle. While he was thinking, the moment came when my Son was introduced to the world. Because of the immensity of Love that the Lord had filled me with, I felt no pain at His birth. There was pure joy at the coming of my Son. I held Him in my arms: He was the very Savior of the world. A while later, Joseph came in, he saw me with the Child and he was also filled with wondrous joy. As some time past, the shepherds that were near the stable also came. They knew about the birth of my Son: the angels had told them. Heaven was rejoicing at the birth of my Son.

My children, look upon the greatness of your Lord Who has loved you so much as to come down to show the immensity of His Love for you. Show your immensity of love for Him: be humble, be grateful for what you have, be it little or great, and whatever you do have, use it in a way that will give pleasure to my Son. See the face of my Son in those in need, those in want, and respond in love to Him. Pray to the Heavenly Father in this mystery for the gift of simplicity and for the woes of the poor and I will pray with you. I will ask the Father to give you the grace to be generous with those less fortunate.

The Presentation of our Lord

4th joyful mystery.

In obedience to the Law of Moses, forty days after my Son was born, Joseph and I went to Jerusalem to present my Son before the Lord and to redeem Him with two turtle doves. I was presenting to God, the Father, your Redeemer in anticipation of the sacrifice He would make on Calvary for your salvation. When we entered the temple, there was a holy priest by the name of Simeon. Simeon took the Child into his arms and said, "Now Lord You can release your servant according to Your word in peace, for my eyes have seen the salvation which You have raised for all peoples to see: a light of revelation to the nations and the glory of Your people Israel." Then Simeon turned to me and said "Blessed are you, woman: but behold this Child will be the fall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign to be opposed and your own heart will be pierced so that the hearts of many will be exposed. " Simeon was talking about my destiny: a destiny that would be so intimate with my Son.

My greatest pain, my children, is that people reject my Son: people reject His message of love and peace. People reject His message of repentance and holiness. My children, ask the Heavenly Father that He will make you holy in all things. Take away from your life whatever is displeasing to God so that your worship at mass and your worshiping prayer will be acceptable to God the Father. I will pray for you in your time of worship. I will pray for you so that your prayer may reach the Father.

Finding Jesus in the Temple at age 12

5th joyful mystery.

Jesus was twelve years old and Joseph and I, as custom dictates, wished to take Him to Jerusalem for the Passover. We went and we were filled with joy to worship God with His people. After the days of Passover were done, Joseph and I went back to Nazareth in the caravan of family members and friends that we came in. Joseph went with the men and I with the women. The children were either with their fathers or mothers. Both of us thought that Jesus was with the other. When evening came, Joseph and I came together and we did not find Jesus neither among our relatives nor among our friends. So we decided to go back to Jerusalem to look for Him. My heart was torn in two: the sufferings predicted by Simeon were already starting. "What happened to my Son?" I questioned. It took us two days to go back to Jerusalem and on the third day we found my Son in the temple. He was among a group of elders, rabbis, and He was reading the Law with them. They were discussing the Law of Moses: He astonished the elders who marveled at His insight to the Law. As I was hearing Him, there was an amount of joy: joy to hear my Son teaching. God was giving me a taste of what my Son would be doing during His earthly ministry. I ran up to Him and said, "My Son, why did You do such a thing? Your father and I with so much sorrow have been looking for You." Jesus looked at me with Love and yet with conviction and He said to me, "But why were you looking for Me? Did you not know I should be about My Father's business."

My children, do not cling to anyone that you love. Everyone has a mission, especially your children that God has given to you. Pray for religious vocations. Pray for vocations to the priesthood. Pray that Christian families will be obedient to the Father. Pray for the unity and the strengthening of all Christian families that they will truly bring the Kingdom of the Father to this earth.

  • The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary Mary is chosen to be the mother of Jesus.
  • The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth Elizabeth recognizes Mary as the mother of our Lord.
  • The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ Jesus is born and laid in a manger.
  • The Presentation of our Lord Jesus is presented in the Temple of Jerusalem.
  • Finding Jesus in the Temple at age 12 Jesus is found discussing God's laws in the temple.

Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary

  • The Agony of Jesus in the Garden Jesus prays when confronted with the sins of the world.
  • The Scourging at the Pillar Jesus is whipped before His execution.
  • Jesus is Crowned with Thorns Jesus is mocked with a painful crown of thorns.
  • Jesus Carried the Cross Jesus carries the weight of our sins to His crucifixion.
  • The Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ dies to save all mankind.

Glorious Mystery of the Rosary

  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Jesus rises triumphant over death.
  • The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven As Jesus ascends, He gives us a special task.
  • The Descent of the Holy Ghost At Pentecost the Church is born.
  • The Assumption of Mary into Heaven The Virgin Mary is gloriously assumed into heaven.
  • Mary is Crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth Mary is honored above all creatures.

Luminous Mystery of the Rosary

  • The Baptism in the Jordan God proclaims Jesus is His Son.
  • The Wedding at Cana Jesus performs a surprising miracle at a wedding.
  • The Proclamation of the Kingdom Jesus calls us to do something important.
  • The Transfiguration Jesus is gloriously transformed.
  • The Institution of the Eucharist Jesus shares His Body and Blood for our salvation.

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Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary (4)

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Rosary Meditation — The Fourth Joyful Mystery

This rosary meditation focuses on The Fourth Joyful Mystery — The Presentation of our Lord. In this mystery we see Mary and Joseph present Jesus at the temple as was the Jewish tradition. They encountered a man named Simeon whom the Holy Spirit said would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed One. Upon seeing Jesus, Simeon said “Now Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word” (Luke 2:29). Simeon is an example on how our faith requires patience, endurance, and moral fortitude. While there are times when we may not feel God’s presence in our lives our faith tells us that He is always near and always hears our prayers.

La Présentation de Jésus au Temple

This rosary meditation focuses on The Fourth Joyful Mystery — The Presentation of our Lord .  In this mystery we see Mary and Joseph present Jesus at the temple as was the Jewish tradition.  They encountered a man named Simeon whom the Holy Spirit said would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed One.  Upon seeing Jesus, Simeon said “Now Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word” (Luke 2:29).  Simeon is an example on how our faith requires patience, endurance, and moral fortitude.  While there are times when we may not feel God’s presence in our lives our faith tells us that He is always near and always hears our prayers.

I sometimes come across postings on the Catholic Answers web forums from people who feel discouraged since they do not feel close to Jesus.  They talk about how they pray, go to Mass, fast, and read the Bible and yet they do not feel the Lord’s grace.  I think we can all look to Simeon as an example that even the most just and pious need to be patient and have faith that the Lord will present Himself in the way that will ultimately lead us to Him.  However, while God desires all of us to be in His heavenly kingdom, the road is a long one fraught with temptation and sin.  But if we can hold on and remain faithful, even when it seems like God does not hear our prayers or notices our good deeds, we will be rewarded with the eternal happiness of Heaven.

Why must our faith be difficult to live at times?  Why don’t we get direct answers to our prayers from a thundering voice in the clouds?  Why must we endure such hardship and struggle?  I think Mother Teresa can help us find an answer.  In her private letters to Rev. Michael Van Der Peet she once said (as reported in this Time article ):

Jesus has a very special love for you,” she assured Van der Peet. “[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me — that I let Him have [a] free hand.

Here was a woman who embodied everything great about the Catholic faith and yet at times she felt distant from God’s love.  She, like Simeon, was just and pious and yet she endured periods of time when she felt a great emptiness in her heart. Kolodiejchuk, a senior Missionaries of Charity member, explains that perhaps that emptiness is what drove her to do such great work.  She never felt like her job was done or that God was prematurely rewarding her when there was still so much for her to do.  Perhaps this was God’s way of making sure that pride did not hinder her important work.  Mother Teresa still continued to do the Lord’s work and even put up a good face to others (the statements about her spiritual difficulties were not known until after her death).  And, like Simeon, her patience paid off as she is now closer to Jesus than any of us ever can be in this world.

When we meditate on the Fourth Joyful Mystery let us remember Simeon and how his faith and patience was ultimately rewarded.  We must pray for those who have fallen on the long and difficult road of faith that they get back up and have the strength to live as Jesus calls them.  Remember, God has a plan for each of us and that plan will ultimately lead us to His heavenly kingdom.  We just need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, especially in those times when it feels like God is the most distant from us.  It is those times of great hardship when Jesus presents Himself to us although it may not be in the way we expect or we may not be listening.  Remember in your prayers to not only speak to the Lord, but also allow Him to respond for He will show you the way to Him.

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One thought on “Rosary Meditation — The Fourth Joyful Mystery”

How difficult is to be like Simeon and Mother Teresa in everyday life but your example of these two Saints gives so much encouragement. God bless you m&t

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Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries

Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries

Posted by Nicholas

When praying the rosary it is ideal to have a short meditation for each mystery, so that one may contemplate the significance of the mysteries as the prayers are recited. Below, we have compiled a short meditation for each mystery of the rosary. Also included, is the spiritual fruit embodied within each mystery. As you pray each decade, it is a wonderful time to ask God for help in those areas of your life where a particular fruit is especially needed.

The First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation

Spiritual Fruit: Humility

The Angel Gabriel declares Mary as the handmaid of the Lord. She will conceive by the Holy Spirit, and bear a son who will be called the Son of the Most High. Mary accepts this honor, while also accepting, without fully understanding, the pain and sorrow that would accompany its fulfillment. This mystery teaches us that even the purest joy we experience in this life necessarily entails suffering. It is with full reliance and trust in God that we are able to accept our suffering in order to fulfill our mission and forward God’s plan of salvation with humility and love.

The Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation

Spiritual Fruit: Charity and Love

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who learns that she has conceived a child in her old age. Their visit is marked by happiness and thanksgiving as they rejoice in the wonderful gifts of God. Mary, with the Holy one inside of her, makes Elizabeth’s unborn child leap within her womb. Though such a simple visit, both are moved with God’s love and strengthened by His Grace. This mystery teaches us that we are to cherish our encounters with others. Each person God puts in our path is an opportunity to love, and share in the blessings God has bestowed upon us.

The Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity

Spiritual Fruit: Poverty in Spirit

The time for the birth of Christ has come. Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem where they find there to be no room at the inn. Mary is left to give birth to her Son in a modest and meager stable. Along with the interminable glory of Christ’s birth, Christ’s entrance into the world is marked by poverty and suffering. This mystery teaches us the virtue of poverty in spirit. Christ calls us to continual detachment from earthly things, and in so doing; we move closer to Christ and join our sufferings with His.

The Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation

Spiritual Fruit: Purity of Mind and Body

In observance of the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary take the child Jesus to be presented in the temple to God. Although not subject to this law, Jesus submits in obedience, and in like manner, Mary, not subject to the law of purification, humbly submits herself to it. It is at this time also, that the old man Simeon beholds the Son of Man. Simeon immediately recognizes the child as the King and Savior foretold, and declares the fate of Jesus as a sign that will be contradicted. This mystery teaches us the importance of purity in thought and deed. It is in humility that we are able to see our weaknesses and failings, while we recognize our constant need of God’s mercy and grace.

The Fifth Joyful Mystery – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Spiritual Fruit: Obedience to God

At twelve years of age, Jesus goes with his parents to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. It is on their return journey home that Joseph and Mary realize that their son is missing. Joseph and Mary seek Him endlessly. On the third day, they find Jesus preaching in the temple amongst teachers, who were at once astonished at his wisdom. Despite their grief and anxiety, Jesus assures His parents that all is well, as He is doing is Father’s work. Although Joseph and Mary do not fully understand this at the time, they will see that this event foreshadows the mission of ministry and sacrifice that Jesus will fulfill in obedience of His Heavenly Father. This mystery teaches us that submission to God our Father comes before all else. There is always joy to be found when we seek Jesus in the spirit of obedience.

Click here to view other mysteries of the rosary: 

Sorrowful Mysteries

Glorious Mysteries

Luminous Mysteries

To visit the Vatican's scriptural meditations on the Joyful Mysteries, click  here.

Image Credits: The Embrace of Elizabeth and Mary, Eastern Christian fresco of the Visitation in Saint George Church in Kurbinovo, North Macedonia.

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Reflections on the Joyful Mysteries

  • May 1, 2021
  • Jack Wintz, OFM

joyful mystery presentation

The Five Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation.  The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to be the Mother of our Savior. Mary humbly asks an honest question: “How can this be since I am a virgin?” The angel responds, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Mary answers simply: “Behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Humility and trust pervade Mary’s entire attitude before God. Mother Mary, help us imitate your example.

2. The Visitation.  Mary enters the house of her cousin Elizabeth. At the sound of her greeting, the infant leaps in Elizabeth’s womb. Elizabeth says to Mary: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And so we are inspired not only by Mary’s humility but by her absolute trust that what the Lord promised would indeed come about. If John the Baptist—in Elizabeth’s womb—leaped for joy at the arrival of Mary, we too should find cause for joy when we come to pray before the Mother of God.

3. The Nativity.  At the decree of Caesar Augustus, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to be enrolled. There Mary gives birth to her firstborn son, wrapping him in swaddling clothes and laying him in a manger. Consider the humility of Mary on the one hand—and the humility of the Son of God on the other. In one of his sermons, St. Anthony of Padua expressed awe at the humility of God: “The Lord of the Universe is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lays . . . in a narrow manger.” May all of us seek to imitate the humility of Mary—and of God!

4. The Presentation.  Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate him to the Lord. There, a devout and righteous man named Simeon was awaiting “the consolation of Israel. It had been revealed to Simeon . . . that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.” Simeon said, “Behold, this child is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that shall be contradicted.” Along with Simeon, we too have been introduced to the long-awaited Messiah. May the Holy Spirit show us how to welcome and respond to him!

5. The Finding of the Child Jesus.  After a trip to Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph realize that Jesus had accidentally been left behind. Returning, they find Jesus in the Temple, listening to the teachers and asking questions. Mary says to him, “Son, why have you done this to us?” Jesus answers, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” In family life today, we also find that we can run into conflicts when faced with confusing priorities. Ultimately whose will must we follow? The will of our parents? Or the will of our heavenly Father? Again, we will certainly need wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

Next: Sorrowful Mysteries

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  • Original Proposal
  • Spanish Handout
  • The Holy Hour
  • For Pastors
  • Introduction: The Beatific Vision and the Mysteries of the Rosary
  • The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation
  • The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation
  • The Third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Jesus

The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation

  • The Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
  • The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
  • The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
  • The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
  • The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
  • The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
  • The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection
  • The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension
  • The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Ghost
  • The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption
  • The Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Crowning of Mary as Queen of heaven and Earth
  • Pope Francis and the Sacrilegious Use of the Rosary
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  • Usury and the Love of Money: The Amazonian Synod, Chastisement for Our Betrayal
  • The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolution: A Journey into the Heart of Antichrist
  • Pope Francis and Teilhardian Evolution: Program for the Amazonian Synod
  • Science: Original and Final Sin
  • Receiving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child
  • Our Chastisement, Our Blessing
  • The Antidote to Teilhardian Evolution: The Restoration of the Supernatural in Accord with the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas
  • A Course of Study: The Amazonian Synod and Teilhardian Evolutionary Theology, and What is Necessary for Our Lady’s Triumph.
  • Exorcising the Filth of Evolution
  • Does God Love Us: An Examination of the Epistemology of John Henry Newman
  • Newman and the Pope
  • The Signs of the Times: And the Blindness of Traditional Catholics
  • The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Beatitudes: Introduction
  • Fear of the Lord and The Beatitude of Poverty of Spirit
  • St. Francis and Lady Poverty
  • The Abandoned Sacraments
  • Seek, and Ye Shall Find: Knock, and It Shall Be Opened To You
  • The Secret Place: The Gift of Godliness and the Beatitude of Meekness
  • We Have Sinned
  • The Gift of Knowledge and The Beatitude of Mourning
  • Science: The War Against Both God and Man
  • The Modernist Deconstruction of Fatima: Pope Benedict and the Deterioration of the Catholic Mind
  • Pope Pius XII’s Surrender to Evolution: The Church Pivots Radically Towards the World
  • Archbishop Viganò, Donald Trump, and The Americanist Delusion of Traditional Catholics

“On the contrary, it is the hour to sing victory, for the day of triumph is near – just as My cruel and ignominious death preceded the moment of My Resurrection.”  (Our Lord’s words to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres on Feb 2, 1634, concerning the era of chaos in the Church beginning in the mid-Twentieth Century)

  Introduction

The Mystery of the Presentation actually involves two mysteries: the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. It is this double Mystery to which the whole purpose of the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church effort is most intimately and directly related. And it is for the purpose of a deeper penetration of our minds and hearts into the meaning of this Mystery, and its special application to the situation in which we now find ourselves in both the Church and the modern world, that this long article is directed.

From the very beginning of this effort we have been very much inclined to discuss the apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success of the Purification , whose Feast Day is Feb 2. These apparitions relate directly to the purification of the Church, and especially the purification of the Church after the profound decay in Christian life and civilization that occurred in the 20 th Century (and is still largely with us).We avoided doing so in preparation for the first Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church event only because the time was short, and knowledge of these apparitions among the faithful, while growing rather rapidly, was only partial. We propose here to remedy this situation.

For those faithful Catholics who are at all aware of the present situation both in the Church and the world, certain rather desperate questions present themselves.

The first is quite simple:, “Why is all this happening?”

The second question is: “How can this situation possibly be remedied?” With a hierarchy, and especially the College of Cardinals, increasingly dominated by those severely infected with Modernist thinking, how can we possibly expect a reversal in the Papacy in the near future? Possibly even more significant, Our Lady of Fatima said in 1917 that the chastisements she predicted were punishments for a world then in the process of giving itself over to sin, and that these chastisements could be avoided only through amendment and reparation. The world has since moved at a geometric pace towards a destiny directly opposed to Our Lady’s requests. How are we to expect a world increasingly immersed in impurity and heresy ever to receive the mercy of God’s extraordinary intervention?

The third question is equally simple: What are we – especially the laity – supposed to do?

It is our conclusion, after careful study, that the answer to these questions are to be found in the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres (1563-1635), a Conceptionist religious in Quito, Ecuador. Her life, and the divine favors she received, are thoroughly documented and preserved in the archives of the Order of Religious of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy (a branch of the Franciscan Family, founded by Saint Beatrice de Silva in Toledo, Spain in 1484) in Quito.

This article is based on analysis of a two-volume work titled The Admirable Life of Mother Mariana, written by Fr. Manuel Sousa Pereira, and published in the year 1790 (translated into English by Marian T. Horvat in 1999 – all quotations from this work will be referenced in this article simply by volume and page number). Fr. Pereira was himself the subject of a supernatural visitation from Mother Mariana, which led him from a military life in the Spanish Army to the religious life and priesthood of the Franciscan Order, and finally to Quito, Ecuador where he was given full access to the Convent’s archives and to all of the earlier, extensive works written by Franciscan priests and confessors who were witnesses to these extraordinary events. It is suggested that the reader obtain this work, which is available from The Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success: https://www.ourladyofgoodsuccess.com/collections/books

Recent decades have, of course, seen the propagation of many false apparitions and alleged supernatural messages. It is necessary here, therefore, to first dismiss any such fears in regard to the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good success. The following is from the foreword to Fr. Pereira’s work:

“The devotion to Our Lady of Good Success has been approved by the Bishops of Quito since February 2, 1611, when the 8 th 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 Archbishop 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.

“….After examining extensive data on her life, Archbishop of Quito Antonio J. Gonzales issued an Episcopal decree on August 8, 1986 to initiate her [Mother Mariana’s] 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.

“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.”

One other point needs mentioning in this Introduction. As will be demonstrated in the following analysis, these Apparitions bear a special relevance to the crisis in the Church and the world in the 20 th Century and beyond. In fact, Our Lady specifically told Mother Mariana that they would not become widely known outside of Ecuador until the 20th Century. World-wide ignorance concerning Our Lady of Quito, and the passing of centuries before the ecclesiastical promotion of the cause for beatification and canonization of Mother Mariana, are therefore integral to the prophecies of the Apparitions themselves.

An Initial Perspective

During the past couple of decades, the life of Mother Mariana, and the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success, have received significant attention outside of Ecuador. Most of this has focused on the dramatic prophecies concerning the heresies, and the terrible sins of impurity and blasphemy, which would rage within both the Church and the world during the Twentieth Century.

We must realize, however, that the supernatural message of these Apparitions penetrates much deeper – to what Our Lady tells Mother Mariana are the “secret designs” (vol. I, p.140) of God’s providential will in allowing all of this to occur. They reveal, in other words, the means by which Victory over Satan will be achieved in the very midst of that darkest hour when Satan appears to have triumphed over Christ’s Catholic Church and all seems lost– “On the contrary, it is the hour to sing victory, for the day of triumph is near – just as My cruel and ignominious death preceded the moment of My Resurrection.” (Vol. II, p. 142).

Even more than offering us absolute assurance of Victory, and thus a firm foundation in the midst of our current situation which carries so many temptations towards extreme and ruinous reactions, the life of Mother Mariana reveals to us what we are to do, and how we are to act , in the face of this crisis which has shaken the faith of so many faithful Catholics in Christ’s Church.                                                                       

We might be tempted to be somewhat” put off” by the word Success in Our Lady’s title . Our modern usage of this word is almost exclusively limited to secular pursuits – everything from financial success to the hopeful fruits of a fishing expedition. It is therefore extremely important to understand that this word, in the context of these Apparitions, refers specifically to childbirth. We still speak of a “successful” pregnancy and birth.

With this understanding of the word “success” fixed firmly in our minds, we further need to understand why Our Lady of Good Success chose to identify herself with the double Feast which is celebrated on February 2 – the Feast of the Purification and the Feast of the Presentation.

The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light. Traditionally called Candlemas, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.

The Purification is the Feast of Our Lady considered to be the oldest Marian liturgical Feast in the Church (having its beginnings in the liturgical life of the Church in Jerusalem) which, while exteriorly signifying an act which fulfilled the prescription of the Old Law, interiorly represents a whole new reality. The purification of the Old Law was in consequence of original sin and the pain and “sorrow” which now accompanied all childbirth. Mary, conceived without sin, was free from this sorrow. The Purification of the New Testament is to be identified with the interior sorrow and suffering of Mary and the Church which was to be undergone in order to usher Christ’s Light into His Temple the Church, and from there into the world. It is, in other words, the Feast of Mary and the Church at the Foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ:

“ And thy own soul, a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed .” (Luke 2: 35).

Our Lady of Good Success is therefore to be identified with the Triumph of Christ through the suffering of Mary and purification of the Church. It offers the absolute assurance of that Triumph. And, with its abundance of fulfilled prophecies concerning events occurring during the 17 th -20 th centuries, and which heavily focus on the crisis of the 20 th Century (now obviously also continuing into the 21 st – about which Our Lady said nothing), it offers incontestable proof regarding the objective, exterior reality of Our Lady’s appearances (and also appearances of Our Lord, St. Francis, St. Ignatius, the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and others). It therefore constitutes the succinct refutation and absolute defeat of Modernist subjectivism and Immanentism (the reduction of supernatural realities to interior impulses ), which have characterized much of the treatment of Fatima in recent years. It also presents us with certain, prophetical assurance that the present sorrow and purification of the Church, seemingly now overwhelmed and redolent with darkness and the stench of heresy and moral filth, is an integral part of God’s providential care and love for the Church, and that soon this “labor of sorrow” will issue forth in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady of Good Success is also therefore appropriately identified with Our Lady of Fatima, destined to be liberated from the prison to which the Modernists had consigned her. We see strong evidence of this “release” just within the past couple of years with all the events, rosary crusades, and renewed interest in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima which have emerged out of the 100 th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions in 1917.

The Beginning: An Apocalyptic Vision

The life of Mother Mariana is an epic, dense with the miraculous. It cannot be our purpose here to offer anything approaching a comprehensive biography. For this, the reader is referred to Fr. Pereira’s work. Our purpose here, rather, is to focus on certain events in her life which reveal what Our Lady refers to as the “secret designs” of God for our times, which in turn will lead to the Triumph of Christ and Our Lady over Satan’s current massive intrusion into the Church.

It is also extremely important to understand that the revelations and prophecies which Mother Mariana received involve complex relationships between several “worlds” – the interior life of Mother Mariana (and others); the interior world of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception; the Church and Nation of Ecuador; the World as a whole; and, finally, the Universal Church. We shall see, in subsequent analysis, some of the aspects of this complexity. Understanding the spiritual relationships which exist between these various worlds is absolutely essential to understanding the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success.

Mariana’s life as a religious of the Order of Religious of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy (a branch of the Franciscan Family, founded by St. Beatrice da Silva in 1484) begins at the age of 13 with her journey by ship from Spain to Ecuador in the company of her aunt, Mother Maria de Jesus Taboada, and four other Conceptionist nuns (all of whom also were recipients of supernatural visitations). Shortly after embarking, they suffered a tempest of unimaginable fury which began to sink the ship. Mother Maria and Mariana then saw a serpent with seven heads which was stirring up the sea and attempting to sink the ship. Mother Maria prayed to God this humble prayer: “Thou knowest my God, that it is not by my own will that I go to make this foundation, but rather, in obedience to my Lord King. If it is Thy will that the Order of the Immaculate Conception be founded in this Colony, make the darkness dissipate and this tempest subside.” God immediately answered this prayer, the tempest subsided, and both Mother Maria and Mariana heard a terrible voice that said, “I shall not permit the foundation. I shall not permit that it go forward. I shall not permit it to endure until the end of time, and I shall persecute it unceasingly.” (I, 28).

During all of this, Mariana had fallen into a deathlike stupor, in which she experienced the following vision which she later related to her aunt:

“ I do not know in what world I was, my mother, but there I saw a horrible, writhing creature… . It was a serpent, larger than the sea. I also saw a Lady of incomparable beauty, clothed in the sun and crowned with stars, carrying a beautiful Child in her arms. Over the heart of this lady was a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. In one of her hands she carried a large cross of gold, which at its end took the shape of a lance. With this she subdued the enormous serpent with its two-edged tongue. The Lady, who wielded the cross with the help of the Blessed Sacrament and the hand of the Child, struck the head of the serpent with such force that it was slashed to pieces. At that moment, this monstrous serpent cried out that it would not permit the foundation of the Order of the Immaculate Conception .” (I, 28-29)

This incident, and Mariana’s vision which accompanied it, is redolent with images and themes which concern the apocalyptic struggle of the Universal Church with Satan. Such things as the Serpent with seven heads, the Lady “clothed in the Sun and crowned with stars” are straight out of chapter 12 of St. John’s Apocalypse. And, of course, the fact that all of this takes place on a ship cannot fail to suggest that we are here ultimately dealing with the “Bark of Peter”, and thus with the Universal Church. The fact, in the context of all this imagery concerning the Universal Church, that the threat of the Serpent is specifically directed at the foundation of the Conceptionists in Quito serves to indicate that the life of Mother Mariana, her visions and accompanying prophecies, while specifically relating to the nation of Ecuador and to the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, are intimately related to the future of the whole Church.

Mother Mariana was, of course, a special Victim Soul chosen by God as a work of mercy for the Church. As such, the Rule which she lived and for which her whole life was a contest, the spiritual favors which she received, and the extraordinary crosses which she experienced, were not the ordinary way of the laity. And yet all of these things involve principles of the spiritual life which are fully applicable to all of Christ’s faithful followers.

Even a cursory reading of Fr. Pereira’s biography conveys the truth that at the heart of the contest between Satan and God over the Conceptionist Convent in Quito is the Franciscan-Conceptionist Rule. Throughout its history, the temporary conquests of Satan would consist in accomplishing the relaxation of this Rule, and the eventual taking away of the governance of the Franciscan Friars’ over the Convent. The triumph of Our Lady is always depicted as the return to integral living of this Rule, and the eventual return of the Franciscans to governance.

Upon first examination, the lay reader might find this repeated insistence upon following the Rule “to the letter, to the letter, to the letter; without comment, without comment, without comment” (I, p. 183 – these are also St. Francis words from his Testament , written shortly before his death) to be irrelevant, and even annoying, in regard to his own state of life. After all, the lay person has no such religious “Rule” to follow. In recent decades there has in fact been extensive spiritual warfare conducted against the general concept of “rules.” Somehow, it has come to be widely believed that such insistence on “rules” is Pharisaical, and leads to a denial of what is alleged to be Christ’s universal love and mercy. Pope Francis’ repeated denigration of “small-minded rules” in the context of his de-emphasizing the necessity of always preaching Catholic truths concerning such things as abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptives, and his statement that “”the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives” (all of this to be found in his interview with Antonio Spadaro) has profoundly served to solemnly bless this attitude in the spiritual orientation of vast numbers of Catholics. It is arguably the most destructive error of our time.

The Rule of a religious is simply a particular application of a spiritual principle which in its general form is applicable to all Catholics in all states of life: God’s mercy and love can only be received and made fruitful through obedience to God’s “Rules”. Such Rules encompass everything from specific doctrinal truths in the domain of faith and morals, to the prescriptions necessary to be obedient to the precepts governing one’s own particular state of life. Mary’s presenting herself in the Temple for purification 40 days after the birth of Jesus was a perfect example of such obedience. The concept of God’s “Rule” is therefore essentially synonymous with Truth – both the universal truths which apply to all men, and also the particular truths which govern individual states of life. There can be no supernatural mercy or love present where there is denial of, and disobedience to, God’s Truth. In all this, there is a profound and interconnected relationship which exists between the religious and lay states of life. There can be no movement from curse to blessing, no being “enfolded” within Christ’s merciful Heart, unless there is first a conversion to God’s “Rule”. This is the very essence of the Gospel.

But living the Truth of God is not only necessary for individual salvation, but also constitutes the very “Light” of Christ shining through the Church – a Light which is absolutely necessary for the conversion and salvation of all those who now live outside of Christ’s Truth and the Church. In speaking of God’s Rule as precisely this “light” which turns others to the worship of the true God, Christ says:

“ You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid….So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am come not to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven .” (Mat 5:14-19).

It is precisely this light of Truth and God’s Rule which has been so darkened and obscured in the Catholic Church, especially since Vatican Council II. The well-documented facts that over 90% of American Catholics now believe in contraception, over 50% believe in abortion, and over 70% do not believe in Our Lord’s Real Presence in the Eucharist are just three examples of a vast sea of defections from God’s Rule. And it is such absolutely vital Truths about the Catholic Faith about which Pope Francis is purposefully silent (or de-emphasizes) in order to engage in a “missionary activity” which pursues dialogue and inclusion rather than conversion, and which seeks to feed the body while profoundly neglecting the soul.

For those traditional Catholics, on the other hand who see that the Church itself must be first purified and return to the living of God’s Rule if there is to be any hope whatsoever of effecting the salvation of those without, Pope Francis reserves his most contemptuous condemnations: “self-absorbed”, “narcissistic”, “Pelagian”. Traditional Catholics are, as seen through his frequent condemnations of them, his worst enemies, as also apparently would be Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres. Her whole life was dedicated to that internal combat within herself, her convent and Church, which sought the living of the purity of God’s Rule. It was upon this, she knew with absolute surety, that her own salvation, that of her Convent, and the whole world depended. Seen from Pope Francis’s perspective, her whole life was one of continuous, profound, narcissistic “self-absorption”. What Francis appears totally incapable of understanding, however, is that such a life is really a matter of total absorption in Christ, and commitment to that charity towards all others which can only be realized through the purity of the living God’s Rule

The Secret Designs of God

“Oh! The ignorance of the learned and the folly of mortals who do not recognize the secret designs of God in His works!” (I, 140)

The words of Our Lady quoted above are part of the apparition of Our Lady to Mother Mariana which occurred on Jan 16, 1599.

The key to understanding these “secret designs” lies in a deeper penetration into the Mystery of the Cross as it applies to the present battle between Christ’s Mystical Body and Satan – a battle in which we are all now immersed.

The Christian life has always consisted in following Jesus by way of the Cross. We are all familiar with many of the facets of this Way – the necessity of being faithful to the rigors of our daily duty, acceptance of both mental and physical sufferings, self-denial, penance, acts and prayers of reparation, suffering persecution, and even martyrdom. All of these things pose no great mystery to the Christian mind. The first five of these are logical consequences of original and personal sin. The last two are fully to be expected in the face of a world which has rejected Christ and His Church. None of this does violence to a rational understanding of our Faith and its consequences.

But there is a deeper mystery to the Cross which the life of Mother Mariana, and the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success, reveals, and which does indeed do violence to our minds. It consists in the fact that God willed not only that at one specific moment in time His Son should be made Infinite Victim for our salvation, but that at another point in time the Church should undergo a profound Victimhood which would reduce it to a state in which, in imitation of Christ:

“… there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him. Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not .” (Isaiah 53:2-3).

It is this period of history in which we now appear to be immersed. And further, in accord with the messages of Our Lady of Good Success, what is most “secret” about this Victimhood is that it will prove enormously meritorious for the application of Christ’s salvation to a world confronted with what will appear to be the conclusive victory of Satan.

Not a Normal Cycle of Church History

Any serious and discerning student of the history of the Catholic Church is bound to encounter what appears to be a cyclic nature to that history. Periods of great blessing and grace are followed by what appear to be equally great periods of crisis and apparent chastisement. Possibly the most obvious and historically documented example is that which occurred in the 13 th and 14 th centuries. The age which has often been called “The Greatest of Centuries” – that which witnessed the lives and teachings of Saints Dominic, Francis, Thomas, etc. – was followed by the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy, the Great Western Schism, and a descent into all the intellectual and moral perversions of the Renaissance. Such cycles appear to be a “normal” consequence of original sin. God’s gifts are received partially, eventually compromised and betrayed, and chastisement and crisis follow.

It might be alleged that something similar happened during the past 165 years, ranging from the Papacy of Pope Pius IX through Vatican Council II and its aftermath. Through approximately 110 years of that period the Church experienced what were great Popes and momentous accomplishments in a great many facets of Church life and teaching: the definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption: the definition of Papal Infallibility (and the other magnificent teachings of Vatican Council I); the Syllabus of Errors issued by Pius IX; the radiant teachings of Pope Leo XIII on the Social Kingship of Christ, and his renewal of Thomism; the brilliant defenses of Pope Pius X against Modernism, and his purifications of the liturgy; Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno, Quas Primas , and Moratalium Animos , etc. And along with this, of course, went tremendous growth of the Church in all sorts of realms: vocations to the priesthood and religious life, establishment of educational and charitable institutions, work in the missions, defense of the family and the dignity of the working man, etc. All of this appeared as a great bulwark, virtually impossible for the enemy to compromise or destroy. And yet, almost unbelievably, a vast number of these teachings and accomplishments have been either destroyed or severely enfeebled in the 55 years since the end of Vatican Council II.

It has been standard rhetoric among both liberals and Neo-Conservatives that what has ensued since the Second Vatican Council is typical of all post-Conciliar periods – a period of confusion, usually lasting about 30-50 years, a necessary “shaking up” in order to make some sort of adjustment.. Such an explanation is characteristic of the “cyclic” historical analysis which I have offered above.

But these people are wrong. What has happened during the past 55 years has been a profoundly unique phenomenon in the 2,000 year history of the Church. As Pope Pius X taught in Pascendi, with Modernism we are witnessing “arts entirely new”…”striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church” which seek “utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ.” It is this Modernism which we have seen become firmly established in the very center and heart of the Church – not only in vast numbers of the laity, but also in much of the hierarchy.

Pius X’s term “vital energy” is pivotal to understanding the uniqueness of our present situation. Previous crises caused enormous damage and wreaked havoc in the Church, but they reached nowhere near as deep into the “vital energy” of the Church as does the present assault of Satan. The early Christological Heresies (including Arianism), for instance, assaulted the intellectual realm of our faith in Christ, causing great confusion and damage. The Great Western Schism ripped into Christian unity with the doubts and disputes revolving around Papal claimants. The Protestant revolt drew away half of Europe from the Church with radical defections from a multitude of Catholic beliefs and practices. Yet none of these approaches the debilitating passion which the Church now suffers.

Possibly, this uniqueness of our present crisis is best illustrated by what has been called Pope Francis’ “Ten Commandments for Happiness”, which he stated in an interview with the Argentine magazine Viva. The first of these has been translated as “Live and Let Live” – a premier, colloquial expression of relativism and indifference. But the ninth “commandment” is much more explicit: “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you’, No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing.”

This ninth “commandment” of Pope Francis is a brutal attack upon the heart of the Gospel. Proselytism is of course the attempt to convert others to Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church. Its aim is to bring others to a conversion to all the Truths of Christ in order for them to be liberated from darkness, sin, and destructive error. Christ’s last words in the Gospel of Matthew to His Disciples contained the instruction: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations…” Paul summarizes our Gospel mission in the following words:

“ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, and every understanding unto the obedience of Christ …”

The Church and the Gospel are not primarily about “attraction” through dialogue, but rather conversion through the preaching of the Truth of Christ. It is Truth which is the Life of Christ, and therefore the light of souls. To deny souls this “light” in the name of a false unity, mercy and charity actually amounts to a hatred of souls. And this is what is being expressed through a false ecumenism and inclusiveness towards religions, systems of thought, and moral practices which are objectively evil. Pope Francis is now engaged in this effort in a way that is more explicit than any of his predecessors, and the world and the “faithful” are largely relishing it. The vital energy of the Catholic spirit is being rapidly siphoned from virtually every vessel of Christ’s Mystical Body.

Satan would now appear to have a Master Plan which seeks not only triumph over individual souls, and even whole nations or peoples, but over human nature itself. He has set himself to the task of totally corrupting the human mind and heart at a level which, in terms of the integral being and nature of man himself, is ontologically “previous” to the Faith, previous to the Gospel – a state of universal corruption of culture which will make it impossible not only for any man to believe in God, but even to desire Him.

While it is true that both Faith and the Gospel are totally gratuitous gifts of God, it is also true that the reception and acceptance of these Gifts is dependent upon a human nature, created in the image of God, which is capable of responding to these Gifts. Man possesses a “law written in his heart” which should respond naturally to God’s law: he possesses an intellect which, as St. Thomas points out, should “naturally” respond to God’s Truth because the “light” of this intellect derives from the life of Christ ((John 1:4). But it is also true that these natural faculties of man can be so corrupted (but not completely destroyed) as to make it virtually impossible for man to correspond with, or naturally respond to, God’s grace.

It was, of course, always possible in the past for Satan to cause this sort of corruption in individual souls, or even in larger groups of souls. However, he had to wait until the twentieth century in order for conditions to be ripe for the production of an almost universal corruption of human nature. This universal corruption has been made possible through a global culture which is profoundly prostituted in all areas of life to the domination of atheistic, reductive science over its intellectual life, the moral consequences of such reduction, and the control of usury and international finance over all the institutions of society – especially the Media, the entertainment industry, and virtually all educational institutions. It is precisely this control and centralization of the power of money which makes possible the saturation of hedonism and moral perversion into every facet of modern cultures.

It is this state of “universal corruption” of human life in the twentieth century which is the subject of a significant number of prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success. They cover all the major facets of modern man’s rejection of God’s rule in regard to both belief and action.

But these prophesied “corruptions” constitute only a portion of the messages which Mother Mariana received, and do not at all reach to the depths of meaning and significance of her life. The purpose of these Apparitions, and Mother Mariana’s life, is not primarily to show us how Satan works, but to reveal how he is to be defeated.

The Dynamics of Saving that which is Lost

Hell: A Celestial Gift

As already mentioned, the life of Mother Mariana is rightly seen as a contest – a War between Our Lady and Satan – over souls. This war is to be seen as involving very specific causative relationships between a series of interconnecting worlds – Mother Mariana herself, the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, the nation of Ecuador, the world, and the universal Church. As we shall see, it is precisely in the nature of this causation that the “secret designs” of God are to be uncovered.

The fundamental conflict within the Conceptionist Convent itself was (and always would be, according to Our Lady) that which is waged between Observant and Non-Observant sisters. From an exterior perspective, and during the life of Mother Mariana, this took the form of a group of sisters, led by an arch-conspirator known as “the Captain”, conspiring to destroy Mother Mariana and “relax” the Rule in the name of a false mercy (this mirrors what happened to the Order which St. Francis founded). From a much more profound, interior perspective, this effort at “relaxation” is to be seen as due to the domination of Satan over the Captain and the non-observant sisters (there are very graphic passages describing this state of “possession”) in his campaign to destroy the entire Franciscan Charism received from God through St. Francis, and which was transmitted by St. Beatrice de Silva to her Conceptionist Order. And, from a universal perspective, this particular contest between Mother Mariana and Satan is a microcosm of the conflict that would eventually take place in the 20 th Century between the Church and Satan, and which will be won by the same interior means which accomplished not only the defeat of Satan’s plans for the destruction of the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, but the conversion and salvation of the Captain herself. It is within the dynamics of this conversion, as we shall see, that the secret designs of God for the Triumph of Our Lady lie.

The conspiratorial activities of the Captain and her fellow non-observant sisters attained its first major victory in the elimination of the Franciscan Friars from governance of the Convent. In the words of Fr. Pereira:

“” They strove to put the Convent under the Bishop of Quito, and no longer the Franciscans, who led them in the right direction according to the spirit of the conventual life. This faction [of sisters] caused the Friars Minor to unwillingly make the decision to leave the government of the Conceptionist Convent .” (I, 97).

All of this had previously been prophesied to both Mother Maria and Mother Mariana. As we shall see, the return of the Franciscans to governance is prophesied to occur only after several centuries, and to coincide with a “golden era” (I, 98) which will ensue after Our Lady’s Triumph over Satan and his massive dominion over souls in the Twentieth Century.

One night, shortly before the separation of the Franciscans, and in preparation for what was to come, Our Lord spoke the following words to Mother Mariana from the Sacrarium:

” For the time will come when the devils will try to demolish this Convent, availing themselves of both good and evil persons to achieve that end. But they will not succeed so long as the spirit of sacrifice remains. To maintain it, interior victims are needed. ” (I, 101).

Mother Mariana (along with the other Observant sisters to a lesser extent) was to become this victim.

The conspiratorial activities of the Captain won over the Bishop of Quito, Luis Lopez de Solis (Mariana’s Prelate from 1594-1606).

The Bishop ordered Mother Mariana imprisoned in the Convent prison. This was to occur four times due to conspiratorial activities of the Captain and the lack of discernment by the Bishop. In order to document the nature of the lies which were the cause of these injustices, Fr. Pereira quotes from a letter to the bishop written by the non-observant sisters at the time of the second imprisonment:

“ Mother Mariana de Jesus breaks the silence whenever she desires. She does not assist at Community prayers. She privately indulges herself and her friends with extra food. The Convent is conspiring with the Franciscan friars, with whom she converses into the late hours of the night. Furthermore, Mother Mariana is striving to overthrow the jurisdiction of Your Illustrious Lordship. We beg you to imprison her .”

It is impossible in an article such as this to do justice to the complexity of the conflict that raged within the Convent during this period. At one point there were 25 observant sisters in the prison including the four remaining Founding Spanish Mothers (Mother Maria had passed to Heaven). The prison became a heaven of prayer, charity, and miraculous visitations. As seen in visions by Mother Maria and the other Founding Mothers, numerous devils raged throughout the rest of the Convent, wreaking terrible havoc among the sisters. The reader is again asked to read Fr. Pereira’s book in order to do this subject justice.

The key to understanding the victimhood of Mother Mariana (and the other observant sisters) is to be found in the appearance of Our Lord to Mother Mariana just previous to her fourth imprisonment. Fr. Pereira describes it in the following paragraphs:

“Clearly this innocent lamb would have been freed if she had chosen to defend herself and allowed Mother Valenzuela, the Vicar Abbess, and the others to support her cause. At that very moment, however, God had manifested to her that, if violence was used, the souls of all those non-observant sisters would be lost. She was also given to understand that this humiliation was necessary in order to save the Convent founded by her holy aunt, the other Founding Mothers and herself, as well as to save the souls of the non-observant sisters.

“At this moment, she saw Our Lord Jesus Christ, tied and handcuffed by the barbarous Jews after the betrayal of Judas. She saw Him unjustly accused and calumniated in the tribunals of the iniquitous pontiffs, treated with great cruelty and ignominy. At the same time, she saw what was passing within His Divine Heart: His sentiments of loving magnanimity toward His very persecutors, His heroism in offering His sorrowful Passion for so many ungrateful souls, and His profound sorrow over the perdition of such souls and ingratitude of His ministers and spouses throughout the course of the centuries until the end of the world. She saw how the Divine Master suffered His interior and exterior Passion.

“Turning toward her, He said with loving tenderness, ‘My spouse, do not leave Me alone in such great bitterness and sorrow. If you truly love Me, I ask that you do not leave Me, but accompany Me during your days on earth. Know that this generous sacrifice will germinate the seed of this Convent so beloved of My heart, so that it will have victim souls of suffering and sorrow throughout time. These souls, under My gaze, will live in the practice of the most sublime perfection, being the columns of your Community and deflectors to deter My divine anger in the ill-fated times that the Church will see on this soil. Let us go, then, to your seclusion, for there I desire to speak alone with you and make you a participant of my sorrows. ” (I, 163-64).

We ask the reader at this point to pause and consider. The subject with which we are here concerned – how God exercises His “secret designs” of mercy in the face of increasing rejection of His “Rule of Life” (from the perspective of the larger “world” we might consider that these events occurred within 90 years of Luther’s initial rebellion against the Divine Order, and therefore in the midst of that first great wave of attacks against Catholic Civilization) – is not simply a matter of justice. If mere justice had been chosen as the means and the goal, several consequences were inevitable: 1) the souls of all the non-observant sisters would have been lost; 2) the true, spiritual “seed” of the Convent would not have been “germinated”; 3) and future victim souls, required in order to deflect divine anger in the “ill-fated times to come” through which the Church will pass, would not exist.

We are here dealing with a deep mystery concerning God’s employment of human beings and human history in the accomplishment of His ultimate victory. As often repeated throughout Fr. Pereira’s work, and as possibly best encapsulated in the words of Mother Mariana concerning the future of her Convent, “The unfaithful ones will carve the crowns for the latter [saints]”, and these in turn will form spiritual “seeds” necessary for Our Lady’s Victory. The basic principle of God’s “Secret Designs” might thus be stated: God’s promise of Our Lady’s Triumph (and thus the Church’s) will be fulfilled through the formation of souls who, with the graces which make this possible, will live a profound victimhood in imitation of Christ – a victimhood which they will suffer at the hands of both good and evil persons.

This spiritual dynamic – involving what Our Lady called “the secret designs of God in His works”– is applicable not only on the scale of Mother Mariana’s Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Quito, Ecuador, but also to those “other worlds” (the nation of Ecuador, the entire world, and the world of the universal Church) which we have mentioned. And just as we are obliged to believe that the life of a religious, while constituting a certain state of “perfection”, is yet also a model for the laity in all the basic principles of the spiritual life, so the role which the laity must play in Our Lady’s Triumph, if they are to be proven faithful followers of Christ, must also mirror these principles. We shall explore this subject after we examine the prophecies concerning the Twentieth Century.

To continue with our story:

The Bishop finally realized the terrible imprudence he had exercised, freed Mother Mariana from prison for the last time, and imprisoned the Captain and other rebellious sisters. It is on this occasion that Our Lord appeared to Mother Mariana and detailed His “Secret Designs” of Mercy. At this point (beginning with the Bishop’s ordering the Captain to be taken to prison), in order to do justice to this mystery, the following passages from Fr. Pereira’s account are here offered:

“The unhappy captain trembled in anger and shame because, for a proud soul like this, humiliation deals a mortal blow and inconsolable suffering.

“In fact, unknown to the Bishop and other sisters, something extraordinary was taking place while this poor sister was speaking to the Prelate. For as she [the Captain] rose to propose herself as Abbess, Mother Mariana saw that she was surrounded by monkeys emitting fire from their mouths, eyes, and noses. These flames passed to the leader’s heart and the hearts of her non-observant companions. To the measure that this fire overpowered their hearts, the passions of anger and envy seethed in them against the Abbess [Mother Mariana] and the Spanish Mothers, extinguishing the fire of the love of God. Further, she saw that these souls, empty of good works, were weighted down by many sins, bearing grave consequences for eternity.

“Mother Mariana saw that this poor captain would not be saved, nor would many of her followers who had been led astray by her bad example….What this sister said about the letter of the law killing and the spirit giving life is not in conformance with any of the Rules of monastic institutions, because the eternal life of a religious person depends upon the literal observance of the Rule. We have a practical example of this from our Father Saint Francis, to whom God Himself directed these words concerning the practice of the Rule: ‘To the letter, to the letter, to the letter; without comment, without comment, without comment.’

“The sophistic reasoning of this poor sister revealed her bad spirit and total lack of virtue.

“Let us continue, however, with the vision of Mother Mariana. She saw that the captain, along with various of her followers, would not be saved because of the blatantly relaxed life they were leading. The divine graces that pour torrentially on good religious in their cloisters were transformed into venom for these deplorable creatures, blinding their souls despite the vibrant light around them and making them die of thirst despite the fountain of living water in their midst.

“She saw how they would fall from one abyss to another the rest of their lives, at times placing the Convent at risk and leading yet other religious sisters astray by their bad example. For the infernal serpent was using them as subtle instruments to carry out his plan to destroy the work of God and of Mary Immaculate in the foundation and preservation of this Convent.

“The soul of this charitable spouse of Jesus grieved to see this series of disasters for her beloved Convent, for which she was disposed to give her life should it be necessary. She was also willing to offer her life to prevent the loss of the souls of the religious, her sisters, who had cost the Divine Redeemer so dearly. Tears ran down her cheeks, and her fervent and silent prayer rose up to Heaven like the smoke of an exquisite incense burning in the temple of her pure heart and in the thurible of her profound humility.

“Then, Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Mother Mariana as He was in the Garden of Olives, kneeling in mournful, ardent prayer. She was given to understand the most bitter sorrow that overpowered His Sacred Heart in those moments when, feeling the tedium of life, He said, ‘My Father, if it be possible to take from Me this bitter chalice, do so…but not My will, but Thine be done.’ She saw that the greatest interior torments of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were the ingratitude and indifference of those souls who, chosen among millions to be His spouses and ministers, abandoned Him in the most absolute solitude. This, despite the fact that He would live under the same roof with His spouses and descend into the hands of His priests at the simple call of their voices at the most solemn moment of the Consecration of the Holy Host and Chalice.

“Mother Mariana then heard the Beloved of her soul exclaim in His sorrowful agony, ‘Alas, I look for those who might console Me, and I find none. I created sons, and they ignore and despise Me! And you, my spouse, what will you do for Me, since I have done so much for you? Oh! How much these religious souls have cost Me! – Snatch them from the throat of the infernal wolf! How it pains me to lose them!’

“Immediately, the heroic Conceptionist responded: ‘My Beloved, what dost Thou desire? What dost Thou request of me? Until now Thou hast denied me nothing, and I am resolved to never deny Thee anything – even to my last breath. Tell me, my goodness: Dost thou desire that I live and die in prison, in absolute isolation from creatures, abandoned by all, suffering double what I have endured until now in those times when I have been Thy faithful companion?….I willingly accept. I do so not in an impulse of momentary fervor, but with mature reflection upon what is being asked of me. Here I am before Thee. I will release my guilty sister and remain to suffer for her….My nature withdraws in horror, but my spirit is ready for the sacrifice, relying as it does on the fire of Thy ardent love, which inflames my weak heart.’

“Our Lord responded, ‘It is not your life, nor your health, nor imprisonment that I desire of you, My beloved Mariana, Rather, I ask that you suffer for the period of five consecutive years the punishments of hell that the soul of this poor sister would have suffered for all eternity. I have chosen five years in memory of the five Wounds impressed on My body during My sorrowful Passion. Understand, My daughter, that during those five years, I will absent Myself from your earthly eyes and deprive your spirit of every consolation and relief amid your suffering, for it will be similar to what the soul of your poor sister would have endured in the obscure prison of Hell. Be certain that interiorly I will be with you, fortifying you, for otherwise neither you nor the holiest of mortals could tolerate such suffering for even a minute. I ask you, do you agree to my request?

“Then the Divine Master showed her those five years, which seemed not a handful of years to Mother Mariana, but an eternity. Her body quivered even to the bones, and she felt her heart compress so tightly that she would have died from the violence of her pain if God, prodigious in His grace and mercy, had not miraculously preserved her life.” (I, 182-185).

Mother Mariana’s five-year term of expiation in Hell was not to take place until after the first death of the Captain. During the time remaining to her on this earth, the Captain did everything possible to make life miserable for Mother Mariana, and all those who cared for her with angelic charity. She was exorcised of two horrible looking devils by Mother Mariana. She spit her medicine out at her nurses and threw her filth at Mother Mariana. Finally, she became fatally ill with pneumonia. Again, from Fr. Pereira:

“Her face was pale, distorted in terror and agonizing despair. Her short hair stood on end and her eyes seemed to jump out of their sockets. She screamed and writhed, calling out, ‘It is too late for me now. I cannot love or pardon her. I want to save myself, but, in my present state, I cannot. If those black creatures would only go away!’”

“Mother Mariana held her in her arms, praying to the Divine Majesty that He would not permit this soul to be seized from her arms and carried into Hell. Reminding Him of her offer, she again renewed it. As she prayed, the sick sister began to have strong convulsions, her body shaking violently. Her death agony began, which lasted for two painful days. Finally, she gave a cry, opened her eyes and mouth, which was expelling foam, and her body fell limp.”

The Captain had died impenitent, but Mother Mariana continued to hold her in her arms. When the other Founding Mothers tried to persuade her to relinquish her hold on the body, Mother Mariana said to them:

“ My sisters and Mothers, do not forget so quickly the offer that was accepted to save her soul. Pray to God for her. Now she is standing before the judgment seat of God and realizing all the evil for which she was responsible. She will return to life and amend her life. Do not be frightened and remain calm .”

Mother Mariana’s prophesy was fulfilled. Breath and life returned, and “with her eyes streaming with tears”, the recovered sister “reported that she was returning from eternity, that she had become a better person, and that she understood who Mother Mariana was.” (I, 225-27). In the years which remained to her, she lived the life of a humble and docile religious, with great devotion to Mother Mariana. She was to live through the entire five years of Mother Mariana’s sojourn in Hell, and died with Mother Mariana at her side.

Five Years in Hell

Within a year of the election of Mother Valenzuela as Abbess (after the imprisonment of the Captain), Our Lord again appeared to Mother Mariana and informed her that it was time for her to begin her five years of suffering in Hell, which she had accepted with heroic charity in order to save the soul of her fellow religious. He told her that this Hell would begin after her having received absolution and Holy Communion the following day. Only the words of Fr. Pereira can somewhat do justice to what then ensued for the next 5 years.

“ After the Sacramental Species had been consumed, Mother Mariana felt a sorrow so intense that it seemed to wrench her heart violently from her breast. At that moment, she became completely insensible to her God. She felt a tedium toward Him, and even more, she experienced a type of hatred and despair that did not permit the least ray of hope.

“She tried to reflect upon the heroic sacrifice that she had made to save the soul of her sister. However, instead of receiving relief, she felt fury, despair, and a total suspicion with regard to God….She reminded herself of all the sublime mysteries of Christ on earth and of His Virgin Mother, pure and immaculate from her conception, but these thoughts were only a perpetual source of unending rage and despair. She still felt herself to be a daughter of the Immaculate Conception – but now, a condemned one.

“The notion of the five years vanished from her mind, and she could only forsee from then on an eternity of affliction. She wanted to encourage herself by thinking that some day this Hell would end, but she heard rough, terrible voices taunting her without any order, saying: ‘Eternity! Eternity! Forever! Forever! In Hell, the Redemption has no meaning. Oh! Religious who squandered the time given to you on earth, who wasted countless graces, you deserve the unspeakable torments and horrible sufferings of the punishment of perdition.’

The Torments of the Five Senses

“The terrible chastisements of the senses fell upon Mariana. Her body would feel a fiery heat, as if it were a living coal that burned without being consumed. Then, following this extreme heat, she would experience a coldness impossible to express or describe, more intense than if she were buried under a mound of snow. Her breathing was constricted by the immense pain caused at times by fire, and at times by the frigid cold.

“Before her eyes appeared horrible infernal visions. Her ears were tormented by the appalling blasphemies made by the condemned souls and devils. Repugnant odors permeated her sense of smell, worse and more intense than if she were surrounded by the filth of all mankind. Her sense of touch was tormented, and she felt as if she were lying on a hard bed, hard with the hardness of Hell, a bed lined with sharp nails that penetrated to her very depths. Her palate was tortured by a horrible taste, worse than anything she had ever experienced. In addition, the devils forced her to swallow molten hot sulfur and dealt her strong, harsh blows that drove her mad and incited her to fury, despair, and blasphemy.

“In the face of these unspeakable trials, she never opened her lips to say the least word whatsoever to her Community about the sufferings transpiring in her soul. Only the Franciscan friar who directed her knew of them.

The Rejection of God

“During these long years of her trial, her memory was afflicted by the remembrance of graces received from the loving goodness of God and Mary Most Holy, Whom she seemed to have lost forever. It was especially painful for her to think of the grace of the religious vocation and the joys of conventual life. For while she had suffered many hardships in her religious life, these now seemed like veritable pleasures to her, for then at least she could love her God, and this was denied to her in her present condition.

“Her mind understood perfectly and with the greatest clarity who God and Mary Most Holy were, and she recognized the existence of Heaven and the eternal delight of the blessed who inhabited it. But hopeless, she felt that it was absolutely unattainable for her. Her will was no longer free to do either evil or good, as it was in her mortal life, for she was a prisoner suffering the rigor of Divine Justice. She wanted to have recourse to mercy, but from the depths of her tormented soul, she heard voices that echoed through her being, ‘It’s too late for you. Everything is over. Now the only thing that remains for you is eternal punishment. The avenging justice weighs over you. Hell…for all Eternity!’

“‘Oh! Unfortunate time given to me,’ she would say to herself. ‘Now I see how I strayed from the pathway of truth.’

“Mother Mariana took upon herself the guilt of all the sins of her sister, suffering as if they were her own sins. These sins tormented her with their weight and their memory. She entertained not the least hope of relief and even less of pardon, for she saw God unhappy and irritated with her. Mary Most Holy, as well as her Founder Mother and all her celestial friends, showed themselves completely indifferent to her cries.

“She was convinced that this punishment was just, for the sins of the sister for whom she was expiating were numerous. She no longer had any memory of how she was a favored soul beloved by God, or that she was suffering for a span of five years in an heroic sacrifice to save a sister’s soul. All this was lost to her memory, and only the conviction that she was condemned forever lived in her. These dark, dismal shadows that were in her spirit, constituted the worst part of her Hell.

“She wanted to love God and raise her spirit to Him, but she felt repelled by Him. When she thought of God and His infinite beauty that had been lost to her forever, she fell into an anguished despair so great that she wanted to end her very existence. The thought that the soul is immortal filled her with fury and despair, for such a suffering is incomprehensible and inexplicable. In short, for this suffering creature, there was not the least consolation, the least respite to her sorrow, or the least type of physical or moral relief.

“All creatures without exception became for her sources of great torment. The attentions and kindnesses of her Abbess and the Community only augmented her suffering. She considered herself interiorly abandoned and irremediably lost, living and breathing in an atmosphere of hatred.” (I, 231-33).

And, Fr. Pereira adds:

“ This holy creature suffered all these torments – and unspeakable others – every minute of the day and night, in all times and places. At the same time, throughout these years of harsh expiation, she appeared to all around her as a model of sweetness, humility, and meekness in her exact observance of the Rule. She was for her fellow religious a mirror: Looking at her, they could see a faithful and exemplary model to imitate.”

Mother Mariana would certainly seem to have been the greatest of these victim souls in the history of the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, but it is integral to the secret designs of God that she is by no means the only one. Specific instances of other such victim souls are revealed in Mother Mariana’s (and also Mother Maria’s) revelations. Following is just one example

One day before Mariana’s profession at the age of 16, she fell into a deathlike stupor and received a visitation from Our Lord. Upon returning to consciousness, Mother Maria asked her what had transpired:

“ ’My Mother’, she replied, ‘Our Lord has promised to receive me as His spouse. I was given to understand the difficult times through which our Order will pass. However, throughout the course of time, in this Convent there will be holy religious and, at all times, hidden and unknown souls, who by their sacrifices and sufferings will sustain the Community.

‘But there will also be ungrateful and false religious who will be unfaithful and will leave the Convent. Every fifty years Our Lord will purge the Community, separating the chaff from the good wheat. At the end of the 19 th century, a religious will suffer from a kind of leprosy, and once again, sanctity will return to this Convent. She will end her days in a place set aside for those dying of this disease. I saw the immense glory she will have in Heaven.

“‘As long as sacrifices and sufferings are made in this Convent, it will not disappear .’” (I, 35).

Such are the “secret designs of God in His works”. Such are the means by which Our Lady’s Triumph will be achieved.

The Twentieth Century

The Church of the Twentieth Century is a subject which runs through the entire life and history of Mother Mariana. It intertwines with many of her prophecies, it is connected with her purpose as a victim soul; and it intimately relates to the entire purpose of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success. It can fairly be said that all which constitutes the immediate life of Mother Mariana and of the Convent in Quito during these years of the latter part of the 16 th and first part of the 17 th centuries is therefore also intimately connected to, and directed towards, the situation of the Church and the world in the Twentieth Century (and clearly now extending into the Twenty-first).

The first prophecy recorded by Fr. Pereira concerning the Twentieth Century essentially says it all (except for the specifics). It dates to the year 1581, during Mariana’s second year of postulancy, and is found early in Fr. Pereira’s biography, on pages 47-49 of Volume I:

“ This holy religious [Mariana] suffered insults and persecutions from her sisters without ever opening her lips to justify herself or protest. Only at the foot of the Tabernacle did she confide her secret sorrows to her Beloved.

“One day, after a particularly bitter incident with one of her sisters, which Mother Mariana suffered in silence, she went to the feet of Jesus Christ, communicating to Him her torment and begging Him for fortitude.

“He replied to her, ‘On the day when I betrothed Myself to you, I carefully tested your will. Your sufferings are reaching their apex.’

“To this, the innocent virgin responded, ‘My Lord, my will is ready, but the flesh is weak…’

“Our Lord returned, ‘Strength will not be wanting to you, as nothing is lacking to the soul who has recourse to Me.’

“At that moment, she heard an overwhelming sound, and saw that the whole Church had become immersed in darkness, as from dust and smoke. Fearful that the building would collapse and uncertain what had happened, for she had not felt the tremors of an earthquake, she asked herself, ‘What is this?’

“Examining her conscience, she could find no fault for which she could accuse herself. Nonetheless, in her profound humility, she believed that she must be guilty of something that was causing this disorder.

“In the darkness of the Church, Mother Mariana looked up and saw the main altar very clearly as if it were illuminated by full day. Suddenly, before this humble, kneeling virgin, the Tabernacle opened, and Christ Himself emerged, suffering as He had at Golgotha. The Blessed Virgin, shedding tears of pearls, along with Saint John and Mary Magdalene, were at His feet.

“The suffering Christ, still without the wound in His Side, began His death agony.

“Seeing this, the humble virgin, believing herself to be at fault, prostrated herself on the ground with her arms extended in the form of a cross, exclaiming, ‘Lord, I am the guilty one. Punish me and pardon your people.’

‘Her Guardian Angel made her rise, saying, ‘No, you are not to blame. Arise and approach, for God desires to reveal to you a great secret.’

“She arose, and seeing the tears of the Most Holy Virgin, she addressed her, saying, ‘My Lady, am I to blame for thy sadness?’

“She replied, ‘No, it is not you, but the criminal world.’

“Then, as Our Lord agonized, she heard the voice of the Eternal Father saying, ‘This punishment will be for the 20 th century.’

“Then she saw three swords over the head of Christ. On each was written, ‘I shall punish heresy, blasphemy, and impurity.’ Then she was given to understand all that would take place in that century.

“The Holy Virgin continued, ‘My daughter, will you sacrifice yourself for the people of this time?’

“Mother Mariana replied, ‘I am willing.’

“Immediately, the swords moved away from the agonizing Christ and buried themselves in the heart of Mother Mariana, who fell dead from the violence of the pain.”

Mother Marian was pronounced dead by the doctor, and all attempts by the Franciscan friars to arouse her failed. Fr. Pereira does not tell us the length of time that she was dead, but we might presume it to have been similar to a second mystical death which occurred in September of 1689 when, according to Fr. Pereira’s account, and in imitation of Christ, she was dead from 3:30 PM, Friday, until 3 AM Sunday morning when she experienced resurrection.

Mother Mariana at this point became a victim soul for the Twentieth century – “My daughter, will you sacrifice yourself for the people of this time?” The evil swords of heresy, blasphemy, and impurity which were to overwhelm the people of this century were the cause of her death.

In her mystical death, Mother Mariana presented herself before the judgment seat of God. Finding no fault in her, God said to her, “Come, beloved of My Father, receive the crown that We have prepared for you since the beginning of the world…” She prostrated herself before the Throne of the Most Blessed Trinity and, according to Fr. Pereira, “was given to understand something of that ineffable mystery.”

Our Lord presented her with two crowns: “one of immortal glory of indescribable beauty; the other of white lilies surrounded by thorns”, and asked her to choose. Mother Mariana understood that if she chose the first, she would remain in Heaven; if she chose the second, she would return to suffer in the world. At the same time she was given to know all the Conceptionist religious who would inhabit her Convent down through the centuries. She knew their names, the offices they would exercise, the graces that they would receive, and their correspondence or non-correspondence with these graces. She saw that the Franciscans would be removed from the governance of her Community.

She was torn between the two crowns offered her. At this point Our Lady approached her, and said:

“My daughter, I left the glories of Heaven and descended to earth to protect my children. I desire that you imitate me in this and return to life, for your life is most necessary for the Order of my Conceptionists. Woe to the Colony in the 20 th century! If, in Ecuador already so guilty, there are not souls who by their lives of immolation and sacrifice will appease Divine Justice, fire will rain from Heaven, consuming its inhabitants and purifying the soil of Quito. Until the end of time, one of these sacrificial souls will inhabit this, my Convent, and, imitating you, will appease Divine Justice.”

The sins predicated of the 20 th Century pretty much run the entire gamut of human malediction – from heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege against God Himself, to all those sins of human degradation, especially in regard to the virtue of purity, that we have seen raging in recent decades. Our Lady says that during this period, “Satan will reign almost completely by means of the Masonic sects”, and “they will focus principally on the children in order to sustain this general corruption”. She speaks of the “many enormous sacrileges – both public as well as secret – that will occur from profanations of the Holy Eucharist. Often during this epoch the enemies of Jesus Christ, instigated by the Devil, will steal consecrated hosts from the churches so that they might profane the Eucharistic Species.” The Sacrament of Matrimony will be attacked and deeply profaned. There will be almost no virginity left in the world. Priests will deviate from the spirit of their vocation and Satan will corrupt and deprave many of them, scandalizing the Christian people, and making the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Church fall upon the Church and her priests. Interestingly, all during this period books and learning will proliferate, while the exercise of virtues will fall into decline.

All of the “corruptions” listed above speak of an enormous loss of faith. In the apparition of February 2, 1610 (which contains the most extensive treatment of the sins of the 20 th Century), there is a short passage that plunges to the heart of that which differentiates faith from disbelief. In this passage Our Lady speaks specifically of faith in her apparitions, but it is easy to see that her words reach to the depths of the entirety of our Faith:

“A simple, humble faith in the truth of my apparitions to you, my favored child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls who are docile to the inspirations of grace, for our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science.”

These words of Our Lady are in total accord with the teaching of Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi dominici gregis that the entire Modernist enterprise is rooted in the subjection of faith to science.

Possibly the most poignant prophesy of Our Lady is the following: “Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women.” If children no longer possess innocence, then virtually all else, both individually and culturally, must be corrupted. And if women no longer dress modestly, then both motherhood and manhood must be in almost total corruption. (see Vol. II, p. 21 -23 for the most extensive treatment of the sins of the 20 th Century).

It is significant that at the end of this enumeration of the sins of the 20 th Century (and there is more), Our Lady says, “in this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” We will deal with this subject further on.

We see here the interconnection between the “worlds” mentioned earlier: Mother Mariana, the Conceptionist Convent, Quito, and Ecuador. But when Our Lord and His Mother spoke of the sins of heresy, blasphemy, and impurity raging in the Twentieth Century, they were not just speaking of Ecuador, but rather also of the Universal Church, and the whole world of the 20 th Century. It was only towards the end of the 20 th Century that the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success and the life of Mother Mariana were prophesied to become widely known outside of Ecuador. It would therefore appear certain that we are now living in that period of history in which the fruits of Mother Mariana’s victimhood are destined to attain realization in the Universal Church.

It should also be evident that the real purpose of the prophecies concerning the Twentieth Century is not to warn us, but rather, in conjunction with God’s designs in regard to the life of Mother Mariana, to reveal the solution to the present crisis. If the life of Mother Mariana, and the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success were not to become known outside of Ecuador until the latter part of the Twentieth Century, at a time when these horrific sins were already reigning over the Church and the world, then such prophecies, if considered only as warnings, would have to be considered as being largely redundant. At best, they would constitute only a self-affirming justification for our being opposed to this state of things – which, of course, is precisely how they are now largely being used.

But it is not enough to be opposed. Nor is the self-justification of traditionalists the purpose of Our Lady’s appearances. The grace which is the Apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success; the grace that was Mother Mariana’s life, and which effected the salvation of the Captain, the “saving” of Ecuador, and the preservation of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception; and the grace which made of her a special Victim Soul for the Twentieth Century – all these were not primarily graces of opposition to evil, but rather the grace of victimhood in pursuit of mercy. And, most astoundingly, it was a victimhood practiced not primarily towards the enemy without, but towards that which occurs within Christ’s Church itself.

As already seen, the victimhood which was the extraordinary grace of Mother Mariana’s life was suffered primarily at the hands of those within the Church. Running parallel to this reality concerning Mother Mariana’s own life is the fact that the prophecies dealing with the Twentieth Century are centered upon a deep betrayal within the Church itself. Even if we consider this prophesied “general corruption” from the perspective of the world in general, such a thing could only have gained ascendancy if this same darkness had come to profoundly obscure the Light of Christ which is the Life of the Church. As such, the cause of the victimhood of both Mother Mariana and the Church in the Twentieth Century is rooted in the spirit and work of Antichrist, about whom St. John writes:

“ Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us .”

While it is true that the Antichrist will be a particular man whose coming is just preliminary to the final judgment, it is also true that the spirit of Antichrist is always alive within the Church in the form of “many antichrists” always seeking to destroy the Truth of Christ. They have indeed “gone out from us”, in the sense of departing from Christ and His “Rule”, but this does not at all mean that they necessarily have departed from the visible Church itself. They may well remain within, while having betrayed Christ.

We must also take into consideration the fact that in addition to this work of those who directly do the work of Antichrist, and therefore might be considered as constituting that category of persons who are true conspirators against Christ’s Mystical Body, we also find in Christ’s Church a vast number of “good” people who through ignorance, venial sin, luke-warmness, etc. somehow end up cooperating with Satan. Our Lord told Mother Mariana that “the time will come when the devils will try to demolish this Convent, availing themselves of both good and evil persons to achieve that end.” This category of persons (the “good”) is aptly illustrated during the present crisis by all those Catholics of good will who, seduced by a call to a false mercy and “inclusiveness” in the Name of Christ, have acquiesced to the agenda of those who embrace a “ silence ” towards the hard truths of Christ’s teaching – ranging from theological dogmas such as transubstantiation or the necessity of the Catholic Church for salvation, to the Church’s immutable teachings condemning abortion, homosexuality, the reception of Holy Communion by those who have civilly divorced and remarried, and the practice of contraception.

The Secret Designs of God in the Laity

Just as it is right to consider the Crucifixion of Our Lord both as the accomplishment of Satan and, at the same time the work of God for our salvation, so it is permissible to view the present crisis within the Church as the work of Satan, and at the same time a chastisement of God in preparation of victim souls being formed for the Triumph of Our Lady and Christ’s Catholic Church: “For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Heb 12:6).

That we deserve this chastisement is incontestably true. Earlier, we considered the period of approximately 110 years (from Pius IX through Pius XII) in which Catholics were showered with God’s graces, especially through multiple papacies. During that same period, the Catholic faithful, at a geometrically accelerating pace, amalgamated their lives to a culture of reductive scientism and unending scientific-technological progress; bowed their heads to usury and money-speculation; and increasingly embraced materialism, hedonism, impurity, and secularism in almost every area of their lives, including fashion, education and all forms of entertainment and the media. In so doing, they were rejecting every one of the Beatitudes, and preparing the ground for the mockery and scorn to which the Church is now subjected on a massive scale by the world.

The way of return to Our Lord, and therefore also the way which merits God’s victory over Satan, lies in how we respond to this chastisement. It is obvious that the essential basis for this “return” is amendment of our lives, obedience to God’s commandments, and living the Beatitudes. Equally essential, however, is “understanding with the heart” the nature of the Mystical Body of Christ, and the suffering love which each of us must bear for the Church in its present Passion.

Again, we turn to the life of Mother Mariana in order to understand the fundamental principles involved in this love.

On February 2, 1634 (the Feast of the Purification and Presentation), Our Lady appeared with the Infant Jesus, and placed Him in the arms of Mother Mariana. Resting in her arms, Our Lord revealed many things to her, including the following:

“I will preserve this beloved Church until the consummation of time. It will be strongly attacked but never conquered. For if men will be lacking, I will send down Legions of Angels from Heaven for its conservation, defense, and triumph. In these ill-fated epochs, I will govern it according to My pleasure and My will by means of My Vicars on earth residing in Rome, the city of the Popes of invincible and intrepid Faith. Those who subject themselves to him, recognizing him as My representative on earth and rendering him full obedience , will be blessed by My Celestial Father and will reign with Me in Heaven.” (II, 143).

Many Catholics who have a deep love for the Church, and truly want to follow Christ in all things, are now having a great deal of difficulty with the concept of “full obedience” to a Pope who is doing what Francis is doing. Unquestionably, he is promoting pastoral policies which include legitimizing the reception of Holy Communion for at least some of those who have been divorced and remarried, and an inclusiveness within the Church for those who are engaged in grave mortal sins such as homosexuality or contraception. In addition, he has also promoted such concepts as the equality of the issue of immigration with that of abortion, the non-existence of Hell, and the denial of the necessity for conversion to the Catholic Faith for those who are outside her fold. And all during his five-year Papacy, he has issued strong condemnations against those Catholics who place adherence to God’s “Rules” in the way of implementing his program for a false mercy. No faithful Catholic can possibly believe that to “follow” Pope Francis in such practices and beliefs is a requirement for reigning with Our Lady in Heaven. We cannot, therefore, believe that the “full obedience” to the Vicar of Christ spoken of by Our Lady extends to such aberrant policies and statements.

Nor need we do so. Rendering “full obedience” to the Vicar of Christ, when we understand the limits placed upon the powers and prerogatives which Christ bestowed upon the Papacy, is not at all inconsistent with criticism of a Pope’s personal errors in regard to doctrines and their implications, nor is it inconsistent with refusing to follow these errors and policies if they are contrary to the Gospel.

In light of all that is happening in regard to Pope Francis, his silence in relation to Catholic Truth and his agenda of inclusiveness towards living in objective mortal sin, it is difficult not to see the following three prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success as applying to his Papacy:

The first occurs in the Apparition of January 21, 1610, at the end of the passage enumerating the sins of the Twentieth Century which we have mentioned above:

“ In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent .” (II,23)

The second is found in the Apparition of February 2, 1610 in which Our Lady, after stating that the miraculous story of the making of her statue would not become known to the general public until the 20 th century, says the following:

“ During that epoch the Church will find herself attacked by terrible hordes of the Masonic sect, and this poor Ecuadorian land will be agonizing because of the corruption of customs, unbridled luxury, the impious press, and secular education. The vices of impurity, blasphemy, and sacrilege will dominate in this time of depraved desolation, and that one who should speak out will be silent .” (II, 39).

The third, and possibly the most revealing, passage is contained in one of Our Lady’s Apparitions in March of 1634:

“ Dire times will come, when those who should justly defend the rights of the Church will be blinded . Without servile fear or human respect, they will join the enemies of the Church to help them accomplish their designs . Woe to the error of the wise, to he who governs the Church, the Pastor of the flock that My Most holy Son confided into his care . But when they will appear triumphant and when the authority will abuse their power, committing injustices and oppressing the weak, their downfall will be near. Paralyzed, they will fall to the ground. And, happy and triumphant, like a tender child, the Church will rise against and will rest placidly, cradled in the capable arms and maternal heart of my beloved elect son of those times, who if he will render himself docile to the inspirations of grace – one of these being the reading of the great mercies that my Most Holy Son has given to you – we will fill him with graces and very special gifts .” (ii, 158).

We cannot be certain that these passages are meant to refer to Pope Francis. But such a conjecture would seem to have much merit since they occur in the context of prophecies concerning the corruption of the Universal Church of the 20 th Century (now clearly extending into the 21 st ). Further they would not seem to refer to the local bishop, since Our Lady when doing so in other passages, uses the term “Prelate”. It would, in fact, seem certain that the phrase “to he who governs the Church, the Pastor of the flock that My Most Holy Son confided into his care” must apply to a Pope, the Vicar of Christ.

Thus, we have two strains of thought in the apparitions to Mother Mariana in regard to the Papacy.

On the one hand, as detailed in quotes offered earlier from the Our Lady’s Apparitions, there are those prophecies concerning what certainly appears to be a Pope who is silent and blinded, and who “will join the enemies of the Church to help them accomplish their designs”.

As I have said, I believe that this prophesied Pope may well be with us now. However, even if Francis is not the particular Pope to which this prophecy applies, what follows is still fully relevant.

On the other hand, we have the words of Our Lord quoted above which require subjection and full obedience to the Pope.

There is possibly no concept which is more foreign to practically everyone in the modern world than that of “full obedience”. There is, in fact, an extraordinary ignorance on the part of most Catholics in regard to the dogma of Papal Primacy in regard to the government and discipline of the Church. As taught by Vatican Council I;

“Hence we teach and declare that by the appointment of our Lord the Roman Church possesses a sovereignty of ordinary power over all other Churches, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of what­soever rite and dignity, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world ; so that the Church of Christ may be one flock under one supreme pastor, through the preservation of unity, both of communion and of profession of the same faith, with the Roman pontiff. This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation .”

One will likely search in vain for a good treatment of this doctrine in pre or post-Conciliar catechisms. There is a reason for this ignorance of such an important doctrine. It lies in a terrible loss of the truly Catholic sense of obedience, and in a correspond­ing failure to understand the relationship of obedience to the uniquely Catholic concept of charity within the Mystical Body of Christ. The following quotation from one of St. Peter’s Letters will help us to rediscover this relationship:

“Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling; Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good: For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy , if for conscience towards God, a man endures sorrows, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if committing sin, and being buffeted for it, you endure? But if doing well you suffer patiently, this is thankworthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly (1 Pet 2:13-23).”

St. Peter instructs us, “For unto this you are called.” Unto what? To submission, to obedience and to even slavery and death. Further, this obedience and patient suffering is to be rendered not only to the just master but also to the “froward” and the unjust. None of this, of course, entails that we are to be obedient where such obedience involves sin. We must obey God rather than men. But this is precisely the issue involved here. It is the will of God that all Catholics be subject to the discipline and government of the reigning Pontiff (unless it requires us to sin), even when that government and discipline might be considered unjust.

We need to seriously meditate on the above passage of scripture to understand how foreign it is to our way of thinking. As Americans, we need to understand that our country is founded upon a principle which is almost the perfect negation of Peter’s teaching:

“That to secure these rights (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness), Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of government becomes             destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it . . .” (Declaration of Independence)

The right to reject any act of government or discipline, which we subjectively believe to be unjust, is deeply imbedded in our consciences.

It was not in Christ’s conscience. He was the first to practice this apparently unreasonable obedience, and we must follow and imitate Him if we are to merit salvation. The above passage from St. Peter also explains the reason why we must do so: this patient, obedient, and unearned suffering is “thankworthy before God.” The Greek word translated in the Douay-Rheims Bible as “thankworthy” is none other than “charis” – the word used throughout the New Testament for “grace”. In other words, our obedience, and the suffering which it might entail, is “grace” before God.

It has been a very strong tendency since the Protestant Revolution and the Council of Trent to conceive of our bond with Christ’s Mystical Body almost exclusively in terms of possession of the Catholic Faith. This, of course, corresponds to our submission to the Pope in his Primacy concerning teaching on faith and morals. But, as Paul says in Galatians, what “availeth” unto salvation is “faith that worketh by charity.” (Gal 5:6). As pointed out by the teaching of Vatican I, the means by which faith becomes established in charity is through that bond of unity within Christ’s Mystical Body which is established upon the rock of obedience and submission to the Papal Primacy of Government and Discipline of the Church. This is the path by which Faith becomes incarnated in the life of the Church, and the means by which grace is merited. And this is why rejection of obedience to the Pope is his government and discipline of the Church entails the loss of that grace which is the very life-blood of the Church. Such is the position in which such groups as the SSPX and the Sedevacantists find themselves. They are depriving both themselves and the Church of the grace whereby Our Lady’s Triumph will be achieved.

Mother Mariana’s life is the perfect exemplar of this suffering obedience. She of course accepted the Bishop as the Vicar of Christ’s representative in Quito, and also recognized him as having complete authority over the life of her convent. At his hands, she willingly embraced unjust persecution, repeated imprisonment, deprivation of Mass, and exclusion from all facets of the Community life of her Convent, including community prayers. This was “grace before God”.

All this, however, was not “blind obedience”. It is revealing, in this regard, to study her relationship with the Bishop who possessed full authority over her Convent from 1607-1612, Bishop Salvador de Ribera. Bishop Ribera’s reign was characterized by a great deal of harshness and imprudence, and favoritism towards the members of his own family and others of influence. Fr. Pereira tells us that no one mourned his passing. But he also had a strong devotion towards Our Lady and the rosary, and would be ultimately responsible for blessing the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Good Success, and her enthronement in the Abbess’s chair of the Convent. As detailed by Fr. Pereira, his salvation was intimately connected with the intercession of Mother Mariana.

It was in fact Our Lady herself who instructed Mother Mariana to criticize Bishop Ribera to his face. In her Apparition of January 21, 1610, she said the following:

“Further, tell the governing Bishop – a man of indiscrete zeal who sows dissension and rancor among the clergy and the people – that every Prelate should be the father of all classes of people, taking the party of none, in imitation of the Divine Pastor Jesus Christ Who said, “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of Heart. All creatures are equal in their souls, and Heaven was created for all those who desire to go there, for my Most Holy Son died on a shameful Cross as Redeemer of all, with the exception of none. Souls condemn themselves of their own will”

Just and temperate criticism of the errors of members of the hierarchy, especially when these involve the teachings of our Faith, is the right, and can be the responsibility, of any of the members of the Church. It does not, when done rightly, break the unity and charity of the Mystical Body of Christ; and it can even be an obligation of charity. We see this, for instance, in Paul resisting Peter “to the face”, of St. Catherine of Siena’s severe criticisms of such Popes as Gregory XI and Urban VI, and especially in her scathing denunciations of the Cardinals who elected the Antipope Clement VII.

Thus, we see that there is no conflict between what Our Lady speaks of as “full obedience”, on the one hand, and that lucid perception of the truths and realities of our faith which permits, and can even require, criticism of our superiors, including the Pope himself. But we will never find a St. Paul, St. Catherine of Siena, or Mother Mariana proposing the consecration of bishops expressly against a Papal mandate not do so (as was the case with Archbishop Lefebvre), the forming of what St. Augustine termed “conventicles” independent of the Pope’s jurisdiction, or claiming of the position of Sedevacantism.

What this entails is that the primary form of victimhood which now descends upon the laity, in tandem with their defense of the Faith, is their union with the Church. I have already detailed what this cost Mother Mariana – including deprivation of the right to assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion. There is no telling how far such deprivations can go. There are innumerable gifts which have come to us through Christ and His Church which we have come to assume that we have inalienable rights, but to which we have no absolute right, and which God can will to deprive us of in chastisement for our sins, and in imitation of His own Passion. This can certainly include deprivation of the Traditional Mass, and much else. If we think carefully about all this, we should conclude that everything could conceivably be taken away except the grace of baptism, and the grace of faith. These we can only lose through the exercise of our own free will.

In addition, there is no guarantee that members of the hierarchy, from the Pope on down, cannot embrace philosophical and theological concepts and pastoral practices which profoundly contradict the necessary implications of magisterial doctrine. Such is precisely what is happening now, especially in relation to moral doctrines of our Faith. Such also are the disastrous acts of ecumenism engaged in by recent Popes. Interestingly enough, probably the first recorded example of such magisterial contradiction by a Pope was Peter. While having been the first to teach that Christ’s redemptive act was for all men, and that “God is not a respecter of Persons” (Acts 10:34), he yet refused to eat with the Gentiles in Galatia “fearing them who were of the circumcision.” His action was definitely in contradiction to the magisterium, but did not violate the magisterium itself. The Church is now immersed in such contradictions.

All of this can cause us to enter into deep levels of spiritual, intellectual, and emotional deprivation and confusion. It threatens our faith and charity, and presents powerful temptations towards those disastrous excesses to which such movements as the SSPX and Sedevacantism have succumbed.

For those who choose not to abandon the Cross, however, it is within the depths of this suffering that is to be found the grace of victory. As to the possible extent of these sufferings, we need only consider the case of Mother Mariana as a victim soul suffering five years in Hell for the soul of the “Captain”. Even though her sufferings were more intense, and accompanied by extraordinary phenomena (especially in the physical realm), they also speak fully of what is “human” in all of us when the soul is immersed in darkness. She speaks of tedium in all things spiritual, and of being “completely insensible to her God”. Descending even deeper into this darkness, she experienced hatred, fury, “unending rage and despair”, and a “total suspicion with regard to God.” In a Church which has descended from the glories of the past to the prostitution of the present, having to pass through such spiritual, mental, and emotional anguish and confusion is not inconceivable for any one of us.

This is the ultimate test of our faith, and it is where love proves true. Herein lies God’s secret designs of victory.

The Family: A Garden Enclosed

It was within the Holy Family that the Incarnation began. It is within families that the Incarnation is remembered, nurtured, and brought to fruition in the children of God.

Faithful Catholic families are the catacombs of today’s Church. The physical catacombs of the early Church protected the Catholic faithful from the pagan world which sought to destroy the Church from without. The faithful families of today protect their members from those who seek to destroy, not only from without, but from within. For those fathers and mothers who possess the faith, love and courage to make it so, the family is a “garden enclosed”, secure from the ravages of the worst of bishops, or even the consequences of a “silent” Pope.

The family itself carries within itself the deepest “memory” of the truth and love which constitutes being created in the image of God. When Jesus was questioned about the legitimacy of divorce, he replied, “From the beginning it was not so.” Next to such hidden, victim souls as Mother Mariana, therefore, the truly Catholic family is the great reservoir for spiritual strength and renewal in the Church.

As a Religious, Mother Mariana had no such garden. Her victimhood was always and directly exposed to the good or bad will of her bishop in every facet of her life. It is not so with the family. As Pope John Paul II pointed out in Familiaris Consortio , the divinely established prerogatives of the family, especially in regard to the rearing and education of their children, are “completely inalienable”. (#40).

It is worthwhile to contemplate what would be the situation of the family, if by some almost unimaginable chastisement, it should be deprived of all the non-inalienable gifts of the Church.

Let us begin with the Mass. There have, in fact, been many times in history when large numbers of the faithful have been deprived of Mass, and such situations almost certainly exist today. We might immediately think of Our Lord’s words in John 6: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life within you.” And therefore we are tempted to ask, “What about these persons who are deprived of the Mass?” The answer is provided by St. Thomas and St. Augustine. In ST, III, Q.3, Thomas proposes the question: “Whether the Eucharist is necessary for salvation?”:

“ As St. Augustine says (explaining John 6:54), ‘This food and this drink, namely, of His flesh and blood, He would have us understand the fellowship of His body and members, which is the Church in His predestinated and called, and justified, and glorified, His holy and believing ones.’ Hence, as he says in his epistle to Boniface: ‘No one should entertain the slightest doubt, that then every one of the faithful becomes a partaker of the body and blood of Christ, when in Baptism he is made a             member of Christ’s body nor is he deprived of his share in that body and chalice even though he depart from this world in the unity of Christ’s body, before he eats that bread and drinks of that chalice .”

As for the Sacrament of Baptism, it is of course usually administered by a priest. But if such becomes physically or morally impossible, it may be administered by any of the faithful, especially the parents of the child.

As for the Sacrament of Confession, in any situation in which sacramental confession becomes impossible, sins (including mortal sins) can be forgiven where there is Perfect Contrition.

Marriage, upon which the Church normally and rightly requires the witness and blessing by a Priest or Deacon, is truly administered by the spouses themselves. When the presence of a priest is not physically or morally possible, the sacrament may be validly administered by the spouses.

In the family, in other words, God established a hidden “consortium” in which all things necessary for our salvation and sanctification are provided in the midst of the darkest hour of the Church. Under darkness, in the heart of the Holy Family, Jesus was born and “advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men”. God chooses what appears to be weak and small in order to triumph.

“What Are You Doing?”

There is simply no reason to despair, no reason to enter into “conventicles” in direct defiance to the Pope, no necessity to entertain intellectual fantasies about the present Pope having not been validly elected, or to spin sophistries seeking means to declare the Pope deposed of his office. Any one of these choices amounts to, at least implicitly, an assertion that God does not know what He is doing, that God is not trustworthy in his promises, or that God has failed. If, on the other hand, we unite ourselves to the Heart of Mary, now pierced with the sword of sorrows and suffering necessary for the purification of the Church and the triumphal re-entry of the Light of Christ into his temple, then our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will not only be our refuge and the way that will lead us to God, but the means by which we also may become true vessels of merciful love and full participants in God’s “secret designs” of mercy for a suffering, sinful world. Unquestionably, the primary means which Our Lady has given us to effect this spiritual childhood in service to Her Triumph is the Rosary.

At Fatima, in preparation for the apparitions of Our Lady, the Angel of Portugal appeared to three small children while they were at rest, and said in a tone of gentle admonition, “ What are you doing, you must pray. You must pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you .” The Rosary is not just requested by Mary as a daily “task” in obedience to Our Lady’s request. It needs to become something much more if we are truly to become vessels of mercy in union with the pierced Heart of Mary for the Purification of the Church. St. Louis de Montfort strongly recommended the praying of all fifteen decades of the Traditional Rosary in order for this transformation to take place. Fidelity to this request, whatever efforts or sacrifices it may take, places a demand upon our minds and hearts that we truly take serious both the words that we are saying, and the actual Mysteries themselves. It is the most efficacious way of transforming the Rosary from a daily task or duty (“saying” the Rosary) into a prayer and song in true service to God’s designs of mercy upon the Church and the world. It is here where the message of Fatima is designed to fulfill, as promised by Our Lady of Good Success, “the secret designs of God in his works.”

We are surrounded by the Beauty of our Faith, and of our hearts resting in Mary. This Beauty, and the joy of contending for the Triumph of God’s Rule, even under what might seem the most adverse and hopeless conditions, is what we need to communicate to our children. We may indeed lose much, or all, of the beauty of the exterior aspects of our faith. We need lose none of the Interior. All the Beauty of the universe exists where Jesus, and Mary and her Rosary, truly live within:

The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17: 20-21

It is here where Our Lady waits to vastly enrich our total consecration to her and our belief in her Triumph. It may indeed seem severe to suggest that St. Louis de Montfort’s suggestion for a daily 15 decade Rosary was meant for husbands and wives who may feel overwhelmed already with work and the care of their family. And certainly no one is suggesting that it is a sin not to follow his recommendation. But it might also come as a joyful surprise that all of us do indeed waste many moments every day, and that an extra 40 minutes spent seeking refuge and grace within the Heart of Our Lady will enormously add, and not subtract, from our lives.

_________________________________________

*Please pray every Rosary to include the intention: For the Purification of the Church, and also consider asking your pastor to offer a Mass for this same expressed intention.

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IMAGES

  1. The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

    joyful mystery presentation

  2. The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of the Lord

    joyful mystery presentation

  3. Rosary Window

    joyful mystery presentation

  4. Joyful Mysteries by Maura Pauli

    joyful mystery presentation

  5. PPT

    joyful mystery presentation

  6. The Joyful Mysteries

    joyful mystery presentation

VIDEO

  1. Joyful Dynamic Catholic Mysteries

  2. The Joyful Mysteries

  3. Mon., Dec. 18

  4. Sat., Nov. 25

  5. Holy Rosary Monday

  6. Group 7 Rosary Video Presentation ( The Joyful Mystery)

COMMENTS

  1. The Presentation in the Temple: 4th Joyful Mystery

    The Presentation in the Temple: 4th Joyful Mystery THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple "And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

  2. The Joyful Mysteries

    Amen." - 3 times. 4) Say the Glory Be: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." 5) Announce " The First Joyful Mystery - The Annunciation " and then say the Our Father. 6) Say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.

  3. A Rosary for Life: The Joyful Mysteries

    The First Joyful Mystery The Annunciation of Our Lord Prayer Intention: For parents facing an unexpected pregnancy, that they lovingly accept the precious life God has entrusted to their care.

  4. The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

    FIRST JOYFUL MYSTERY: THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD Art by Josiah Henley - Heart of IESVS SCRIPTURE The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

  5. Fourth Joyful Mystery— The Presentation in the Temple

    Fourth Joyful Mystery— The Presentation in the Temple Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary | To Jesus Through Mary | how to pray the rosary Forty days after His miraculous birth, Jesus was brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph to be formally consecrated to the Lord.

  6. Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

    The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are the first of the three traditional sets of events in the life of Christ upon which Catholics meditate while praying the rosary. (The other two are the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

  7. The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

    The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on monday and saturday 1st joyful mystery - The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

  8. Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

    The Fourth Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION. Observing the law of Moses they take Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord. According to the Law the firstborn male child of every family should be consecrated to the Lord. Mary offers her Son to the Father, then ransoms Him back at the price paid by the poor. ...

  9. The Joyful Mysteries

    The Five Joyful Mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Advent: See all the prayers of the Rosary In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. The Apostles' Creed (Prayed on the Crucifix) I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,

  10. The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary: The Presentation

    Step One: Preparation. Download the Rosary Meditation PowerPoint presentation. We have also provided this in a different format as a Rosary Meditation PDF. If you are unsure about using Zoom, you can find a simple guide here. Invite parishioners and friends to the Zoom meeting. Be relaxed and enjoy the opportunity for people to be together in ...

  11. The Joyful Mysteries: The Presentation and Carrying the Light

    The Joyful Mysteries: The Presentation and Carrying the Light Joe Paprocki Christmas Today, we continue our reflections on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary by looking at the Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation. One of the distinguishing features of the Christmas season is lights.

  12. Joyful Mystery of the Rosary

    1st Joyful Mystery I was in prayer: it was evening. I was praying towards Jerusalem because my people prayed three times a day, morning, noon, and evening facing Jerusalem. I was praying for the Liberation of my people. I was praying that soon the Messiah would come to take away all hatred: to take away all sins from my people.

  13. Joyful Mysteries of Rosary: Presentation of Jesus

    THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS Meditation: In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I ask for the grace to present Jesus to the people around me, not so much by talking about Him as by the way I live my life. Help me to purify my life so that I can be a better reflection of Jesus' goodness and caring love.

  14. The Presentation (Joyful Mystery)

    The Presentation (Joyful Mystery) The fourth Joyful Mystery is the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple according to Jewish law and gave him the name Jesus. As an offering, Joseph being a poor man brought two turtle doves for sacrifice. A cloth can be seen in the background representing the Temple.

  15. Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

    At the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Mary united her will to Jesus, therefore they offered the same sacrifice and she thereby partook in his redeeming role. top. Mary was not a passive bystander in Salvation History. She played a very profound and active role. The Joyful mysteries show her importance.

  16. Rosary Meditation -- The Fourth Joyful Mystery

    This rosary meditation focuses on The Fourth Joyful Mystery — The Presentation of our Lord.. In this mystery we see Mary and Joseph present Jesus at the temple as was the Jewish tradition. They encountered a man named Simeon whom the Holy Spirit said would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed One. Upon seeing Jesus, Simeon said "Now Master, You can dismiss Your servant in ...

  17. Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries

    The Fourth Joyful Mystery - The Presentation Spiritual Fruit: Purity of Mind and Body In observance of the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary take the child Jesus to be presented in the temple to God.

  18. The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

    Fourth of a 20-part series on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Next week: The Finding in the Temple. The Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, illustrates the spiritual fruit of obedience, says Fr. Mariusz Jarzabek, MIC, a Marian priest serving the Congregation's mission in the Philippines.

  19. Reflections on the Joyful Mysteries

    1. The Annunciation. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to be the Mother of our Savior. Mary humbly asks an honest question: "How can this be since I am a virgin?" The angel responds, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

  20. Scriptural Rosary, Fourth Joyful Mystery-The Presentation

    Scriptural Rosary, Fourth Joyful Mystery-The Presentation Our Father... 1. When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought him up to Jerusalem so that he could be presented to the Lord. (Lk. 2: 22) - Hail Mary... 2. There lived in Jerusalem at the time a certain man named Simeon.

  21. The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation

    The Mystery of the Presentation actually involves two mysteries: the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. It is this double Mystery to which the whole purpose of the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church effort is most intimately and directly related. And it is for the ...

  22. Fourth Joyful Mystery

    In the Fourth Joyful Mystery, "Jesus' circumcision, on the eighth day after His birth, is the sign of His incorporation into Abraham's descendants, into the people of the covenant. It is the sign of His submission to the Law." (Article 527 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church). hallowed be Thy name.