Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Prophecies of St. Patrick

The collective burial ground of St. Patrick, St. Colmcille and St. Brigid, in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

In light of the impending publication of Sr Lucia's biography, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, I thought it would be timely to revisit some earlier material posted on this blog about the prophecies of St. Patrick, which also seems to tie into the events seen by the last visionary of Fatima at Tuy, 1944, when she was instructed by Our Lady to write down the contents of the Third Secret. As is by now widely known by readers of this blog, Sr Lucia witnessed a devastating tsunami type event during this vision, which appears to be a prelude to the final passover of the Church detailed in the Third Secret, which describes the martyrdom of a pope followed by clergy, religious and laity, in what can only be the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist. It seems that the content of the 1944 Tuy apparition is in some way related to the interpretation of the secret itself, which Our Lady had order Sr. Lucia not to commit to writing at the same time as the Third Secret:

" at peace and write what they command you to, but not that which you were given to understand about its meaning,’ intending to allude to the meaning of the vision that the Virgin herself had revealed to her."

If this 1944 Tuy apparition is in some way related to the content of the Third Secret itself, then we are prompted to compare the unifying motifs which are found in both visions - that of the description of the dazzling light of God:

‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause destructive wars.
(The Tuy apparition of 3rd January, 1944)

And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark...
(The Third Part of the Secret of Fatima, 3rd January, 1944)

It seems that the above parallel descriptions of the dazzling light which represents the radiance of God are meant to be viewed side by side here, and is intended to provide the reader with some sort of chronological indicator as to the sequence of end time events contained in the Third Secret. In the Third Secret, we are told that the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist follows a vision of the light of God, while in the 1944 apparition, the appearance of the radiance of God is followed by a cataclysmic tsunami event.  We are thus prompted to connect both events together, and link the tsunami seen in the 1944 vision as being in some way related to the end time persecution of Christians under the Antichrist. This sequence of events also appears in an ancient prophecy attributed to St. Patrick, which foretells the destruction of Ireland by the sea seven years before the end of the end of the world, in order to spare the Irish from the reign of the Antichrist:

These are the three prayers of Patrick, as they were delivered to us by the Hibernians, entreating that all should be received on the day of judgment, if we should repent even in the last days of our life. 
That he should not be shut up in hell. That barbarian nations should never have the rule over us. That no one shall conquer us, that is the Scots, before seven years previous to the day of judgment, because seven years before the judgment we shall be destroyed in the sea, this is the third.

This prophecy can be traced back to original documents dating from the 7th century (Tirechan's untitled memoirs of St. Patrick), which are based on the The Book of Ultan - an earlier now lost source written by a disciple of Patrick himself (the full text of Tierchan's work can be found online here). The prayer that "no barbarian nations" should ever have rule over Ireland, has so far proved true in the fact that it has only ever been conquered by Christian nations. We should also note that the word "Scots" here refers to the Irish people rather than the present sense of the term. The Irish were referred to as Scoti in Latin, and Irish rule over Northern Britain during the Dark Ages gradually saw the term being transferred to that country.
This prediction of the end-time flood of Ireland is often associated with another prophecy attributed to St. Colmcille (who is also known by his Latin name St. Columba).

I concede a favour to them without exception, 
and St Patrick also did concede the same; 
that seven years before the last day, 
the sea shall submerge Eirin by one inundation

The above prophecy is believed to be taken from a 9th century document titled Colum Cille cecinit, but so far the earliest source it can be traced back to is O'Kearney, N. The Prophecies of Ss. Columbkille, Maeltamlacht, Ultan, Seadhna, Coireall, Bearcan, Malachy, &tc (Dublin: John O’Daly, 1856) – a book which is known to contain many spurious prophecies formulated as rhetoric for the 1798 Irish rebellion. It is possible that this quatrain is based on an earlier source or tradition, such as the Leabhar Breac, but currently its origins remains untraceable. It is unlikely that the original prophecy was made by St. Colmcille, but instead may have developed from the earlier, almost certainly authentic literature concerning the life of St. Patrick.
The prophecy of Ireland being destroyed by end-time floods is intimately related to the other material in Public and private revelation which tells of an eschatological inundation, and seems to be inextricably linked to the threat posed by the collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja into the Atlantic ocean (see the earlier post Mega-tsunami, where I show how this event is connected with the "great mounatin, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8, as well as several other biblical passages).
As we can see from the diagram below, Ireland is one of the countries that would be most affected be a mega-tsunami generated by the collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands.

According to a long standing Christian prophetic tradition, the tribulation period at the end-time which sees the rise to power of the Antichrist, will last for a total of seven years. The fact that the prophecy of St. Patrick foretells that Ireland would be destroyed by the sea seven years before the last day in order to spare the Irish from the reign of the Antichrist, suggests that the Beast ascends to world domination as a direct consequence of the catastrophic flooding caused by the lateral collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja into the Atlantic Ocean. The Beast therefore literally emerges from the chaos of the sea:
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. (Rev 13:1)
Another even more obscure prophecy attributed to St. Patrick appears to foretell the previously unthinkable - a time when Ireland would lose its faith in Christ. Sadly, this prophecy pretty much describes the current state of our beautiful island, which to a large extent, is now shunning the Roman Catholic faith.  What was once before a inextricable part of Irish national identity, is now subject to the calumny of the growing anti-clericalism in the Irish media, which has now filtered out into wider society. The prophecy appears in chapter CLXXV of the vita by the Cistercian hagiographer Jocelyn of Furness (fl. 1175-1214):

The different States of Hibernia are in a Heavenly Vision
shown unto the Saint.

And the man of God anxiously desired and earnestly prayed that he might be certified of the present and the future state of Hibernia, to the end that he might be assured of the faith, or of the value that his labors bore in the sight of God. Then the Lord heard the desire of his heart, and manifested the same unto him by an evident revelation; for while he was engaged in prayer, and the heart of his mind was opened, he beheld the whole island as it were a flaming fire ascending unto heaven; and he heard the angel of God saying unto him: "Such at this time is Hibernia in the sight of the Lord." And after a little space he beheld in all parts of the island even as mountains of fire stretching unto the skies. And again after a little space he beheld as it were candles burning, and after a while darkness intervened; and then he beheld fainter lights, and at length he beheld coals lying hidden here and there, as reduced unto ashes, yet still burning. And the angel added: "What thou seest here shown, such shall be the people of Hibernia." Then the saint, exceedingly weeping, often repeated the words of the Psalmist, saying: "Whether will God turn himself away for ever, and will he be no more entreated? Shall his mercy come to an end from generation to generation? Shall God forget to be merciful, and shut up his mercy in his displeasure?" And the angel said, "Look toward the northern side, and on the right hand of a height shalt thou behold the darkness dispersed from the face of the light which thenceforth will arise." Then the saint raised his eyes, and behold, he at first saw a small light arising in Ulydia, the which a long time contended with the darkness, and at length dispersed it, and illumined with its rays the whole island. Nor ceased the light to increase and to prevail, even until it had restored to its former fiery state all Hibernia. Then was the heart of the saint filled with joy, and his heart with exultation, giving thanks for all these things which had been shown unto him: and he understood in the greatness of this fiery ardor of the Christian faith the devotion and the zeal of religion, wherewith those islanders burned. By the fiery mountains he understood the men who would be holy in their miracles and their virtues, eminent in their preachings and their examples; by the lessening of the light, the decrease of holiness; by the darkness that covered the land, the infidelity which would prevail therein; by the intervals of delay, the distances of the succeeding times. But the people think the period of darkness was that in which Gurmundus and Turgesius, heathen princes of Norwegia, conquered and ruled in Hibernia; and in those days, the saints, like coals covered with ashes, lay hidden in caves and dens from the face of the wicked, who pursued them like sheep unto the slaughter. Whence it happened that differing rites and new sacraments, which were contrary to the ecclesiastical institutes, were introduced into the church by many prelates who were ignorant of the divine law. But the light first arising from the north, and after long conflict exterminating the darkness, those people assert to be Saint Malachy, who presided first in Dunum, afterward in Ardmachia, and reduced the island unto the Christian law. On the other hand, the people of Britain ascribe this light to their coming, for that then the church seemed under their rule to be advanced unto a better state; and that then religion seemed to be planted and propagated, and the sacraments of the church and the institutes of the Christian law to be observed with more regular observance. But I propose not the end of this contention, neither do I prevent it, thinking that the discussion and the decision thereof should be left unto the divine judgment. 
(See here for the full vita of St. Patrick by Jocelyn of Furness)

It is uncertain whether this prophecy was actually made by St. Patrick himself, since it does not appear in the earlier works on the saint's life. The other more well-known prophecy of St. Patrick (which foretold that Ireland would suffer from a terrible deluge seven years before the end of the world to spare the Irish from the reign of the Antichrist) is of far greater provenance. But it certainly interesting, given the current state of affairs in Ireland.
Jocelyn attempts to make sense out of the prophecy by linking it to the appearance of the Viking invaders, who ravaged the coasts of Ireland in the early Middle Ages. The light in "Ulydia" (an archaic name for Ulster) which brings about the reversal of the apostasy is rightly connected by Jocelyn to St. Malachy, who was the abbot of Bangor Abbey in the north of Ireland, just outside of Belfast (unfortunately, nothing of the original building remains of Bangor Abbey today, other than a stump of a wall in the grounds of the modern Anglican abbey). St. Malachy had ensured unity of the Church in Ireland with the Roman Catholic Church by travelling to Rome to obtain pallia for the sees of Armagh and Cashel. And in his famous account of the saint's life, St. Bernard of Clairvaux tells how St. Malachy had helped to restore the Church in Ireland, which had fallen into a terrible state of decay.

The above prophecy is based on the story of St. Patrick lighting the Paschal Fire on the Hill of Slane circa 433AD, in opposition to the pagan festival of Beltane practised by Laoghaire, the High King of Tara. This defiant action was an instrumental moment in the conversion of Ireland. 
This prophecy attributed to St. Patrick also appears to be associated with the Great Apostasy foretold in Scripture, which speaks of a general falling away of Christians from the faith towards the end of the world. 
To see the work of St. Patrick being reversed in such a terrible fashion is something cruel to behold for any true Irish person. But through the intercession of St. Patrick, the once fiery zeal of the Irish faithful will one day return to the shores of our beloved land, and the religion which our ancestors strived and died to protect will once again reflourish on the verdant pastures of the Emerald Isle.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary

Sr. Lucia's biography, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, is finally being published in English on 22nd March, 2015 by the World Apostolate of Fatima. This biography is based upon the personal diary of the Seer of Fatima, and contains the details of the vision she witnessed in Tuy, Spain, 1944, when she was commanded by Our Lady to write down the Third Secret. This vision seems to accord with the purported words of St. John Paul II at Fulda in 1980, who when asked about the contents of the Third Secret and why it wasn't being published, he stated that since there was a "message" connected to the Third Secret which described a tsunami which takes the lives of "millions", it was not desirous to have its contents fully revealed to the public:

 "Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as not to encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves. On the other hand, it should be sufficient for all Christians to know this: if there is a message in which it is written that the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish, truly the publication of such a message is no longer something to be so much desired."

We now know that there was at least some element of truth to these words, since the 1944 Tuy apparition was accompanied by a vision of just such an event, in which Sr. Lucia saw an innumerable multitude of people being swept away in a huge deluge, followed by "destructive wars" caused by hatred and ambition:

"I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause destructive wars."

The only type of tsunami which would be capable of taking the lives of "millions" is that of a mega-tsunami, which are usually generated by lateral volcanic collapses - such as the threat posed by Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands. In my book, I argue that this volcanic eruption will be triggered by the "eschatological earthquake" described in the Bible - which appears to be the exact same event that Sr. Lucia describes as the cause of the tsunami she had witnessed during this vision - which occurs after the angel touches the axis of the earth with his flaming sword. The Apocalypse also tells us that the destruction of "Babylon" will occur as a direct consequence of the eschatological earthquake:

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.

(Rev 16:18-19)

And of course the destruction of Babylon itself is caused by a "huge mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea (Rev 8:8):

Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more"...
(Rev 18:21)

In my book (which was first published in 2011), I proposed that the eschatological earthquake which is prophesied to take place in Jerusalem during the end time, would in fact be the primary cause of this volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands, and in the aftermath of these events, the Antichrist will seize power in Europe (which will most likely under direct control of Russia - which Sr. Lucia foretold would be the instrument of God's chastisement). The exact sequence of events seen by Sr. Lucia in this recently published private revelation can be independently determined from Scripture by combining the details concerning the destruction of Babylon in the Apocalypse with a parallel passage in the Book of Ezekiel - which describes how the eschatological earthquake will cause the collapse of entire mountains, leading to the summoning of a (flaming?) sword against "Gog" during the battle of Armageddon:

For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man's sword will be against his brother.
(Ezek 38:19-21)

So it seems that the greatest earthquake in human history will be quickly followed by the most catastrophic volcanic eruption in human history, leading to the destruction of "Babylon" and subsequent rise to power of the Antichrist - the Beast who emerges from the watery chaos of the sea:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.

(Rev 13:1-2)

The following is the relevant material from my book on this subject:

If this earthquake in some way triggered an eruption of Cumbre Vieja, which in turn generated a mega-tsunami, this would explain how the "cities of the nations"  would be destroyed by this one event.
Scientists have recently theorized that seismic events of a strong magnitude can lead to wider geological instability around the world, and may even cause a chain reaction that can trigger volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions have followed high magnitude earthquakes in the past, and academics are still debating whether a link can be established between the two. If such a link does exist, then a particularly strong earthquake centred on or near Jerusalem may theoretically trigger a volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands.
The city of Jerusalem lies very close to the seismic fault line of the Jordan Rift Valley, which borders the unstable region between the African and Arabian tectonic plates. The Jordan Rift Valley, which is home to the Dead Sea – the lowest geographical point on dry land, has been particularly active in the past. Some major seismic events in this area have even been recorded in the Bible. The prophets Amos and Zechariah for example, inform us that a major earthquake struck the region of Judah during the reign of Uzziah in the mid-8th century BC (Amos 1:1; Zech 14:5).

But the Apocalypse tells us that the eschatological earthquake that will strike "the great city" (which Zechariah specifically identifies as Jerusalem) will be the greatest such event in human history (Rev 16:18). In order for an event such as this to occur, there would have to be a massive slippage of either the African or Arabian tectonic plates, or a collision between the two. If the African plate shifted as a result of this colossal earthquake, then it could theoretically cause a surge of magmatism in the volcanic hotspot at the other end of the same plate in the Canary Islands. This could then trigger an eruption of Cumbre Vieja which would cause a lateral collapse of its western flank, generating a mega-tsunami that would devastate the eastern shorelines of North and South America. If this brought about the demise of the USA as the world‘s leading superpower, then as we proposed earlier, it would leave a political vacuum that could be exploited by the Antichrist, who will then set about creating the conditions for the battle of Armageddon.
(Unveiling the Apocalypse: Prophecy in Catholic Tradition, p210)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Iraq Apparitions Update

I thought that readers might like to know that Michael O'Neil from the Miracle Hunter website will be conducting a new interview tonight with the reporter who initially broke the story on the Alqosh apparitions, Jeff Gardner. It will be broadcast on Michael's weekly show on Radio Maria at 4.00 CST (which can be found here), so hopefully he will be able to provide a few more details.
Some commentators on the previous post have refined the image to make it a bit clearer (above and below), which I thought I would put up here for others to see.

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Recent Marian Apparitions in Northern Iraq and the Sign of Jonah

The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio has just aired a report discussing recent sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Northern Iraq (see here for the full broadcast). These apparitions, which occurred over the town of Alqosh on the night of Wednesday, January 21st, 2015, have been compared to those of Our Lady of Zeitoun in Egypt, given that they are apparently to be classed under the rare category of visio sensiblis, whereby they are fully visible to all present, and can even be captured on camera. Information on these apparitions are rather scarce at the moment, as given the current situation in Iraq with the scourge of ISIS, reporters are very thin on the ground. Drew Mariani's guest Jeff Gardener, visited the scene shortly after and compiled a series of eyewitness reports and was given some photographs of the apparitions themselves. It appears that the Blessed Virgin was seen in the sky, fully visible to the masses on the ground, over the Assyrian Christian town of Alqosh, which is one of the only regions in this part of Northern Iraq that has not succumbed to the threat of ISIS.

A common theme throughout the apparitions of Our Lady of Zeitoun, and other related apparitions in Egypt was that the location and timing of the apparitions themselves were a key component in conveying their true significance. The apparitions in Egypt have all occurred in locations associated with the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt to escape from King Herod's Slaughter of the Holy Innocents. The main appearances of Our Lady of Zeitoun also first began to coincide exactly with the legalization of abortion in the United Kingdom in April 1968, which paved the way for this policy to be adopted throughout the Western Hemisphere (see my earlier post on this subject Our Lady of Light and the Apocalyptic Nativity). So the central "message" of these apparitions were a warning that humanity was about to commit a new "Slaughter of the Innocents" on a massive, worldwide scale.
An interesting feature of these recent apparitions in Northern Iraq is that they were centred on the town of Alqosh (Elkosh in ancient Hebrew), which was the hometown of the biblical Prophet Nahum, which lay just a few miles north of the city of Nineveh:

An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies... (Nahum 1:1-2)

While little is known of the Prophet Nahum himself, the central thrust of this book focused on the impending destruction of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, much like the Prophet Jonah. Only while the Ninevites to whom Jonah preached circa 786-746BC repented and were spared, when Nahum issued his oracle warning of the imminent destruction of Nineveh around 615BC, the city soon met its ultimate downfall at the hands of the Medes and Babylonians.
The timing of this recent apparition seems to be of great importance here, as the site of ancient Nineveh now houses the city of Mosul, which was taken last year by ISIS, who set about the destruction of the tomb of the Prophet Jonah on July 24th, 2014. Does this new apparition augur the destruction of the city of Mosul as Divine Retribution for this desecration? The apparitions took place at the start of a US led operation, backing Kurdish forces to take back the city of Mosul, which began on this exact date - 21st January, 2015.
As we have noted on several posts previously, the site of ancient Nineveh lay in the path of the 1999 solar eclipse, which I argue in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, was part of the "signs in heaven" foretold in the Book of Revelation, which include a total solar eclipse, accompanied by an earthquake, as well as a total lunar eclipse, a meteor shower, and the appearance of a sign involving "blood, fire and columns of smoke" (see the earlier post "Signs in the Sky"). 
Another interesting link between the 1999 solar eclipse to the apparitions of Our Lady in Egypt can be found in the fact that the apparitions of Our Lady of Assiut in the Great Jubilee Year 2000 on August 17th, occurred on the exact anniversary of the Izmit earthquake, which took place in Turkey on 17th August, 1999 - just days after the eclipse had also passed by this area on August 11th before moving on to transverse the site of ancient Nineveh. The location of Izmit itself was highly significant in the fact that this is the site of ancient Nicomedia - the location where the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued his first Edict against Christians on February 23rd AD303, beginning the Great Persecution. The Diocletianic Persecution saw the most intense attack against Christians established throughout the majority of the Roman Empire, and in many ways reflects the coming Great Persecution of Christians under the Antichrist, which was foreseen in the Third Secret of Fatima (first published at the turn of the millennium on 24th June 2000).
It is of some import here that the city of Nineveh was founded by the biblical King Nimrod, who according to tradition was the builder of the Tower of Babel. As I have argued at some length in the previous post The Angel of the Seven Thunders, the miraculous reversal of the confusion of tongues at Pentecost, pointed to the significance of the story of the Tower of Babel and how this event would figure once again in the Second Pentecost. We have also noted in this post the connection between the "blood, fire and columns of smoke" quoted by St. Peter at Pentecost in Acts 3 as being part of the "signs in heaven", and how this ties into the events of 9/11 at the turn of the millennium, which were accompanied by the astronomical signs which took place on the millennial anniversary of the birth of Christ (prefigured by the Protoevangelium and the crushing of the head of the Serpent). It seems of some importance here then that the events of the destruction of the Twin Towers have directly led to the current situation at the site of ancient Nineveh, with the occupation of Mosul by ISIS.
For the Prophet Nahum, the impending destruction of Nineveh by the Babylonians was a sign of the restoration of the glory of Israel, which according to Catholic eschatology, refers to the future conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming of Christ, prophesied by St. Peter at Pentecost:

The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength. For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches. (Nahum 2:1-2)

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (Acts 3:19-21)

Also worth noting here, in relation to the nature of the reddish colour of this apparition, is that immediately after the above verses in the Book of Nahum, concerning the Lord restoring the majesty of Jacob after the destruction of Nineveh, we are told that the soldiers of God (the angels?) are clothed in scarlet during this episode:

The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. (Nahum 2:3)

The fact that the 1999 solar eclipse passed through the site of ancient Nineveh at Mosul prompts us to compare this to the "sign of Jonah" mentioned by Christ. 

The path of totality of the 1999 solar eclipse passed directly through the city of Mosul (spelt here as Al-Mawsil, just north of Baghdad - see here for a larger image)

When we look to the Gospels concerning the "sign of Jonah", which Jesus stated would be sent to a "wicked generation" (that of the Great Apostasy?), we find that this prophecy was made in the immediate context of the binding of the "strong man" and the casting out of Satan - which is directly related to the timing of the establishment of the Kingdom of God during the ministry of Christ (as was forwarded by the amillennialism of St. Augustine), the "signs in heaven", the "little while" given to Satan at the end of the millennium in Rev 20, and Satan being thrown down from heaven in Rev 12:

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Luke 11:14-32)

The above passage from the Gospel of Luke fits perfectly with the chronology of eschatological events laid out in the Apocalypse. When the crowds ask Jesus for a "sign from heaven", he responds by stating that the fact that he is able to cast out demons means that the Kingdom of God has already been established in their midst, and that the "strong man" has been bound to enable Christ to plunder his goods. Christ goes on to allude to the unbinding of Satan at the end of the millennium, when he states that the evil spirit who has been cast out returns with seven other spirits more evil than itself, leading to a state of affairs that are even worse than before. The seven evil spirits accompanied by an eighth refers to the rise of the Beast with seven heads from the sea, with the beast itself forming an eighth "king" who rises from the bottomless pit at the end of the thousand years:

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Rev 17:8)

As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. (Rev 17:11)

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. (Rev 20:7-8)

As I have argued at length elsewhere, the "little while" of Satan during his unbinding at the end of the millennium to gather the nations of the world for war is the same as the 100 years of Satan's greater power in the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, and began at the turn of the 20th century. The fact that the 1999 solar eclipse took place precisely at the end of this 100 year period, after Pope Leo's consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1899, suggests that the casting out of Satan from heaven by the Archangel Michael, described in Rev 12 during the struggle of the Woman Adorned with Sun against the Dragon, occurred during the turn of the millennium. This also appears to be alluded to in the account in Luke, when a woman in the crowd interjects with an exclamation which contains the kernel of the Ave Maria: "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!":
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev 12:1)

It is at this point that Jesus informs those present asking for a "sign from heaven" that they would instead be given the "sign of Jonah". It is perhaps of some significance here then that the total solar eclipse of 1999 took place at the dawn of the third millennium after the birth of Christ, which appears to be symbolized by Jonah spending three days in the belly of the "great fish" - which represents the rise of Leviathan as the seven headed beast of the Apocalypse:

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
(Matt 12:40)

And of course according to St. Peter, a thousand years is the equivalent of a day in the eyes of God, who wishes for all to attain repentance during the Second Pentecost:

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Pet 3:8-9)

Whatever the case may be, these recent reports of the Blessed Virgin Mary near the site of ancient Nineveh, in the hometown of the Prophet Nahum (who prophesied that the destruction of this city would be a sign of the future conversion of Israel), suggests that the significance of the events at the turn of the millennium has ongoing repercussions that are still felt today, and will have a profound impact on the future.


At the beginning of January, the Daily Mail had reported that ISIS were threatening to destroy the historic 2,700 year-old city walls and gates of ancient Nineveh (one of the most important archaeological sites in Iraq), if the Iraqi army attacked the city (see here). These are the very walls and gates of ancient Nineveh that the prophets Nahum and Jonah would have laid their eyes on as they entered the city.

The Adad Gate in Ancient Nineveh

There are now reports that ISIS began to detonate the walls of ancient Nineveh on January 28th, 2015, following the assault on January 21st, and have reduced huge sections of this historic site to rubble (see here).

The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed the bars of your gates. (Nahum 3:13)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Apocalyptic Plagues of Egypt

The Crossing of the Red Sea, by Nicolas Poussin, circa1633

In light of the recent publication of the vision of a colossal flood seen by Sr. Lucia when she was asked by the Blessed Virgin Mary to write down the content of the Third Secret of Fatima, I thought it should be worth revisiting the content of an important earlier post on this subject. The natural causes behind the events of the Exodus has once again been brought into focus by the recent screening of Ridley Scott's controversial take on the history behind this event in his Exodus: Gods and Kings, when he depicted the long theorized drainage of the Sea of Reeds (the most accurate translation above the "Red Sea") being caused by a tsunami. While Scott's version of the causes of some of the other plagues of Exodus is seriously flawed, it is worth taking note that its primary inspiration is taken from a quite convincing theory discussed by many leading theologians that these events were actually caused by the most catastrophic volcanic eruption in human history - that of Thera, Santorini, cicra 1500BC. Given the fact that the Apocalypse bases its imagery of the "huge mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea on the events behind the plagues of Exodus, it prompts us to consider the possibility that the destruction of the eschatological empire referred to as "Babylon" will in turn be caused by yet another record-breaking volcanic eruption.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Book of Revelation's re-imagining of the story of the Exodus, is that it appears to have been aware that the plagues of Egypt were associated with a "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea (Rev 8:8) - millennia before the Santorini/Exodus hypothesis was first postulated in modern biblical scholarship. 
The theory that the Thera eruption was the source of the plagues described in the Book of Exodus, was first forwarded by the Egyptologist Hans Goedicke during the early 1980's, and has since become one of the most widely accepted explanations for the events of the Exodus in modern biblical scholarship. The eruption of Santorini, which destroyed the Greek island of Thera between 1600-1500 BC, was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. With an estimated value of 7 out of a possible 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), the Thera eruption brought about the collapse of the Minoan civilisation on the island of Crete, and is thought by many scholars to be the primary inspiration for the myth of Atlantis recounted in Plato's Timaeus and Critias.

Satellite image of the Santorini caldera - the remains of the eruption which devastated Thera in the mid-second millennium BC.

Given that this eruption is dated to roughly the same time period as the Exodus, many biblical scholars and Egyptologists have attempted to establish how this event could have led to the sequence of events described in the Bible. The Book of Exodus tells us that the first plague to strike Egypt was that of the river Nile turning blood red. This phenomenon has been attributed to the rapid growth of an algal bloom (red tide), resulting from either the release of sediments or trapped gases under the Nile by the increased level of seismic activity which often accompanies volcanic eruptions, or by the falling volcanic debris entering the waters of the Delta. The algae which cause red tide thrive in extreme conditions and temperature changes associated with volcanic activity, and quickly deplete oxygen levels whilst producing natural toxins. This kills any marine life in the affected areas - an event which recalls the repercussions of the mountain being cast into the sea in Rev 8:8:

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
(Rev 8:8-9)

Whilst the fish in the Nile would have been suffocated by the algae, large swathes of frogs would have been forced out of the waterways, leading to the second plague of Exodus. The frogs would have quickly died without water, and their rotting bodies along with those of the fish in the river would have attracted swarms of flies and gnats/lice, which would be able to proliferate more freely without their natural predators. This then accounts for the third and fourth plagues, and the disease spread by the increase of flies, mosquitoes, etc would have led to the fifth and sixth plagues - boils appearing on livestock and humans.
The plague of the hail of fire mixed with ice would have been caused by the fall of the volcanic debris that was ejected into the air during the ongoing eruption at Santorini. Volcanic ash and pumice from the Thera eruption has been discovered at several archaeological sites across Egypt, making it certain that the Egyptians would have been badly affected by this cataclysm. And the plague of locusts has been explained as the mass displacement of these creatures around the Aegean by the ash cloud issuing from Santorini, coupled with the rise in humidity, causing them to descend en masse onto northern Egypt. The ash cloud would then also account for the plague of darkness that swept the land for three days.
The deaths of the firstborn during Passover is somewhat more difficult to put down to a scientific explanation, with theories ranging from a poisoning of the food supplies - which the firstborn would have been privileged to above other family members during a period of famine; to ritual human and animal sacrifice. 
Although it would be a mistake to divorce the events of the Exodus from the miraculous altogether. From a faith-based perspective, it seems best to view these events as a series of cause and effect natural events interspersed with elements of the miraculous, all of which were governed by an overriding supernatural power.
The parting of the Sea of Reeds has then been attributed to a tsunami caused by the main eruption of Santorini. This main eruption caused a large scale volcanic collapse, which generated a massive tsunami that devastated the Minoan civilisation on the adjacent island of Crete. There is  also some archaeological evidence to suggest that the tsunami generated by this collapse affected the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean. A study published by the Geological Society of America in 2009 extrapolated the following results from the archaeological data:

A sedimentary deposit on the continental shelf off Caesarea Maritima, Israel, is identified, dated, and attributed to tsunami waves produced during the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1630–1550 B.C.E.) eruption of Santorini, Greece. The sheet-like deposit was found as a layer as much as 40 cm thick in four cores collected from 10 to 20 m water depths. Particle-size distribution, planar bedding, shell taphoecoensis, dating (radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence, and pottery), and comparison of the horizon to more recent tsunamigenic layers distinguish it from normal storm and typical marine conditions across a wide (>1 km2) lateral area. The presence of this deposit is evidence that tsunami waves from the Santorini eruption radiated throughout the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, affecting the coastal people living there. (See here)

Given that the tsunami waves reached as far as Israel, then it is almost certain that they would also have affected the northern coast of Egypt.

There is a modern consensus amongst Old Testament scholars that the usual identification of the Red Sea as that which was crossed by the Israelites during the Exodus was based on a mistranslation of the Hebrew word Yam Suph. A more accurate rendering of this location is the "Sea of Reeds", which given the physical description this name implies, is thought to be a lake located somewhere in the marsh lands of the Nile Delta, near the Mediterranean coast. It has been theorised that the Israelites arrived at the Sea of Reeds just before the tsunami made landfall. The drawback caused by the the swell of the incoming tsunami wave would have emptied large parts of the lake, allowing the Hebrews to cross. While the Israelites reached safe ground, the pursuing Egyptian charioteers would have then been swept away by a wall of water when the tsunami eventually made landfall.

The only real problem with attributing the plagues of Egypt to the Santorini eruption is in the dating of the events of the Exodus itself. In 1Kings 6:1, the Bible dates the events of the Exodus to 480 years before the construction of the Temple of Solomon - around 1450 BC, which is very close to the most widely accepted dates for the eruption of Thera as at around 1500 BC. But placing an exact date on the Santorini eruption has been notoriously difficult. A recent radiocarbon dating of an olive tree found inside a lava flow which issued from Santorini, places the date much earlier than that originally thought by archaeologists - at around 1600 BC. But in the wake of the fiasco surrounding the skewed dating of the Shroud of Turin due to the apparent cross contamination of radiocarbon samples, the reliability of this method of dating is far from certain, and even many archaeologists have dismissed these results. One accumulated, the uncertainties surrounding the date of the Thera eruption is felt by many to bolster the feasibility that it coincided with the events of the Exodus.
Many modern scholars reject the biblical date given for the events of the Exodus however, as this would place it as taking place during the reign of Pharoh Thutmose III. Since there is no corresponding archaeological evidence or relevant Egyptian records for this regnal period, many biblical scholars have forwarded a later date for the Exodus as having taken place during the reign of Rameses II circa 1260 BC. As an alternative to this late dating, Egyptologist David Rohl recently forwarded a revised Egyptian chronology which would support the biblical date for the Exodus as at around 1450 BC, and in turn meets with an archaeological record which perfectly fits with the events described in the Bible. Rohl's New Chronology theorises that the conventional chronology used by the vast majority of modern Egyptologists has been artificially over extended by around 300 years, placing the events of the Exodus as occurring during the reign of Pharaoh Dudimose. If nothing else, Rohl's New Chronology highlights the imperfections of the conventional Egyptian chronology, and reminds us that even long established models can be subject to paradigm shifts, just as some of the presumptions of Newtonian physics were overturned by Einstein's theory of general relativity.

So we can safely conclude that the Book of Revelation bases much of its material on the plagues of Egypt, which rather astonishingly, it appears to have known were centred around a "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea. But in its reinterpretation of past events as a reflection of the future, the Apocalypse foretells that a burning mountain being cast into the sea will destroy the eschatological world empire referred to as "Babylon". The main message that seems to be conveyed by these parallels, is that just as the Minoan civilisation (Atlantis?), and indeed the Egyptian Pharaoh, were undone by a burning mountain being thrown into the sea, so too would Babylon be toppled by the effects of a large scale volcanic collapse. It seems that the events of the Thera eruption is destined to be reenacted in the future.
As we have already discussed in the post Mega-tsunami, just such a fate lies in store for America upon the eventual collapse of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands. The ensuing mega-tsunami caused by the collapse of Cumbre Vieja would obliterate the entire east coast of the Americas, including cities such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Miami, as well as the Caribbean islands and various cities on the coast of South America. And a catastrophe on this scale would almost certainly bring about the total economic collapse of the USA - especially if hostile nations exploit this opportunity and deploy certain strategic measures to ensure that it could never recover (such as arming a rogue state to attack key cities on the west coast, or even simply by refusing vital economic aid).
It is also interesting to note that if the destruction of the Minoan civilisation at Thera is the true source of the myth of Atlantis, Plato mistakenly identified this land destroyed in the sea with a continent that lay beyond the pillars of Hercules across the Atlantic Ocean - the location of America itself. Could there be some prophetic significance in this misidenfication of a continent being destroyed in the sea? In addition to being beyond the pillars of Hercules (the closest point between Spain and Morocco across the straits of Gibraltar), Plato describes the location of Atlantis as being at "a distant point in the Atlantic ocean", and that in size it was "larger than Libya and Asia together". Additionally, the Book of Revelation narrates the fall of Babylon in language which is highly evocative of Plato's description of the disaster that befell Atlantis. Plato describes Atlantis as being consumed in the sea in "one grievous day and night", whilst the Apocalypse foretells that Babylon will be destroyed in a "single hour", symbolised by an angel hurling a huge millstone into the sea:

They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”   
(Rev 18:10) 

Once we take into consideration the fact that Sr. Lucia described an event extremely similar to this when she instructed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to commit the Third Secret to writing, we should take the threat of this future event extremely seriously indeed:

 ‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause destructive wars...
(Sr. Lucia, Tuy, January 3rd, 1944)