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Father Anthony Ho

Mystic accepted the crosses given to her

Voices Sept. 12, 2018

Mother Mariana entered into interior suffering in the form of mortal sadness, experiencing the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Olives. (Paolo Veronese, Wikimedia image)

Bishop D. Salvador de Ribera of Quito consecrated the statue of Our Lady of Good Success on Feb. 2, 1611. He placed the crosier and the keys of the cloisters of the Conceptionist Convent in the right hand of the statue. Through this ceremony requested by Our Lady, she took possession of the convent.

In the past 400 years, Our Lady of Good Success has been honoured in Quito, with Feb. 2 as the day of special commemoration. On Feb. 2, 1991, with the approval of the Holy See, the Archdiocese of Quito celebrated a canonical coronation of Our Lady of Good Success as Queen of Quito. The same year, the Church of the Conceptionist Convent was declared an Archdiocesan Marian Sanctuary.

After the ceremony of 1611, the nuns of the Convent experienced the motherly care of Our Lady and the community flourished with vocations. From 1610 to 1613, the nun who received private revelations from Our Lady, Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, served the community as abbess. Toward the end of her term, Mother Mariana suffered a severe fall which injured her left arm. Her patience during suffering edified both the nuns and the doctor.

In the amidst of her suffering, Mother Mariana begged Jesus to relieve her from the position of abbess so that she might dedicate herself more freely to the spiritual life and disengage herself from earthly concerns. Her prayer was answered. When it was time to elect a new abbess in 1613, Mother Ines de Zorrilla was elected. Mother Mariana happily stepped down and was content to perform the most humiliating and heavy monastic duties.

However, in 1616, Mother Mariana was again elected abbess. She admitted that the offices of superior and mistress of novices had been for her the heaviest crosses of her whole life. She felt that the novice mistress bore an even greater responsibility, for she provided for the sisters’ future and their eternal destiny.

Toward the end of the three-year term, Mother Mariana begged Our Lord and Our Lady to spare her the great cross of being abbess. Our Lord granted her request, and in place of that cross, he invited Mother Mariana to experience the cross of interior suffering for the next three years. In 1619, the nuns thought it better to let Mother Mariana rest for one three-year term so that they could elect her again in the future. Hence, they elected Mother Ines.

Mother Mariana attracted vocations to the convent. Mother Mariana had the gift of discernment. When she perceived the grace of religious vocation in young girls, she would speak to them of the sublimity of this state. To those who did not have this vocation, she would explain that in order to serve God and to save one’s soul, it is not necessary to be a religious, but rather to know the state to which God calls each creature. Mother Mariana would not accept those without vocations into the convent. Many of the young girls whom Mother Mariana turned down eventually got married and had children. Some of their daughters would later became nuns in the Conceptionist Convent.

A couple of days after the election of Mother Ines, Mother Mariana entered into interior suffering in the form of mortal sadness. In the first year, she experienced the interior suffering of Christ in the Garden of Olives. In the second year, that of Christ in the prison, and in the third, Christ stood condemned in the houses of Annas, Caiphas, Herod, and Pilate. Until her death, Mother Mariana joined spiritually year after year in his sorrowful Passion. However, Our Lord would grant her a respite from interior suffering during the season of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. Mother Mariana contemplated the Christ Child with extraordinary devotion.

                                                聖者接受苦架 

基多主教、薩維道.里貝拉於1611年2月2日到無玷修會修院,祝聖「聖母、成功之母」聖像;他按聖母之意,把牧杖和修院隱修的鑰匙,放在聖像的右手,藉此聖母接管這修院。過去四百年,基多地區都以2月2日作為特敬「聖母、成功之母」的瞻禮日。1991年2月2日,在教廷的批准下,基多總教區以教會法定嘉冕了「聖母、成功之母」;同年,無玷修會聖堂被定為總教區聖母朝聖堂。

1611年的儀式後,無玷修會修院的修女們,感到聖母的慈眷,聖召蓬勃。瑪利娜.耶穌.陶麗詩姆姆自1610年至1613年出任院長。院長任期屆滿前,瑪利娜姆姆曾因跌倒而左手嚴重受傷;但她對傷患的忍耐,感動了醫生及修女們。

承受著傷患時,瑪利娜姆姆曾向耶穌祈准,卸下院長的職責,好讓自己能全心全意渡靈修生活,脫離世事。她的祈禱得到了應允 ── 1613年,修院選出了燕妮.索麗婭姆姆接替,瑪利娜姆姆欣喜地退下,願意謙遜地做修院內其它粗重的工作。

不過,1616年,瑪利娜姆姆再當選院長。她承認出任院長和出任初學師是她一生中最沉重的十字架 。她覺得初學師的責任更大,因為初學師塑造修女們的未來和永恒終向,責任非凡。

三年任期快將完結時,瑪利娜姆姆又向耶穌和聖母懇求,解除她院長之職,得到吾主的答應;但取而代之,她要承受內心的苦架。而修女們都認為暫仍由燕妮姆姆再執掌院長一職,讓她們的瑪利娜姆姆稍作休息三年。

瑪利娜姆姆吸引了不少聖召到無玷修會修院,而她有強大的辨別神力,能清楚察覺叩門的女孩子,有沒有真正的聖召。她接收有聖召的女孩子,並對她們強調聖召的可貴與尊崇;對沒有聖召的女孩子,勸勉她們在俗世履行天主的旨意,不一定須要進入修院修道;她們很多都因瑪利娜姆姆的勸導,最後結婚生子,她們的女兒有些成了無玷修會修女。

燕妮姆姆再當院長後不幾天,瑪利娜姆姆的內心,經歷面對死一般的傷痛:第一年,她感受到耶穌山園祈禱時的顫慄;第二年,她感受到耶穌被坐牢的苦痛;第三年,她感到耶穌被大司祭亞納斯、蓋法,和黑落德王及比拉多總督審判的屈辱。年復年,瑪利娜姆姆內心至死都領受著這些傷痛。不過,每逢將臨期、聖誕節和主顯節,吾主會給她得到解痛的喘息。而瑪利娜姆姆懷著非凡的敬禮來默觀耶穌聖嬰。