May 16, 2013
(1Th 5:20-21) Despise not prophecies. But prove all things: hold fast that which is good.
UNVEILING THE APOCALYPSE: Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII: Update
AMERICAN CATHOLIC: Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel (includes YouTube Video voice recording of Pope Leo XIII)
CRITICAL COMMENTARY by Graehame Thorne: Thank you for the interesting article on the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII (ED: refers to Unveiling the Apocalyse link above) . While I was of course familiar with many of its elements, it did offer a somewhat different perspective.
For example, I knew that the prophecy couldn't be traced back prior to c. 1933. I didn't regard this as a serious objection-- & I still don't-- for 2 reasons.
1st, b/c it's an established historical fact that Pope Leo wrote the Prayer to St. Michael in 1884 & had it distributed thruout the Church with instructions that it be said at every Low Mass. The Prayer specifically calls upon the archangel to protect the Church against Satan, & it contains one startling element, in that it refers to Satan being-- not in Hell-- but "prowling the world". The Prayer calls upon God to thrust him back into Hell. Aside from the Prophecy, no other event can be pointed to that seems sufficient to motivate either the Prayer & its accompanying instruction to be said worldwide at every Low Mass, or this startling theological change-- that Satan isn't in Hell, but is "prowling the world".
...and 2d, b/c the Prophecy accurately predicted events that took place in the 1958-72 timeframe. Whether dated to 1884 or c. 1933, its prediction & precise dating of the decline of the Church seems compelling. And that prediction makes sense only if the Prophecy actually took place as described in 1884, not if it was fabricated c. 1933.
For these reasons, I regard the 1934 conclusion of Fr. Bers, "that the prophecy was a later invention that was 'spreading like a virus'", as untenable. The fact that an eyewitness later surfaced-- Fr. Domenico Pechenino, a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII-- adequately demonstrates my point. And Fr. Pechenino's account, although vague in other details, links the Prophecy firmly to the Prayer to St. Michael. Also, the fact that Fr. Pechenino's account is vague in some of its details is convincing ervidence of his veracity, as he said only what he personally witnessed. In fact, even the author of your article, Emmett O'Regan, concludes, "The fact that Fr. Pechenino's account confirms the later 1933 version can be used to establish that the prophecy of the 100 years of Satan's greater power is in fact genuine."
Where I part company with Mr. O'Regan is when he says, "But when should this 100 year period be calculated from? ...there are only two real options-- either the year the vision was first received (1884)...or the turn of the century. It seems the latter position is the most likely..."
Where does Mr. O'Regan get the idea that there's a 100-year period at all? Or that it should be calculated from the turn of the century? He-- along with the "most interpreters" whom he doesn't bother to name-- doesn't say. Surely in a vision received in 1884, the most likely starting point for its fulfillment is in 1884.
...but the Prophecy doesn't mention a "100 year period" at all. If it did then that might lend marginal credibility to the notion that the period might begin in 1901. But what it actually says is "a period of 75 to 100 years". Mr. O'Regan & the "most interpreters" whom he doesn't name don't mention this b/c a period of 75 years wouldn't logically begin in 1901.
Furthermore, there's a curious chain of reasoning which I've alluded to before that links the year 1884 to the Prophecy of La Salette. In 1846, the year that the Apparitions of La Salette took place, the Church had no systematic means of establishing & recording the details of a vision; and when Melanie Calvat & Maximin Giraud sent the secrets they'd been told to the pope, Rome never made them public (an example that the Vatican would later follow in the case of the 3d Secret of Fatima). So 33 years after the vision, when Melanie published her recollections, it is possible that she erred in certain details (eg. demons released from hell in 1864 vs. 1884). The Vatican claimed as much when it condemned her book, but Rome never made public the information which she & Maximin had previously sent.
Furthermore, the key element in the Prophecy of Pope Leo was that Satan would endeavor to destroy the Church within 75 to 100 years. It makes no sense to date this period of time from the turn of the century b/c he was evidently given the power & the time in which to use it in 1884, not 1901.
...so if we add 75 years to 1884 we get 1959, the year that Pope John XXIII both refused to release the 3d Secret of Fatima & convened the 2d Vatican Council. That Council that began the formal decline of the Church. I believe these 2 things to be closely related b/c the 3d Secret speculatively may have contained a warning not to convene an ecumenical council. Disregarding the 3d Secret of Fatima & convening the 2d Vatican Council are the 2 key events that are most intimately involved in the deterioration of the Church and the inexorable rise of relativism. The fact that the Prophecy of Pope Leo accurately predicted that this would take place "in 75 to 100 years" is further convincing proof of the genuineness of the Prophecy.
What all this means is that the 75 to 100 year period has to be dated from 1884, & not from 1901. The fact that Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 11 Jun 1899 does absolutely nothing to refute this view, since following his vision of 1884 & for the rest of his pontificate Pope Leo did many things to strengthen the Church against Satan. Writing a longer & more explicit Prayer to St. Michael, for example. The date of the consecration is simply coincidence, nothing more.
When Mr. O'Regan alludes to the 20th century being framed by 2 rare planetary alignments, I have no problem with this b/c nothing that he says about it has anything whatsoever to do with the Prophecy of Pope Leo.
...but when he "...suggests that the opening of the abyss...is marked by just such an event," I have to take issue.
The opening of the Abyss occurs at the beginning of Ch. 9. But the very last thing that happens in Ch. 8 is the eagle flying in mid-heaven, "...crying out 'Woe! Woe! Woe!' to the inhabitants of the earth." St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) identified himself as this eagle, he raised people from the dead to testify to the truth of his claim, & his claim was endorsed by the Church in its Bull of Canonization. So if St. Vincent Ferrer was the eagle of the Apocalypse in the early 15th Century, then we should expect the events of Ch. 9 to be interpretable in terms of something that happened not too long afterward. But Mr. O'Regan would have us believe that the next 500+ years passed with nothing in the Apocalypse to show for them.
I believe that Fr. Herman Kramer ("The Book of Destiny" (© 1955, published by Beuchler Press) made much better sense of these passages when he said that the star which fell from heaven to earth at the beginning of Ch. 9 was Martin Luther, to whom was given the key to the Abyss to loose the Protestant Reformation on Mankind. The locusts released by Martin Luther would not therefore signify combat aircraft, as supposed by O'Regan, but were in fact the preachers of the Reformation, to whom was given "...power to torture them for 5 months". According to Kramer those 5 months are 500 years, which began within ~100 years of St. Vincent Ferrer & neatly bridges the gap between 1517 & c. 2017.
Kramer's chronology also strongly implies that the war of the 200 million horsemen in Ch. 9 should be taken to refer to the world wars of the 20th Century, which is entirely different from the great war of Gog & Magog referred to-- by O'Regan-- in Ch. 20. The war of the 200 million horsemen in Ch. 9 takes place before the advent of the AntiChrist & in preparation for it, while the great war of Gog & Magog related in Ch. 20 occurs at the end of the reign of the AntiChrist & brings him down.
BTW, I believe the amillennial interpretation of the Apocalypse is correct. "...the millennium is not a literal thousand year period, but rather it represents a very long period of time during which the power of Satan is restricted, in order to allow the spread of the Gospel." This period ended c. 1884, & Satan now has the ability "to deceive the inhabitants of the earth, and gather the nations together for war." O'Regan agrees with this view when he writes, "...given that this is exactly the situation we are faced with today in the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Great Apostasy, we can only be left to conclude that the 'millennium', or age of the Church has already came to end, and that the forces of Satan have already been unbound." With these sentiments I am in full agreement, except when O'Regan links them to the events of Ch. 20, when in reality they are part of the chronology of Chs. 8-13.
Sr. Lucy of Fatima supported this view when she was asked about the 3d Secret & she answered, "It's in the Bible. Read Chapters 8 thru 13 of the Book of the Apocalypse."
When O'Regan writes, "...we are left with the inescapable conclusion that the unbinding of Satan described in the Apocalypse is directly related to the two world wars"; I have no problem with that either, except as pointed out above. The 2 world wars occurred within the 75-year period of the Prophecy of Pope Leo.
...however, when he writes, "...we find an earlier parallel reference to Satan being unbound from his prison in Rev 20, which is to be directly equated with the opening of the abyss in Rev 9. These two passages undoubtedly refer to the exact same event..."; I have literally no idea what he's talking about. Ch. 20 refers to Satan being bound with a chain & being thrown intothe Abyss-- the lake of fire, but Ch. 9 refers to him being let out. These 2 events are bookends, not the same event at all.
When O'Regan writes, "...I argue that the three 'woes' described in chapters 9-11 of the Book of Revelation correspond to three world wars...", once again I'm lost. There haven't been 3 world wars, but only 2. He's alluding here to a war that hasn't happened yet (ED: perhaps at the doorstep see: http://tinyurl.com/
When O'Regan writes, "...it is noteworthy that calculating 75 years from 1914 brings us to the year 1989-- the year of the fall of Communism"; I have to wonder where he gets 1914 from? A minute ago we were calculating a 100-year period from 1901-- but now we're calculating 75 years from 1914? In reality the period is 75 to 100 years, so it should be calculated from the same start-point.
I was unaware of the visionary element of the Prophecy of Pope Leo recorded by Card. di Corneliano-- the army of demons converging on Rome-- & I'm grateful to you & Emmett O'Regan for familiarizing me with it. If I'm able to substantiate it, then the testimony of Card. di Corneliano should constitute further evidence that the Prophecy of Pope Leo is absolutely genuine.
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