Tomorrow we commemorate the Apparition of Our Lady of Knock. To prepare, we offer a guest post from Adrian Dulston considering the apparition in the context of Fatima, LaSalette and the Apocalypse.
When Our Lady’s message at La Salette was silenced, she very eloquently replied with a silent apparition at Knock, and that apparition ties in nicely with the Angel’s message at Fatima and the prophecies of the Apocalypse. Today’s post is from guest contributor, Mr. Dulston of BVM Servant. I hope to have a follow up article or two on Our Lady of Knock soon.
St. Michael the Archangel, The Beloved Disciple, and Ireland
December 27, 2015 by AD
Sunday overrides the Feast of St. John the Evangelist but as it’s coming up to the Fatima year of St. Michael the Archangel, that is, a hundred years since his often forgotten appearance to the Fatima children, I am reminded of other heavenly visits which warn of these precarious times.
On August 21st 1879 some Irish parishioners from the town of Knock, witnessed a vision on the back of their Church. In what is now a famous image we find Mary, Joseph, St. John the Evangelist and a Lamb on an altar with angels in flight. Many focus quite rightly on Mary in the vision but it is obvious that the scene is that of Holy Mass, and specifically the consecration of the bread into Our Lord’s Body, Who is offered as a Lamb to take away our sins, to God the Father.
“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. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He has done wonderful things…” (from the introit for today’s Mass.)
“Through thee redeemed to endless life, thy praise let all the nations sing.”
On this her feast day, we celebrate “that which has been realized in her, the total glorification of our humanity, will be realized for us at the end of time. This privilege is very fitting for her; for she is all-pure, all-holy, whose body was never touched by any slightest shadow of sin, but was always the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Ark of the Covenant, the very Tabernacle of the Son of God. … Mary has been taken up into Heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges., the root of all others and the reason for them…Mary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. (Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen,Divine Intimacy,).
Another reason exists for the Assumption of Mary; it is a quite practical one and can be proved scientifically. There are some truths that simply cannot, indeed, will not be denied. As such, the beautiful Eucharistic miracles which prove that the Consecrated Host is truly the body and blood (Type AB no less!) of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
And we now have scientific documentation of a process called microchimerism, which refers to the process of transfer of the maternal and infant cells during pregnancy. In other words, scientists now know that it is likely that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ each harbor each other’s cells in their bodies. Therefore it is even more credible that Christ Our Lord brought His Mother, body and soul to be with Him in Heaven. (For more on microchimerism, see here, here, and here.)
The presence of her Divine Son’s cells in her body is ample reason for her body not being confined to the grave. And think, her own cells are present in His Sacred Body for all time. Truly, Heart of His Sacred Heart, eternally.
Since Mary was perfectly preserved from original sin, there was never a need for her to die. Yet she did agree to die in justice since her Divine Son and Savior chose to die, she could do no less. Our Most Blessed Mother did die for love of Him, Who was her All. And tenderly, with infinite love, He came to her and with His Angels, brought her up into eternal glory with Him.
“Hence, Mary’s death appears as a holocaust of love. The sacrifice, made under the cross in the greatest spiritual sorrow, was thereby outwardly completed in a sweet and loving manner as in a slumber of love.” (Rev. M. J. Scheeben, Mariology, Vol. II.)
“A slumber of love.” The ancient Church knew well that the death of the Mother of God was a singular event, and they referred to this “slumber of love” as her Dormition, her “falling asleep,” a clear indication that the close of the Virgin’s earthly life was peaceful, unaccompanied by any anxiety or pain. On earth, Mary lived for Jesus and for Him only. When her earthly race was run, Mary’s burning desire to be reunited forever with her Son found its fulfillment. “Now, since it is certain that the Son died of love and that the Mother died of the death of the Son,” wrote St. Francis de Sales (+1622), “we must not doubt that the Mother died of love.” (Source)
On August 13, 1917, the Freemasons of Portugal gave the Apparitions of Fatima a huge boost.
The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for the one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem was a Mason. Not just any Mason, the crude and brutal Arturo Oliveira Santos was the founder-president of the Masonic Lodge of Vila Nova de Ourem and the publisher of the local newspaper. As such, he wielded a tyrannical power in his district and, concerned about the rising fervor of the area’s Catholics in response to the apparitions, he determined to nip the phenomena in the bud.
First, the Administrator, Arturo Oliveira Santos, summoned the children and their fathers to an interrogation at the Town Hall of Vila Nova de Ourem on August 10. Ti Marto refused to allow Francisco and Jacinta to be interrogated, and decided to answer for them, stating that, if necessary, he would be imprisoned for them. But Lúcias father, Antonio dos Santos, complied and brought her to be questioned. He stated, “If she’s lying, it’s a good thing that she should be punished for it.”
Once before the authorities, Lúcia was brutally bullied and threatened, while her father did nothing to intervene. This lack of support caused Lúcia much suffering. Her words in this regard speak volumes for her sanctity:
“I have the happiness of suffering more! What made me suffer most, was the indifference shown me by my parents. This was all the more obvious, since I could see how affectionately my aunt and uncle treated their children. I remember thinking to myself as we went along: ‘How different my parents are from my uncle and aunt. They risk themselves to defend their children, while my parents hand me over with the greatest indifference, and let them do what they like with me! But I must be patient’, I reminded myself in my inmost heart, ‘since this means I have the happiness of suffering more for the love of You, O my God, and for the conversion of sinners.’ This reflection never failed to bring me consolation.”
When Lúcia returned home after the grueling ordeal, she raced to the old well to see Francisco and Jacinta, who had agreed to pray for her. She found them crying bitterly, and they explained to her that Lucia’s sister had come by earlier to tell them that she had heard that Lúcia had been killed by the authorities.
Although he had so far been unable to succeed in suppressing the little shepherds, the Administrator determined to kidnap them rather than allow another “hoax” appearance. And so, on the 13th, the Administrator tricked the children and brought them to Ourem.
We return to the beginning to discover a surprise – the letters to the Churches, written millenia ago, provide valuable insight for just these days. Of course, each century of the Church’s history has been able to say that to some extent, but as we read the first three chapters, we do see a rather astonishing array of lessons for the Church in this most troubled time. Our readings are taken today from Apocalypse 1-3, Catholic Bible Online.
When St. John the beloved Apostle set down the words revealed to him in the Apocalypse, he began with:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to make known to His servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he, that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy; and keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand.”
The first thing we notice is the phrase, “must shortly come to pass” which is then repeated for emphasis in the end, “For the time is at hand”. And when was this written? So you see that the timeframe expressed in sacred scripture is vastly different from our timeframe. An instructor once remarked on this timeframe that ours is, “like a mayfly’s”.
Continuing in Chapter 1, we see,
“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying: What thou seest, write in a book, and send to the seven churches which are in Asia, to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
After Our Lord fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, He proclaimed to them this truth: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; for he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it.”, (Luke 9, 23-24)
And St. Paul also reminds us, “For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. . . . But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinth. 18-25)
The three little shepherds of Fatima represented the three calls to respond to the message of Our Lady of Fatima, that is, Francisco, the mystic, consoled Our Lord and Our Lady in penitence and prayer, Jacinta’s reponse was to save souls by her sacrifices, penances and prayers, and Lucia reponded by propagating the message of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, and by her penances and prayers. The scarlet thread that runs throughout these three calls and unites them is penance and prayer.
Perhaps we could try to make Fridays a special day of penance and prayer for this awful pope and the scandal and confusion he is spreading throughout the Church. Perhaps also, we could make reparation for the flaccid mass of indifferent (c)atholics who choose to ignore it all. The following prayer is a favorite, hope you like it too!
The story of the development of new paganism is the story of the Prodigal Son. The younger son in the parable is Western civilization, who in the sixteenth century goes to the spiritual father of Christendom and asks for a share of the substance garnered through the centuries. The spiritual father gives Western civilization a share of that capital in the shape of the necessity of a Church, the Divinity of Christ, the inspiration of Sacred Scriptures, the existence of God, and the necessity of religion.
In the course of the last four centuries, Western civilization has been prodigal of that patrimony. In the sixteenth century, it spent its belief in the Church, in the seventeenth, the inspiration of Sacred Scripture, in the eighteenth, the Divinity of Christ, in the nineteenth, the existence of God, and in the twentieth, the necessity of religion. At the present day, the capital is all gone and now it is feeding on husks, under the names of “New Thought” and “Progress.” It was not so long ago that the father of Christendom could depend upon those sects that called themselves Christian to help defend the great fundamental truths of Christianity such as the Divinity of Christ and the necessity of the salvation of the individual soul. That day is past.
Many of the best-known preachers are today teaching nothing but a glorified Humanism and there are but few who would dare to speak of divine justice or retribution. We are, therefore, practically forced to carry on the battle for Christian truth alone, and this is something new in the history of Christianity.
In our day the religion of Christ is facing a crisis such as it has not faced, probably, since Constantine.1 By that I mean that up to this time the Church has been engaged in a kind of civil war, in which a Christian idea has battled with a misunderstanding of a Christian idea or in which sect has fought with sect. None of the great heresies of the first sixteen hundred years of the Christian era denied the existence of God, but they had misconceived the notion of the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the nature of Divine Grace, and the mission of the Church. In the last four centuries the conflict was not so much of idea and idea as the conflict of sect and sect.
Today we are faced with something entirely novel. We are engaged now not so much in what might be called a civil war, but we are confronted with what Mr. Belloc2 has called “an invasion,” that is, a force of ideas that is as strange to traditional Christianity as Christianity was strange to Paganism. This new invading force is New Paganism.
New Paganism may be defined as an outlook on life that holds to the sufficiency of human science without faith, and the sufficiency of human power without grace. In other words, its two tenets are Scientism which is a deification of the experimental method, and Humanism, which is a glorification of a man who makes God to his own image and likeness.
Today we offer a new posting on the Transfiguration. It is based on Archbishop Sheen’s “Life of Christ”.
Three lessons were given by Our Lord Jesus Christ from a mountain. In His Sermon on the Mount, He challenged the spirit of the world. From Mount Tabor, He gave Peter, James and John a glimpse of the glory that was to come after His Passion and Death. And from Mount Calvary, He taught us most eloquently from His Cross.
We know that Peter, James and John were the Apostles chosen, but why them? Peter was to be the first Pope, James was to be the first Apostle martyred for the faith and John was to be the visionary of the future glory of the Apocalypse. All three were witnessed the miracle of Jesus raising Jairus’s daughter from the dead. Archbishop Fulton Sheen tells us that all three needed to witness the Transfiguration in order to rectify their false conceptions of the Messias and to understand the importance of the Cross. Not long before, Peter had protested strenuously against the Cross while James and John had shared the common misconception that the reign of the Savior would be an earthly one. Our Lord knew that He would need to help them see the future glory beyond the bloody mount of the skull.
Today, we return to Chapter 12, verses 1-9 of St. John’s Apocalypse, to illustrate the Vatican’s deception with regards to the Third Secret – and also, we might hope, to prepare us for the coming events, as foretold by the same prophecies.
 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:  And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.  And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems:  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to His throne.
 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days.  And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels:  And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Sister Lucia is reported to have said that the Third Secret concerns the Apocalypse, particularly Chapters 8 through 13. This is confirmed by two of the Conciliar Popes, Paul VI and John Paul II, in their words at Fatima.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Paul VI made a pilgrimage there where he delivered an address, “Signum Magnum” or Great Sign on May 13, 1967. In that address, he declared,
“The great sign which the Apostle John saw in Heaven, “a woman clothed with the sun,” is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most Blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer. … On the occasion of the religious ceremonies which are taking place at this time in honor of the Virgin Mother of God in Fatima, Portugal, where She is venerated by countless numbers of the faithful for Her motherly and compassionate heart, we wish to call the attention of all sons of the Church once more to the indissoluble link between the spiritual motherhood of Mary … and the duties of redeemed men toward Her, the Mother of the Church.” (Pope Paul VI,Apostolic Letter, “Signum Magnum”, that is, Great Sign)
St. Alphonsus of Liguori assures us that: “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” That is why it is regrettable to see Catholics today fall away from true devotion to our Blessed Mother. One simple but very effective little devotion to Our Lady is the venerable old practice of the Three Hail Marys. This is a long-established practice which has been promoted by some of the greatest saints, such as St. Anthony, St. Mechtilde, St. Gertrude, St. Leonard of Port Maurice and was blessed by Pope St. Pius X.
In 1916, the Angel of Fatima came to impress upon us the the coming scandal of the abuses of the Eucharist and of the assaults on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was a severe warning and was accompanied by vehement commands for reparation, sacrifice, and prayer from the children. The vital importance of the Mass and the Sacred Priesthood cannot be overstated; it is especially pertinent now. Today, we offer an earlier post which should be re-examined in this light.
The power of Christ’s priesthood is sublime in its scope, ruling the souls of men and its jurisdiction pervades the entire temporal world as well, as representative of Jesus Christ Who is the King of Kings. (Fr. Kramer, The Book of Destiny)
In today’s post, we consider the Fifth Chapter of St. John’s Apocalypse, which foretells the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ through His loving gift of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Amid all the speculation on the dire warnings about the events of the Chastisement and the “Last Times”, not much attention is given to the Eucharistic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will, the beautiful passage below: