As September draws to a close and we attempt to prepare for the next attack on the faith from the current occupant of the Vatican, it seems appropriate to review some of the prophecies regarding this particular time. Today’s is the first of what I hope will be three articles, with parts 2 and 3 coming 9/25 and 9/27, God willing. I rely heavily on Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité.
From The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III
It is Jesus Himself Who first predicted this terrible crisis of the Faith which will open the “last times”. Along with famines and earthquakes, wars and persecutions, Our Lord clearly predicts that there will also be grave deficiencies even within the Church:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will fall away, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. And because iniquity will abound, the charity of the many will grow cold. But whoever perseveres to the end, he shall be saved.” (Mt. 24: 9-13)
“… For false christs and false prophets will arise, and will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have foretold it to you.” (Mt. 24: 24)
Finally, we are familiar with these stupefying words of Jesus:
“Yet when the Son of man comes, will He find, do you think, faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18: 8)
This question of Our Lord, explained by His other prophecies on the last times – which are utterly definite and unconditional – takes on an even more dramatic resonance. The apostasy will come, Jesus evokes its most extreme extension, and He leaves us in uncertainty.
THE APOSTOLIC PREACHING
The Apostles understood this tragic teaching very well. There are countless texts where they evoke this menacing apostasy. They multiply warnings against its artisans, the false prophets and false doctors of all sorts, who come from the Church’s very bosom and are already at work against Her, striving furiously to destroy the Faith of the faithful. But “in the last days”, they make it clear, the false prophets will multiply most dangerously. We must reread chapters II and III of Saint Peter’s Second Epistle:
“But there were false prophets also among the people, just as among you there will be lying teachers who will bring in destructive sects. They even disown the Lord Who bought them, thus bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Pet. 2: 1)
“This first you must know, that in the last days there will come deceitful scoffers, men walking according to their own lusts, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”… But beloved, do not be ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord does not delay in His promises, but for your sake is long-suffering, not wishing that any should perish but that all should turn to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3: 3-9)
We must reread Saint Jude, taking up the same theme:
“Be mindful of the words that have been spoken beforehand by the apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who kept saying to you that at the end of time there will come scoffers, walking impiously according to their desires.” (Jude 17)
As for Saint John, he denounces «the Antichrist who is coming», and the many antichrists who have already come, as his precursors and first manifestations. Saint Paul is no less insistent, from the beginning of his ministry until his last epistles to Timothy and Titus. He attacks the heretics who trouble his churches as the first of a long line of “deceitful spirits and liars”, who will go on multiplying during the “last times”. He writes to Timothy:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in the last times some will depart from the Faith (literally: «apostatize from the Faith»), giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of devils, and having their conscience branded …” (1 Tim. 4: 1-2)
“But know this, that in the last days dangerous times will come.» Saint Paul goes on to describe the growing iniquity mentioned by Our Lord. How relevant that picture is! And note well – he is not speaking about the pagans, but about Christians at the time of the great apostasy. He continues: «Men will be lovers of self, haughty, covetous, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, criminal, heartless, faithless, slanderous, incontinent, merciless, unkind, treacherous, stubborn, puffed up with pride, loving pleasure more than God; having a semblance indeed of piety, but disowning its power.” (2 Tim. 3: 1-5)
In other words, under a surface piety, they will be overcome by the impiety around them and will fall into apostasy.
The apostle continues:
“For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their own lusts, and they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables.” (2 Tim. 4: 3-4)
An attentive reading of all these texts shows clearly that the Apostles, using the occasion of those who were stirring up trouble in their own time, definitely intended to give a more vast and prophetic teaching. “There will come a time”, says Saint Paul.
A SECRET FOR THE TIME OF THE GREAT APOSTASY
If, as we have shown, the third Secret announces a terrible crisis of the Church, the loss of Faith on the scale of nations or entire continents, does it not correspond, in a striking manner, to the prophecies of Scripture concerning the apostasy of the “last times”? Perhaps it even refers to them in an explicit enough manner.
Sister Lúcia, as we have seen, was not afraid to tell Father Fuentes that Our Lady’s messages imply that we have entered “the last times of the world”. We now have a solid proof that this theme really belongs to the third Secret, in Cardinal Ratzinger’s declaration to Vittorio Messori, in August 1984. After stating that he had read the Secret, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith answered the journalist, who had asked why this Secret was still not revealed:
“Because, according to the judgment of the Popes, it adds nothing to what a Christian must already know from revelation: a radical call to conversion, the absolute gravity of history, dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian, and therefore the world. And also the importance of the “last times”… But the things contained in this third Secret correspond to what is announced in Scripture…”
Here we have a declaration of capital importance! Granted, the Cardinal could have spoken without circumlocutions and told us simply, without ambiguous periphrases, what themes properly belong to the third Secret. It is clear however that in his enumeration, three elements, which cannot be connected with the message of Fatima already known, certainly refer us to the specific contents of the third Secret.
- “Dangers to the faith.”
- “The importance of the last times.”
- The fact that the prophecies “contained in the third Secret correspond to what is announced in Scripture.” This is tantamount to stating in a different way that the third Secret concerns the “last times”.
What, in effect, are the prophecies of Scripture which have not yet been fulfilled, if not those which concern “the last times”?
Besides, as we will have occasion to repeat, there is the series of great manifestations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary (from 1673 to 1689); at the dawn of the 18th century, there is the extraordinary mission of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, apostle of Mary Mediatrix, and prophet of Her apocalyptic role in the great battle of the last times, whose imminence he foresaw; and in the nineteenth century there is the series of great apparitions of the Immaculate Virgin, especially those of Rue du Bac, La Salette, Lourdes, and Pontmain – all these are situated in this context of the “last times of the world”, preparing the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the striking victory of Christ the King, for the inauguration of the spiritual, social and political reign of Their two united Hearts.
Did not Heaven propose the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and then devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to revive in souls charity, which had grown so cold “in these last centuries”, and in some way propose them as the two final and divine remedies to the growing iniquity and menacing impiety?
Since we have good reasons to think that the sad times we are living in really are approaching “the last times”, marked by apostasy, the prophecies of Scripture are most especially addressed to us, and we would be inexcusable not to seek there our light, strength, and consolation in the great trial coming. So let us continue to listen, with docility, to the teaching of the Apostles on the future awaiting us…
“THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY” ACCORDING TO SAINT PAUL
The Apostle is speaking to his Christians of Thessalonica, who were persuaded of the imminent coming, or “parousia”, of Our Lord. No, he answers them, it is still not here. And here is the vitally important text, concerning the apostasy of the last times:
“Let no one deceive you in any way, for the day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the Man of sin (the Man of impiety) is revealed, the Son of perdition, the Adversary, who opposes and is exalted above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God.” (2 Thess. 2: 3-4)
Let us leave aside, for a moment, the verses dealing with the obstacle to his appearance, to describe right away his coming and his work:
“And his coming (i.e. the coming of the Impious one) is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all wicked deception to those who are perishing. For they have not received the love of truth that they might be saved. Therefore God sends them a misleading influence that they may believe falsehood, that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have preferred wickedness.” (2 Thess. 2: 9)
WHO IS THIS “MAN OF SIN”, THIS ANTICHRIST?
We can say Antichrist, although the word is not from Saint Paul, since all the exegetes are in accord in identifying the Impious one he speaks of with the Antichrist, whom Saint John speaks about in his epistles. Who is he, this artisan of apostasy? Saint Paul uses three terms to define him.
- The first is difficult to translate: “o anthrôpos tês anomias”, the Man of Sin, of Impiety. The Greek term is more general and richer than all our translations: it is the Lawless man, in revolt against all laws, divine as well as human. He is the Impious one and the Revolutionary, in this sense, that he refuses to submit to all authority inasmuch as it derives from God, as well as all divine law: “I will not serve!” he cries. Parallel expressions well express the content of the word: he is the man “without faith or law”, whose motto is “neither God nor a master”… other than himself.
- This man is not only impious, he is an apostate, that is, a traitor: the term employed by Saint Paul, “the Son of perdition”, “o uios tês apôleias”, undoubtedly is reminiscent of Our Lord’s words, reported to us by Saint John: in this way Jesus designated Judas, the Apostle who was going to betray Him. (Jn. 17: 12) In almost all the passages of Scripture dealing with the apostasy, we find this insistence on the betrayal of the Church by the faithful, and even the Pastors.
Thus does Saint Paul denounce the “false apostles”, writing to the Corinthians:
“For they are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light. It is no great thing, then, if his ministers disguise themselves as ministers of justice. But their end will be according to their works.” (2 Cor. 11: 13)
Bidding his adieus to the “elders” of the Church of Ephesus, he solemnly warns them:
“Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as bishops, to rule the Church of God, which He has purchased with His own Blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will get in among you, and will not spare the flock. And from among your own selves men will rise speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Watch, therefore…” (Acts 20: 28-31)
- Saint Paul, following an increasing progression in his description, finally applies to this “Man of Sin” the very name of the devil: he is “the Adversary”, “Satan”, whose henchman he is. Saint John tells us of Judas, who had decided to betray Jesus: «Satan entered into him…» (Jn. 13: 37; Lk. 22: 3) Similarly, the Antichrist is the instrument of Satan, “who communicates his superhuman power to him, a little like the way the Spirit of Christ communicates itself to Christians”, comments Father Rigaux. 1133 As in the Apocalypse, the Dragon, symbol of Satan, confers his power on the Beast, who symbolizes the powers in his service. (Apoc. 13: 12)
“THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY IS ALREADY AT WORK”
Before the second coming, the parousia of Christ, must come that of the Impious one. (2 Thess. 2: 1, 9) However, his diabolical work has already begun: “the mystery of iniquity is already at work”. (2 Thess. 2: 7)
Already, in secret, the Powers of evil foment the apostasy. Saint John teaches exactly the same thing: “You have heard that an Antichrist is coming; so now many antichrists have arisen…” (1 Jn. 2: 18) “… It is the spirit of Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he is coming, and now is already in the world.” (1 Jn. 4: 3) All the heretics that the Apostles denounce appear to them already as so many manifestations, embodiments of the Antichrist. The Antichrist is not an impersonal force. He never acts except through concrete persons. But he is not alone. The principle of unity is Satan, who inspires all his instruments, and makes them work in his service. What is clear, for Saint Paul as well as Saint John, is that every arch-heretic is already an antichrist, and every heresy is at bottom diabolically inspired. [Ed: What does this tell us today about Pope Francis and his shameless promotion of the arch-heretic Luther and his eulogising of the satanic communist Castro? That is, what force inspires Bergoglio?]
This does not exclude that at the end of time, a “Son of perdition” will appear, who will embody within himself all satanic malice and perversity. He will lead the struggle against the Church to its paroxysm, and provoke the universal apostasy.
THE TRIUMPH OF THE ANTICHRIST POWERS
Finally, at the end of an unstinting battle, there will come a day when “the mystery of iniquity” will seem completely victorious. The apostasy being quasi universal, the Man of Sin will manifest himself openly and bring the Impiety to its fullness. This will be his “revelation”, his great “manifestation”, a diabolical aping of Christ’s manifestation. Saint Paul tells us that he will go so far that he will “sit in the temple of God and give himself out as if he were God”. (2 Thess. 2: 3-4)
These are very mysterious words. An old commentator asks: “But what will be this temple of God in which he will sit? Perhaps it will be one of the most august churches of Rome, such as Saint Peter’s basilica, or perhaps the temple of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem…”
These words are all the more horrible since the text does not suggest a profanation coming from a persecuting power, such as Antiochus Epiphanes. It is in the naos, that is, the part of the temple where only the priests could enter, that the Impious one will sit – in other words, in the very heart of the Church. Moreover, the word kathisai does not include any nuance of usurpation by violence. It seems that he must sit through a fully legitimate right, as it was said to the Twelve: katêsesthe, ‘you will sit’.
FATIMA BEFORE THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
Does the final Secret of Fatima allude to this terrible teaching of Scripture touching on the “last times”? Sister Lúcia’s insistence on “the diabolical wave sweeping over the world” seems to us an indication.
Does it not mean, in effect, that we are living in the time of the triumph of the anti-Christ powers? If the Secret really does announce the great apostasy, how could it not refer more or less explicitly to Saint Paul’s prophecy where it is precisely this apostasy in question, inseparable from the “mystery of iniquity” at work in the world and the triumph of the Impious one in the Church’s very bosom?
A TEXT OF BISHOP VENANCIO
Bishop Venancio, who had probably received precise orders of John XXIII and then Paul VI, was always extremely discreet on the subject of the third Secret. But as the Bishop of Fatima, he was probably aware of certain elements of its contents, either through Sister Lúcia or through Pope John XXIII.
In view of the celebration of the Fatima Jubilee, on July 25, 1966, he published a pastoral letter, where the few lines concerning the third Secret are worth retaining our attention. “Fatima has not yet said its last word.” After explaining that these words of Cardinal Cerejeira concerning the third Secret have given rise to many illusory commentaries, the Bishop of Leiria continued:
“Neither has Fatima come to give reason to the prophets of imaginary world catastrophes. Fatima cannot be reduced to sensational prophecies of frightful wars… We affirm that Fatima is something much more serious than all that. Fatima, really, in this too, “actualizes” the whole evangelical meaning of a Church launched eschatologically towards a future which is, to be sure, most assuredly in God’s hands; but which, however, is continually threatened by the mystery of iniquity “which is already at work” (2 Thess. 2: 7).”[The quote from Bishop Venancio is Footnote #1136 in Frère Michel Volume III.]
It would be astonishing that as he publicly brought up the question of the third Secret’s real contents – this “subject so difficult and even perilous”, as he himself says in his pastoral letter – Bishop Venancio would have cited by chance, and carelessly, “the mystery of iniquity already at work” spoken of by Saint Paul. This precise reference to the prophecy of the second chapter of the second epistle to the Thessalonians, in such a context and under the pen of a man as circumspect as Bishop Venancio, is undoubtedly significant.
The above is mostly drawn from Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. 3
I hope to post at least one more portion on this in a couple of days. Thank you for reading, I pray for you always!
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse thee!
† St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!