The Holy Father, Our Lady, and the Apocalypse
by John Collorafi
A few months ago, I decided to prepare an extremely ambitious project, a thorough article concerning Our Lady of Fatima and the Holy Father. The projected article was long, the subject matter difficult, and the proper research materials unavailable ...
One day, a manila envelope arrived - finally! - with the documents I had requested: the Holy Father's homilies for the closing of the Marian Year, given on August 14-15, 1988. I picked up the documents, without much hope, because it seemed the project was going nowhere. Would these homilies really contain what I was looking for?
As I read the Holy Father's sermons, I noticed also a short prayer he used to close the Marian Year. A most unusual phrase caught my eye ... and I realized - stupefied - that I had struck gold. For in the text of this prayer was a subtle but distinct reference to the themes of the final Secret of Fatima.
The Marian Year was closed on August 15, 1988, Feast of the Assumption, with a solemn Mass. To manifest the universality of the Church, various Eastern Catholic clerics took part in the prayers and readings. After the Communion of the Mass, the Holy Father closed the solemnities, saying, "let our last word be a prayer:"
"O Holy Mary, first of virgins, trustingly we invoke You on the threshold of thethird Millennium of the life of Christ's holy Church: the Church which is already You Yourself: humble tabernacle of the Word, moved solely by the breath of the Spirit. Mercifully accompany our steps towards the frontiers of a redeemed and peaceful humanity and make our heart glad and secure in the certainty that the Dragon is not stronger than Your Beauty, gentle and eternal Woman, first among the redeemed and friend of every creature, who still groans and hopes in the world. Amen."1
A Clear Reference to the Apocalypse
There is no doubt about it: the Holy Father was clearly - albeit discreetly, and very subtly - referring to the Apocalypse. In the Twelfth Chapter, Saint John the Evangelist had designated Our Lady as the "Woman clothed with the Sun", persecuted by Her mortal enemy, satan, who in the sacred text is called "the Dragon". Here is the inspired text, which should be familiar to every reader of The Fatima Crusader:
"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 another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his heads seven diadems ..." (Apoc. 12:1-3)
Saint John refers to Our Lady as the "Great Sign", perhaps because in these latter times Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, must be better known and loved. Such was the opinion of Saint Louis de Montfort, who wrote: "Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and in grace, in these latter times."
Saint John, or rather the Holy Ghost speaking through the sacred author, depicts the Blessed Virgin as being in the pains of childbirth. Why? Certainly Our Lady was exempt from every stain of original sin, and She suffered no physical pain in giving birth to Her Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
But Our Lady is also Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, Mother of the members of this Mystical Body, our Mother as well! She gave birth to us, not in heavenly sweetness, but in unspeakable sufferings, and the most intimate sharing in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: hence the Scripture portrays Her as giving birth to us in great pain.
The Great Battle in the Heavens
Saint John continues, describing the revolt of the apostate angels, led by Lucifer, and their expulsion from Heaven by the faithful angels, who are led by Saint Michael the Archangel:
"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." (Apoc. 12:7-9)
This great battle took place before the beginning of time, before the creation of man. The fallen angels, who in their pride wished to be "like God", were cast into hell by Saint Michael and the good angels. But from the place of eternal punishment, they continue their battle. Full of malice and envy, the demons do everything in their power to tempt men and cause their eternal damnation. But the good angels, who are more powerful, work with equal and greater diligence to inspire men to virtuous and holy acts.
The Supreme Confrontation Between Good and Evil
This apocalyptic battle between the holy angels - who are led by Saint Michael, but under the command of Our Lady, Queen of the holy angels - and the evil spirits led by Lucifer - shall last until the end of time. But the conflict reaches its greatest intensity in the time of Antichrist, and the great apostasy in the Church. No doubt this is the subject of the Third Secret of Fatima, but until the Supreme Authority in the Church decides to reveal the Secret - alas! this decision has not yet been made - Our Lady's urgent prophecy given to console, edify and warn us, shall remain hidden.
But this much we can say for certain: the time of Antichrist and the Apostasy is the time of unprecedented demonic activity. Yet, it is also the time of the greatest development of the power of the holy angels as well, who work intensely to counteract the power of the evil spirits.
|Pope Pius XII in 1942 consecrated the world and in 1952 he consecrated Russia (only by himself) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He had a great devotion to Our Lady and was consecrated a bishop on May 13, 1917 at the same hour as Our Lady appeared at Fatima for the first time. However today it is acknowledged by all Fatima scholars that this "Pope of Fatima" did not obey this most crucial request for the consecration of Russia together with all the bishops of the world.|
Manifestations of the Angelic Struggle
If we survey the various domains of human and divine activity in the world, it will be easier to point out the demonic influence and how the good spirits counteract it.
Within the Church: The demons rage against consecrated souls - bishops, priests, deacons and religious, trying to get them to leave the service of the Lord. But they also try to undermine the Church from within, introducing unworthy men into the clergy and hierarchy, even as far as the College of Cardinals. They support Liberation Theology and Radical Feminism. They have been enormously successful in promoting the heresy of religious indifferentism under the guise of ecumenism.
The good angels, on the other hand, inspire priests and religious to persevere, and even grow in the practice of prayer and sacrifice. They inspire religious vocations among the young, getting them to consider the supreme dignity of the Catholic priest as "another Christ", alter Christus, and the happiness reserved to consecrated virgins as the brides of Christ. They encourage people to offer themselves as victim souls for the conversion of sinners.
Concerning the Sacred Liturgy: The demons have worked strenuously to have the Holy Mass downgraded from a true sacrifice to a memorial supper. They try to extinguish belief in the Real Presence of Christ, to eliminate kneeling, signs of the Cross, and to introduce all sorts of profanations: liturgical dance, polka Masses, profane music, and even complete paganization of the Liturgy under the pretext of inculturation.
But the good angels counter, inspiring people to greater love and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, holy hours of reparation, perpetual adoration. They also inspire Christians to long for and work for restoration of all the Liturgical traditions of East and West. For the Roman Rite this means Latin, Gregorian Chant, the Divine Office, the missal of Saint Pius V, and so on.
In the Political Arena: The demons worked to destroy the traditional Christian monarchies through the French Revolution, and replace them with secular republics. These governments then abolished religious instruction in schools, and legalized divorce, abortion, contraception, sterilization, abortifacients, etc. They work to de-Christianize Catholic nations on the pretext of religious liberty.
The good angels, under Saint Michael, work to restore the social reign of Christ the King. They work to prevent crimes against life, such as abortion, euthanasia, etc. from being legalized, and remind men of the principles of the natural law. They inspire men to thoughts of chastity and virtue, they work also to promote devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, who will bring about the social reign of Jesus Christ through the consecration and conversion of Russia, Her chosen country.
Victory is Reserved to Mary, Queen of Heaven
The holy angels are the faithful helpers and servants of Mary, their Queen. Great is their power, but they cannot attain the victory alone: this is reserved to Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and earth. As Saint Louis de Montfort says, "the humble Mary will always have the victory over that proud spirit, and so great a victory that She will go so far as to crush his head, where his pride dwells." Saint Louis adds that in these latter times, the Blessed Virgin will raise up great saints, who will extend the empire of Jesus Christ over "the impious, the idolaters and the Muslims." But when and how shall this be? "God alone knows", Saint Louis replied. And he concluded: "God wishes that His holy Mother should be at present more known, more loved, more honored than She has ever been." Note the similarity between these words of Saint Louis de Montfort,2 and Our Lady's own words to Lucia, on June 13, 1917: "Jesus wishes to use you to make Me known and loved."
Only in our time has Jesus revealed how He will make Our Lady more known, loved and honored than She has ever been. Through the Message of Fatima, we know it is especially through the solemn and public Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops on one specific day.
Sister Lucia of Fatima one day asked Jesus why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father and the bishops making that Consecration.
Jesus replied, "Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may extend its cult later on and put devotion to the Immaculate Heart beside devotion to My Sacred Heart."
Deepening Our Devotion to Mary
We are entering the Age of Mary. Not that we can agree with those who are announcing the imminent triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - we are still in the heat of battle! But we are entering the Marian Era in this sense: just as the evil spirits intensify their feverish activity in every sphere, working furiously for the damnation of innumerable souls, so also we, children of the Immaculate Heart, must multiply our prayers and efforts to save souls.
On July 13, Our Lady of Fatima said, "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them God wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart." Therefore souls are saved when Mary is known and loved.
Therefore, we must deepen our devotion to the Holy Virgin by reading and studying the works of the great Marian doctors and saints of our time. There are several works which we earnestly recommend, because they make Our Lady better known and loved:
1. True Devotion to Mary, by Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort. Saint Louis is the great doctor of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the prophet who foretold the coming Marian era. He also foretold that Our Lady would raise up great Saints in the latter times. May the Holy Virgin deign to raise up innumerable saints and holy souls from among our readers! The Holy Father himself has testified to the profundity of this book: as a seminarian, Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) had to read this book several times to grasp it. This work is the source of the Holy Father's profession of complete trust and abandonment to Our Lady: totus tuus, "I am all Thine."
2. Mystical City of God, by Venerable Mary of Agreda. This work contains the sublime revelations and visions of the life of the Holy Mother of God, with special emphasis on Her interior life. But it can only be fully appreciated by souls who despise all worldly wisdom and vanity, and thirst after the inner life of grace.
3. The Admirable Heart of Mary, by Saint John Eudes. The Roman Breviary tells us that Saint John was the author of the first liturgical feast in honor of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He was deeply versed in the writings and spirit of the Latin and Greek Fathers, and hardly inferior to them in piety and eloquence! Even today, this is one of the best books on the Immaculate Heart of Mary.*
4. The Whole Truth About Fatima, by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité. Perhaps the author would be amused to see himself compared with doctors of the Church ... and it's certainly a bit early to canonize him! But nobody can read this work without great profit to his spiritual life, even those who might disagree with several of his comments on historical events. What a grace it was for us to read, absorb and translate his words! Not a few of his passages would compare favorably to the Fathers of the Church in depth and wisdom.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: This book The Admirable Heart of Mary is unfortunately not available from The Fatima Crusader. The other three books mentioned on this page are available from Our Lady's Book Service.
Lastly, for the Holy Father
It is clear that Pope John Paul II is the man of providence, in this sense: by calling him to the See of Peter from such a faraway land, and at such a youthful age compared to most Popes, God has placed upon his shoulders the unspeakable responsibility of guiding the Church through this troubled era of the latter day apostasy.
It is our part to love the Pope, certainly, and to obey him, and continue praying for him, but even this is not enough. Consider the gravity of this hour, when so many priests, bishops and even Cardinals have apostatized: even a Pope with the combined sanctity and firmness of Gregory VII, St. Pius X and Leo the Great would have the greatest difficulties restoring the faith in the areas most deeply ravaged by apostasy, especially North America.
In addition, we must consider the extraordinary temptations to which the Successor of Peter is exposed: perhaps the greatest of these temptations is to place the salvation of the Church and mankind, not in the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, or the desires of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but in pseudo-ecumenical schemes like the Assisi meeting. There, on October 26, 1986, under the guise of prayer for peace, the non-Christians were invited to invoke false gods while the idol of Buddha was placed in the sanctuary, an event which will stand forever as a ghastly reminder of the depths of apostasy reached in our day.
The second great temptation of the Successor of Peter is to solve the crisis in the Church by temporizing, compromising with wicked and apostate prelates. Was it not just a few years ago that innumerable Catholics were scandalized, when a sacrilegious man was given full power once more, in the See of Seattle? This disobedient prelate, who had allowed active sodomites to receive Holy Communion, and incurred the guilt for these sacrilegious communions, has never given the slightest public sign of repentance. Yet, as Robert Bergin has noted, quoting Saint Thomas, to place such a man in the episcopate is an unspeakable sacrilege against the Mystical Body of Christ ...
Invoke the Precious Blood for the Holy Father
God has given us a wonderful Marian Pope, and he is struggling for the salvation of the Church. But we must help him, and in addition to all our ordinary prayers we must invoke the Precious Blood for the Holy Father. How many times have we prayed, in our anguish: "O Lord Jesus Christ our God, grant a few drops of the Precious Blood to the Holy Father, that he may obey the requests of Our Lady of Fatima, reveal the final part of the Secret, and make the consecration of Russia according to Thy will." Or at other times: "Grant, O Lord, a few drops of Thy Precious Blood to the soul of the Holy Father, that he may obey all the desires of Our Lady of Fatima."
And in truth, only this Divine Blood - the Blood of the God-Man - is powerful enough to give the Holy Father the light he needs, and the strength to turn away from the pernicious counsels of innumerable false advisors.
Lastly, we do well to pray the Litany of Our Lady for the Holy Father, frequently and even daily. This fervent, trustful invocation of Our Blessed Lady under so many wonderful titles cannot fail to touch Her Maternal Heart; She Herself will infallibly obtain for His Holiness two precious graces: first, to resolutely turn away from the false ecumenism, and secondly, to lead the whole Church to a more fervent veneration of Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church. When the Church, in both her visible head and her members, will cry out with all their might to Most Holy Mary as the triumphant Woman of the Apocalypse, who has told us at Fatima "in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, Russia will be converted and a period of peace given to the world," the hour of victory will be near.
1. L'Osservatore Romano, English Edition, August 22, 1988.
2. True Devotion to Mary, Nos. 47-59.