The original secrets of Our Lady of La Salette, given to Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud in 1846, and first written down in 1851, were buried in the Vatican Secret Archives for almost 150 years before their discovery by Fr. Michel Corteville in 1999. When they were first published by Fr. Corteville along with Fr. Rene Laurentin in the 2002 book Découverte du Secret de La Salette, it was found that Melanie's secret differed somewhat from the later versions of her secret, published in 1858, 1873 and 1879 respectively. Prior to the publication of the 1851 originals in 2002, the vast majority of the content of Maximin's secret was unknown to the general public.
As I argue in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, it seems that the main reason that the secrets of La Salette was suppressed for so long, was due to their reference to a specific point in the future as to when the prophecies would begin to take place - the year 2000. It stands to reason that the Church would withhold a private revelation from publication if it contained a set time frame by which its prophecies were to be fulfilled - so as not to "paint itself into a corner" before the date comes to pass and the prophecy could be verified. Indeed it would be very foolish to publish and publicly endorse a prophecy that points to a specific point in the future, as it could only serve to discredit the judgement of the Church hierarchy if it failed to bear fruition by the appointed date. It seems that this was the true reason that the secrets of La Salette were withheld from publication until after the turn of the millennium. Once the date mentioned in Maximin's secret had passed, then it would be safe to publish the secrets without causing undue panic and hysteria focusing on a certain date, which history has repeatedly shown to be a very grave error indeed - such as in the case of the Millerites in the 19th century. When Baptist preacher William Miller used the 2,300 day prophecy in the Book of Daniel to point to the year 1844 as the date of the Second Coming of Jesus, an entire movement consisting of several hundred thousand followers were left bewildered and disillusioned when the appointed time had passed without event.
If we turn to read the original version of Maximin's secret, we find that its inclusion of a date pointing to the year 2000 could have generated a similar amount of hysteria if it had been published during the lifetimes of the seers of La Salette and left for a century for its readers to speculate on the meaning of its content.
The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it. Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere. Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects.
Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
All that I tell you here will arrive in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand."
The original 1851 text of Maximin's secret
Upon first reading the text, it would be easy to dismiss this secret as failed prophecy, since it appears to predict that its contents - which includes the coming of a monster, the martyrdom of the pope, and the Second Pentecost (when "the great country in the north" - England, would be converted), would all take place by the year 2000. Upon closer inspection however, we find that it states that these events would "arrive" by the year 2000 at the latest. The exact wording of this is important.
"Tout ce que je vous dis là arrivera dans l'autre siècle, [au] plus tard aux deux millle ans."
The French word arriver has the exact same meaning in English, and has a fairly loose interpretation when used in this context - especially in comparison with other more definite words that could have been used. For example if the prophecy had used the word "occur" instead of "arrive", the prediction would have a more absolute rendering, and we could only interpret it as meaning that all of the events described would take place by the year 2000: "All that I tell you here will occur in the other century, at the latest in the year two thousand". If this was the original wording of the prophecy, then we would have no other choice but to conclude that it had failed to unfold by the appointed date. But the use of the word "arrive" here can imply an ongoing process that would begin to take place by the year 2000 at the latest. The use of this word suggests that the prophecies would "arrive", or begin to happen by the year 2000, rather than that they would be fulfilled by this date. And when we look back to the other posts concerning the turn of the millennium, we find that this accords exactly with the various other prophecies on this subject - i.e. that this date would see the end of the hundred years of Satan's greater power, when he would be cast to earth by the Archangel Michael. An event which was foretold to occur through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and which would pave the way for the coming of the Second Pentecost that must take place before the Paraousia of Christ.
So the fact that Maximin's secret points to the year 2000 as the date which would see the arrival of the events leading to the Second Pentecost corresponds exactly with the theology of Bl. John Paul II on the significance of the Great Jubilee year as the dawn of a "new springtime" for the Church (see the earlier post John Paul II - The Triumph of Mary and the Great Jubilee).
Maximin's secret places its prophecies in the context of the Great Apostasy foretold in Scripture, which it suggests will have already occurred by this date:
The faith will die out in France: three quarters of France will not practice religion anymore, or almost no more, the other part will practice it without really practicing it.
This prophecy corresponds to the falling away from the faith described in various places throughout the New Testament:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons...
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction...
(2 Thess 2:3)
But like the Olivet discourse, the secret of La Salette states that this state of apostasy will be reversed by the coming of the Second Pentecost, and that the practice of the true religion would again reflourish, beginning with the conversion of England:
Then, after [that], nations will convert, the faith will be rekindled everywhere. A great country, now Protestant, in the north of Europe, will be converted; by the support of this country all the other nations of the world will be converted.
Compare this description of the reversal of the falling away from the faith with Jesus' eschatological discourse below:
And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Maximin's secret is remarkable in the fact that the decline of Christianity in Europe would have been unthinkable in mid-19th century France - especially before the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859.
The next part of the secret speaks of "disorders" arising within the Church and "everywhere" - a prophecy which appears to allude to the impact of the liturgical reforms made in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, and the paedophile scandals that have helped to propagate an anti-clerical mindset in the common populace:
Before all that arrives, great disorders will arrive, in the Church, and everywhere.
It then goes on detail the martyrdom of a pope, after which it states the Second Pentecost, or "great peace" will come (see also the post Prophecies of the Martyr-Pope).
Then, after [that], our Holy Father the Pope will be persecuted. His successor will be a pontiff that nobody expects. Then, after [that], a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it.
Importantly, this part of the secret tells us that the promised era of peace after the Second Pentecost will not last a long time, as a "monster" would come to disturb it. This portion of Maximin's secret closely corresponds with the Book of Revelation, which describes how the Two Witnesses are to be killed by the Beast that rises from the "bottomless pit" or abyss:
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified.
The above passage similarly suggests that the era of peace would be short-lived, since the Two Witnesses who are responsible for initiating the Second Pentecost are killed by the Antichrist, who is foretold to bring about the last persecution of the Church - just as Ss. Peter and Paul were killed by the Emperor Nero, who is the ultimate prototype of the Beast of Revelation. This suggests that the era of peace after the Second Pentecost will be overturned within the course of a human life time.
The prophecy of the appearance of a monster who would disturb the peace established by the Two Witnesses is directly related to several other passages of the Apocalypse concerning the "throwing down" of the Red Dragon to the earth, who then rises from the watery abyss in the form of the Antichrist:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
And once the Dragon is thrown to earth, he transfers his power and authority to the Beast that rises up from the sea - which was the location of the abyss in ancient Jewish cosmography:
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.
So Maximin's secret points to a time in salvation history which would not only see the beginning of the Second Pentecost, but also the arrival of the monster that would disturb the era of peace which follows the martyrdom of a pope. A series of events that corresponds exactly with the sequence I forward in the book.