Friday, 8 April 2016

Pope Pius XII on WW2 and the Olivet Discourse

As most readers are aware, one of the central arguments of the first version of my book (which has been furthered throughout this blog) is that the world wars which took place over the course of the 20th century were directly related to the "wars and rumours of wars" mentioned by Christ in His Olivet discourse as being one of the birth pangs of the Second Coming. These wars are said to take place when "the end is not yet", but would ultimately result in a major falling away from the faith:  "because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold". (Matt 24:12).  It is well enough known that both Benedict XV and Pius XII shared the belief that the wars which took place throughout the courses of their respective pontificates were the ultimate fulfilment of this prophecy. As Pope Benedict XV famously stated in his 1914 encyclical Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum: "Certainly those days would seem to have come upon us of which Christ Our Lord foretold: "You shall hear of wars and rumours of wars - for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" (Matt. xxiv, 6, 7). Another quote by Pius XII is frequently cited to confirm that he shared this belief:

“We believe that the present hour is a dread phase of the events foretold by Christ. It seems that darkness is about to fall on the world. Humanity is in the grip of a supreme crisis.”

While the above quote is well enough known in the English speaking world (at least amongst those interested in Catholic prophecy), it appears to differ somewhat from Pius XII's original homily, which has never been translated from Italian in the Vatican's official website. The quote never appears with a citation of the original source (which is bad practice from a scholarly perspective), so it was difficult to track down. While I can't read Italian, a quick comparison with the original text by using Google translate seems to highlight that although there are some considerable differences, the key passage is authentic enough, and the Holy Father did seem to be genuinely convinced that the events of WW2 were in fact the ultimate fulfilment of Christ's prophecy of the "wars and rumours of wars". Below is a copy of Pius XII's original text accompanied by the (flawed) translation using Google translate. If any readers know Italian, I would be deeply grateful if they could provide a proper translation, as I was hoping to use this quote in the forthcoming revised version of my book.

E là, in quel medesimo discorso sull’Oliveto, in vista di Gerusalemme, li ammonisce a guardare che alcuno non li seduca. «Perché, diceva loro, sentirete parlare di guerre e di rumori di guerre. Badate di non turbarvi; giacché bisogna che queste cose succedano; ma non è ancora la fine: Audituri enim estis praelia et opiniones praeliorum. Videte ne turbemini; oportet enim haec fieri, sed nondum est finis.No; la consumazione dei secoli non è ancora giunta. Cristo, se è asceso in cielo, sta sempre con noi tutti i giorni, anche in mezzo alle guerre e ai rumori di guerre. Non dobbiamo turbarcene, come non se ne turbarono gli Apostoli, nella predicazione del Vangelo. Ma, se il turbamento non Ci abbatte lo spirito, sentiamo però nel profondo del Nostro animo che l’ora presente è una fase della grave storia dell’umanità predetta da Cristo. E voi, diletti figli, non ignorate quanto questa nuova e fierissima guerra, che pesa sull’Europa e sul mondo, gravi necessariamente anche sul Nostro cuore, per quel paterno affetto, derivante dall’ufficio impostoCi da Dio verso tutte le genti; giacché ben sapete che dell’affetto e dell’amore è figlio il dolore. Non è forse la dolorosa passione di Cristo il frutto del suo amore per noi Sic Deus dilexit mundum!
(The full text of the original document in Italian can be found here, and is worth reading even if only using Google translate)

And there, in that same speech on Olivet, in view of Jerusalem, he warns them to watch that anyone not seduce them. « Perché, diceva loro, sentirete parlare di guerre e di rumori di guerre. "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars. Badate di non turbarvi; Take heed that ye be not troubled; giacché bisogna che queste cose succedano; since it is necessary that these things happen; ma non è ancora la fine: Audituri enim estis praelia et opiniones praeliorum. but it is not yet the end: No; No; la consumazione dei secoli non è ancora giunta.the end of time is not yet come.Cristo, se è asceso in cielo, sta sempre con noi tutti i giorni, anche in mezzo alle guerre e ai rumori di guerre. Christ, when He ascended into heaven, is always with us every day, even in the midst of wars and rumors of wars.…Non dobbiamo turbarcene, come non se ne turbarono gli Apostoli, nella predicazione del Vangelo.however, we feel deep in our mind that the present time is a phase of serious human history foretold by Christ. E voi, diletti figli, non ignorate quanto questa nuova e fierissima guerra, che pesa sull'Europa e sul mondo, gravi necessariamente anche sul Nostro cuore, per quel paterno affetto, derivante dall'ufficio impostoCi da Dio verso tutte le genti; And you, dear children, do not ignore what this new and fierce war, which weighs on Europe and the world, be necessarily severe on our heart, for that is paternal affection, arising from the office imposed on us by God to all nations;giacché ben sapete che dell'affetto e dell'amore è figlio il dolore. because you know that affection and love is the labour pains".
( Pope Pius XII, “Plea for Peace in the World”, Homily of Pope Pius XII, 24th Nov, 1940)

Friday, 11 March 2016

St. Michael and the Burning Mountain

During the course of researching a topic for an updated version of my book, I stumbled across the official coat of arms of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, which shows the Archangel Michael standing with a lance over a volcano situated in the sea.  This image is highly evocative of the vision seen by Sr. Lucia when she was instructed to commit the Third Secret to writing in 1944:

‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in.

In this new version of my book, which will soon be published under the title Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, just one of the many new subjects being covered is the how the Canary Islands figured in ancient Greek mythology as the location of Elysium and the Isles of the Blessed, which were said to lie in the far west of the known world at the entrance to Hades, which also was also where the Titans were said to have been bound in the depths of Tartarus. In this updated version of Unveiling the Apocalypse, I will show in extended detail how the Book of Enoch directly bases its story of the Watchers on the Titans of Greek mythology, which in turn forms the basis of several prophecies found in the epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, and even the Apocalypse itself.  The Book of Enoch, which details how seven "burning mountains" stand at the entrance to Tartarus, can thus be used to establish that these are one and the same as the seven volcanic islands of the Canary archipelago.  Given that it has already been established that the Apocalypse frequently alludes to the Book of Enoch, we can be almost certain that the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8 is one of the seven burning mountains described throughout the Enochian literature.

Monday, 8 February 2016

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Centenary of Fatima

On the centenary of the apparitions of the Angel of Peace to the shepherd children of Fatima, it should be worth contemplating the famous private revelation given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, requesting the king to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 17th June, 1689. The requested consecration wasn't carried out, and as a consequence on 17th June 1789, exactly 100 years later, the Third Estate proclaimed itself as the National Assembly, which stripped the king of his legislative powers during the French Revolution.
Sr. Lucia received a number of private revelations which referenced this apparition, indicating that the consecration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was similarly comprised of a 100 year period. This has led many Catholics to conclude that the upcoming centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 2017 is of crucial importance to the Secret of Fatima itself.
A comparison between both requests for consecration was made during an apparition to Sr. Lucia at Rianjo in 1931:
They did not wish to heed My request! Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions against the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer.

This apparition was also referred to in the appendix of Sr. Lucia's autobiography:

Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.’ (Sr. Lucia, Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, p199)

Although the apparition of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque is well known, its exact content is very often overlooked. So I thought it would be worth posting it here. St. Margaret Mary revealed the contents of this private revelation to her Mother Superior, Madam Saumaise, which was recounted in a book written in 1874, The Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Emile Bougaud, the Bishop of Laval:
The second letter, though in a different sense, is much more important. It was written on coming out of ecstasy, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament, June 17, 1689. The Spirit of God had rested on the holy Sister, and displayed to her in prophetic light His designs of mercy on France.

There is to the devotion of the Sacred Heart a private and a social side. Margaret Mary begins with the first.

 "In fine, my dear Mother," she writes, "are we not all consumed in the burning heat of His pure love? It will reign, this amiable Heart, in spite of Satan, his imps and his agents. This word transports me with joy. But to be able to express to you the great graces and benedictions it will attract upon all that shall have procured it the most honor and glory is what I cannot do in the way that He has given me to understand it.

 "He has made me see the devotion to His Sacred Heart as a beautiful tree, destined from all eternity to spring up and take root in the midst of our Institute, and to extend its branches into the houses that compose it, so that each may gather from it fruits most pleasing to her liking and taste. But He desires that the daughters of the Visitation should distribute abundantly to all that will eat of it the fruits of this sacred tree. By this means He desires to restore life to many; and, by withdrawing them from the way of perdition, and de­stroying the empire of Satan in their heart, to establish in them that of His love."

Behold the first design, the supernatural, the special side of devotion to the Sacred Heart, that which re­gards souls at all times and in all places. Margaret Mary continues: "But He does not wish to stop here. He has still greater designs, which can be executed only by His almighty power."

Which are those designs that the Saint calls the greatest, and for which she invokes the All-powerful?

"He desires, then, it seems to me, to enter with pomp and magnificence into the palaces of kings and princes, therein to be honored as much as He has been despised, humiliated, and outraged in His Passion. May He receive as much pleasure therein at seeing the great ones of the world abasing and humbling themselves before Him as He once felt bitterness at behold­ing Himself annihilated at their feet!"

 The tone of these words convinces one that Margaret Mary, when uttering them, was in a sort of ecstasy. What follows leaves no room for doubt on the subject. "Here are," she continues, "the words that I heard on this point: 'make known to the eldest son of my heart,' speaking of our king, ' that as his temporal birth was obtained through devotion to the merits OF MY HOLY CHILDHOOD, IN THE SAME MANNER he WILL OBTAIN HIS BIRTH OF GRACE AND ETERNAL GLORY BY THE CONSECRATION THAT HE WILL MAKE OF HIMSELF TO my adorable heart, which wishes to triumph over his heart, and by his mediation over those of the great ones of the world. it wishes to reign in his palace, TO BE PAINTED ON HIS STANDARDS AND ENGRAVEN ON HIS ARMS, IN ORDER TO RENDER HIM VICTORIOUS OVER ALL HIS ENEMIES."...

In letter sent to Madam Saumaise in August 1689, St. Margaret Mary wrote an account of another apparition which took place after this:

"The Eternal Father, wishing to repair the bitter­ness and agony that the Adorable Heart of His Divine Son endured in the palaces of earthly princes, amidst the humiliations and outrages of His Passion, wishes to establish His empire in the heart of our great monarch, of whom He desires to make use in the execution of His design, which is to have an edifice erected in which shall be a picture of His divine Heart, to receive the conse­cration and homage of the king and all the court.

 " Moreover, this divine Heart wishes to make itself the defender of the sacred person of the king, his protector against all his enemies. Therefore has it chosen him as its faithful friend, to have the Mass authorized by the Holy Apostolic See, and to obtain all the other privileges that ought to accompany devotion to this divine Heart.

 "It is by this divine Heart that God wishes to dispense the treasures of His graces of sanctification and salvation, by bestowing His benediction on the king's undertakings, according a happy success to his arms, and making him triumph over the malice of his enemies."

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Sign of the Son of Man

In the amount of time that has passed since my book Unveiling the Apocalypse was first published in 2011, there have been a number of significant events which bear direct relevance to the material it had originally covered.  In light of this, I have been prompted to expand the book considerably in a forthcoming second edition, which will be published early in the New Year. The whole book has been updated throughout, and I have included a new chapter comprised of over 20,000 words detailing the significance of several prophecies concerning a great cross of light appearing in the night sky over the Holy Land. In this new material, I show how the Early Church Fathers had expected that the Sign of the Son of Man mentioned by Christ in His eschatological discourse on Mount Olivet would unfold in the form of the supernatural appearance of the Cross of Golgotha over Jerusalem, in order to bring about the conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming of Christ. The Church Fathers believed that this event would be the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy of Zech 12:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself... (Zech 12:10-12)

The most famous of the prophecies concerning the appearance of a cross of light in the sky is perhaps that of St. Faustina:

Before I come as a just judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands of feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.

The expectation that the cross would appear in the sky at the end time to herald the Second Advent of Christ stretches back a lot further than the beginning of the 20th century however. St. Thomas a Kempis refers to this prophetic expectation in his Imitation of Christ, written in the 15th century:

"This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge."
(St. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book 2 Chapter 12)

It was also mentioned in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas:

“The sign of the cross will appear at the judgment, to denote not a present but a past weakness: so as to show how justly those were condemned who scorned so great mercy, especially those who persecuted Christ unjustly. The scars which will appear in His body will not be due to weakness, but will indicate the exceeding power whereby Christ overcame His enemies by His Passion and infirmity. He will also show forth His most shameful death, not by bringing it sensibly before the eye, as though He suffered it there; but by the things which will appear then, namely the signs of His past Passion, He will recall men to the thought of His past death.”(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 90, Article 2, Reply to objection 2)

The equation of the Sign of the Son of Man with the appearance of a cross of light in the night sky over Jerusalem in order to herald the end of days goes back all the way back to the infant Church, and can even be found in the Didache - one of the earliest Christian writings outside of the New Testament:

For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as the Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth; first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven; then the sign of the sound of the trumpet; and the third, the resurrection of the dead; yet not of all, but as it is said: The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him. Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
(Did 16:6-17)

The Early Church Fathers taught that the Sign of the Son of Man would precede the Second Coming of Christ in the same way that an advance guard would bear the standard of the king before he marched into battle. One of the most detailed accounts of can be found in the writing of the Doctor of the Church St. Cyril of Jerusalem:

This [Cross] shall appear again with Jesus from heaven; for the trophy shall precede the king: that seeing Him whom they pierced Zechariah 12:10, and knowing by the Cross Him who was dishonoured, the Jews may repent and mourn; (but they shall mourn tribe by tribe, for they shall repent, when there shall be no more time for repentance) and that we may glory, exulting in the Cross, worshipping the Lord who was sent, and crucified for us, and worshipping also God His Father who sent Him, with the Holy Ghost: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Somewhat amazingly, St. Cyril had personally witnessed this phenomenon himself in the 4th century, in a circumstances which can only be said to have anticipated the future occurrence of this event.  

On the nones (or 7th) of May, about the third hour, (or nine in the morning,) a vast luminous body, in the form of a cross, appeared in the heavens, just over the holy Golgotha, reaching as far as the holy mount of Olivet, (that is, almost two English miles in length,) seen not by one or two persons, but clearly and evidently by the whole city. This was not, as may be thought, a momentary transient phenomenon: for it continued several hours together visible to our eyes, and brighter than the sun; the light of which would have eclipsed it, had not this been stronger. The whole city, struck with a reverential fear, tempered with joy, ran immediately to the church, young and old, Christians and heathens, citizens and strangers, all with one voice giving praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, the worker of miracles; finding by experience the truth of the Christian doctrine, to which the heavens bear witness." Letter of St. Cyril of Jerusalem to Constantius

In this new material, I will show how this is an integral component to interpreting the Secrets of Fatima, and that Scripture informs us that the appearance of the Sign of the Son of Man will immediately precede the occurrence of the eschatological earthquake in Jerusalem - which will serve as a warning to humanity of the impending Great Chastisement, culminating in the Final Passover of the Church during the persecution of the Antichrist. The Sign of the Son of Man is one and the same as the Great Sign seen in heaven described in Rev 12, and just as the Star of Bethlehem heralded the First Advent of Christ, the appearance of this great cross of light will usher in the Second Advent of Our Lord.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. (Rev 12:1-2)

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Year 2017 and Sign of the Woman Adorned with the Sun

The Remnant newspaper has recently published a fascinating article written by Patrick Archbold,  a well known and highly respected Catholic writer, concerning an upcoming series of astronomical events which bear an uncanny similarity to the imagery of Rev 12. This seems to be of great significance:

On September 23, 2017, we will see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). These events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. What does it mean? 

Read the full article here.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Pope Benedict XVI on the Chronology of Apocalyptic Events

The Church, the Bride of Christ and Mother of the Faithful in Baptism. Illustration to Scivias II.3, fol. 51r from the 20th-century facsimile of the Rupertsberg manuscript, c. 1165-1180

Just recently, it has occurred to me that there is a need to distinguish between two separate periods of apostasy at the end time which is foretold in both Scripture and in Church approved private revelations, if we are to better understand our current situation within the chronology of apocalyptic events. As EWTN expert Colin Donovan points out:

"Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur." (See here)

The Great Apostasy which takes place during the reign of the Antichrist cannot take place until the restoration of the Church has taken place during the ministry of the Two Witnesses. But there is another period found in both Scripture and private prophecy which concerns a separate falling away from the faith which takes place before the restoration of the Church during the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth - a "minor apostasy". This is the most spiritually dangerous period in human history outside the Great Apostasy itself. 
Throughout the course of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has frequently tipped his hand to show that he believes that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that we are living during this minor apostasy mentioned in prophecy, which takes place immediately before the restoration of the Church. Benedict XVI has previously suggested that the period of the restoration of the Church which takes place after the minor apostasy may be be connected in some way to the year 2017: 

"May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity". (Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima Thursday, 13 May 2010

Benedict XVI has shared some other of his insights concerning the present plight of the Church by linking the recent paedophile scandal and the current falling away from the faith to the prophecies of St. Hildegard of Bingen, wherein the sibyl of the Rhine saw a vision of the Church as a woman clothed in soiled garments representing the "filth" within the Church:

"Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. Repeatedly during the season of Advent the Church’s liturgy prays in these or similar words. They are invocations that were probably formulated as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats.
Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. Today too, we have many reasons to associate ourselves with this Advent prayer of the Church. For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure.
Excita – the prayer recalls the cry addressed to the Lord who was sleeping in the disciples’ storm-tossed boat as it was close to sinking. When his powerful word had calmed the storm, he rebuked the disciples for their little faith (cf. Mt 8:26 et par.). He wanted to say: it was your faith that was sleeping. He will say the same thing to us. Our faith too is often asleep. Let us ask him, then, to wake us from the sleep of a faith grown tired, and to restore to that faith the power to move mountains – that is, to order justly the affairs of the world.
Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: amid the great tribulations to which we have been exposed during the past year, this Advent prayer has frequently been in my mind and on my lips. We had begun the Year for Priests with great joy and, thank God, we were also able to conclude it with great gratitude, despite the fact that it unfolded so differently from the way we had expected. Among us priests and among the lay faithful, especially the young, there was a renewed awareness of what a great gift the Lord has entrusted to us in the priesthood of the Catholic Church. We realized afresh how beautiful it is that human beings are fully authorized to pronounce in God’s name the word of forgiveness, and are thus able to change the world, to change life; we realized how beautiful it is that human beings may utter the words of consecration, through which the Lord draws a part of the world into himself, and so transforms it at one point in its very substance; we realized how beautiful it is to be able, with the Lord’s strength, to be close to people in their joys and sufferings, in the important moments of their lives and in their dark times; how beautiful it is to have as one’s life task not this or that, but simply human life itself – helping people to open themselves to God and to live from God. We were all the more dismayed, then, when in this year of all years and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.
In this context, a vision of Saint Hildegard of Bingen came to my mind, a vision which describes in a shocking way what we have lived through this past year. “In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 1170, I had been lying on my sick-bed for a long time when, fully conscious in body and in mind, I had a vision of a woman of such beauty that the human mind is unable to comprehend. She stretched in height from earth to heaven. Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven. She was dressed in a dazzling robe of white silk and draped in a cloak, adorned with stones of great price. On her feet she wore shoes of onyx. But her face was stained with dust, her robe was ripped down the right side, her cloak had lost its sheen of beauty and her shoes had been blackened. And she herself, in a voice loud with sorrow, was calling to the heights of heaven, saying, ‘Hear, heaven, how my face is sullied; mourn, earth, that my robe is torn; tremble, abyss, because my shoes are blackened!’
And she continued: ‘I lay hidden in the heart of the Father until the Son of Man, who was conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. With that same blood as his dowry, he made me his betrothed.
For my Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh and open as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape. And Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests. They tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold; my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them. Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’
And I heard a voice from heaven which said: ‘This image represents the Church. For this reason, O you who see all this and who listen to the word of lament, proclaim it to the priests who are destined to offer guidance and instruction to God’s people and to whom, as to the apostles, it was said: go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15)” (Letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his Priestly Community: PL 197, 269ff.).
In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen. We must discover a new resoluteness in faith and in doing good. We must be capable of doing penance. We must be determined to make every possible effort in priestly formation to prevent anything of the kind from happening again. This is also the moment to offer heartfelt thanks to all those who work to help victims and to restore their trust in the Church, their capacity to believe her message. In my meetings with victims of this sin, I have also always found people who, with great dedication, stand alongside those who suffer and have been damaged. This is also the occasion to thank the many good priests who act as channels of the Lord’s goodness in humility and fidelity and, amid the devastations, bear witness to the unforfeited beauty of the priesthood."…/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20101220_curia-auguri…

Now notice the similarities here between the words of the Holy Father and those of Sr. Lucia during her interview with Fr. Fuentes:

Sister Lucy also told me: "Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that offends God the most, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them."
"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God."

A connection between these words of Sr. Lucia and St. Hildegard's vision of "filth" within the Church clearly seems to have been on Pope Benedict's mind here, since he uses basically the same themes and symbolism during his visit to Fatima in 2010:

"As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice."

Cardinal Ratzinger again alluded to St. Hildegard's writings describing the current state of the Church as a woman whose garments are soiled in his famous Way of the Cross sermon in 2005, just before he ascended the papacy:

"Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of His Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words!
How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the Priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!"
"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church... You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all."

It is also apparent here that the Holy Father links our current situation with Christ's calming of the storm, and that he views this event as "acted prophecy", since he later developed this strand of thought in his speech given in 2010 cited above. So for Benedict, the barque of St. Peter is currently enduring the storm before the great calm, which itself is alluded to in St. John Bosco's dream of the two pillars.
Now the upshot of all this is the fact that St. Hildegard very clearly foretold that the restoration of the Church would take place after the period of desolation associated with the minor apostasy, when the soiled garments of the woman would be washed clean in the blood of Christ:

"I saw that Trier at first was adorned among the faithful with the new fire that appeared to the disciples in tongues of fire, so that in its golden faith all its streets were spread with miracles. But now it is hedged in by unstable, squalid morals and with weariness as if it did not know God, and it has been polluted with many other evils. It has been worn out with weariness and no longer enjoys the joy and beauty of its original, honorable institutions. It has become heedless of its many sins. Therefore, fiery vengeance will come upon it from enemies, unless those sins are wiped out by penitence, as happened in the case of Jonah.
Now, the law is neglected by spiritual people, who disdain to teach and do good works. Both the teachers and the prelates are asleep: they have abandoned justice. Therefore, I heard this voice from heaven, saying: O daughter of Sion, your crown will fall from your head, your cloak of increasing riches will shrink, your numbers will be forcibly reduced, and you will be banished from one place to another. Many cities and monasteries will be wrenched away by powerful individuals, and princes will say, “Let us take away from them that iniquity which, through them, is overwhelming the whole world.” And I saw and heard that all these dangers and griefs will befall regions and monasteries because they have turned aside from obedience and other precepts of the law. And I saw that even amidst sins of this kind there are some who will cling to God and will sigh unto Him, just as in the time of Elijah...
Afterward, the justice and judgment of God will arise, and the people will know the discipline and fear of God. There will also be good and just individuals among the spiritual people, who, nevertheless, will remain few in numbers because of their humility, but who, like the hermits, will turn back to the first dawn. And they will do this out of fear for times past that, they will understand, had been pernicious to them....
Then, courageous men will arise and prophesy, and they will gather together all things old and new from the Scriptures and all that has been uttered through the Holy Spirit, and they will adorn their understanding of these things as if with a necklace set with precious jewels. Through their influence and that of other wise people, many of the laity will become virtuous and will live saintly lives.
(Epistolarium II, CCCM 91)
Yet in these days, the Emperors of the Roman office shall fall from the strength by which they once vigorously held the Roman Empire, and they shall become weak in their own glory, so that the imperial power entrusted to their hands for a time by divine judgment shall decrease and fail. For they shall be morally filthy and lukewarm and servile and repulsive, and useless in all things. Though they wish to be honored by the people, they shall not seek the people’s prosperity; and so none will be able to honor or revere them. Wherefore the kings and princes of many peoples, who were at one time subject to the Roman Empire, shall remove themselves from it and suffer no longer to be subject to it. And so the Roman imperial power shall be scattered in weakness. For each nation and every people shall establish then their own king to obey, saying that the spread of Roman imperial power had become more of a burden to them than an honor. But after the imperial scepter has been broken up in this way and is unable to be repaired, then also the mitre of the apostolic office [i.e. the papacy] shall be broken. For because neither princes nor any other men of either the spiritual or the secular order shall then find any good religion in the apostolic title, the dignity of that title shall diminish. They shall prefer other masters and archbishops under other titles and in other areas, so that after it has been diminished by the adjournment of its original dignity, the apostolic see shall in that time maintain only Rome and a few nearby places that still lie under its mitre. These things, moreover, shall come to pass in part because of invasions and warfare; and in part they shall be perfected by the common counsel and consensus of both the spiritual and the secular peoples. These shall declare that each prince ought to defend his kingdom and rule his people, and that each archbishop or other spiritual master ought to constrain those under his supervision to uprightness of discipline, lest they be afflicted thereafter by those evils they had suffered previously by the divine will...
In those days many also shall prophesy and many more shall be wise, so that the secrets of the prophets and the mysteries of the other scriptures in their fullness shall lie open to the wise. Their sons and daughters shall prophesy, just as was foretold many ages before…. They shall also prophesy in the same spirit by which the prophets of old announced the mysteries of God, and in the likeness of the apostles’ teaching, which excelled all human understanding.
(Liber Divinorum Operum III.10.25-26)

Behold, the feet of the aforementioned female image appeared to be white, giving out a brightness above that of the sun. I heard a voice from heaven saying to me: "Even though all things on earth are tending toward their end, so hardships and calamities is bowed down to its End, nevertheless, the Spouse of my Son, though much weakened in her children, will never be destroyed either by the heralds of the Son of Perdition or by the Destroyer himself, however much she will be attacked by them. At the End of time she will arise more powerful and more secure; she will appear more beautiful and shining so that she may go forth in this way more sweetly and more agreeably to the embraces of her Beloved. The vision which you saw signifies all this in mystic fashion."
(Scivias 3:11; Translated by B McGinn, Visions of the End, pp101-102)

The first vision of St. Hildegard referenced above concerning the woman's soiled garments contains many similarities with the cleansing of the soiled garments of the High Priest Joshua in Zech 3, who as well as being a prototype for one of the Two Witnesses, also prefigures the role of the Pope as Pontifex Maximus:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD was standing by.
And the angel of the LORD solemnly assured Joshua, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”
(Zech 3)

It seems that the reason the vision of Satan's 100 years of greater power foreseen by Pope Leo XIII was given to the Holy Father himself was in order to allude to this particular verse in the Bible, when Joshua the High Priest stands accused by Satan, much like the prophet Job. At the end of this time period, the Bride of Christ will be allowed to adorn herself with fine linen to prepare the marriage supper of the Lamb:

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
(Rev 19:7-8)

Even though it is only after this final restoration of the Church that the Antichrist will finally appear, there is quite clearly a separate period of a minor apostasy which takes place before this restoration. This order of events, which corresponds directly with our current situation, can also be found in the Church approved version of the prophecies of La Salette published in 2002:

After all these calamities have arrived, many will recognize the hand of God on them. They will convert, and do penance for their sins. A great king will go up on the throne, and will reign many years. Religion will re-flourish and spread all over the world, and there will be a great abundance. The world, glad to be lacking nothing, will fall again into disorder, will give up God, and will return to its criminal passions. 
(Melanie's Secret)

The Apocalypse similarly mentions a time period in which the Woman Adorned with the Sun is threatened to be carried away by a flood which issues forth from the mouth of the Dragon. This flood is then swallowed up during the New Pentecost, after which the Devil goes off to make war on the Woman's offspring by transferring his great power and authority to the Antichrist:

"The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea." And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
(Rev 12:15-17, 13:1-2)

So it seems that this is where we currently stand right now - in the time period when Satan has been cast down to the earth, and is pursuing the Woman Adorned with the Sun in great fury. Even though we are on the brink of being washed away by the flood which issues from the mouth of the demon, we know that this inundation during the minor apostasy will eventually be swallowed up when the earth comes to the Woman's aid. It is only after the restoration of the Church during the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that the Antichrist will finally appear, and bring about the events of the Great Apostasy. It is then that the peoples of the world will be forced to either pay homage to the Beast of the Apocalypse, or face the period of open persecution and martyrdom foreseen the Third Secret of Fatima, which takes place during the Final Passover of the Church:

The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. 
(CCC 677)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Hiding the Truth? - The Mistranslation of Our Lady's Words in Sr. Lucia's New Biography

Christopher Ferrara, the author of a popular book on the two-text theory concerning the Third Secret of Fatima, The Secret Still Hidden, has recently flagged up a major criticism of the English translation of A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, which specifically relates to a key portion of the text which confirms the existence of an interpretation of the Third Secret that was given to Sr. Lucia by the Virgin Mary.  The key sentence in question concerns the words of Our Lady, which appears in the official English translation as: “Be at peace and write what they order you, but do not give your opinion of its meaning.” I had noticed this difference myself at the time, with the implications behind it being that Sr. Lucia was forbidden by Our Lady to give any of her own opinions on the Third Secret. This is quite different from the original Portuguese version, which makes it quite clear that Sr. Lucia was actually given an interpretation of the Third Secret by the Blessed Mother herself, and that she was instructed not to write down this interpretation at the present time:

“….be at peace and write what they command you, not, however, what is given to you to understand of its significance.” 

See Ferrara's full critique of this faulty interpretation here.
This of course does not mean that Sr. Lucia was not told by Our Lady to write down this interpretation separately at some point in the future, which would go on to explain the existence of two texts related to the Third Secret in the first place. The World Apostolate of Fatima, who publishes the English version of A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, has since admitted that this translation is indeed faulty, and plans to amend it in a second edition of this work (see here).
I plan to address this subject and other issues of relevance in a forthcoming second edition of my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, which should be published by either late September or October.