(The Massacre of the Innocents by Lucas Cranach the Elder, circa 1515)
Michael H Brown posted an important article on Spirit Daily last week concerning fresh details about the Third Secret of Fatima contained in the new biography of Sr. Lucia, A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary. In this article, which can be found here, Brown highlights a portion of this text containing an insight into the meaning of the words "In Portugal the faith will always be preserved, etc..." - which is thought by many to be part of the interpretation of the vision of the Third Secret given to Sr. Lucia by Our Lady, which was apparently given separately to the Secret itself. In A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary, the Carmelites of Coimbra inform us that Sr. Lucia had once exclaimed out loud while meditating that if "Portugal does not approve abortion, it is safe, but if approved it will have much to suffer." Originally it was thought that the words "In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved, etc..." (which appears in Sr. Lucia's Fourth Memoir), was an implicit reference to the Great Apostasy, and that although the faith would die out elsewhere, it would always be preserved in Portugal. The details that have emerged in this new biography hint at an alternative explanation for these words, which makes a lot more sense in light of the current state of the country where Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Indeed modern Portugal is rapidly becoming just as secularized as every other country in Europe, and the empirical evidence suggests that this country has not been afforded any special spiritual protection from the onslaught of the Great Apostasy. In fact abortion was legalised in Portugal in 2007, meaning that it already stands under the threat of chastisement warned by Sr. Lucia.
Instead of guaranteeing the perpetual fidelity of the nation of Portugal, Sr. Lucia appears to suggest that there was some sort of caveat behind these words, in that if Portugal ever does deviate from the teachings of the Church, then it would be punished even more for its sins, in accordance with words of Christ Himself:
"And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more."
The words directly following this passage in Luke's Gospel bear direct relevance to the symbolism of the angel with the flaming sword seen in the Third Secret:
“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."
The parallel passage to this in the Gospel of Matthew tells us that ultimately Christ will not come to bring peace to the earth during His Paraousia, but rather the sword of judgement:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."
It is this double-edged sword of judgement which proceeds from the mouth of Christ seen in the Apocalypse, which in turn is also linked to the appearance of an angel seen "standing in the sun" calling for the assembly of the nations of the world for war at the end of the "thousand years":
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” (Rev 19:15-18)
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 argue at some length in an article below, the angel seen holding a flaming sword in the Third Secret is one and the same as the cherubim with the flaming sword who protects the Tree of Life in the Book of Genesis, guards not only the path to eternal life, but also upholds the dignity of human life against the modern "culture of death" (See the post The Third Secret of Fatima and the Angel with the Flaming Sword).
The angel seen striking the earth with his flaming sword in the apparition of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia at Tuy in 1944 is directly related to the eschatological earthquake, which the book of Ezekiel tells us will cause entire mountains to be thrown down before a sword is summoned against Gog during the Battle of Armageddon:
"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."
(Our Lady to Sr. Lucia, Tuy, Jan 3rd, 1944)
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.
This in turn is also directly connected to the burning mountain being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8 and Jer 51, which describes the destruction of the eschatological world empire symbolically called Babylon by the sea:
“I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the LORD.“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain declares the LORD, which destroys the whole earth; I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain. (Jer 51:24-25)
“How Babylon is taken, the praise of the whole earth seized! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations! The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves. Her cities have become a horror, a land of drought and a desert, a land in which no one dwells, and through which no son of man passes." (Jer 51:41-43)
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.
The destruction of Babylon is symbolized by the angel throwing a huge millstone into the sea, which as well as being derived from the actions of the prophet Jeremiah in Jer 51, is also based on a passage in the Gospels, where Christ warns of the punishment that awaits those who attack the innocent:
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"...
"When you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’” (Jer 51:63-64)
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."
So it seems that Sr. Lucia's connection of the modern holocaust of abortion to the punishment of the land of Portugal is in some way related to the angel striking the earth with his flaming sword, which Our Lady revealed to her in the 1944 Tuy vision would cause a massive earthquake, which is followed by the collapse of entire mountains and a tsunami so huge that the victims are too innumerable to count. The angel with the flaming sword, who is charged with protecting the Tree of Life, acts in response to the cries of the blood of innocent children from the ground for Divine justice. The coast of Portugal just so happens to be one of the most at risk locations in the world by any mega-tsunami that will be generated during the eventual collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands, and will be the first place where the tidal surge will strike in Europe.
There are a number of other layers of interpretation behind Christ's words concerning the punishment by the millstone being thrown into the sea that awaits those who persecute the innocent. Jesus compares the innocence of children to His own believers, and uses this imagery as a warning against anyone who leads them into sin, causing them to fall away from the faith. Indeed the equation between the persecution of innocent children and Christians being led into apostasy is also used in Rev 12, which equates King Herod's slaughter of the innocents to the Devil sending out a flood in an attempt to sweep away the Woman Adorned with the Sun during the Great Apostasy, who represents the Church as well as the Virgin Mary:
The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. (Rev 12:15)
It is perhaps no coincidence then that the legalisation of abortion in the Western hemisphere soon followed the start of the modern Great Apostasy, which found its roots in the cultural revolution of the 1960's. And as we have already discussed at some length elsewhere, the legalisation of abortion in Europe, with the implementation of the UK Abortion Act (which in turn would pave the way for the legalization of abortion in America, following Roe Vs Wade in 1972), directly coincided with the apparitions of Our Lady of Zeitoun in April 1968 - the most widely witnessed Marian apparitions in human history. These appearances of Our Lady took place at a site traditionally associated with the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt to escape from King Herod's slaughter of the Holy Innocents, and given the apocalyptic nature of modern Church approved apparitions, they bear an incredible parallel to the vision of the flight of the Woman Adorned with the Sun into the desert in Rev 12. The implication here is that apostasy and abortion go hand-in-hand, and that a nation which falls away from the faith will ultimately begin to devour its own young - an unspeakable transgression which calls down vengeance from heaven. Once again, it seems to be beyond coincidence that the age which saw the beginning of the modern Great Apostasy the Church is currently enduring, which marked by an incredible omen in the sky - during the appearance of the Comet Ikeya-Seki in October 1965, at the close of the Second Vatican Council.
The Comet Ikeya-Seki, also known as the "Great Comet of 1965"
This ominous sign, which hung in the sky like a great flaming sword, was the most spectacular comet of the 20th century, and indeed is ranked by astronomers as one of the greatest such events in a thousand years. Was this heavenly sign warning us of the dawn of the age of the Great Apostasy and the introduction of the modern holocaust of unborn children? What we do know for sure is that such actions will eventually prompt the angel holding the flaming sword to chastise humanity - a judgement we are told will come in the symbolic form of a huge millstone being thrown into the sea.