Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification
"I am Mary of Buen Suceso of the Purification"
Each year, devotees from many parts of Ecuador and the world visit and pray to Our Lady in her shrine in Quito during her novena and on the feast on February 2. Our Lady, under the religious name of Mary of Buen Suceso of the Purification, is the perpetual Abbess of the Convent of the Franciscan Conceptionists in Quito. This title, her story, and her blessd statue show the significant role of Our Blessed Mother in the religious and (priestly?) life. To her, we continue to pray for the sanctification of the religious and priests and for the intentions of her all children from all states of life.
Eve of the Novena
On January 23, eve of the novena, Mary of Buen Suceso of the Purification, whose statue was girded by our Seraphic Father himself almost 500 years ago before the consecration of the statue (as the Abbess) by His Excellency, Salvador de Ribera, was carried by our brothers of the Franciscan Convent from the Upper Choir where she permanently resides, to the main altar of the church where the faithful would venerate her and Her Son on these days of the novena and her feast. The statue of Mother Mariana of Jesus is placed by their feet.
Novena of Rosary Dawn Processions
January 24 - February 1
At dawn, the church doors are opened to receive Our Lady’s devotees. In the cold weather of Quito in January, people try to make the sacrifice of getting up early to join the novena of Rosary Dawn Processions. In the church, proper for a welcome to a queen, flags and banners of Our Lady and of our Convent file on each side of the aisle as the little statue of Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification is solemnly carried to begin the procession. At 5 am, prayers were said outside to begin the procession. On January 24, just right before the procession began, fireworks were set off to announce the beginning of the novena. The procession begins and Our Lady’s little statue is carried through the streets of the Historic Center to the religious communities who are designated to receive her that day. (present tense?) Our Blessed Mother who is the Abbess of our monastery goes to the other communities to give them grace and blessing. This is such a beautiful event and opportunity for the religious communities as February 2, the feast of Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification, is the ‘day of the religious’. On the last day of the novena, Our Lady visits the Convent of San Francisco. This is a blessed occasion for their convent, as Maria del Buen Suceso is girded with the cord of St. Francis. Each year, this is the last stop of these processions.
In the evenings of the first and last day of the novena, a serenade was sung to Our Blessed Mother in the balcony of the Church. The little statue of Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification was carried to the rail where she stood, and the people sang hymns and showered flower petals on her. Fireworks of display on these nights concluded the opening and closing of the novena.
Feast day – February 2
The special day came and the shrine filled with devotees. The police force was present to participate and escort Our Lady in her procession. The event was graced by His Excellency, the Archbishop of Quito, Fausto Trávez Trávez and by our brother Franciscan Friars of the Convent of San Francisco who led the procession. After, His Excellency celebrated the Holy Mass. In the evening of the feast itself, the serenade was sung in front of the miraculous statue (or original image?) in the church, as a final honor and farewell of her children to their Blessed Mother in her shrine. In the end, fireworks were set off to conclude the whole event as a ‘marching?’ band played hymns outside the shrine.
The day after the feast
On Sunday, February 3, the miraculous image of Mary of Buen Suceso of the Purification returned to the upper choir. His Excellency, Msgr. Patricio Bonilla, joined the Franciscan Friars to carry Our Lady and the Infant Jesus. The sisters once again sang hymns until Our Lady’s statue was returned above the abbess’s chair where she will stay until the next time she will be venerated by the public.