This timely guest post is written by Benedict Carter, a 57-year old English Catholic who lives in Fatima in Portugal. A cradle Traditionalist Catholic, he holds a BA Honours and a Masters degree in History from Cambridge University. This is a comprehensive piece, filled with invaluable quotes and citations. I recommend bookmarking and saving this one for reference and consolation. -AB
THE FALSE PROPHET – JORGE BERGOGLIO?
“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I will save the world.”
Fifth Lateran Council in 1516, under Pope Leo X
We command all those who exercise the function of preaching, or will do so in the future, not to presume, either in their sermons or in their affirmations, to fix a date for future evils, whether for the coming of Antichrist or for the Day of Judgment, seeing that the Truth has said: ‘It is not for you to know the times or the moments, which the Father put in His own power .’ Those, therefore, who have had the audacity to make such statements in the past have lied, and it is well known that, on their account, the authority of those who preach wisely has greatly suffered.
Only God knows for sure
Given the solemn command of an Ecumenical Council, I begin by saying that the ideas presented here are my own, though I draw, heavily at times, on the work of a Catholic friend in Australia. As a layman with no theological training I have no authority whatsoever to make any definite claims and I make none. If on any point someone is able to point out any error I have made, I will cheerfully acknowledge the error and withdraw it.
Anyone reflecting on St. John’s Appocalypse must bear St. Augustine’s words in mind as he proceeds. In ‘The City of God’ St. Augustine says, “No doubt, though this book is called the Apocalypse, there are in it many obscure passages to exercise the mind of the reader, and there are few passages so plain as to assist in the interpretation of others, even though we take pains; and this difficulty is increased by the repetition of the same things, in forms so different, that the things referred to seem to be different, although in fact they are only differently stated.”
Outline of the Argument
That said, let us summarise the article for its readers with the help of the Catholic Encyclopedia (1917): “ … the “day of the Lord” will be preceded by the “man of sin” known in the Johannine Epistles as Antichrist; the “man of sin” is preceded by “a revolt,” or a great apostasy; this apostasy is the outcome of the “mystery of iniquity” which already “worketh”, and which, according to St. John, shows itself here and there by faint types of Antichrist. The Apostle gives three stages in the evolution of evil: the leaven of iniquity, the great apostasy, and the man of sin. But he adds a clause calculated to determine the time of the main event more accurately; he describes something first as a thing (to datechon), then as a person (ho katechon), preventing the occurrence of the main event: ‘Only he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way.’”
I only add that the arrival of the Antichrist is heralded by the False Prophet. This article asks if this false prophet – THE False Prophet – might be Jorge Bergoglio.
Why might our era in particular be Apocalyptic, when every Catholic age has been awaiting the return of Our Lord; and many times exegetes thought that He would come in their time? There is no doubt that in the latter several centuries, the warnings of Our Lady, the understanding of many Saints, from St. John Eudes to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, the arrival in clear view of the Anti-Church following Vatican II and the consequent collapse of the Church into open apostasy all suggest that our time is much more proximate to Scripture than others. Let us review some of these suggestions:
“Surely, there is at this day a confederacy of evil, marshalling its hosts from all parts of the world, organizing itself, taking its measures, enclosing the Church of Christ as in a net, and preparing the way for a general Apostasy from it. Whether this very Apostasy is to give birth to Antichrist, or whether he is still to be delayed, as he has already been delayed so long, we cannot know; but at any rate this Apostasy, and all its tokens and instruments, are of the Evil One, and savour of death.” Blessed John Newman (1801 – 1890)
“We have (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11) a prophecy of a (spiritual) revolt, which shall precede the Second Coming of Our Lord. The authority from which the revolt is to take place is that of the kingdom of God on earth, prophesied by Daniel (cf. Daniel 2) as the kingdom which the God would set up – in other words, the One and Universal Church, founded by our Divine Lord, and spread by His Apostles throughout the world. In this one only kingdom was deposited the true and supernatural pure theism, or knowledge of God, and the true and only faith of God Incarnate, with the doctrines and laws of grace. This, then, is the authority from which the revolt is to be made, be that revolt what it may.” Cardinal Manning in “The Perpetual Conflict of the Vicar of Christ”, pp. 81-173.
And Manning again:
“The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatise from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism. …Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early Church.”-The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861
“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the Most Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.” Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel (The Raccolta, 1910, p. 125)
And closer to our own times:-
Pope John Paul II, went further than Newman, saying in 1979: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think the wide circle of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the Anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence …”.
What remained unsaid by John Paul and might be deduced from the phrase the final confrontation was the Apocalyptic battle between Christ and the Antichrist, for the Fathers of the Church consistently taught that the final battle is to be between them.
Fatima scholars have long ago noted a reference to this final confrontation in Sr. Lucia’s conversation with Fr Fuentes: “Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world but she made me understand this for three reasons. (1) … she told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle … (2) she said … that God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify that there will be no others. (3) … in the plans of Divine Providence, God always before He is about to chastise the world exhausts all other remedies.”
Admitting that he had read the Third Secret of Fatima, Cardinal Ratzinger explained why it had not been revealed. “According to the judgements of the Popes it adds nothing (different) to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: that is, a radical call for conversion, the absolute importance of history, the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore the world. And then the importance of the ‘novissimi’ (the last events at the end of time) … the things contained in this Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture.”
“The last events at the end of time”? “Correspond to what has been announced in Scripture“? Given his knowledge of the Third Secret, what did Cardinal Ratzinger have in mind? Sr. Lucia had already stated that the Third Secret related to Chapters 12 and 13 of the Apocalypse, chapters relating to ‘the Woman clothed with the sun’ and the Antichrist. Is that what the Cardinal was alluding to? An insight is given in Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement opposing the Catholic Church’s participation in the syncretic ‘Council for Peace’.
“The proposed Council for Peace which would bring together many different religions is, due to the very essence of the Church, impossible.” With these words Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger explained the reason for the refusal of the Catholic Church to join in a meeting which would bring together all the great world religions on the theme of peace, disarmament and the environment. “It needs to be said that the effort to establish a world-wide reign of peace by means of a world union of religions has a disturbing similarity to the third temptation of Jesus – All the kingdoms of the earth I will give unto you if you, prostrating yourself, will worship me.” (Matt 4.9). He continued: ‘It is evident that a peace established in this way would by its very nature be transformed into a totalitarianism of the sole authorised way of thinking or would threaten to be turned upside down into a world civil war … In this sense the New Testament says of the Antichrist that he will present himself as a messenger of peace and security.’ (1 Thess 5:3).
Ratzinger noted that one of the most profound interpreters of this passage was the Russian theologian Vladimir Soloviev, whose ‘Legend of the Antichrist’ characterises the Antichrist precisely as the one who terms himself the establisher of world peace.
“Confusion, division, and error” within the Catholic Church coming from shepherds even at the highest levels indicate that we may be in the end times, said U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke in an address in Kentucky. The Cardinal, who spoke at the July 22nd “Church Teaches Forum” in Louisville, said that, in his opinion, the times “realistically seem to be apocalyptic.” Louisville, Kentucky, August 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews)
And Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Primate of the Netherlands, 5th May 2018, regarding the plan to admit to Holy Communion the civilly divorced, public adulterers called the “remarried”:
“Observing that the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, I cannot help but think of Article 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church …”.
That Article is titled, “The Church’s ultimate trial”, and reads as follows:
“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.”
It seems then that at least three former Popes and several current Cardinals consider contemporary events to be proximate indicators of the Reign of Antichrist. How do these publicly-expressed statement compare with those of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church?
Consider first of all what St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote: “The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them the precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, precisely as Daniel predicted.”
The Abomination of Desolation
This introduces a new element into the matter, the abolishment of the Mass, “precisely as Daniel predicted.”
What did the prophet Daniel say? “And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground and he shall do and prosper.” (Dan 8:12). “The victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation.” (Dan 9:27). “They shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination of desolation.” (Dan 11:31).
The Fathers of the Church agree that the ‘abomination of desolation’ is the Antichrist. It appears then that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass fails, or loses its efficacy, thus clearing the way for the Antichrist.
This is confirmed by Saint Paul. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. … And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed,” (2 Thess 2:3-8).
The Fathers of the Church agree that the ‘man of sin’ is the Antichrist and the word ‘revolt’ is translated ‘apostasy’ in the Greek. St Paul refers to something which restrains the Antichrist, but that when removed, permits him to be revealed. He describes this restraint as being both neuter (what) and masculine (he). Similarly, Daniel prophesied that “the victim (masculine) and the sacrifice (neuter) shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation”, the Antichrist. This restraint is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Other references (linked to Daniel) are found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.
In an astounding statement, echoing the Ottaviani Intervention, Cardinal Ratzinger admitted that the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969 provoked “extremely serious damage.” He said that the suppression of the old Mass marked a “break in the history of the liturgy, the consequences of which could only be tragic … I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today (and he said this in 1997!) depends in great part on the collapse of the liturgy … I was dismayed by the ban on the old Missal, since such a development had never been seen in the history of liturgy … Action should be taken to repair the damage … For the life of the Church, it is dramatically urgent to have a renewal of liturgical awareness, a liturgical reconciliation, which goes back to recognising the unity in the history of the liturgy …”.
On this matter, St. Hippolytus writes:
“And the churches, too, will wail with a mighty lamentation, because neither ‘oblation nor incense’ is attended to, nor a service acceptable to God; but the sanctuaries of the churches will become like a garden-watcher’s hut, and the holy Body and Blood of Christ will not be shown in those days. The public service of God shall be extinguished, psalmody shall cease, the reading of the Scriptures shall not be heard; but for men there shall be darkness, and lamentation on lamentation, and woe on woe (Saint Hippolytus, Op. cit., pp. 250, 251).”
Cornelius Lapide says that, though the public celebration of the Mass will cease, it will continue to be said in the mountains and caves, as in the catacombs of old. He cites Psalm XXII, 5 in confirmation of this: “Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me.”
Once the continual sacrifice is taken away, Satan will be unleashed in all his fury.
“Collapse of the liturgy … ecclesial crisis … for the life of the Church it is dramatically urgent …”.
In language recalling Daniel and St. Paul, Ratzinger admitted that the Novus Ordo Mass has failed. The effects of the Novus Ordo are so bad that we will accept that it fits.
Let us return to Sr. Lucia of Fatima. Why did Our Lady tell Lucia dos Santos that there were only two remedies left – the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Why was the Mass not given as a remedy? It seems fair to surmise that the Blessed Virgin had knowledge that the Mass would fail.
St. Paul introduced another element, the apostasy. “… unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed …”. The apostasy is to accompany the collapse of the Mass culminating in the arrival of the Antichrist. Is Cardinal Ratzinger’s “ecclesial crisis”, what we now see openly from Bergoglio and his followers, which effectively is the open announcement of the Anti-Church, St. Paul’s apostasy?
Cardinal Oddi attended the Fatima 2000 Conference in Rome. The Conference Report disclosed that “Cardinal Oddi said, regarding the Third Secret, ‘the Blessed Virgin was alerting us against the apostasy.’ ”
Ratzinger continued his public ‘novissimi’-genre statements when elevated to the Papacy. For example, papal watchers wondered why as Benedict XVI he selected Cardinal Biffi, a Soloviev scholar, to preach the 2007 Lenten retreat to the Pope and Curia. Cardinal Biffi, is well known for his March 2000 claim, and others, that “the Antichrist would appear after the 20th century” and that “he would call for a world religion via ecumenism, replacing traditional Christianity with an amorphous ‘New Age’ type of spirituality.”
The Cardinal continued that theme at the 2007 Lenten retreat declaring that “… if Christianity – on opening itself to the world and dialoguing with all – dilutes the salvific event, it closes itself to a personal relationship with Jesus and places itself on the side of the Antichrist.” Pope Benedict XVI thanked Cardinal Biffi saying “I would also like to say ‘thank you’ because you have given us a very acute and precise diagnosis of our situation today.”
On 12 October 2006, explaining Our Lady’s Fatima warning that “various nations will be annihilated”, Fr. Nicolas Gruner made clear his belief that the whole world will not be annihilated but that the part not annihilated would be enslaved by militant atheists and militant Satanists. (It is arguable that this is precisely the situation today.)
As Sister Lucy tells us, “ … the devil is in the mood for a final battle and we must choose sides. We are either for the devil or for Jesus and Mary. There is no middle ground.”
Solange Hertz (+) wrote in ‘Beyond Politics’, “The Pope has absolutely no ‘privilege to personal infallibility’ apart from the Church, but (renegade) Abbe Roca tells us something of the kind will be invoked to impose the new ‘Gospel of social redemption’ on the public at large. Just as the fallen angels followed Lucifer’s personal directives to their damnation and the Talmudic Jews followed the example of Caiphas and Annas against Christ, we can therefore expect the apostates of the latter days to follow the personal directives of the Antichrist in his assault on the Church.”
“We may be sure, moreover, that his dictates will coincide with men’s sinful inclinations if he is to win worldwide support. Like the unjust steward, “Knowing that he has but a short time” (Apoc 12:12), he will curry favor while he can by offering lavish permissions to all. Under cover of his authorization, wholesale dispensations from God’s laws in the name of religion and human compassion will be granted for the asking. Encouraged to attenuate their relations with God in the same way the debtors in the parable were led to cheat on their accounts, those who accept such favors will automatically labor to uphold an establishment in which they have acquired a vested interest.”
It appears that the reign of Antichrist approaches. The situation is extremely grave. The Fathers of the Church tell us that this period of history will pose the greatest danger to souls.
The nominal Catholics of today would also be among the first to accept Antichrist’s claim that he is Our Lord come for the second time, because he will not censure their lax life styles and many of them know little about the authentic Catholic Faith. But once they have submitted to him, he will turn on them: “And the ten horns which thou sawest in the beast: these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with fire” (Apoc. 17:16). Most of the Fathers understand by this passage that Antichrist will destroy the city of Rome.
And so we come to the False Prophet.
Before the Antichrist arrives he is preceded by the False Prophet. This Beast from the Earth is described as an infiltrated agent of the Antichrist within the Church, sent to destroy and deceive the Christian faith.
Fr H. Kramer, in his comprehensive study of the Apocalypse, wrote in ‘The Book of Destiny’, “Though he poses as a lamb, his doctrines betray him for he teaches the doctrine of the dragon”.
We must remember St. Augustine’s warning, that St. John’s great vision contains things are are repeated in different ways, and are obscure. One the one hand, Scripture tells us, “And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns, like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he executed all the power of the former beast in his sight; and he caused the earth, and them that dwell therein, to adore the first beast, whose wound to death was healed. And he did great signs, so that he made also fire to come down from heaven unto the earth in the sight of men. And he seduced them that dwell on the earth, for the signs, which were given him to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make the image of the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and lived. And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast, and that the image of the beast should speak; and should cause, that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast, should be slain (Apoc. 13:11-15).”
But we also read, in Apocalypse 9, “1 And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet, and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit. 3 And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth.”
It is my contention that the second scriptural citation above is more easily understood when considering Jorge Bergoglio as the one who heralds Antichrist.
We know from St. Ambrose, Tertullian and others that, just as Our Lord had His precursor, St. John the Baptist, who pointed to Him and told the people that this was the Messias, “Behold the Lamb of God . . .”, so also will Antichrist have his false prophet who will make the people worship him. The phrase, “like a lamb,” indicates that he will be an apostate Catholic, probably a priest or bishop. So, as Our Lord’s precursor was a priest of the order of Levi, so Antichrist’s precursor will be a priest of the order of Melchisedech. Exegetes have always taken the reference in Scripture to the stars to refer to the clergy. In this case, “ … a star fall from Heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit …” must refer to a very senior cleric.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Various lists of the heresies and errors of Jorge Bergoglio have been compiled by those able to discern and describe them – the Dubia Cardinals, the forty-five theologians, Chris Ferrara and others – while many individuals, clerics and others, notably Archbishop Viganò, have referred to these errors. He has ignored all of them. It is not my purpose to repeat another exhaustive list as these are already easily available, but to make some comments that support the contention that Bergoglio may well be the False Prophet.
From wherever it comes, it is clear that for Jorge Bergoglio, doctrine is something to be easily set aside when faced by the shades of grey (fifty of them?) that “real life” presents, and that private judgement in the form of “discernment” must take precedence. As a result, he has run a sword through the Church’s moral teaching and consequently its Sacramental teaching has been smashed.
He seeks to destroy the four marks of the Church.
Its ONENESS. He wants to take inculturation to new levels, allowing each national Episcopate to determine the translation of the Mass. He even plans to allow these national bodies to determine doctrine. All this destroys not only the Catholicity, the universality of the Church, but the authority of the Holy See.
Its HOLINESS. Any thriving religious order that has numerous vocations and a bent for Tradition, he ruthlessly destroys. I can think of three at least. New rules which all religious orders must adopt ruin the contemplative element of monasticism, replacing it with “activity”, thus destroying the essence of monasticism. Even Consecrated Virgins no longer need to have ‘bodily integrity”. Holiness for Bergoglio is something to attack, not defend or promote. He clearly has no time for purity. He surrounds himself with, promotes and defends the grossly impure – sodomites, the financially corrupt, those who (like himself) have protected the sexual abusers.
It’s CATHOLICITY. By constantly referring to the Jesuit mantra of inculturation and the Bugninian adopton of Catholic forms to local usuage, the universality of the Church’s worship are smashed. Though this is not in itself new, with the “Amazonian rite” featuring explicit pagan worship it has been taken to a wholly new level.
It’s APOSTOLICITY. By promoting to important Bishoprics and Cardinalates the impure, the morally deficient, the sharers of his heresies, he throws out the shepherd and replaces him with the wolf. Is this the mark of a man who loves Christ’s flock? No, it displays a contempt and hatred for the flock and for Christ.
Who can forget his first appearance on the loggia? I know that very many felt just as I did. It was a golem, a thing of evil, a clay figure, that had stepped out to survey the crowds below with a clear look of triumph, disdain and malice on his face. Take that feeling seriously: so many felt it that it can only have been a global prompting of the Holy Ghost, or of many Guardian Angels.
There is his indirect claim, made at Fatima, to be the Bishop in white of the released part of the Third Secret. There is the text received by Spanish journalist Jose Maria Zavala, wherein it is written, in Sr. Lucia’s acknowledged handwriting:
“Now I am going to reveal the third fragment of the secret: This part is the apostasy in the Church! Our Lady showed us the individual who I describe as the ‘Holy Father’ in front of a multitude that was cheering him. But there was a difference from a true holy Father, his devilish gaze, this one had the gaze of evil. Then, after some moments we saw the same Pope entering a Church, but this Church was the Church of hell; there is no way to describe the ugliness of that place. It looked like a gray cement fortress with broken angles and windows similar to eyes; it had a beak in the roof of the building. Next, we raised our eyes to Our Lady who said to us: You saw the apostasy in the Church.”
No-one who has been inside the new basilica in the Fatima shrine, as I have, located directly opposite the orginal, can doubt its ugliness or the accuracy of the description of it given in the above text.
The reader will also remember that Bergoglio ascribed to Our Lady at the foot of the Cross doubts and anger; that she had been cheated or misled by her Son.
It is true that Bergoglio has spoken about the devil and hell in an authentically Catholic way, and several times. There is a great dichotomy within this man, who as a young priest (as he writes in his autobiography) delighted in teaching foul language to a young nephew. Is he demonically possessed, or oppressed?
There are many other sources that could have been used and quoted. Blessed Anne Emmerich, the letter from Sister Lucia to Cardinal Carrafa are two among many.
What Catholics now face for certain is the unimaginable yet clearly-foretold apostasy which heralds the Antichrist. This is as far as my human reason is able to penetrate the darkness of the present, let alone the future.
More recent statements made by Bergoglio only serve to substantiate the radical un-Catholicity of the man. His Abu Dhabi prayer house; his statements on (Masonic) brotherhood; his evident aversion to saying Mass at the High Altar of St. Peter’s, below which of course lie the very bones of St. Peter himself; his syncretism, hs indifferentist view of other religions, none of which are deemed to be false; his refusal to seek the conversion of anyone.
It is clear from Apocalypse 12 – “the woman clothed with the sun” – that Our Lady has some large role to play at the end of time. In his True Devotion to Mary , Saint Louis Marie de Montfort writes: “It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it will be consummated.” Our Lord in His eschatological discourse spoke of a sign that would immediately precede His Coming: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty” (Matthew 24:30).
Many of the Fathers thought, thinking no doubt of Constantine at the battle of the Milvian Bridge – In hoc signo vinces – that this sign would be the sign of the cross. But the Apocalypse seems to indicate that this sign will be Our Lady: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
We must not forget nor ever belittle the authentic apparitions of Our Lady approved by the Church:
-The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in 1531, where she appears clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, her name Guadalupe meaning in Aztec, “serpent crusher”.
-The very important apparitions in Quito, Ecuador, to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres and the resulting devotion to Our Lady of Good Success.
-The apparition of Our Lady of Knock, in 1879, which is a tableau from the Apocalypse, a vision of the Church, the Lamb as it were slain standing on the altar, Saint Joseph representing the laity praying, Saint John representing the priesthood preaching, and Our Lady offering all up to God.
And finally of course, the most famous of them all, Our Lady of Fatima, in 1917, and the miracle of the sun.
There is great hope then for those who choose the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Final victory has been promised to her and her children by God Almighty. The Holy Ghost, speaking through His servant St. Louis de Montfort, explains that True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, His Spouse, is ‘especially necessary to the great saints of the latter times’, our times. If you wish to ‘shelter under Her protection’, then, without delay, commence the preparation described by St. Louis which culminates in the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. In addition practice the daily recitation of at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and complete the Five First Saturdays as Our Lady requested.
Some holy men have said that Our Lady was the test of all angels at the beginning. It seems that she will be the test of all men at the end.
Benedict Carter is a 57-year old English Catholic who lives in Fatima in Portugal. A cradle Traditionalist Catholic, he holds a BA Honours and a Masters degree in History from Cambridge University.