Q: Please tell me about Our Lady of Good Success.

A: Our Lady of Good Success does not sound like a very Christian title, more capitalist than other, but although little known, it exists. It seems to be of Spanish origin. There is a representation of Virgen de la Buena Suerte in the chapel of the Catholic Kings in Granada, Spain. This representation is counted among the so-called Immaculata images (either because of style or feast day). Another image with the same name is located in Prats de Llusanès (Barcelona), here venerated as expression of mediation. The geographic location (Cataluña, Isla de Gomera, Granada) indicates a connection with maritime travel and seafarers' safety. The invocation is used to ask Mary for a safe return to port. The extended meaning can be that of pious and peaceful death (Convent of Saint Dominic in Zaragoza where we have two representations, one of buena suerte the other of buena muerte). In short, suerte, meaning success or luck, refers to well-being and safety where strictly human means find no issue. However, there is another invocation of Spanish origins by the name of Buen Suceso (also Buen Suceso o de la Piedad; Buen Suceso o de las Virtudes). The major reference is again Mary's meditation and intercession in need (birth, travel, wedding). It is said that the title "Virgen del Buen Suceso" has its origin with Pope Paul V who gave this name to a Marian image which he entrusted as patroness to the Brothers of the Venerable Bernardin Obregón as patroness in 1607. The image was subsequently copied and disseminated, sometimes under a different invocation. There are a number of localities in Spain where this image is venerated (Madrid, Orduña, La Puebla de Gordon, Tudela, Abla ...). Thus success can have the double meaning of good outcome and luck and their manifold variants.


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