Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Archbishop of Trani Confirms Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi has Breached the Moratorium on Luisa Piccarreta

The Archbishop of Trani, Giovan Battista Pichierri, has sent me a letter confirming that Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi OSJ has breached the moratorium he placed on the writings of Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. This means his books on this subject, including The Splendor of Creation, are to be avoided by all the faithful. Here is the Italian text of the letter below, followed by a rough translation using Google translate.

Trani, 30 marzo 2017
Prot. 128/17/C2
Egregio Dott. Emmett O'Regan,...
ho ricevuto il suo messaggio di posta elettronica del 21 febbraio 2017 nel quale mi riferiva della sua attività di studio e del riscontro da lei compiuto sulle pubblicazioni del sacerdote Giuseppe Iannuzzi.
Preciso che detto sacerdote non appartiene a questa Arcidiocesi e non ha ricevuto da parte mia alcuna autorizzazione, permesso o mandato di nessun genere sia in relazione alle pubblicazioni sia in riferimento allo studio e alla diffusione.
In questo momento l’Arcidiocesi e l’Associazione “Luisa Piccarreta – P.F.D.V.” sono impegnati nella elaborazione dell’edizione tipica e critica degli scritti della Serva di Dio sulla base della quale sarà possibile compiere le necessarie traduzioni in altre lingue e ulteriori studi di natura teologica.
Ad ogni buon conto, tutte le attività di studio ufficiali in questo momento vengono concordate e coordinate in sintonia con la Congregazione delle Cause dei Santi per il tramite della postulazione.
Nell’assicurarle la piena disponibilità ad ogni ulteriore chiarimento, la saluto cordialmente e le auguro una Santa Pasqua.

Giovan Battista Pichierri

Trani, March 30, 2017 Prot. 128/17 / C2
Dear Mr. Emmett O'Regan,

Dear Mr. Emmett O'Regan, I received your e-mail of 21 February 2017 which informed me of your study and the response made on the publications of the priest Joseph Iannuzzi. Point out that this priest does not belong to this Archdiocese and did not receive from me any authorization, permission or warrant of any kind and in relation to publications both in reference to the study and dissemination. Right now the Archdiocese and the Association "Luisa Piccarreta - PFDV" are engaged in the typical edition processing and critical writings of the Servant of God on the basis of which it will be possible to complete the necessary translations in other languages ​​and additional theological research to be conducted. In any event, all of the official study activities at this time are agreed and coordinated in harmony with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the postulation. I assure you full availability for any further clarification, I greet you cordially and a Happy Easter.

Giovan Battista Pichierri

You can find the official text of the letter here.

Below is the text of the original email that I sent to the Archbishop:

Dear Excellency,

I am a theology graduate and writer from Ireland, and have been doing some research into Servant of God Luisa Piccaretta and the “Divine Will Movement” in North America. I am concerned about 2 books containing translations of Luisa’s writings that appear to breach the moratorium you placed on her writings in 2007. The books in question are “Proper Catholic Perspectives: On the Teachings of Luisa Piccarreta” (2010) and “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” (2013), both by Rev Joseph Iannuzzi OSJ. Neither of these translations of Luisa’s writings into English contain imprimatur, contrary to Canon 829: "The approval or permission to publish some work is valid for the original text but not for new editions or translations of the same." Father Iannuzzi claims that he has received official ecclesiastical approbation for his 2013 book from the Pontifical Gregorian University, which appears to usurp your singular authority over these writings. In his books, Father Iannuzzi claims that he received your official written endorsement for producing these translations. I presume by this he means your correspondence with him in 2003, in which you rescinded certain statements made by your Vicar General, Mons. Savino Giannotti, concerning Father Iannuzzi’s authority within the Archdiocese of Trani in relation to the writings of Luisa. Would you be able to confirm for me if you really did officially endorse Father Iannuzzi’s books, as he himself claims? My suspicion is that these books were in fact published without your permission, and that Father Iannuzzi misinterpreted your letter as an act of “endorsement”.

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Emmett O’Regan

My suspicions were based on the fact that none of Fr. Iannuzzi's works have the imprimatur of his responsible ordinary or the imprimi potest of his major superior, which contradicts Canon Law. In addition to this, in a communique from the Vicar General of Trani dating from 2003 we find the following statement:

"Rev. Giuseppe Iannuzzi never had any position within the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie. He is concerned with finishing his studies on the mystical life, examining the texts of Luisa Piccarreta, up until now never being recognized by the Archdiocese; and neither has he ever been a Censor or preacher."

(See here)

Compare the above with the wording of the 2007 moratorium issued by the Archbishop of Trani:

"This Archdiocese following the opening of the Diocesan Inquiry has never appointed any theologian or official censor of the writings of Luisa. So likewise has not appointed any official translator of the writings in Italian into other languages"

Friday, 17 March 2017

Our Lady of Knock and the Opening of the Sealed Book

In the new edition of my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, I attempt to show how the apparitions which took place at Knock, in County Mayo in Ireland in 1879, were intended to announce the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals described in the Apocalypse. During these apparitions, the Blessed Virgin appeared alongside the Lamb of Revelation, together with St. Joseph and St. John. The presence of the author of the Book of Revelation together with Christ in the form of the Lamb of God gives us a strong connotation that this apparition is apocalyptic in character, and that it was chiefly concerned with the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals described in Rev 5:

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Rev 5:1-5)

Later in the Apocalypse, we are told that the scroll of the seven seals was given to St. John the Apostle so that he could consume the Word of God:

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”  (Rev 10:8-11)

One of the eyewitnesses to the Knock apparition, Mary Byrne, had described St. John as holding an open book in his hands during this vision:

The figure before me on this present occasion of which I am speaking had a book in the left hand, as I stated, and the index finger and the middle finger of the right hand raised, as if he were speaking, and impressing some point forcibly on an audience. It was this coincidence of figure and pose that made me surmise, for it is only an opinion, that the third figure was that of St. John, the beloved disciple of Our Lord…

Therefore the theme of the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals is a predominant feature of the Knock apparition, and the entire symbolism of this vision must be understood within this context. In my book, I argue that the opening of the scroll of the seven seals described in the Apocalypse is synonymous with the unbinding of Satan at the end of the “thousand years” described in Rev 20, and that the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse during the opening of the sealed book was directly related to the “wars and rumours of wars” mentioned in the Olivet discourse, which Christ said must take place before His Second Coming. So the Knock apparition appears to be intimately connected to the vision of Pope Leo XIII, wherein the Holy Father was made to understand that Satan was to be granted a period of greater power. A period which not only encompassed the turmoil of the 20th century, but which was also marked by one of the most remarkable events in Church history – the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and the occurrence of the Miracle of the Sun.

On the exact same day of the Knock apparition, on Aug 21st, 1879, Pope Leo XIII had granted a canonical coronation of the icon at the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette, which was solemnly performed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, who acted as Papal legate. This coronation took place 33 years after the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette in 1846. So while the icon of Our Lady of was being formally crowned at La Salette, Our Lady of Knock (who is recognized by the Irish as Queen of Ireland) appeared together with the Lamb of Revelation in order to announce the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals.

But what exactly is the bridging connection between the apparitions of Our Lady of Our Lady at La Salette and those at Knock? The reason the Blessed Virgin decided to appear in County Mayo during this canonical coronation appears to directly linked with the public message Our Lady gave to Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraurd at La Salette, which foretold the Potato Famine that would have devastating consequences for the population of Ireland:

Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news.
If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it. For how long a time do I suffer for you! If I would not have my Son abandon you, I am compelled to pray to him without ceasing; and as to you, you take not heed of it.
However much you pray, however much you do, you will never recompense the pains I have taken for you. Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for myself; and they will not give it to me. It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy. Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.
If the harvest is spoilt, it is all on your account. I gave you warning last year with the potatoes but you did not heed it. On the contrary, when you found the potatoes spoilt, you swore, you took the name of my Son in vain. They will continue to decay, so that by Christmas there will be none left. Ah, my children, do you not understand? Well, wait, I shall say it otherwise.
If you have wheat, it is no good to sow it; all you sow the insects will eat, and what comes up will fall into dust when you thresh it. There will come a great famine. Before the famine comes, the children under seven years of age will be seized with trembling and will die in the hands of those who hold them; the others will do penance by the famine. The walnuts will become bad, and the grapes will rot.

[Here the two private messages were given to Mélanie and Maximin.]

If they are converted, the stones and rocks will change into mounds of wheat, and the potatoes will be self-sown in the land.

The Blessed Virgin has appeared to mark some of the most notorious instances of genocide in history, most notably those at Fatima, which coincided with the rise of Soviet Communism and the countless deaths that would ensue under militant atheism. Her appearances at Beauraing and Banneux in 1933 had coincided with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, while those at Kibeho in 1981 augured the Rwandan Genocide. The apparitions of Our Lady at Zeitoun in Egypt in 1968 were similarly related to the modern day “slaughter of the innocents” in the holocaust of abortion. So Our Lady had appeared at Knock in order to mark the atrocity that was perpetrated against the Catholics of Ireland by the British Government, who exploited the events of the Famine as a means of kerbing the growth of the Irish population, in much the same way the Soviets had used the Holodomor to deplete the population of ethnic Ukrainians.

When we turn back to the opening of the scroll of the seven seals, we find that the theme of St. John being urged to eat the little scroll is rooted in the Book of Ezekiel:

“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. And he spread it before me. And it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe.
And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them."
(Ezek 2:19-3:4)

The Prophet Ezekiel was similarly commanded to eat a scroll containing the Word of God when he was commissioned to prophesy to the people of Israel, warning them of their fate. Immediately after Ezekiel eats the little scroll, he was then taken to the exiles at the Chebar Canal:

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days. (Ezek 3:12-15)

The Chebar Canal is a location found along the River Euphrates, where Ezekiel was granted his vision of the Four Living Creatures in Ezek 1 – the four cherubim who restrain the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse until the opening of the seven seals. As I show in the book, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are one and the same as the “four angels bound at the great river Euphrates” mentioned in Rev 9, who are released to kill a third of “the people” (i.e. a third of the world’s Jewish population during the Holocaust):

Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of [the people]. (Rev 9:13-15)

We are told that the four angels bound at the Euphrates are released after the appearance of the other signs which herald the unbinding of Satan at the end of the “thousand years” – the star falling to earth with the keys to the abyss and the rise of the apocalyptic locusts (which I argue refers to the Tunguska event and the invention of military airplanes). The Prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of the Four Living creatures who restrain these fallen angelic beings at the Chebar Canal, which has been idenfied with the Khabur River in modern Syria - one of the largest tributaries to the River Euphrates. The exact spot where the Khabur River flows into the Euphrates lies at the site of Deir ez-Zor, which was the major concentration camp used by the Turkish government during the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915. As I detail in Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, it was the Armenian Genocide that the provided the Nazis with the template for perpetrating the Jewish Holocaust, when a third of the world's total Jewish population was exterminated by Nazi Germany.

Another link between the Jewish Holocaust and the appearance of Our Lady at Knock can be found in the fact that the apparitions took place at around the same time of the discovery and subsequent excavation of the Pergamon Altar in 1879 – which is the “throne of Satan” described in Rev 2:12-13. The Pergamon Altar was first erected in Berlin at the turn of the century, in 1900 – at the very beginning of the period of Satan’s greater power.

It thus seems to be of great significance that the upcoming total solar eclipse that will traverse America later this year takes place on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, on 21st August, 2017. As I attempt to elaborate in the previous post, The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan, another of the signs which heralded the beginning of the short time of Satan occurred on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock. The path of totality of the solar eclipse of 21st August, 1914 made its way across war-torn eastern Europe before crossing the site of ancient Nineveh. This was especially significant in the fact that there is evidence to suggest that the original “sign of Jonah” took the form of the Bur Sagle eclipse over Nineveh in 763BC, and that Christ had made His prophecy about the sign of Jonah in the immediate context of the binding of Satan.

The proximity of the August 21st solar eclipse in relation to the so-called “Rev 12 sign” that will take place later this year on 23rd September, 2017, gives us pause for thought. This date marks the culmination of an astronomical event which began on 20th November 20, 2016, when Jupiter (the King planet) entered into the body of the constellation Virgo. This date, which commemorated the feast of Christ the King, also saw the Polish Church and government officially proclaim Christ as King of Poland at the end of the Year of Mercy, styled after the canonical coronation of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa as Queen of Poland.

Due its retrograde motion, Jupiter will spend 9 ½ months within the “womb” of Virgo, until 23rd September, after which it will then be “birthed” by exiting with the Sun rising directly behind the constellation Virgo, with the Moon laying at its feet and a crown of twelve stars (the nine stars of the constellation Leo together with the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars). 

If the American eclipse of 21st August, 2017 is indeed part of a “sign of Jonah” sequence related to this event, serving as a prophetic warning to the people of America, it is tempting to place it in relation to the words of the Prophet Jonah himself:

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. (Jon 3:1-5)

It appears that the Ninevites only believed in Jonah’s prophecy of doom after the appearance of the Bur Sagle Eclipse. So, it will be interesting to see if anything happens around the time of the 21st August solar eclipse to act as a call to repentance for America. It is worth pointing out that exactly 40 days after the date of 21st August brings us up to the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel on 29th September, 2017, which coincides this year with the Jewish feast of Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. According to Jewish tradition, Yom Kippur is the date when the verdict of judgement against a person is sealed at the close of the year, after the opening of the Book of Life takes place at the beginning of the year, on Rosh Hashanah.

The feast of Yom Kippur also happens to be one of the central features of the Third Secret of Fatima, which describes two angels gathering up the blood of the martyrs and sprinkling it on the souls of those making their way to heaven. This imagery explicitly evokes the sprinkling of the sacrificial blood on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant by the Jewish High Priest on the Feast of Yom Kippur, as is detailed in the Book of Leviticus:

And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins.
(Lev 16:14-16)

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.
(The Third Secret of Fatima)

So not only does the feast of Yom Kippur occur exactly 40 days after the “sign of Jonah” eclipse on 21st August, 2017, but it also occurs on the Feast of St. Michael – the angel with the flaming sword seen in the Third Secret of Fatima. Could something of prophetic importance transpire around these dates just before the centenary of the Miracle of the Sun on 13th October, 2017? It is tempting to think so, given the apparent sensus fidelium that appears to have been arrived at concerning the significance of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. Especially when we take the various other accompanying “signs” that appear to be settling around these dates.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Communion of Saints

I would like to draw your attention to Stephen Walford's excellent new book Communion of Saints: The Unity of Divine Love in the Mystical Body of Christ. This book is about eschatology in the truest sense of the word, in that it primarily focuses on the de novissimis - the four last things of death, judgment, Heaven and Hell. Walford is a gifted and erudite author, and his latest work on the mystical nature of the Church is quite beautifully written. The fact that Walford's Communion of Saints draws not only on the writings of the popes, but also various saints and doctors of the Church, makes this book an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the subjects of ecclesiology and eschatology.

Of particular interest to both myself and the readers of this blog, the epilogue to Walford's new book contains an excellent survey of the errors perpetuated by the spiritual millenarian movement within Catholicism, which is spearheaded by various influential individuals such as Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi and the popular Catholic evangelist Mark Mallett. Walford presents a detailed critique of Iannuzzi's spiritual millennialism, which erroneously equates the period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima with the binding of Satan detailed in chapter 20 of the Apocalypse. By encouraging their followers to do, the spiritual millennialists not only advocate a complete rejection of the eschatology of St. Augustine of Hippo, but also steer their readers into the trap of millenarian heresy, contrary to the teachings of the Catechism:

The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism (CCC 676).

Over the course of the next few months on this blog, I will attempt to address several of the serious errors perpetrated by the spiritual millenarian movement, and how their theology undermines the Catholic Faith to its very core. Stephen Walford's book is a great gift to the Church in this time of confusion, and the fact that he boldly throws down the gauntlet to this modern heresy deserves high praise indeed.

Also worth noting is that all proceeds of Communion of Saints goes to Aid to the Church in Need for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Pope Leo XIII and the Unbinding of Satan

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque adoring the Sacred Heart alongside Bl. Mary of the Divine Heart

With the upcoming celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in May 2017, there is a greatly renewed interest amongst many Catholics in a famous prophetic vision purportedly granted to Pope Leo XIII, in which he came to understand that Satan would soon be granted a period of greater power. According to a number of accounts stemming from highly reputable sources in the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII received this vision near the cusp of the 20th century - a century which saw war and genocide being unleashed on an unprecedented scale, bringing about a general increase of lawlessness which eventually led to the decline of the Catholic Church. The duration of this period of Satan’s greater power was generally understood to last for 100 years, an extent of time which many came to associate with the 20th century itself. However, the crux of this prophecy lies in the fact that the period of Satan’s greater power is only finite in nature, and as soon as it elapses, we should expect the amount of evil in the world to return to normal pre-20th century levels.

As the 21st century progressed, it became evident that there was no tangible sign of the decline of Satan’s increased power at the end of the 20th century. Instead, immorality continued to rapidly slide in tandem with the decreased influence of the Church. In fact, rather than seeing a reduction of evil since the end of the 20th century, many exorcists have reported a massive spike in demonic activity in recent years, leading to calls for the training of more diocesan exorcists in order to meet with the level of demand for exorcisms.

In order to explain this apparent discrepancy, while still upholding the validity of the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, many Catholics subsequently connected this 100-year period with the celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. So instead of beginning at the start of the 20th century itself, this period of Satan’s increased power is presumed to have been marked by the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, which directly coincided with the rise of Soviet Communism.

One of the major factors for this shift in the anchor point of this prophetic timeline lies in the fact that during an apparition of Christ to Sr. Lucia at Rianjo, Spain in 1931, Our Lord had compared the request to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the request given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque concerning the consecration of the France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – which similarly consisted of a time-frame involving a 100-year period.

Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My requests, they will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.

We can find yet another reference to the request given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words:

They did not wish to heed My request! Like the King of France they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was originally given this request on 17th June, 1689, and exactly 100 years later, after a series of French kings had refused to acknowledge this request, the Third Estate rose up against the Monarchy on 17th June, 1789, stripping King Louis XVI of his legislative powers, setting into motion the terrible events of the French Revolution. So the requests of consecration to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary appear to be intimately connected with a period extending over a 100-year time-span. The connection made between the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque has led many to conclude that the expiration of this 100-year period may be met with some form of terrible chastisement if no attention is paid to these requests, just as what happened with the King of France.

While the threat of chastisement always remains a possibility, the true significance of the end of the period of Satan’s greater power lies in the hope for the restoration of the Church, which can only happen once the grip of the Devil’s increased influence over world affairs is finally broken. It is this hope that was alluded to by Pope Benedict XVI while on pilgrimage to Fatima on 13th May, 2010:

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. 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.

The above words of Pope Benedict XVI have been used to further bolster the idea that the significance of the centenary of Fatima in 2017 is in some way related to the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the end of the period of Satan’s increased power. The theme of the horrors of the 20th century is certainly prevalent in this homily, and there appears to be a possible allusion to the prophecy of Satan’s greater power when the Holy Father states that at this moment in history humanity had succeeded in “unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end…”

Throughout the course of this article, we will attempt to further draw out the thought of Pope Benedict XVI on the significance of the centenary of Fatima in 2017 in relation to the possible fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In addition, we shall also determine if this can shed any further light on the central hypothesis I forward in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church – namely that the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII should be directly identified with the unbinding of Satan foretold to take place at the end of the Millennium in the Apocalypse:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Rev 20:1-3)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. (Rev 20:7-8)

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, I show how there are a remarkable number of widely varying considerations which all indicate that Pope Leo XIII’s vision of the period of Satan’s greater power is one and the same as the unbinding of Satan mentioned in the Apocalypse. According to the amillennialist eschatology of the Church Doctor, St. Augustine of Hippo, the binding of Satan took place during Christ’s death, His descent into Hades and His Glorious Resurrection from the dead. As the Catechism points out, Christ Himself had described this unique event as the “Sign of Jonah” – a phrase which is used in the immediate context of Christ’s discourse on the binding of Satan in the Gospels:

It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood. Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life, announcing thereby his own Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this unique event as the "sign of Jonah," the sign of the temple: he announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third day… (CCC 994)

The amillennialist interpretation of the Apocalypse provided the working basis for the historical development of several key doctrines of Catholic eschatology, such as the doctrine of purgatory and the dogma of the immediate resurrection of the soul after death during the particular judgment. In addition, it has also influenced the development of the Creed, the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh at the Last Day and the Church’s teaching on the nature of the Kingdom of God.

According to St. Augustine, there were only two possible legitimate amillennialist interpretations of the Millennium:

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold, he says, on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed.

Now the thousand years may be understood in two ways, so far as occurs to me: either because these things happen in the sixth thousand of years or sixth millennium (the latter part of which is now passing), as if during the sixth day, which is to be followed by a Sabbath which has no evening, the endless rest of the saints, so that, speaking of a part under the name of the whole, he calls the last part of the millennium— the part, that is, which had yet to expire before the end of the world— a thousand years; or he used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fullness of time
. (City of God XX:7)

While his first suggestion concerning the duration of the Millennium remains mostly forgotten, it actually has a considerable degree of merit in relation to the exact timing of the prophetic vision of Pope Leo XIII. Here, St. Augustine opines that the end of the “thousand years” mentioned in Rev 20 may be equated with the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. This view was subsequently largely overlooked, since many of the Church Fathers held that the Sabbath Millennium would come to an end circa AD500, at the end of a six thousand year period after the biblical date of creation determined by the chronology of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament (the LXX). As the original various dates calculated for the end of the Sabbath Millennium circa AD500 came and went without any possible applications for this first interpretation, St. Augustine’s second proposal (that the thousand years symbolises an indefinite period extending from the time of Christ to the unbinding of Satan towards the end of the world), became the most widely accepted version of the amillennialist approach.

However, writing in the 8th century, the Church Doctor St. Bede the Venerable noted that the reckoning of the biblical chronology yields a vastly different result when using the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, differing by a period of around 1,500 years from the date of creation (Anno Mundi). St. Bede proposed that this version of biblical chronology, which he used to revise the date of creation to circa 3952BC, was the most accurate, since it was derived from the “Hebrew truth” of the original Jewish Bible, rather than its Greek counterpart. St. Bede’s method for determining the chronology of the Hebrew Bible was further refined by the Anglican Archbishop James Ussher, who working from the various genealogies given in the Bible, established the date of creation to 4004BC.

If we view the primary value of this date to be prophetic in nature (rather than providing us with a literal date for creation), this revised version of the biblical chronology has enormous implications for St. Augustine’s first suggestion concerning the meaning of the end of the “thousand years” in Rev 20 and how this ties into the patristic idea of a Sabbath Millennium. It puts the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the “thousand years” directly within the scope of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of the Devil being granted a time of greater power in order to test the Church.

Given the fact that St. Bede the Venerable was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th century on Nov 13th, 1899, it invites us to ponder whether this action was linked in any way to this saint’s influence on the revision of the Anno Mundi calendar. The prophetic implications of Bede’s chronology cannot be overstated. Not only did it recalibrate the timing of the conclusion of the Sabbath Millennium to the modern era, but once combined with St. Augustine’s thesis presented above, it could also be used to indicate that the period of the unbinding of Satan would begin to unfold in the present age. Is it possible that Pope Leo XIII was aware of these implications? If we can find any evidence that the Holy Father had interpreted his famous vision within the context of the period of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20, we could conclude that his raising of St. Bede to the status of Church Doctor on the very eve of the 20th century was a deliberate action intended to reflect his influence on determining the prophetic significance of the Sabbath Millennium.

Thanks to the research of academics such as Kevin Symonds (the author of the excellent book Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael), we now be fully confident that the Holy Father did in fact experience this event, and that it was also accompanied by a vision which directly parallels the scene of the encirclement of the camp of the saints described in Rev 20. Symonds notes that in his Pastoral Letters for Lent, published in 1946, Cardinal Giovanni Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano related how the origins of the Prayer to St. Michael were explained to him by the private secretary of Pope Leo XIII, Msgr. Rinaldo Angeli:

It wasn’t for naught that the most wise Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII, whose superior intelligence and certainly not narrow-minded or small spirit, himself wrote that beautiful and powerful prayer, and then ordered its recitation by all priests after the celebration of the Holy Mass…

And that part of the prayer – “who prowl about the world” – has an historical explanation, which has been shared numerous times by the Holy Father’s most faithful Secretary, who was very close to him throughout most of his pontificate, Msgr. Rinaldo Angeli. Pope Leo XIII truly had a vision of demonic spirits, who were gathering on the Eternal City (Rome). From that experience – which he shared with the Prelate and certainly with others in confidentiality – comes the prayer which he wanted the whole Church to recite. This was the prayer which he recited (we heard this many times in the Vatican Basilica) with a strong, powerful voice, which resonated in an unforgettable way in the universal silence beneath the vaults of the most important temple of Christianity. Not only that, but he wrote a special exorcism, which is found in the Rituale Romanum (c.3, Tit.XI) with the title “Exorcismus in Satanam et angelos apostaticos”. The Pontiff recommended to the Bishops and Priests that these exorcisms be recited often in their Dioceses and in their parishes, by the priests who had received the proper faculties from their Ordinaries. However, to set a good example, he recited it himself frequently throughout the day. In fact, another Prelate familiar with the Pontiff used to tell us that even on his walks through the Vatican Gardens, he would take out a small book – worn with much use – from his pocket and repeated his exorcism with fervent piety and deep devotion.

(Cardinal Nasalli, cited in Symonds, K. Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael pp25-26)

This vision of demonic spirits converging upon the city of Rome is clearly intended to symbolise the encirclement of the camp of the saints by the forces of Satan at the end of the Millennium described in the Apocalypse:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city... (Rev 20:7-9)

As St. Augustine elaborates, the camp of the saints represents the Church itself, which is beset by the forces of Satan during the period of his unbinding:

The words, And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints and the beloved city, do not mean that they have come, or shall come, to one place, as if the camp of the saints and the beloved city should be in some one place; for this camp is nothing else than the Church of Christ extending over the whole world. And consequently wherever the Church shall be—and it shall be in all nations, as is signified by the breadth of the earth,— there also shall be the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and there it shall be encompassed by the savage persecution of all its enemies... (City of God, XX:11)

Given how closely Pope Leo’s vision parallels this portion of the Apocalypse, it is entirely feasible that the Holy Father had also made this connection in light of his mystical experience, and related it to the encirclement of the camp of the saints at the end of the Millennium. The historical circumstances that the Church was facing at the time the Prayer to St. Michael was composed was indeed strongly evocative of the encirclement of the camp of the saints at the end of the thousand years. Ever since the Italian Army had reached the Aurelian Walls on 19th Sept 1870 (the feast of Our Lady of La Salette), placing the city of Rome under a state of siege, the forces of Satan (inspired by the principles of Freemasonry) had quite literally encircled the camp of the saints. So again, it is not entirely unreasonable that Pope Leo XIII would have interpreted the contemporary problems facing the Church in line with the scene described at the end of the thousand years in Rev 20.

Some of the primary figures involved in the Italian nationalist movement, such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, were prominent Freemasons, and within the Vatican hierarchy itself, it was widely believed that the annexation of the Papal States was part of a wider Masonic plot to destroy the Catholic Church. Pope Leo himself had vigorously condemned Freemasonry in his 1884 encyclical Humanum Genus, wherein he specifically compared the binary opposite entities of the Church and Freemasonry as the two cities described by St. Augustine - the City of God and the city of the Devil:

The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, "through the envy of the devil," separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God.
This twofold kingdom St. Augustine keenly discerned and described after the manner of two cities, contrary in their laws because striving for contrary objects; and with a subtle brevity he expressed the efficient cause of each in these words: "Two loves formed two cities: the love of self, reaching even to contempt of God, an earthly city; and the love of God, reaching to contempt of self, a heavenly one."(1) At every period of time each has been in conflict with the other, with a variety and multiplicity of weapons and of warfare, although not always with equal ardour and assault. At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly and openly, and this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom, if it were possible, of the blessings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Saviour
. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus)

According to St. Augustine himself, the two cities would only come into such open confrontation at the end of the thousand years, during the unbinding of Satan, when “Gog and Magog” set out to assemble the nations of the earth for war:

And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to seduce the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. This then, is his purpose in seducing them, to draw them to this battle. For even before this he was wont to use as many and various seductions as he could continue. And the words he shall go out mean, he shall burst forth from lurking hatred into open persecution. For this persecution, occurring while the final judgment is imminent, shall be the last which shall be endured by the holy Church throughout the world, the whole city of Christ being assailed by the whole city of the devil, as each exists on earth. (City of God XX:11)

In my book, I attempt to show how the appearance of “Gog and Magog” at the end of the thousand years should be identified with the figures of the False Prophet and Antichrist, rather than being four separate eschatological antagonists who bookend the Millennium (as is proposed in the millennialist interpretations of the Apocalypse).

Given that Pope Leo XIII appears to have interpreted contemporary events in light of St. Augustine’s meditations on the final confrontation between the two opposing cities at the end of the Millennium, it would follow that he would have personally understood his prophetic vision to be related to the period of the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse.

We can find further evidence that the Holy Father made such a connection in the later 1890 “Exorcismus” prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII, which demonstrates that he had perceived that Satan had now “risen up terribly” during this particular moment in history. A phrase which is certainly highly suggestive of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the thousand years:

Behold the ancient enemy and murderer has risen up terribly! Transformed as an angel of light he goes about at large with a whole troop of wicked spirits and attacks the earth, there to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, and to steal souls destined for a crown of eternal glory, that he might afflict and destroy them in everlasting death.
(Pope Leo XIII “Exorcism against Satan and the Apostate Angels”, cited in Symonds, K Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael, p63)

This particular portion of the exorcism prayer was obviously directly influenced by the vision recounted to Cardinal Nasalli by Msgr. Angelli. Only now we are presented with the additional insight that Satan had “risen up terribly” against the Church. Given the fact that Pope Leo had most likely understood his prophetic vision as being explicitly related to the short time granted to Satan described in the Apocalypse, it is quite possible that his elevation of St. Bede to the status of Church Doctor on the very eve of the 20th century was an intentional act, aimed to highlight the prophetic importance of the patristic idea of the Sabbath Millennium. This would be doubly significant if he was aware of how St. Augustine had originally proposed that the unbinding of Satan would take place towards the end of the Sabbath Millennium, and how the significance of St. Bede’s recalibration of the Anno Mundi calendar reapplied the interpretation of this prophecy to the modern age.

It is surely beyond coincidence then that Pope Leo XIII chose to issue his encyclical Annum Sacrum announcing the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 25th May, 1899 – the feast day of St. Bede the Venerable. Given the fact that the Holy Father was preparing to proclaim St. Bede a Doctor of the Church just a few months later, it would seem that his choice of this saint’s feast day to announce the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was quite deliberate. If not, it was a striking coincidence that still augurs a level of prophetic significance. However, once we take into consideration that one of St. Bede’s most lasting contributions to Western culture was in the area of biblical chronology (indeed it was due to his influence that we use the Anno Domini calendar today), it is quite likely that this was an intentional act, since it accords with the central theme of his encyclical Annum Sacrum (which means “Holy Year”), pertaining to the significance of the turn of the century.

Pope Leo had called the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus “the greatest act of my pontificate”, and it appears that he viewed this solemn action as a way of providing a counterbalance to the grave perils that awaited the Church in the following century. As we have already seen, the 100-year period alluded to by Sr. Lucia was itself rooted in a request for a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, when Christ had appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. If Pope Leo had understood his vision to be related to a similar 100-year period, it is quite likely that his choice of the feast day of St. Bede for announcing the consecration of the world to the Sacred of Heart was yet another deliberate act, intended to nod towards St. Augustine’s teaching on the Sabbath Millennium.

Pope Leo XIII had performed the consecration of the world to the Sacred of Jesus in direct response to his correspondence with Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, who had received several apparitions of Our Lord while staying at the Covenant of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto, Portugal. During these apparitions, Christ had instructed Blessed Mary to send a letter to Pope Leo XIII to request the consecration of the entire world to His Sacred Heart, which was sent by her confessor on 10th June, 1898. Pope Leo was sceptical at first, and initially refused to pay heed to this request, apparently due to the theological difficulty presented by consecrating non-Christians. Undeterred, Blessed Mary sent the Holy Father a second letter, this time mentioning a serious illness the pope was suffering, and assured him that he would live to perform the consecration. The fact that Leo XIII was subsequently healed from his illness had a profound impact upon the pontiff, who made sure to include mention of it in his encyclical:

"There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design; We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all Good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease."
(Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum, 25th May, 1899)

Pope Leo established a theological commission into the apparitions of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, and quickly set about preparing to meet Our Lord’s demands concerning the consecration. Blessed Mary died on the vigil of the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 8th, 1899, at the age of 35, just three days before Pope Leo eventually carried out the consecration on June 11th.

We are left to ponder why the unbinding of Satan would occur at the beginning of the 20th century, rather than at the end of the Sabbath Millennium itself (circa 2000 according to Ussher’s chronology, or 2047 using St. Bede’s methodology)? According to St. Augustine, the period of the unbinding of Satan would occur at the very end of the “thousand years” during which Christ reigns with the saints, and should be included within this timeframe itself, rather than occurring immediately after it. St. Augustine pointed out that if the unbinding of Satan took place after the “thousand years” were over, this would suggest that Christ’s reign was finite in nature, and would effectively cease at the close of the Millennium during the appearance of “Gog and Magog”. We should take note here however that St. Augustine himself believed that the short time of Satan would only last for the duration of the reign of the Antichrist, for the vastly reduced period of three and a half years. He most likely would have baulked at the suggestion that the short time of Satan would in reality be substantially longer than three and half years, since he knew full well the dangers that would be presented to the Faith during this time.

Though this time is brief, yet not without reason is it questioned whether it is comprehended in the thousand years in which the devil is bound and the saints reign with Christ, or whether this little season should be added over and above to these years. For if we say that they are included in the thousand years, then the saints reign with Christ during a more protracted period than the devil is bound. For they shall reign with their King and Conqueror mightily even in that crowning persecution when the devil shall now be unbound and shall rage against them with all his might…

But assuredly the victorious souls of the glorious martyrs having overcome and finished all griefs and toils, and having laid down their mortal members, have reigned and do reign with Christ till the thousand years are finished, that they may afterwards reign with Him when they have received their immortal bodies. And therefore during these three years and a half the souls of those who were slain for His testimony, both those which formerly passed from the body and those which shall pass in that last persecution, shall reign with Him till the mortal world come to an end, and pass into that kingdom in which there shall be no death. And thus the reign of the saints with Christ shall last longer than the bonds and imprisonment of the devil, because they shall reign with their King the Son of God for these three years and a half during which the devil is no longer bound. It remains, therefore, that when we read that the priests of God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when the thousand years are finished, the devil shall be loosed from his imprisonment, that we understand either that the thousand years of the reign of the saints does not terminate, though the imprisonment of the devil does—so that both parties have their thousand years, that is, their complete time, yet each with a different actual duration approriate to itself, the kingdom of the saints being longer, the imprisonment of the devil shorter.
(City of God XX:13)

St. Augustine’s reckoning of the duration of the short time of Satan failed to take into account Christ’s words in the Olivet Discourse that before the appearance of the Antichrist there would be a succession of “wars and rumours of wars” leading to a departure from the Faith, after which the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth would take place. It is only after the Gospel has been preached to the all nations during the renovation of the Church by the Two Witnesses that the Antichrist appears.

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
(Matt 24:3-16)

Once we take into consideration that the period of the unbinding of Satan would encompass all of the events described in the Olivet Discourse, rather than being confined to the reign of the Antichrist, a much longer period of time is required. This would thus explain why the unbinding of Satan would have taken place around 100 years before the proposed date for the Sabbath Millennium had transpired, rather than occurring after the “thousand years” had elapsed – since the period of Satan’s unbinding takes place within the Millennium itself – at its very climax.

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, I attempt to show how the unbinding of Satan at the end of the Millennium recapitulates the opening of the scroll sealed with seven seals at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are sent out to gather the nations of the world for war. This means that it is all of the events described in the Apocalypse and Olivet Discourse that should be incorporated into the span of the short time of Satan, rather than just the time of the Antichrist.

With this combined evidence, it thus appears quite likely that Pope Leo had interpreted his prophetic vision in light of the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse. But what exactly occurs at the end of the short time of Satan? And should it be linked with the celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima later this year? There definitely appears to be some sort of sensus fidelium that has developed concerning the significance of this centenary year. Many Catholics are fearful that this year will bring some form of chastisement. While this is always possible, the words of Christ in the Olivet Discourse gives us the best sense of how this period will end.

Even though Jesus had warned the disciples that the love of many would grow cold due to the increase of lawlessness during this period, He also offered a sense of hope, in that the one who endured to the end would be saved, when the Gospel would be proclaimed to all nations before the end of the world. St. Augustine himself thought that the end of the period of the unbinding of Satan would see his powers to inhibit the spread of the Gospel once again restrained.

For in accordance with this true saying that order is observed— the strong one first bound, and then his goods spoiled; for the Church is so increased by the weak and strong from all nations far and near, that by its most robust faith in things divinely predicted and accomplished, it shall be able to spoil the goods of even the unbound devil. For as we must own that, when iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, Matthew 24:12 and that those who have not been written in the book of life shall in large numbers yield to the severe and unprecedented persecutions and stratagems of the devil now loosed, so we cannot but think that not only those whom that time shall find sound in the faith, but also some who till then shall be without, shall become firm in the faith they have hitherto rejected and mighty to conquer the devil even though unbound, God's grace aiding them to understand the Scriptures, in which, among other things, there is foretold that very end which they themselves see to be arriving. And if this shall be so, his binding is to be spoken of as preceding, that there might follow a spoiling of him both bound and loosed; for it is of this it is said, Who shall enter into the house of the strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first have bound the strong one? (City of God XX:8)

For St. Augustine, the whole purpose of the binding of Satan by Christ during His Sacrifice on the Cross was in order to allow the spread of the Gospel:

The devil, then, is bound and shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the Church existed. For it is not said that he should not seduce any man, but that he should not seduce the nations— meaning, no doubt, those among which the Church exists— till the thousand years should be fulfilled,— i.e., either what remains of the sixth day which consists of a thousand years, or all the years which are to elapse till the end of the world…
Now the devil was thus bound not only when the Church began to be more and more widely extended among the nations beyond Judea, but is now and shall be bound till the end of the world, when he is to be loosed. Because even now men are, and doubtless to the end of the world shall be, converted to the faith from the unbelief in which he held them.
(City of God XX:7-8)

The fact that Satan appears to have now retrieved his ability to blind the minds of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel, bringing about the decline of the influence of the Church, is perhaps the best witness to the possibility that we are currently enduring the period of Satan’s unbinding at the end of the world. When Pope Benedict XVI further clarified his now famous prayer concerning the year 2017 in an interview with Peter Seewald, he further emphasized that his hope was that forces of evil would once again be restrained at this time:

I said that the “triumph” will draw closer. This is equivalent in meaning to our praying for the coming of God’s Kingdom. This statement was not intended—I may be too rationalistic for that—to express any expectation on my part that there is going to be a huge turnaround and that history will suddenly take a totally different course. The point was rather that the power of evil is restrained again and again, that again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive.
The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. I understood my words as a prayer that the energies of the good might regain their vigor. So you could say the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary, are quiet, but they are real nonetheless. (Light of the World, pp165-166).

So while we may reasonably expect that the power of Satan will once again be restrained after the period of his unbinding, there will always remain a significant level of evil in the world, just as evil continued to exist after the Devil was defeated by Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary. As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out during his pilgrimage to Fatima in 2010: "The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world." Here, the Holy Father attempted to pre-empt against any millenarian misinterpretation of his words concerning the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by alluding to Christ's parable of the wheat and tares, which the Lord stated must exist side-by-side until the Last Judgement at the end of the world (Matt 13):

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (Matt 13:25-30)

The binding of Satan takes place to allow the spread of the Gospel, rather than to allow for the creation of a millenarian-style earthly utopia, as is advanced by certain fringe groups within Catholicism, spearheaded by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. As the Catechism states, the pilgrim Church on earth must suffer the travails of the present age until the end of the world:

"Though already present in his Church, Christ's reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled "with power and great glory" by the King's return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ's Passover. Until everything is subject to him, "until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God." (CCC 671)

While we can certainly hope that the Gospel will once again be effectively proclaimed to all nations to allow the restoration of the Church, the end of the world will immediately follow on from this event after the appearance of the Antichrist, as was affirmed by Christ in the Olivet Discourse. To distort the promises of Our Lady of Fatima into a future millenary “era of peace” is to venture into the heresy of millenarianism.

The Apocalypse tells us that towards the end of his period of power, the Devil is then thrown down to earth with a third of the angelic host, after being defeated in heaven by the Archangel Michael. Scripture informs us that this event is accompanied by the appearance of the Signs in Heaven. As I explain at some detail in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, all of these signs occurred at the turn of the millennium in order to mark the moment Satan is cast down to earth with his army of fallen angels. This event explains the incredible rise in demonic activity in recent years noted by several prominent Catholic exorcists. It also helps us to understand that the flood issued forth from the mouth of the Dragon in an attempt to sweep the Woman away is actually false prophecy issued through false demonic apparitions and manifestations described by St. Paul:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions. (2Cor 13:14)

The fact that the idea of a millenary “era of peace” on earth during a period of blissful harmony is a staple of these false apparitions leads us to conclude this flood poured forth from the Dragon is related to this false prophecy; and it is intended to prevent the Catholic faithful from fully understanding the truth contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Instead, the Devil wants to present the faithful with the temptation of a millenarian utopia – an idea which the Catechism rejects as the deception of the Antichrist:

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. (CCC 675-676)

But this flood will now soon be swallowed up by the earth, when the Woman Adorned with the Sun will finally be given the two wings of a great eagle (representing the Two Witnesses), to flee to a place in the wilderness:

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent. But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth. And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 12:13-17)

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Fr. Giulio Mancinelli on the Conversion of England

1677 painting of Giulio Mancinelli published in Vita magni servi Dei P. Julii Mancinelli

In the last post, Christ Declared the King of Poland, we had noted how the crowning of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa as Queen of Poland by King John II Casimir in 1656 was made in direct response to private revelations received by Servant of God Giulio Mancinelli, a much respected Jesuit missionary who flourished between 1537-1618. Given the fact that the private revelations of Giulio Mancinelli were so integral to the crowning of the Black Madonna (an event which would later tie in with the subsequent role Poland played in attaining victory during the Battle of Vienna), it should be worth taking in consideration some of the other lesser known private revelations recorded by this mystical priest. Especially in light of the recent proclamation of Christ as the King of Poland by both the state and Church authorities between 19th-20th Nov, 2016 - which parallels the request to crown Our Lady as Queen of Poland, which was initially given to Fr. Mancinelli by the Blessed Virgin herself.

While on a mission to England in 1608, Fr. Mancinelli reported that he had been visited by angels, who revealed to him the future destiny of this country in a series of visions:

"He beheld regions laid waste by all kinds of tempests, and so desolated by thunder, lightning, rain, hail, hurricanes and dreadful earthquakes that their wretched inhabitants knew not whither to flee for safety; even the caverns of the earth afforded no refuge. Being thus beyond all human help, the Father saw them at length with one accord prostrate and crying to God for mercy; he next heard this voice from Heaven: "It is not so much your sins as the enormities of your kings and rulers that has brought you to this condition, and subjected you to such severe punishments. But now know ye that I will deal with you in mercy, and raise your Church to a dignity that it has never heretofore attained. You shall win over the Turks and heretics under my protection, and with manifest prodigies from heaven such triumphs and victories that will astonish the rest of Europe. Lastly, the central sanctuary of the world, which I first established in Jerusalem, and which at present hallows the city of Rome, shall be placed in your midst, so that all surrounding nations shall congratulate you on your happiness. These special blessings shall be bestowed upon you for the sake of the eminent merits of the saints of this kingdom, and the hardships and the sufferings they have undergone for My sake."
(Jesuit Annual Letter of 1605. "Copie of a revelation made to Father Julius Mancinelli, S.J., concerning the success of the Kingdome of England")

This vision of the conversion of England ties in quite well with the original secret of La Salette given to Maximin Giraud, which similarly foretells that it is this event that eventually leads to the re-evangelisation of the world:

France has corrupted the universe, one day it will be punished. The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.

Fr. Mancinelli's prophecy of the conversion of England after it has been struck by a series of calamities also shares many affinities with a famous prophecy made by St. Malachy:

Ireland will suffer English oppression for a week of centuries, but will preserve her fidelity to God and His Church. At the end of that time she will be delivered, and the English in turn must suffer severe chastisement. Ireland, however, will be instrumental in bringing back the English to the unity of Faith.

Although much doubt surrounds the authenticity of the other more well known list of popes attributed to St. Malachy, no such misgivings exist concerning this particular prophecy, which was uncovered in Clairvaux Abbey in the late 17th century, when the Benedictine scholar Dom Jean Mabillon was conducting research into the writings of St. Bernard. As a personal friend of St. Bernard, St. Malachy had spent some time at Clairvaux Abbey during his first pilgrimage to Rome, and had died there while making a second journey to the Eternal City in 1148.

When we compare Fr. Mancinelli's vision with the prophecy of St. Malachy, we can be almost certain that the chastisement which he saw afflicting England should be equated with its involvement in the wars of the 20th century, since we are told that its punishment was set to take place after Ireland was delivered from English oppression. The seven centuries of the English oppression of Ireland mentioned by St. Malachy extended from the Norman conquest in the late 12th century to the creation of the Irish Republic following the War of Independence in 1921.

During his famous "Second Spring" Sermon, Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, also commented on the prophetic role of England, which has been historically regarded as the "Dowry of Mary":

And others, also, his equals or his juniors in history, whose pictures are above our altars, or soon shall be, the surest proof that the Lord's arm has not waxen short, nor His mercy failed,—they, too, are looking down from their thrones on high upon the throng. And so that high company moves on into the holy place; and there, with august rite and awful sacrifice, inaugurates the great act which brings it thither." What is that act? it is the first synod of a new Hierarchy; it is the resurrection of the Church.
O my Fathers, my Brothers, had that revered Bishop so spoken then, who that had heard him but would have said that he spoke what could not be? What! those few scattered worshippers, the Roman Catholics, to form a Church! Shall the past be rolled back? Shall the grave open? Shall the Saxons live again to God? Shall the shepherds, watching their poor flocks by night, be visited by a multitude of the heavenly army, and hear how their Lord has been new-born in their own city? Yes; for grace can, where nature cannot. The world grows old, but the Church is ever young. She can, in any time, at her Lord's will, "inherit the Gentiles, and inhabit the desolate cities."
"Arise, Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see; all these are gathered together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side." "Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For the winter is now past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land… the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come." It is the time for thy Visitation. Arise, Mary, and go forth in thy strength into that north country, which once was thine own, and take possession of a land which knows thee not. Arise, Mother of God, and with thy thrilling voice, speak to those who labour with child, and are in pain, till the babe of grace leaps within them! Shine on us, dear Lady, with thy bright countenance, like the sun in his strength, O stella matutina, O harbinger of peace, till our year is one perpetual May. From thy sweet eyes, from thy pure smile, from thy majestic brow, let ten thousand influences rain down, not to confound or overwhelm, but to persuade, to win over thine enemies. O Mary, my hope, O Mother undefiled, fulfil to us the promise of this Spring. A second temple rises on the ruins of the old.
(Cardinal John Henry Newman, The Second Spring, preached July 13th, 1852, in St. Mary's, Oscott, in the first Provincial Synod of Westminster. See here for the full text)

So the conversion of England is definitely a major theme in Catholic prophecy. An interesting original feature of Fr. Mancenelli's vision is that it appears to make the rather bold claim that the papacy will one day be relocated to England itself, which at first, seems rather incredulous. However, once we take into account the various prophecies which foretell that the pope will one day be forced to flee Rome, and indeed the visions of Blessed Elena Aiello, who saw Russian flagstaffs flying above the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, it is quite within the realms of possibility that the Church hierarchy would attempt to find sanctuary in another country if Italy was invaded by a power that will eventually be openly hostile to Catholicism (most likely under the auspices of the Antichrist himself). And if England is by this stage once again restored to the Catholic Faith, then the relative safety that the island of Britain provides against foreign invasion due to its geographical location may just clinch it as one of the most attractive places in Europe to provide refuge for the papacy.