Back in April 2012, I posted an article in response to a question someone asked me by email, concerning my thoughts on the significance of a remarkably symbolic planetary conjunction on the Feast of the Annunciation. Following a simple logical assumption, my response was that we wouldn't know for sure if this event held any prophetic significance until nine months had passed. Given that it appeared on the Feast of the Annunciation - which celebrates the Archangel Gabriel announcing the conception of Jesus to the Virgin Mary, it seemed apparent that any significance that this event heralded would only be revealed nine months later - during the Christmas period. With nothing else to go on, I thought it was interesting at the time that this was very near the date of 21st December, 2012 - which was of prophetic importance to the ancient Maya. But of course this has nothing to do with Catholic prophecy, and as we all know, the significance of this exact date turned out to be something of a damp squib. Yet out of curiosity, I was still on the lookout for anything of prophetic importance that would take place around this time period, just to see if the astronomical events on the Feast of the Annunciation did indeed point to anything, or act as some sort of heavenly sign. It turns out that something considered of immense prophetic importance (by its supporters anyway at least) did happen at this time period - at Medjugorje - a turn of events which took me by a bit of a surprise. Given that some readers have already picked up on this correlation, and that many more are Medjugorje devotees, I thought it would be necessary to address this topic.
On 25th December, 2012 (exactly nine months after this remarkably symbolic planetary conjunction on the feast of the Annunciation), alleged visionary Marija Pavlovic reported that for the first time in 31 years of the Medjugorje phenomenon, the Infant Jesus spoke during the apparitions instead of Our Lady.
An extract of a report made by Spirit Daily on this subject is given below:
It is not an inconsequential development.
Since January 25, 1987, a seer at the apparition site of Medjugorje allegedly has been receiving a message meant for the world from the Blessed Mother on the twenty-fifth of each month, which tallies, over the course of twenty-six years, to more than three hundred of them. The twenty-fifth of this month -- January (1/25/13) -- will bring what may be the most anticipated one in the history of the monthly or any messages. The reason: for the first time since the apparitions started -- in 1981 -- the monthly message, on December 25, 2012, as officially reported by the local parish, was delivered not by Mary but by the Infant Jesus.
Each Christmas He is seen on the Virgin's lap. But this time, allegedly, He spoke to stunned visionary Marija Pavlovic.
What He reportedly said was as succinct as it was authoritative, powerful, and meaningful. "I am your peace," Marija quoted Him as saying (after He stood on Mary's lap). "Live My commandments." Seven words with vast implications, operating in accordance with Scripture on various levels -- and summarizing more than three decades of apparitions.
(Read the full article here)
As regular readers of this blog will know, I have been somewhat undecided on the subject of Medjugorje, and am loathe to broach this subject given the volatile reactions it can create. While the Medjugorje visionaries have millions of supporters worldwide, there are still many Catholics that reject these apparitions out of hand - either as outright fraud, or even as a diabolical deception. This is largely due to a collection of anomalies and inconsistencies that have been compiled by critics throughout the years, since the apparitions first began on 24th June, 1981 (the Feast of St. John the Baptist). There has also been criticisms surrounding an apparent lack of spiritual depth in the published messages, as well as the unprecedented frequency of the apparitions themselves. Added to this are a number of controversies swirling around some of the personalities involved in these events. To be honest, I was slightly swayed on the side of disbelieving due to this weight of criticism. In light of the recent events there, especially in relation to this apparent heavenly portent (which appears to have pointed to an event occurring on 25th December, 2012 nine months in advance), I have been led to re-evaluate this position. This latest alleged apparition now appears to have something of substance, which even if approached tentatively on a provisional basis, may be worth exploring further.
Even if we are to approach these apparitions with due caution, in the knowledge that many of the events at Medjugorje can be ascribed to preternatural, rather than supernatural causes, we should still had keep in mind the core principle of jurisprudence - "innocent until proven guilty". And as to some of the discrepancies that have been highlighted by critics throughout the years, it should be acknowledged that even genuine seers can err in certain respects, due to the human element in this medium. A danger at the higher levels of mysticism which is detailed by St. John of the Cross in his monumental work Ascent of Mount Caramel. The basic thrust of this is summed up rather succinctly by Cardinal Ratzinger in his Theological Commentary in the Vatican document The Message of Fatima:
“Interior vision” is not fantasy but, as we have said, a true and valid means of verification. But it also has its limitations. Even in exterior vision the subjective element is always present. We do not see the pure object, but it comes to us through the filter of our senses, which carry out a work of translation. This is still more evident in the case of interior vision, especially when it involves realities which in themselves transcend our horizon. The subject, the visionary, is still more powerfully involved. He sees insofar as he is able, in the modes of representation and consciousness available to him. In the case of interior vision, the process of translation is even more extensive than in exterior vision, for the subject shares in an essential way in the formation of the image of what appears. He can arrive at the image only within the bounds of his capacities and possibilities. Such visions therefore are never simple “photographs” of the other world, but are influenced by the potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject.
Simple mistakes and errors - so long as they are not contrary to faith or morals, can be put down to mere human weakness and misinterpretation, and are not necessarily involved in the validation process of any given alleged apparition. So any small anomalies and inconsistencies can be put to the side. The most important evidence that will be used to establish whether or not this phenomenon is supernatural in origin (as distinguished from preternatural) is the various medical reports of healings and authentic records of first-hand witnesses which are being meticulously sifted over by the current Vatican commission on Medjugorje, headed by Cardinal Ruini. If this commission can verify any of the many miracles attributed to Medjugorje beyond reasonable doubt (i.e. those that can only be effected through supernatural causes), it is this, and only this, that can be used to identify the supernatural character of these apparitions. Given that there are presently no immediately ascertainable miracles associated with this phenomenon - such as the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, which was predicted months in advance, and witnessed by thousands - establishing the supernatural character of Medjugorje will be no easy task.
So it is prudent not to be too strident in one direction or the other, given that all the facts are not currently available to us; and in charity, we should remain open to the possibility that they may in fact be genuine. But it would be a very grave mistake indeed to attach oneself too closely to any unapproved private devotion, as people can sometimes tend to invest a great deal of their beliefs in events which are not essential to the central fundaments of Scripture and Tradition - which are then shattered along with everything else when deception or illusion is exposed.
With these caveats in mind, it will be beneficial to recap the astronomical event which occurred on the Feast of the Annunciation 2012, and analyse the symbolism of this event in relation to the significance of the prophecy to which it intimates - that of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12. Then we can go on to see how any of this may tie in with the alleged events of 25th Dec, 2012.
On March 25th 2012, Venus and Jupiter appeared together in a conjunction with the crescent Moon and the Pleiades in the night sky. We discussed the potential significance of this remarkable event here, where I suggested that we would have to wait for nine months to see if it did point to anything. Some commentators had suggested that this phenomena resonated with the cosmic symbolism detailed in chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation, and also with the planetary conjunctions that appeared around the time of Christ's birth - which have been equated by many scholars with the Star of Bethlehem. According to one theory (discussed on the documentary shown here - fourth video), the Star of Bethlehem should be associated with a series of events which culminated in a remarkably close conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the year 2BC - so there are indeed some noteworthy parallels here.
The original article which noted the significance of this astronomical phenomena can be found on Daniel O'Connor's blog here, which I will briefly quote again below:
On March 25, 2012, millions of Christians (Catholic and Orthodox) will celebrate the “Annunciation” – which commemorates the conception of Jesus. This March 25, there will be a neat astronomical arrangement in the sky, that seems to mesh nicely. See the description below:
For centuries Mary has been referred to as the “Morning Star”, the popular name of the Planet Venus. In this configuration, the Morning Star appears with the moon at her feet. The Pleiades (from “peleiades” the Greek word for doves) overshadows the Morning Star. Jupiter, the “King Planet” approaches the configuration. The symbolism is striking. This is a interesting arrangement for the mystery of the Annunciation which heralds Christ’s coming through Mary.The sky will be spectacular in the west after sunset on March 25, 2012, with the waxing crescent moon and the planet Jupiter very close to each other in the evening twilight sky. Plus Venus is nearby – the sky’s brightest planet. You’ll see Jupiter and the moon below Venus in the west after sunset. The famous Pleiades star cluster is above Venus.(Image and text from http://earthsky.org/tonight/moon-and-jupiter-closest-in-west-after-sunset-march-25-2012 )
There were some comparisons drawn between the above planetary conjunction and the description of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12:
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. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
There are indeed some striking correlations here. In Catholic tradition, the Virgin Mary came to be identified with the Morning Star - a title which was previously associated with the archangel Lucifer before his fall from grace. But after the fall of Lucifer from his original glory, the honourific title of the Morning Star and the symbolism it conveys would lie dormant until it could be associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the new Morning Star, Our Lady thus effectively supplanted Lucifer as the highest being in the angelic order, becoming even greater in stature as the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven.
The association between the Virgin Mary and the Morning Star is found in many private revelations. Our Lady of Fatima is depicted with a yellow star at her feet, in accordance with the descriptions of Sr. Lucia herself given to various sculptors when the first statues were being commissioned for the Shrine at the Cova de Iria. In an article titled Hidden Revelations: The Star of Esther and the Secrets of Fatima published on Catholic Family News in 2008, Marianna Bartold connected the star depicted on the tunic of Our Lady of Fatima to the biblical tale of Esther, the famed Jewish Queen who interceded for her people on the 13th of the month of Adar - an event which is still remembered by Jews today during the festival of Purim. Bartold notes that the Hebrew month of Adar roughly corresponds to February in the Gregorian calendar, highlighting the significance of this connection in relation to the date of the death of Sr. Lucia on 13th Feb, 2005. The association of the Star of Esther with Our Lady of Fatima is further bolstered by the fact that the apparitions always occurred on the date of the 13th of each month; and that many renowned mystics, such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, regarded Esther as an Old Testament prototype of Our Lady - bearing attributes that would later be epitomized by the Blessed Virgin. When we add to this the that fact that the name Esther is etymologically linked to the Morning Star (see here), we are presented with a fairly compelling argument.
A litany dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary helps to explain how the symbolism of the Morning Star reflects certain qualities of the Mother of God:
MARY, your loving Son Jesus calls Himself the Light of the World, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me does not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8,12). The Church calls Him the Sun of Justice. As the morning star precedes the sun, announcing the dawn of day, so you precede Christ, the Sun of Justice, announcing the day of salvation. Through your coming, blessed Morning Star, the whole world was enlightened. You were truly the bright Morning Star of that blissful day when the world saw the divine Sun of its redemption arise upon it.
You withdrew during the public life of Jesus, when like the sun He gave light by word and deed. But when the Sun of Justice went down, you again appeared as the Evening Star, for I behold you on Calvary standing under the cross of your Son. Even now, after our divine Savior has withdrawn His visible presence and is enthroned in heaven at the right hand of His Father, you shine in the Church as a friendly Star whose radiant fight will never more be extinguished till the end of time.
So, just as the appearance of the Morning Star precedes the appearance of the Sun, the Virgin Mary precedes the coming of her Son, Jesus. A point which is elaborated on further in St. Louis de Montfort's Treatise on True Devotion, where the saint prophesied that Our Lady would also play an important role in preparing the world for the Second Coming of Christ:
"If... as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom in the world...
The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ so that men, as yet insufficiently instructed and enlightened concerning the person of her Son, might not wander from the truth by becoming too strongly attached to her...
But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. The reasons which moved the Holy Spirit to hide his spouse during her life and to reveal but very little of her since the first preaching of the gospel exist no longer...
In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause.
It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil. "I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel" (Gen. 3:15)...
...the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent's cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws. But Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him.
(See here for the full chapter on Mary's role in the "latter times" in the Treatise on True Devotion - a work which was written well before the current age of major Marian apparitions first began, starting with the apparitions of Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure, Rue de Bac, in 1830).
Now that we have went into a little detail regarding the association between the Virgin Mary and the Morning Star, we can return to examine any purported significance of the conjunction of Venus with Jupiter (the King Planet) above the Crescent Moon on the Feast of the Annunciation, 2012. When we do so, we can see that there are some further parallels with the description of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12. Venus, the Morning Star, was crowned with the Pleiades cluster (the seven sisters), next to which is the Hyades Star cluster (known as the "five step sisters"). In Greek mythology (from which the modern astronomical constellations derive their names) the Hyades were the nymph daughters of the titan Atlas, and step-sisters to the Pleiades. So together, these 12 sister-stars were crowning Venus/the Morning Star during this planetary conjunction.
The Crescent Moon below the Morning Star on this date recalls the many popular icons inspired by Rev 12. The Crescent Moon at the feet of the Virgin traditionally represents Satan in Catholic iconography - such as in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (the Moon was the god of the night for the Aztecs, and the crescent shape symbolizes the horns of the Devil).
The Moon below the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12 symbolizes the Serpent being crushed beneath her feet - as foretold by the protoevangelium in Gen 3:15. We are told that the Moon is at the Woman's feet in Rev 12 because as a representation of the Dragon, it intends to devour the Child (which on one layer of interpretation relates to King Herod's slaughter of the Holy Innocents). But the Dragon's plans are thwarted upon his defeat during the War in Heaven. The Child is carried into heaven; while the Woman/Church is given a place of refuge in the desert. The Crescent Moon being beside Jupiter (the King Planet) in this configuration could then symbolize the assault on the Christ-child by the Great Red Dragon, and its position beneath Venus would represent its head being crushed.
As well as describing events that unfolded during the time of Jesus (i.e. the story of the Nativity), the vision of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12 also looks forward to events that will take place during the eschatological age. We are told that Satan will once again attempt to devour the Woman's Child towards the end of the world - by attacking devotion to Christ in the era known as the Great Apostasy (which is described throughout the New Testament). But Rev 12 informs us that the Child is protected by heaven, having been called up to the Throne of God; and the Woman, who also represents the Church, is given a place of refuge in the spiritual wilderness - which is to be associated with the prophecies of the Second Pentecost. Although the world during the age of the Great Apostasy is barren like the wilderness of the ancient Levant, the Woman is given a place of refuge there - in line with Christ's promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church (Matt 16:18). In the Bible, the desert is the place of testing and purification, and it is from the spiritual wasteland of the unbelieving world that the cry of Elijah echoes forth, preparing the way for the coming of the Lord by calling the people into repentance:
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
The events symbolized by the Moon/Serpent being crushed beneath the Woman's feet thus begin to unfold - with the end-time defeat of the Devil by the Archangel Michael during the War in Heaven. Here, Satan is finally ejected from the heavenly court where he had been accusing humanity night and day since his primordial fall from grace, and is cast down to the earth. The Book of Job tells us that after his primordial fall from grace during the Creation, Satan was still free to come and go between heaven and earth in order to test humanity, and bring his accusations before the throne of God.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”
A passage which is reflected in the First Epistle of St. Peter:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5:8)
But Rev 12 tells us that after his period of power is granted - the "little while" given to him in Rev 20:3 (which again parallels the greater power granted to Satan in the Book of Job), the Devil will be tolerated in heaven no longer, but cast down to the earth. And it is only through this defeat of Satan in heaven that the Second Pentecost is allowed to take place, bringing "the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ":
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 I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
The War in Heaven marks the end of the "little while" of Satan's greater power on earth - which is a time of testing for the Church corresponding to the trials of Job (as well as the vision of Pope Leo XIII).
And just as Job's fortune was restored to him with interest after the time of Satan's testing, it is prophesied that so too will the fortunes of the Church be restored during the Second Pentecost, bringing our brothers and sisters lost to schism back into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church:
And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house.
Yet although Satan has been defeated and is cast from heaven to earth, the inhabitants of the world are warned to bewail the fact the Devil has come down to them in great wrath. His fury against humanity is now greater than ever before. St. John is then shown a vision of the Beast/Antichrist rising from the sea after the Dragon had been cast to earth. The Beast from the sea is modeled on the image of the Dragon, and even bears the mortal wound inflicted on the head of the Serpent by the Virgin Mary and her Offspring.
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. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
The Dragon, though defeated and expelled from heaven, initiates a final act of defiance by transferring his power and authority to the Beast/Antichrist on earth. So although the power of Satan in heaven has been finally vanquished, allowing the Second Pentecost to take place, his mortal wound appears to be healed and his influences continue unbridled on earth through the action of transferring his great power and authority to his agent the Antichrist.
Given that this portion of the Apocalypse is chronologically disjointed (being arranged according to thematic content instead), we then have to backtrack again to Rev 12 to discover some more information about what happens when Satan realizes he has been cast to the earth:
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.
Although defeated in heaven, the Devil continues his pursuit of the destruction of the Woman/Church on earth. So from an earthly perspective nothing seems to change much after Satan is defeated in heaven and thrown to the earth; until suddenly, the Woman is given the two wings of the great eagle to escape into her place of refuge - which represents the appearance of the Two Witnesses of Rev 11. These two wings are the healing wings of righteousness spoken of in the Book of Malachi, which tells how the prophet Elijah will come to reverse the effects of the Great Apostasy:
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
This point is again reinforced in Rev 12 by the description of the Serpent pouring a flood from his mouth which threatens to carry the Woman/Church away, which tells of the effects of the Great Apostasy and falling away of the faithful. But the earth comes to the aid of the Woman (symbolizing the mass conversions at the Second Pentecost), and the raging waters of apostasy are swallowed up. But this infuriates the Dragon even further, who then goes on to make war against the rest of her seed during the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist (a time foreseen in the vision of the Third Secret of Fatima). So the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun is primarily concerned with portraying the events of the Second Pentecost - which occurs after Satan has finally been thrown down from heaven, and according to a range of prophecies from trustworthy, and even Church-approved sources, occurred at the turn of the millennium (which I go into some considerable detail in the book and elsewhere on this blog).
It was because of these connections between the prophecies of the Woman Adorned with the Sun and the Second Pentecost, that I argued in the earlier post concerning the events on the Feast of the Annunciation 2012, that the most likely event it heralded (if any) would be connected to the Second Pentecost/Era of Peace. It will be worth recapping the relevant portion of the article below:
Since it took place on the feast of the Annunciation, it would follow that any particular event this may signify would only be revealed nine months later - the gestation period of an unborn child. So we could safely assert that we would know exactly if it does indeed herald any future event during the Christmas period - close to the rather ominous date of 21st December 2012. We will only know that it was truly a sign if anything of historical or religious importance occurs around this time period.
As exactly to what event it could herald can only be guessed at. We can be almost certain that it is not the Second Coming of Christ, since the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that this pivotal moment in salvation history is delayed until the future conversion of the Jews - an event which is synonymous with the Second Pentecost and the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the earth:
"The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, 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 establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old." St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?" The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles", will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".
(CCC 674 See full text here)
We have clearly not reached the stage of the conversion of the Jews at the Second Pentecost just yet, but there are other prophesied events that it may concern. The promised religious revival to take place at the Second Pentecost is almost certainly the next major prophesied event that is to take place - at least according to any provisional schedule which may be determined from analysing the eschatological events foretold in Scripture.
So could it herald the coming of the Second Pentecost itself? This event seems to be intimately related to the prophecies of the ministry of the Two Witnesses and the martyrdom of a future pontiff. And in turn these events also appear to be connected to the "great sign" promised in various prophecies, including those of St. Fautina and Our Lady of Akita. Therefore any of these events are the most likely prophetic occurrences yet to unfold at the highly significant schedule relating to the date of 21st December 2012.
Yet foremostly it has to be admitted that the most likely explanation is that this particular date bears no significance at all to the date of the end-time (especially not to Christianity), and that like every other prophesied date purporting to pinpoint the end of the world, it will come to nought. We can only be left guessing until nearer the time. Either way, it is extremely unwise to tie ourselves to an exact date - especially when we know that the coming of the Lord will be as a "thief in the night" (Rev 16:15), and that we should always be prepared for the arrival of the Groom. Attempting to to preempt this crescendo of salvation history through the process of logic is all but impossible.
Now that nine months have indeed passed, and we have the benefit of hindsight, we can see that there was no other alternative event around the Christmas period that this particular "sign" could have pointed to. So either it wasn't a sign at all and signified nothing, or it heralded what has been regarded as a major shift of events at Medjugorje on 25th December 2012. While we still can't know for sure one way or the other, and it would be imprudent to suggest that this is definitive proof of the validity of Medjugorje; it is enough to prompt us to investigate any potential meaning that the words of the Infant Jesus at this date may have in relation to the Era of Peace/Second Pentecost promised by Our Lady of Fatima, since there is a very real prospect that they may in fact be genuine. As the Apostle Paul stipulates:
"Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good".
(1 Thess 5:19-21)
As it has already been pointed out by others, and covered in some detail by Spirit Daily, the reputed words of the Infant Jesus at Medjugorje: "I am your peace, live my commandments", appears to be a direct allusion to St. John's Gospel - specifically chapter 14:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you".
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The words "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you" call to mind Our Lady's promise of an era of peace given in the Second Secret of Fatima:
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.
And also the words of Our Lady of La Salette, given in Maximin's secret:
"a great peace will come, but it will not last a long time. A monster will come to disturb it."
(see here for the full portion of the original, Church-approved, 1851 version of the secrets of La Salette, which were discovered in the Vatican Secret Archives in 1999 - which is to be distinguished from the later and more widely known unapproved editions of Melanie's secret).
The events at Medjugorje on the 25th Dec, 2012 appear to be directly related to (or an expansion on) an alleged apparition exactly 10 years to the day beforehand, on 25th Dec, 2002 - so it should probably be considered with this background detail in mind:
Dear children! This is a time of great graces, but also a time of great trials for all those who desire to follow the way of peace. Because of that, little children, again I call you to pray, pray, pray, not with words but with the heart. Live my messages and be converted. Be conscious of this gift that God has permitted me to be with you, especially today when in my arms I have little Jesus – the King of Peace. I desire to give you peace, and that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God’s peace begins to rule the world.
In both places in St. John's Gospel which are alluded to in the alleged words of the Infant of Medjugorje on 25th Dec, 2012, we find the single unifying theme of Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit - the Paraclete and Spirit of Truth (highlighted in bold above). While on an immediate level this referred to Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to the Apostles during the feast of Pentecost, it also looks forward to the time of the Second Pentecost, when all things will be revealed through the power of the Spirit of Truth. The significance of both of these verses are brought together a little further on in John's Gospel, in chapter 16, where we find that the point in emphasis is the fact that the hidden words of Scripture would be revealed through the actions of the Holy Spirit:
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
This particular passage in the Gospel of St. John appears to allude to the "sealed words" of Scripture spoken of in the Book of Daniel, which we are told would only be revealed at "the time of the end":
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand."
Here, the Book of Daniel tells us that the opening of the sealed words of Scripture would take place after the War in Heaven, when St. Michael the Archangel would arise to defeat the Dragon, and cast him to the earth (as is described in Rev 12). We are told that after the victory of St. Michael, the people of Daniel (i.e. the Jewish people) would be delivered - which is the conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming of Christ prophesied by St. Paul:
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
But of course it is not just the Jewish people who will be converted during this New Springtime of the Church, but as St. Paul states, "the fullness of the Gentiles" will also be brought into the fold. This is when the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout the whole after the age of the Great Apostasy. But those who endure to the end of this age of apostasy will see the salvation of Christ:
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.
As we noted in the earlier post here, St. Hildegard of Bingen also prophesied the revelation of the sealed words of Scripture described by Daniel and St. John, and connects this to a renewal of the Church:
Now, the law is neglected by spiritual people, who disdain to teach and do good works. Both the teachers and the prelates are asleep: they have abandoned justice. Therefore, I heard this voice from heaven, saying: O daughter of Sion, your crown will fall from your head, your cloak of increasing riches will shrink, your numbers will be forcibly reduced, and you will be banished from one place to another. Many cities and monasteries will be wrenched away by powerful individuals, and princes will say, “Let us take away from them that iniquity which, through them, is overwhelming the whole world.” And I saw and heard that all these dangers and griefs will befall regions and monasteries because they have turned aside from obedience and other precepts of the law. And I saw that even amidst sins of this kind there are some who will cling to God and will sigh unto Him, just as in the time of Elijah...
Afterward, the justice and judgment of God will arise, and the people will know the discipline and fear of God. There will also be good and just individuals among the spiritual people, who, nevertheless, will remain few in numbers because of their humility, but who, like the hermits, will turn back to the first dawn. And they will do this out of fear for times past that, they will understand, had been pernicious to them....
Then, courageous men will arise and prophesy, and they will gather together all things old and new from the Scriptures and all that has been uttered through the Holy Spirit, and they will adorn their understanding of these things as if with a necklace set with precious jewels. Through their influence and that of other wise people, many of the laity will become virtuous and will live saintly lives.
(Epistolarium II, CCCM 91)
In those days many also shall prophesy and many more shall be wise, so that the secrets of the prophets and the mysteries of the other scriptures in their fullness shall lie open to the wise. Their sons and daughters shall prophesy, just as was foretold many ages before…. They shall also prophesy in the same spirit by which the prophets of old announced the mysteries of God, and in the likeness of the apostles’ teaching, which excelled all human understanding.
(Liber Divinorum Operum III.10.25-26) See the earlier post The Prophecies of St. Hildegard on the Second Pentecost).
In addition to the above correlations, it is interesting to note that the year 2013 will mark the 2000th anniversary of the finding of Jesus in the Temple (the fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary), after the Holy Family had lost the adolescent Christ (the third sorrow of Mary). If Jesus was one on 25th December 1AD, his twelfth birthday would have been celebrated on 25th December 12AD, making the Passover of 2013 the 2000th anniversary of the Finding in the Temple. Although modern scholarship has suggested that the actual year of Jesus' birth may have been some years earlier, Catholics still use the Anno Domini numbering system to celebrate anniversaries and jubilees connected to the life of Jesus. So the Anno Domini system still retains the primary symbolic value for Christians, given that we have no other uncontested means of celebrating anniversaries surrounding the life of Christ.
Many scholars believe that the boy Jesus had been taken to Jerusalem at this point to mark his Bar Mitzvah. A Bar or Bat Miztvah is a Jewish coming of age ceremony which is today celebrated once a child has turned 13 - a point in life where children are considered responsible for their actions, and thus a "son of the commandments" - which is the meaning of the Hebrew/Aramaic word Bar Mitzvah (Bar and Bat means "son" and "daughter" respectively, while Mitzvah means "commandments"). Once they had reached the age of accountability, adolescent children were expected to live by the commandments given to Moses in the Torah. Some commentators suggest that Jesus would have been among the scholars in the Temple during this pilgrimage in order to receive instruction on how to properly live the commandments of Jewish law. But the teachers were amazed at Jesus' understanding of the Scriptures when he began to expound to them their true meaning:
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Christ among the Doctors of the Law, Paolo Caliari, (16th century)
The Jewish custom of the Bar Mitzvah, is analogous to the sacrament of confirmation in Catholicism (when we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit), given that both rituals are conferred around adolescence - the age of reason or accountability. So we can only hope and pray that during the Year of Faith in 2013, the Church will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit promised during the Second Pentecost, which will usher in the beginning of the age in which the fortunes of the Church will be restored; and like Mary and Joseph, the former world of Christendom will find the Christ who has been lost to it. Maybe upon this renewed discovery of Christ, we too will be "amazed at his understanding and his answers", when the hidden meaning of Scripture is revealed to the doctors of the Church.
This would then tie in rather nicely with the "Worthy Shepherd Prophecy" of Bl. Tomasuccio de Foligno, which also places the Second Pentecost to around this time period - by "about twelve years shall the millennium have passed":
"One from beyond the mountains shall become the Vicar Of God. Religious and clerics shall take part in this change. Outside the true path, there will be only disreputable men; I shrug my shoulders when the Bark of Peter is in danger and there is no one to lend it help... The schismatic shall fall into the scorn of the Italian faithful... By about twelve years shall the millennium have passed when the resplendent mantle of legitimate power shall emerge from the shadows where it was being kept by the schism. And beyond harm from the one who is blocking the door of salvation, for his deceitful schism shall have come to an end. And the mass of the faithful shall attach itself to the worthy Shepherd, who shall extricate each one from error and restore to the Church its beauty. He shall renew it."
I originally thought that this prophecy pointed to the year 2012. But someone has pointed out that the words "about twelve years shall the millennium have passed" would single out the year 2013, rather than 2012, since twelve years would have passed (i.e. reached completion) since the millennium, bringing us up to the end of the year 2012 and into 2013. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if this is indeed a genuine prophecy. And as to Medjugorje, it will be interesting to see what unfolds during the course of this year, as expectations are now running high that the events of 25th Dec, 2012, marks a major shift in this phenomenon.