Okay, first of all, let’s talk about the meaning of the title. It’s a Spanish title for Our Lady — “Buen Suceso” but the phrase itself is a borrowing from French — “bon succès”. The words mean something like “happy event” or “fortunate event,” but in the case of Our Lady, it really means “miraculous event.”
So what was the fortunate event we’re talking about?
In Madrid, Spain, there was a famous hospital founded by Ven. Bernardino de Obregon, a young nobleman and soldier under Philip II, who gave up normal life and became a Third Order Minim. (A poor sick man had accidentally dirtied his clothes, and Bernardino hit him, assuming it was deliberate. When he realized the guy hadn’t been able to help himself, he was so ashamed of his own arrogance that he spent the rest of his life making up for it.)
When Bernardino died, his group chose a new leader, Br. Gabriel de Fontanet. He and another Minim, Br. Guillermo de Rigosa, traveled to Rome to ask for permission for their congregation to become a separate order exclusively caring for the sick, in order to run hospitals throughout Spain instead of just in Madrid. (Which was a little late, because Ven. Bernardino had already founded hospitals throughout Spain and Portugal.)
On the way, while passing through Traiguera, there was a horrible thunderstorm at night, while they were in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t find anywhere to stop. They finally spotted a niche in the rocks and headed there… and then, once they got in and realized it was a cave, they saw a mysterious light falling from the sky into the rocks. Continuously. At night time. This is a fairly common miraculous pointer in the mountains of Spain, France, and Italy, and you’re supposed to go see what God is pointing you to find.
In this case, they found a statue hidden in the cave, which apparently had been there since the days when the Saracens took over. It was a smiling Mary carrying Baby Jesus. Since they were in the middle of nowhere, they took the miraculously discovered statue with them, all the way to Rome.
There was an earlier miraculously discovered statue in Sagunto of Valencia (a tiny marble statue which somehow floated down the river), which had already been named “Our Lady of Good Success.” So the Minims decided to call her that, and Pope Paul V approved it. (And the Madrid congregation became a separate order of “Minims for the care of the sick,” sometimes called the Obregonians.)
(There was also another Our Lady of Good Success in Cabanes of Castellon. A woman with a sick child was praying desperately in front of a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary when she discovered that it was breathing and sweating. Her little son Francisco Gavalda got well, and became bishop of Segorbe in Valencia. So that statue also got the name.)
Since the Minims were taking care of all these sick people in Spain’s capital, a lot of people got to hear about their statue of Our Lady of Good Success. So between people from Valencian cities who went to the New World, and Minims and friends of Minims, there are a lot of statues and shrines of Our Lady of Good Success in various Latin American countries.
Of course, the most famous right now is the statue in Quito, Ecuador, which is associated with a saint and a Marian apparition. The problem is that the saint (St. Mariana de Jesus de Paredes Flores y Granobles y Jaramillo, a Third Order Franciscan who lived at home) lived from 1618-1645, whereas the visionary (also named Mariana de Jesus, but surnamed Torres y Berriochoa, a Franciscan Conceptionist nun and abbess) saw her vision either earlier in 1599, or possibly it happened in 1599, or 1540, or 1640, but people added to them later (possibly in 1854). So that’s not confusing at all.
(But it does explain why the Quito apparition of Our Lady of Good Success has the same tropes as the apparitions at La Salette, Lourdes, and other apparitions from the 1800’s, rather than the concerns one would expect from a vision in the 1600’s or 1700’s. Because that was bugging me.)
Part of the reason for confusion is that St. Mariana did occasionally prophesy true things about the future; and she was beatified in 1853, which means that 1854 probably was when Ecuadorian publishers were putting out materials concerning her. It would have been tempting to pump up the other Mariana also.
The usual old account of the Quito statue is that in 1640, Mother Mariana Torres was praying for help for their Conceptionist convent. Mary appeared to her, announcing that she was Our Lady of Good Success, and that she would intercede for the convent if Mother Mariana would commission a statue after her appearance. And that’s what the Quito statue is supposed to look like.
But the more exact accounts from Ecuador say this happened on Feb. 2, 1594.
The Royal Conceptionist convent in Quito (Real Monasterio de la Concepcion) wasn’t founded until 1577. Mariana Torres was one of the founding members, although she was only eleven or twelve at the time. (The abbess, Mother Maria de Jesus Taboada, was her aunt, so her parents let her leave Spain and migrate to Ecuador. Obviously Mariana had some charisma points, to be able to persuade her parents like that.)
I don’t know enough about this group to recommend them, but this article shows the Conceptionist nuns today, as well as the body of the Servant of God Mariana Torres. She’s sometimes referred to as a Venerable, but apparently this never went through officially. (Although it’s probably okay to use the title in Quito, because history.) Here’s her page at Hagiography Circle.
The difficulty is that there really do seem to be some iffy things going on with the text of the apparitions (it’s not very believable spelling for a book from 1792, for instance, and nobody from the internet is reprinting sources from earlier, except for the statue story), and the documentation for the texts seems to have serious problems. I doubt that the sainthood stuff can advance without clearing up these questions; but if the apparition texts are hinky, they clearly seem to be hinky by way of people long dead. If there really are biographies in Quito’s archives from shortly after Mother Mariana’s death, as there supposedly are, they should be printed or digitized, and the same for any other books or papers. This is the sort of thing that devotees can fund and assist.
Anyway, the Quito feast for Our Lady of Good Success is on February 2 (aka Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus). Apparently “the Good Event” was actually an old Spanish name for Candlemas (instead of the better-known Candelaria).