September, the month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows

September, the month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows


Queen of Ecuador

1906 - 2006

Part 1 of 3

We are going to relate a prodigious event that occurred on April
20th, 1906 in the capital of Ecuador, and which the ecclesiastical
authorities, after meticulous examination, declared to be a miracle.
But before, for a better understanding of this, we recall the
historical circumstances.

Ecuador was the first nation that officially consecrated itself to
the Sacred Heart of Jesus on March 25, 1874 and on August 6, 1892 to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the solemn consecration of 1874, read by the very important
representative of the Church, Archbishop Checa y Barba, and
afterwards by the president of the nation, Garcia Moreno, was sealed
an irrevocable pact: "Prostrate before your divine presence, all the
public powers of the Church and of the State offer and consecrate to
Thee now and for always the republic of Ecuador as Thy exclusive
possession and property. (1) The pact was sealed with the blood of
the president, assassinated on August 6, 1875, the First Friday, in
the same church of the consecration and the same day on which he had
noted in his spiritual diary: "Lord Jesus, show me what it is that I
ought to do today for Thy love." Also in the same church, on Good
Friday of 1877 the Archbishop was poisoned to death.

At the death of Garcia Moreno a moderate liberal, Antonio Borrero,
was elected, but General Veintimilla, an extreme liberal, who was
defeated in 1883, rebelled. There was a moderately lawful era until
1895. Then, an extreme liberal, General Eloy Alfaro rebelled, and
remained in power for twenty years taking part in revolutions. He was
a dictator from 1895 to 1901 and from 1906 to 1911 thanks to another
revolution. Finally he returned to rebel against his successor in
1911, but was defeated and lynched in 1912. General Leónidas Plaza, a
companion of the former, governed from 1901 to 1905, and returned to
power in 1912-1916 by another rebellion. . . and so the countless
rebellions continued.

In 1895 General Alfaro "a model of infamy" promised Pope Leo XIII to
maintain harmony with the Vatican, but in the following year he broke
the Concordat. He expelled the Jesuits from the Amazon region, where
they had founded 152 villages. He forbade the establishment of new
religious congregations in the country.

In 1900 the Ecuadorian Congress decreed the secularization of
convents. It restricted the freedom of teaching, and the colleges
were unable to give examinations. In the state schools it suppressed
the teaching of religion. It revoked the decree of the National
Consecration to the Sacred Heart.

In 1901 the government seized part of Saint Gabriel's College from
the Jesuits. The following year General Plaza established civil
marriage and divorce. In 1904 he forbade novitiates, and deprived the
religious institutions of their goods, the slogan being: "Independence
from Spain, independence from Rome." (2) In 1906, Alfaro reached the
point of a complete rupture with the Church. He forbade Bishop Riera,
the consecrated bishop of Portoviejo, to enter into his diocese. The
constant persecution forced the number of students in Saint Gabriel's
College to be reduced from 400 to 150. Not content with this, a decree
was already prepared, to expel the Jesuits from the college they were
operating since 1862, and it was one of the few Catholic colleges
that remained. (It is the usual hellish technique: the best way to
de-Christianize a country is to prevent its youth from receiving a
Catholic education and formation).


The Virgin chose the same college dedicated to one of the Archangels:
Saint Gabriel.

The place was the dining hall of the boarding students, 72 feet
(lessened by a partition to 43 feet) by 23 feet, on the first floor
of the college.

The picture, a color oleograph (3) (20 inches long by 16 inches wide)
of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary (Our Lady of Sorrows with her heart
pieced with seven swords), printed in France. The Jesuits had
purchased three of these from a traveling salesman, and one of them
was placed in the dining hall, on the right side as one enters, six
feet from the floor. Between it and the floor was a bench 16 inches
high. The picture was one of the many pictures in the college.

The time: 8 o'clock at night on April 20th, 1906, Easter Friday.

The persons: 35 boarding students, aged between 11 and 17 years old,
coming from every region of Ecuador: the Father Prefect (or head of
discipline), Andrew Roesch, a Frenchman; the Brother Assistant
Supervisor, Louis Alberdi, a Spaniard; and three employees. (The
rector of the College was Father Andrew Machado of Cuenca, Ecuador,
who would later become the bishop of Guayaquil).

Because it was the Easter vacation, the students had returned that
day tired from an excursion. After a short period of study, they were
brought to the two large tables of the dining hall that ran parallel
to the side walls, for supper. Near the end of the meal the Father
Prefect arrived and gave the "Deo gratias" (permission to speak, in
place of listening to a reading), and told them the news of the
terrible earthquake that had occurred on the 18th of the month in San
Francisco, California. The students of the College were very familiar
with this type of tragedy, as earthquakes are not uncommon in

The children were chatting with one another. In front of the picture
of Our Lady of Quito there were three eleven year old boys, who on
Holy Thursday of the previous week had made their First Communion:
James Chavez, Charles Herrman, and Peter Donoso. Struck by the news
of the devastation in California, Chavez was saying that he would
like to die in an earthquake, after receiving Holy Communion. Father
Prefect called Donoso to his table. Herrman remained with Chavez, who
was looking at the Virgin, when. . . But let us ask him himself what
happened next.

"We finished taking coffee, the Brother Alberdi came and told us
about the earthquake in California and we began to speak about the
Virgin. I said that the seven swords were driven in by our sins; and
I looked at her, and she was moving her eyelids; and I thought that
it was my imagination. The other boy looked afterwards and said to
me, 'Look at the Virgin,' and we kept looking.

"Seeing what was happening we knelt down; we prayed an Our Father and
a Hail Mary. We were looking at what was happening; I called Peter
Donoso saying: 'Come and you will see this funny thing.' I called him
three times. She  was moving her eyes, the left one and
afterwards the right one; the first time she was moving them a little
more quickly. After a repetition of two or three times she was closing
both." This was the response of eleven-year-old Charles Herrman, in
the canonical process. Let us also read that of his companion,
"When we finished eating we said, Deo gratias, and we were speaking
about the Virgin and the Father Prefect called one of the boys to the
other table, and two of us remained alone. And then I looked upwards,
and I saw that the eyes of the Virgin were beginning to tremble like
someone who is in agony, and seeing this I said to the other boy,
'Let us pray an Our Father and a Hail Mary,' and we knelt down. Then
we sat down again. And looking at what was happening, we informed the
others and some of them came. Then we went to get the Father Prefect,
but he did not want to come. Afterwards we went to get him again and
he came, but he did not want to believe at all. And Brother Alberdi
stood in the middle and said, "It is certain," but he [the Father
Prefect] still did not want to believe, until all the boys were
repeating at the same time: 'Now she opens, now she closes!' After a
quarter of an hour the bell rang for us to go to the chapel before
the incident ceased."

And so it began. In fact, Donoso who was in the group of the Father
Prefect, when his friend Hermann came running to get him, paid no
attention to him. The other boy had to invite him three times before
he would get up and go: "I went over," Donoso relates, "and I saw the
eyes of the Virgin moving; and I covered my eyes so as not to see, out
of fear, and I went another time where Father Roesch. . ."

Naturally, the priest did not at all believe that the Virgin was
moving her eyes; nor did he change his mind. How was he going to
believe this sort of thing from boys? Brother Alberdi declared in the
process, "One of the boys of the first tables came to tell us that the
Virgin was moving her eyes; and we went closer coldly and with little
enthusiasm, as least speaking for myself."

Likewise the other boys were stubborn in not believing or going
closer, and they delayed for about a quarter of an hour. Many did
this, as they later declared: "Although we did not believe, and we
continued our conversation, since everyone was getting up we went to
see out of curiosity." Another testified: "Upon receiving the news it
made no impression upon me, and I even laughed, but curiosity got the
best of me and I got closer to the Virgin." And another relates:
"When we heard it said that the Virgin was opening and closing her
eyes, we went with the intention of making a joke out of what they
were saying. Almost all of us did not care about it. I went, but to
make fun, and while shoving the others who were coming with me."

The Prefect, Father Roesch, declared in his turn: "With great
insistence another boy came to urge me to go to see what was
happening. At first I refused what they asked saying that he should
stop the nonsense, because it seemed to me to be an illusion of the
boys; but finally, because of the urging and the calling by all those
who were witnessing the prodigy, I went over to the table that was
located closest to the picture, with the resolution formed of
dispelling the notion. I verified with much determination that the
electric lights were not moving, or if some beam was reflecting on
the image; none of this appeared.

"Standing in front of the image surrounded by the children, I fixed
my eyes on her, without blinking, and I observed that the Most Holy
Virgin was slowly closing her eyes; but still not believing that I
was certain, I left the place. The Brother, who was more certain than
I, seeing this, said to me, amazed at what was happening, "But Father,
what if this is a miracle? What if this is a miracle. . . " I returned
again to the spot where I previously was; then I felt a coldness that
chilled my body, while seeing, without any possible doubt, that the
picture was actually closing and opening its eyes. When this was
happening all the children that were watching the prodigy were crying
out with one voice, 'Now she closes; now she opens; now the left.' But
it should be noted that at times she was closing only the left eye or
at least more clearly than the right, since it appeared to be more
closed. The prodigy repeated itself several times and lasted a little
more or less than fifteen minutes. It ceased when, seeing that it was
already very late for the night prayers, and always fearing to give
too much attention, I gave the signal for the students to retire;
which they did very much to their regret, since they wanted to kneel
and pray. I forbade any noise that would cause a disturbance, since
it seemed to me that if the prodigy was miraculous the witnesses
would not be lacking to prove it. At first I believed it to be an
illusion, and afterwards I was seen going away still without giving
credit. Urged again by the Brother, I returned, and the blinking was
so evident to me, that it gave me the feeling of a chill, and I
remain in this conviction."

As can be seen, they all were incredulous at the beginning. The first
one who said that he saw the miracle, Charles Hermann, did not believe
his eyes, for which reason neither did he make any comment to his
companion, James Chavez. The latter was the first that told someone
else about it.

Father Roesch not only was incredulous, he feared being influenced by
the extraordinary and, incomprehensibly--it proves his objectivity--,
he gave the signal to go to the chapel to pray the rosary when the
Virgin was continuing to open and close her eyes. And when Brother
Herman Alberdi suggested to him: "Let us take the picture of the
Virgin to the chapel so that we can pray the rosary in front of her,"
he did not consent. Likewise he neither permitted a boy, determined to
inform the Father Rector, to do it. Even more, he told the students
not to say anything to anyone.

Nevertheless, as soon as they left the dining hall, immediately the
news spread throughout the house. Some priests did not refrain from
coming to the dining hall, but nothing extraordinary happened. The
picture of the Sorrowful Virgin, with her heart transpierced, had the
same eyes as always. The phenomenon had ceased, or had it really?


(1) Cf. the famous indulgenced prayer written by Father Nicola Zucchi
S.J. (+1670):

"My Queen! My Mother! I give thee all myself, and, to show my
devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my
heart, my entire self. Wherefore, O loving Mother, as I am thine own,
keep me, defend me, as thy property and possession. Amen."

These words would be later incorporated into the Prayer of Total
Consecration by St. Maximilian Kolbe:

"O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our
most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of
mercy to thee. I, N___, a repentant sinner, cast myself at thy feet
humbly imploring thee to take me with all that I am and have, wholly
to thyself as thy possession and property. Please make of me, of all
my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity,
whatever most pleases thee. If it pleases thee, use all that I am and
have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of thee: 'She
will crush your head,' and, 'Thou alone have destroyed all heresies in
the whole world.'

"Let me be a fit instrument in thine Immaculate and merciful hands
for introducing and increasing the maximum in all the many strayed
and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the
blessed Kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever thou
enters, one obtains the grace of conversion and growth in holiness,
since it is through thy hands that all graces come to us from the
most Sacred Heart of Jesus."

(2) It is a key phrase for understanding the hidden conspiracies that
direct history. The attack on the Church, Christ's kingdom, an attack
directed without ceasing by the prince of this world ("the two
standards," following St. Ignatius, in the perpetual battle), has
reached in the last centuries the main political powers that favored
the Church: the Spanish empire, the Austrian-Hungarian empire (World
War I), the French and the Portuguese colonial empire (World War II).
. . --thus dealing a hard blow to the Catholic missions. The
consequences have been terrible.

Which are the hidden hands? Today it will be above all the KGB, the
Russian antichrist, which finances -- without money it would be
impossible -- the terrorist movements and many pro-independence
movements, by getting a fifth column of traitors in every country:
resentful, ambitious, naive (not without any benefit)& Since the 18th
century Masonry (in its various branches) also introduced itself into
Spain on this side and on the other side of the ocean, and was the
great motivator of liberal anti-religious "change," about which these
same men are vainglorious and for any reason they denounced the Popes
and Catholic historians. (There are many enlightening facts, e. g.
the letters of Napoleon to the lodges of North America so that they
stir up rebellion in the Spanish lands overseas, by exaggerating the
defects of the unitary government, defects which will always be had,
but whose remedy is worse than the sickness, inasmuch as the present
day economic and religious sluggishness proves that united countries
were the most advanced. Why will one not study history more?

Of course the takeover of power in our countries by anti-christian
governments, and the consequent national decadence, is a punishment
for sins. The thesis is insupportable (e. g. of Aranguren) that
countries by being Catholic are more underdeveloped than Protestant
countries, as if God treats His better children worse. Nor is it
admissible, for the same reason, the "martyr" theory: namely that
Spain bleed itself through defending Catholicism against the
Protestants; it bled itself more in the Reconquest, and its fight for
the Cross had as its reward an empire.

It is necessary to loudly proclaim these truths and historical
criterions, in order to wake up sleeping consciences without any
ideals. To eliminate the infuriating scandal that Catholic countries
have submitted to anti-Catholic laws in education, the family, and
worship. . . by a minority: that says it is defending liberty. The
situation has to change, and we hope soon, when the promise of Fatima
has been accomplished: "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph"
and "Thy kingdom come" will be accomplished, with the conversion of
Russia and the reunification of the Spanish peoples under Christ ("I
will reign in Spain"), as a condition for carrying out our
evangelical world-wide mission, to which we are called by the
unmerited grace and divine predilection, through the mediation of
Holy Mary.

(3) An oleograph is a lithograph printed in oil colors to imitate an
oil painting.


The above article is taken from:

(Click on the link to view the pictures associated with the article)

(First English translation, by Fr. Paul Kimball SSPX, of La Dolorosa
de Quito, Reina del Ecuador, with authorization of the publisher,
Libreria Espiritual, Quito)

Parts 2 and 3 to follow.

[Quito -- pronounced KEE-toh]


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