Thursday 28 June 2012

The Third Secret of Fatima and the Angel with the Flaming Sword

Although it often regarded by some detractors as somewhat of an anticlimax in comparison to the level of hype generated by the Fatima phenomenon, the published text of the Third Secret is actually one of the most profound, if not the most profound, private revelations in the entire history of the Catholic Church. With the level of focus concentrated upon the speculative content of the so-called "hidden text" of Fatima, the great depth of symbolism behind the published text of the Third Secret is quite unfairly overlooked. Yet once we begin to explore this material by applying a spiritual exegesis, the true prophetic depth of the Third Secret begins to reveal itself to us.

There are a number of highly significant themes touched upon in the Third Secret alluding to various passages in Scripture, which invites us to search the relevant portions of the Bible, allowing us to gain a better understanding of what this text is attempting to communicate. The aim is to draw us into a deeper understanding of Scripture, illuminating its Sacred words by helping us to connect important themes found throughout the Bible. It seems that the hermeneutical key to the Third Secret is to be found in the motif of the angel with the flaming sword:

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'.

The "angel bearing a sword" motif has several important scriptural precedents which the Third Secret clearly alludes to. As I point out in the conclusion to my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, the primary biblical parallel which the angel with the flaming sword alludes to is found in the Book of Genesis, when God places a cherubim with a flaming sword in Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life:

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
(Gen 3:22-24)

In the book, I argue that Third Secret warns us that humanity is beginning to pose a very real threat to the sanctity of the "Tree of Life", through the manifold technological innovations that infringe upon the very source of human dignity. Just as Eve was tempted by the Serpent to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, now as we are approaching the edge of world history, her offspring is clasping for the most precious of fruit of all - that of the very fabric of life itself. Humanity is beginning to make an assault on the Tree of Life by abominations such as the possibility of human cloning, or by tampering with the genetic code through stem cell research.

Many scientists have mooted the ultimate goal of reaching the point of so-called "transhumanism" - when humanity will finally be capable of replicating "eternal" life through a combination of nanotechnology, bioengineering, and mapping the human brain through computer technology. Some futurists believe we are nearing the point where humans will be able to directly interface with computers - to the point of being able to "download" our conscienceness into a digital format, before "uploading" it again into a new synthetically created body, thus granting artificial "eternal" life. This ambition threatens to ultimately fulfil the promise of the Serpent - that we "will not surely die", but become "like gods" (Gen 3:4). The goals of transhumanism is the ultimate act of idolatory, with man placing himself in the role of the Creator - the chief aspiration of Lucifer, which caused his original fall from grace:

You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

(Isa 14:13-14)

While the possibility of achieving a culture of transhumanism is still at some point in the future, the assault on the Tree of Life is already well under way in the present, with what Bl. John Paul II described as the rise of the "culture of death". The rampant spread of abortion and euthanasia, and the continued foray into exploring the very essence of humanity by grotesquely manipulating the genetic code - even to the point of splicing it with animal DNA. These actions usurp the role of the Creator, replacing him with a distorted abomination which feigns life itself, dictating who is worthy to live and who should be put to death.

It is this threat to the Tree of Life that will rouse the angel with the flaming sword, envisaged in the Third Secret as about to strike the world with blazing flames. It appears to have been this same threatening gesture that was symbolised by the whirling movement of the Sun at Fatima, recalling the sword "that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life" in Gen 3:24. One of the most respected original witnesses to the Miracle of the Sun, Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University, gives us the following testimony:

"The sun's disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible."

We find a similar account given by Dr. Manuel Formigão, professor of the seminary at Santarém:

"As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multicolored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees."

So the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima on Oct 13th, 1917 appears to have symbolised the vision of the angel with the flaming sword described in the Third Secret - a threat which was first announced at the beginning of a century of genocide, and at the very moment of the rise of the militantly atheistic Soviet Union. And in the interpretation I forward in Unveiling the Apocalypse, this was the same time period which saw the opening of the first of the seven seals of the Book of Revelation (see the post The Four Beasts and the Four Horsemen).

We find the "angel with sword" motif arising again in another richly symbolic biblical passage - that concerning the collapse of Jericho, which is considered by New Testament scholars to be the template for the seven trumpet blasts of the Book of Revelation:

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so...

...Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
(Josh 5:13-15; 6:1-5)

We can find an analogy here between the collapse of the walls of Jericho, and the fall of Babylon described in the Book of Revelation - which is similarly overthrown after the Eschatological Earthquake occurs in Jerusalem. Jericho was encircled by the Israelites for a series of seven days, with seven priests bearing rams' horns before the Ark of the Covenant. The series of septets continues, and the walls of Jericho come tumbling down as the result of an earthquake after seven trumpet blasts by the Israelite priests. If we compare this passage with the relevant text in the Apocalypse below, we can see that this related septet of trumpet blasts also contains reference to the Ark of the Covenant and the eschatological earthquake:

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever”...
...Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
(Rev 11:15, 19)

The fall of Jericho thus seems to be envisioned by the author of the Apocalypse as a precursor to the fall of "Babylon" during the eschatological age. The seven trumpet blasts are recapitulated again in the seven bowl plagues - at the end of which we find the pronouncement of judgment upon Babylon at the occurence of the eschatological earthquake. A vision which once again is partly based upon the collapse of the walls of Jericho after a bout of seismic activity:

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 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. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
(Rev 16:17-21)

The sevenfold judgment by sword finds its origins in the Book of Leviticus, which we are told is the punishment that would be meted out to Israel for apostasy:

"And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant."
(Lev 26:23-24)

So there is an additional warning here in the image of the angel with the flaming sword, given that we currently living during the age of the Great Apostasy. This means that we are calling down the greatest sevenfold judgment of all upon our own heads - the series of septets described in the Book of Revelation. And if we look to the Book of Isaiah, the judgment by a flaming sword takes a decidedly eschatological character, which describes the reckoning of "all flesh" by a trial of fire:

“For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many."
(Isa 66:15-16)

The sword itself is ultimately a symbol of war, and it is in this context that we find another biblical passage that the Third Secret alludes to, in the Book of Ezekiel. In the below passage taken from Ezekiel, there are references to God announcing the punishment of Jerusalem with His sword, which like the Third Secret is described as "flashing" ("flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire"). It is important to note that the Book of Ezekiel is one of the primary sources from which the Apocalypse derives its imagery concerning the Battle of Armageddon - an epic struggle which is also centred on the location of Jerusalem.

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.
 “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord GOD.
 And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

 “A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!

 (Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord GOD.

 “As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter. Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken.”

(Ezek 21:1-17)

Here we are told that the sword comes down three times, which could refer to the three woes of the Apocalypse - which I equate in the book with three world wars. When we read a little further into this chapter in Ezekiel, we find a reference to the Second Coming of Christ, which we have also connected to the Battle of Armageddon previously (see the earlier post on this subject here). An important aspect of this portion of Ezekiel is that it contains another motif alluded to in the Third Secret - that of the sheathing of the sword of judgment, which in the prophecies at Fatima we are told occurs through the intercession of Our Lady. Yet while the sword is said to have been returned to the sheath in Ezekiel, destruction still looms over the city:

Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
 “And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning—while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.”

(Ezek 21:26-32)

We find that these same themes recur in the First Book of Chronicles, which also depicts an angel with a sword poised to destroy Jerusalem, centred on the threshing floor of Araunah (aka Ornan) the Jebusite - the future location of the Temple of Solomon:

And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces...

...Now the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. So David went up at Gad's word, which he had spoken in the name of the LORD. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground. And David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Ornan said to David, “Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.” But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. And David built there an altar to the LORD and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. Then the LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.

At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon, but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
(1Chron 21:15-16, 18-30)

Another image of a heavenly "flashing sword" of judgment can be found in the Book of Deuteronomy - which importantly, closely parallels an otherwise deeply mysterious passage in the Apocalypse:

“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me".
(Deut 32:39-41)

This passage echoes the sevenfold sword judgment described in the Book of Leviticus, and is likewise issued as a threat warning against apostasy. But its true significance lies in its relation to the angel of the seven thunders in the Book of Revelation:

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
(Rev 10:1-7)

Here, the imagery of the flashing sword of judgment described in the Book of Deuteronomy is merged and transposed onto that of the angel of the seven thunders. The shared theme of the raising the hand to heaven to swear an eternal oath helps us to make this connection, granting us with the insight that the angel with the flaming sword described in the Third Secret is the same as the angel of the seven thunders, who holds the open scroll in his hand. The content of the seven thunders issued by the angel with the open scroll is then sealed up, and we have to backtrack to find reference to it again in Rev 5, where we are told that the open scroll is now shut with seven seals:

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
(Rev 5:1-5)

The description of the angel with the open scroll is highly symbolic in itself. We are told that his appearance is as if he is "wrapped in a cloud" with legs like "pillars of fire" - a scene which conjures images of the attacks on the Twin Towers during 9/11. The rainbow above the angel's head signifies the promise given to Noah in Gen 9:13-17 that God would not destroy the earth again by flood - instead 2Pet 3:10-12 tells us that the world will be consumed by fire at the end-time.
As we argued in the earlier post The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal, the 9/11 attacks appear to have been part of the sequence of events that occurred at the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation (which was marked by a series of astronomical omens) - and were connected to the Third Secret and "signs in heaven" described in the Apocalypse by no less a figure than Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, the current Vatican Sectetary of State. And Cardinal Bertone's connection closely parallels the description of the "signs in heaven" given in the Book of Joel:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes". (Joel 2:30-31)
A further connection to New York may be made here in the fact that the description of the angel with the open scroll is deliberately modelled on the imagery of the Colossus of Rhodes - one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The angel is gigantic in stature - with legs spread apart, one standing on land, one in the sea, with a hand stretched up into the heavens - just like the Colossus.

It is a well known fact that the design, posture and dimensions of the Statue of Liberty was modelled after the Colossus of Rhodes. And a poem titled "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus is found engraved on a bronze plaque mounted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Catholic evangelist Mark Mallet has recently posted an excellent blog article detailing the occult symbolism behind the Statue of Liberty, and how this is related to the identity of the Whore of Babylon - which you can find here. And as Rabbi Johnathan Cahn argues in his massively popular book Harbinger, the 9/11 attacks appear to foreshadow a chastisement still to befall the great city - which I suggest will come in the form of the Mega-tsunami threat posed by the collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands - the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8.

A further connection between the flaming sword and the seven seals of Revelation can be found at the opening of the second seal, where we are told that one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse is given "a great sword":

When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
(Rev 6:3-4)

As I have already suggested previously, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can be equated with the four major world powers of the Second World War. If so, then the Horseman being given the "great sword" here, would be a direct reference to the Manhattan Project and America's development of the Atomic bomb during the war. This "great sword" should be identified with the flaming sword held by the angel in the Third Secret - an insight that seems to have been shared by Cardinal Ratzinger in his Theological Commentary in The Message of Fatima:

The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword...

The world has already been brought to the brink of nuclear conflict before, with the Cuban Missile Crisis, which began on Oct 14th 1962 - the 45th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. This event was extremely close to the date specified by Sr. Lucia as to when the Third Secret should be published - 1960, since by then the text would be "better understood". It was during the 1960's that we saw the beginnings of the sexual revolution, with the introduction of contraception and abortion, which in turn has led to the Great Apostasy we are enduring today. Could the Cuban Missile Crisis have been when the angel was about to strike the earth with his flaming sword - at the moment when the first threat to the "Tree of Life" began to emerge? If so, then it seems that Our Lady has already stayed the hand of the angel once already to allow for a period of penance. We must therefore accept this threefold call to repentance before the the cherubim with the flaming sword is roused once more to action:

Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
(Rev 8:5)

Wednesday 20 June 2012

The Great Sign in Catholic Prophecy

The Vision of the Cross fresco in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, painted by the Raphaelite school

Various prophecies made by Catholic saints and visionaries speak of the appearance of a great sign before a major renewal of the Church. The controversial and unapproved apparitions alleged to have occurred at Garabandal and Medjugorje are undoubtedly the most high profile, but it is often forgotten that the promise of a "great sign" is actually rooted in private revelations which have been approved by the Church. St. Faustina appears to refer to such an event in her diary:

Write this: Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.
(Diary, 83)

Our Lady of Akita similarly spoke of the "Sign left by My Son", as one of the only sources of solace in the period of chastisement that is still to befall humanity. And although the signs spoken of at Garabandal and Medjugorje seem to refer to this same event, they put a different spin on it which links the appearance of the sign to their respective locales - making it a matter of cautious discernment. So it would perhaps be wise not to connect it too closely in our minds with these sites. Whether or not the promised "Great Sign" will appear at Garabandal or Medjugorje, or both, remains to be seen, and their authenticity are open to doubt. But given that the sign is also described in approved private revelations, it seems that this event will happen, and that it will be one of the greatest apparitions in history - eclipsing even that of Fatima in importance.
The exact nature of this apparition remains somewhat vague, but St. Faustina's diary is perhaps the best source of information we have on this subject - so we should examine this in closer detail.
The darkness hanging over the earth described by St. Faustina appears to symbolise the spiritual darkness brought about by the Great Apostasy, which will be dispelled by the light of the Second Pentecost. Here, it is foretold that the Second Pentecost will be brought about following a major apparition of a cross in the sky. We know from various other prophecies that the Second Pentecost will be spearheaded by the Two Witnesses of Revelation, and that it is also in some way connected with the martyrdom of a pope - so there seems to be a series of inter-connected events that will lead to the restoration of the Church.
These prophecies of the dawn of a religious renewal after the appearance of a heavenly apparition, seem to be based largely upon Constantine's miraculous vision of the Chi-Rho symbol (also known as the Labarum) above the Sun before his decisive victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312AD. This crucially important event would ultimately lead to the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity, and firmly establish Catholicism as the major religion of Europe over the course of the next two millennia. Constantine's vision is one of the earliest examples of a relation between heavenly apparitions and solar phenomena, which are so frequently prevalent in modern events - most notably the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.
Constantine's miraculous vision of the Labarum is described by one of his contemporaries, the Early Church historian Eusebius of Caesaria:

Accordingly he called on him with earnest prayer and supplications that he would reveal to him who he was, and stretch forth his right hand to help him in his present difficulties. And while he was thus praying with fervent entreaty, a most marvelous sign appeared to him from heaven, the account of which it might have been hard to believe had it been related by any other person. But since the victorious emperor himself long afterwards declared it to the writer of this history, when he was honored with his acquaintance and society, and confirmed his statement by an oath, who could hesitate to accredit the relation, especially since the testimony of after-time has established its truth? He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, Conquer by this . At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.
He said, moreover, that he doubted within himself what the import of this apparition could be. And while he continued to ponder and reason on its meaning, night suddenly came on; then in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens, and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies. At dawn of day he arose, and communicated the marvel to his friends: and then, calling together the workers in gold and precious stones, he sat in the midst of them, and described to them the figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones. And this representation I myself have had an opportunity of seeing.
Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the Saviour's name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X in its centre: and these letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later period. From the cross-bar of the spear was suspended a cloth, a royal piece, covered with a profuse embroidery of most brilliant precious stones; and which, being also richly interlaced with gold, presented an indescribable degree of beauty to the beholder. This banner was of a square form, and the upright staff, whose lower section was of great length, bore a golden half-length portrait of the pious emperor and his children on its upper part, beneath the trophy of the cross, and immediately above the embroidered banner.
The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his armies.
(Life of Constantine I:28-31. See full text here)

A coin of Constatine dating to circa 337AD, showing the Labarum spearing a serpent

It should be further noted that the earliest authentic prophecy of the coming of the Great Monarch in the Latin version of the Tiburtine Sibyl, was actually based on the example of Constantine, rather than Charlemagne (see the full text of this prophecy in the earlier post here). So this could be yet another connection between the Two Witnesses of Revelation and the Angelic Pope and Great Monarch, who are similar prophesied conduits for the spread of Christianity at the end-time.
The appearance of a cross-shaped object in the sky also sounds remarkably similar to an event described by the widely respected 1st century AD Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Josephus details the appearance of a "sword-shaped" star in the night sky above Jerusalem, which he regarded as an omen of its impending destruction in 70AD:

Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those commotions which preceded the war, when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it...

...Besides these [signs], a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."
(Josephus, Jewish Wars VI:5:3 See full text here)

Some commentators have suggested that the "sword" or "cross" shaped star described here by Josephus may have been a near-earth supernova visible in the night skies over Jerusalem. And there have been frequent comparisons of this description with the Star of Bethlehem - which appears to be symbolically connected with this event.
On an interesting side note, SN1054 - one of the few, and indeed best known, historically verifiable supernovae, took place in the year 1054AD, the exact year of the East-West schism that saw the division of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, ending a thousand years of Christian unity - which I suggest in the book may be the point of reference behind the millennial reign of Christ described in Rev 20.
The comet described by Josephus here would thus most likely be the appearance of Halley's Comet in 66AD, which we have already identified as the "Wormwood Star" described in the Book of Revelation (see the post Wormwood, Chernobyl and the Hrushiv Apparitions). So Josephus undoubtedly viewed these astronomical events as omens which heralded the onslaught of the First Jewish Revolt, which lasted between 66-70AD.
A slightly different version of these events is further recounted by the Roman historian Tacitus writing circa 115AD:

Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure. Some few put a fearful meaning on these events, but in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire. These mysterious prophecies had pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, with the usual blindness of ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies of themselves, and could not be brought even by disasters to believe the truth.
(Histories, Book 5, v. 13. See full text here).

The sound of the "great multitude" described by Josephus, saying "Let us remove hence", brings to mind the voices of the multitudes in described in the Book of Revelation:

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just;
 for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants...”

 ...Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
(Rev 19:1-2; 6-8)

It also recalls the departure of the Shekinah from the Temple, symbolised by the tearing of the curtains, which took place after the eternal sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross rendered its functions as obsolete:

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
(Mark 15:33-39)

This in turn is intimately associated with the original, preterist interpretation behind the prophecy of the abomination of desolation:

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
(Matt 24:15-16)

It thus seems that it was the prodigies described by Josephus that led to the flight of Christians from Jerusalem to Pella before the destruction of Jerusalem, which is described by Eusebius in his Church History:

But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.
(Church History III:5.3. See full text here)

And this in turn seems to be related to another passage in the Apocalypse concerning the voice from heaven telling the people of God to come out of Babylon before its impending judgement:

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities."
(Rev 18:4-5)

There are some echoes here of the escape of the Israelites from Egypt. And importantly, it also alludes to Lot's departure from Sodom before it was consumed by the fire and sulphur which descended from heaven. The two angels sent by God to rescue Lot and his family before the destruction of Sodom, directly foreshadow the coming of the Two Witnesses sent to rescue the people of God with the Second Pentecost before the destruction of the earth by fire:

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet..."
...Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
(Gen 19:1-2;12-14)

These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. 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.
(Rev 11:4-8)

 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings...
...“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.”
(Mal 4:1-2; 5)

It is this promised "Great Sign" that will inform the people of God to depart from the state of apostasy (which is represented by the captivity in Babylon), and return to the house of their Master before the arrival of the chastisement. As we shall see in the next post, it is this threat of chastisement which is symbolised by the angel with the flaming sword in the Third Secret of Fatima, who is halted through the intercession of the Virgin Mary to allow for a period of reconciliation. By examining its many allusions to passages in the Old Testament, we can gain a better sense of the true spiritual depth of the Third Secret. For now, it will suffice to conclude that the prophecy of the Second Secret was only partially fulfilled in the appearance of the aurora borealis of 1938. It seems that this event was a foreshadowing of things to come, and we should perhaps expect the ultimate fulfilment of this prophecy in the "Great Sign" that is still to arrive in the future. It is this sign that will announce the coming of the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father himself during the final tribulation, whilst also calling those who have fallen away from the faith into accepting a state of repentance:

When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father...

This will be the ultimate and final fulfillment of the prophecy of the "sign of the Son of Man", which Jesus said would appear before his arrival in Glory at the Second Coming, when he comes to bring judgment upon the earth:

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
(Matt 24:30)

This event, which was prefigured in the planetary alignment of the year 2000 (just as the Star of Bethlehem prefigured the ministry of Christ thirty years later), will be the final layer to the "sign of the Son of Man" prophecy.

Friday 15 June 2012

New Blog on Smartphones and the Mark of the Beast

Mark Davis, a doctoral student from Texas, has posted a well researched article detailing the connection between the prophecy of the mark of the Beast and the advent of smartphones, which can be found here. It takes a slightly different approach from a fresh perspective, but arrives at the same conclusion we have been already discussing on this blog. As time goes on, it seems that more and more people are awakening to the realisation that the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is already upon us, and is not just some distant future possibility. Well worth reading...

See also the related posts:

Cell phones versus RFID Implants as the "Mark" of the Beast
Hebrew 666?
The Mark of the Beast?

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Mark of the Beast - Cell Phones to Replace Credit Cards

Cell phones have been mooted to be the future of electronic commerce for a number of years now. Now it seems that another major development has been made in the replacement of credit cards with the use of mobile phone payment technology. A "GetCash" scheme was launched in the UK today which allows users to get cash from ATM machines without using credit or debit cards - by using their cell phones instead. Customers with a particular banking app on their phones can request to be issued with a six digit PIN on their handset, which is valid for three hours. They then enter this six digit code at the ATM to receive cash.

The Huffington Post reports on this new innovation below:

Cardless Cash Machines Coming with GetCash Scheme

Mobile phone payment technology took another step forward today with the launch of a scheme allowing people to take cash from an ATM without using their debit card.
From today, people with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest mobile banking app can take money from an ATM by making a request on their mobile phone.
They will receive a six digit pin number after making the request, which can be entered at a cash machine for the money to be released.
The scheme aims to help people who may have lost or forgotten their card or those who might want to leave their wallet at home.
The service, named GetCash, works at NatWest and RBS ATMs, with a limit of £100 per use. The pin codes issued are valid for three hours and people can use the scheme as many times a day as they need to, as long as they do not go over their withdrawal limit.
It is available to around two and-a-half million customers who already have the banking app on their phone and those behind the initiative said it is a first for the UK.
(See the full article here)

It seems that it won't be long before contactless NFC technology will be incorporated into ATM machines. This would allow users to receive cash simply by swiping their cell phones over readers, in the same way that you can already use contactless payments at many high street stores right now. Of course the present security issues will have to addressed first, before any significant transactions could be made. But the rapid progress of biometric mapping could provide an easily implemented and highly effective security measure, since cell phones already contain the necessary technology. Your cell phone could easily and instantly run an iris, fingerprint or facial recognition scan through the in-built camera, before allowing any transactions to proceed. This would virtually eliminate the possibility of fraud. Biometric technology is already used in many modern passports throughout the world, and it would simply be a matter of sharing data between different government departments before the widespread use of this technology could be implemented.
Interestingly, it is in countries without a highly developed banking infastructure that mobile phone payments have taken off first. The BBC article and video from 2009 found here shows how cell phone payments were already widely available in Africa well before the introduction of contactless NFC payments in the West. So we still have some catching up to do.
Of course, eventually ATM machines will become completely defunct, and virtually all transactions will be made digitally over the www through cell phones. It is quite possible, and indeed maybe inevitable, that the need for cash will become redundant through this technology, and eventually no one will be able to "buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name." (Rev 13:17)

See also the related post Cell Phones versus RFID Implants as the "Mark" of the Beast

Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Prophecies of La Salette and the Turn of the Millennium

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."

Maximin Giraud

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...
(1Tim 4:1-3)

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.
(Matt 24:10-14)

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.
(Rev 11:7-8)

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.
(Rev 12:7-9)

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.
(Rev 12:13-17)

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.
(Rev 13:1-2)

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.

Friday 1 June 2012

John Paul II - The Triumph of Mary and the Great Jubilee

Among the various saints and visionaries who pointed to the prophetic significance of the turn of the millennium, the most prolific was none other than Bl. John Paul II. Time and again throughout his various papal documents, Pope John Paul II referred to the special significance of the Great Jubilee year at the turn of the millennium - going as far as to state that it was "a hermeneutical key of my Pontificate" (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 23. See full text here). Strong words indeed, especially from someone whom was prophesied by St. Faustina as the one who would prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus:

"I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming." Notebook VI 1732

John Paul II held a very strong belief in the symbolic importance of time and dates, which is particularly evident from the apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente. But his deep reverence for the Great Jubilee year seems to go beyond mere fascination with symbolism. As prominent Catholic journalist Damian Thompson notes in his book The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium, the late Pope's underscoring of the symbolic significance of the turn of the millennium "frequently gives the impression that he knows more than he is letting on" (p172). Writing in 1996 - four years before the publication of the Third Secret, Thompson goes on to suggest that the Pope's level of regard for the turn of the millennium may be attributed to the content of the last secret of Fatima - a theory which would accord very well with my own hypothesis that the hidden text of the Third Secret contains a date pointing to this time period:

Not for the first time, one wonders if the Pope is deliberately tantalising his audience, for his references to Fatima are anything but transparent and comprehensible. Towards the end of [Crossing the Threshold of Hope], he returns to the subject as if it is something he cannot get off his mind. The Pope quotes the dying words of the Polish Cardinal August Hlond: 'The victory, if it comes, will come through Mary.' John Paul adds that, after he was elected pope, he came to have a similar conviction, even though at the time he knew little of the prophecies of Fatima. 'At first, I did not pay attention to the fact that the assassination attempt had occurred on the exact anniversary of the day Mary appeared to the three children at Fatima in Portugal and spoke to them the words that now, at the end of this century, seem to be close to their fulfilment.'... passing over the Fatima material John Paul's critics may well have missed the whole point of the book. The Pope himself has said that the year 2000 provides the key to his papacy, which by any standards is one of the most remarkable in the annals of the Church; and his understanding of this Great Jubilee is by no means transparent or one-dimensional. It fits into a wider vision of the shape of history which he nowhere reveals in its entirety. But, by invoking the prophecies of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, he has, arguably, given the game away.
(Thompson, D. The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium, pp173-174).

John Paul II's concept of the significance of the Great Jubilee year was intimately tied to his anticipation of a "new springtime" for the Church. He envisaged it as a time of renewal preceded by Divine Mercy and the forgiveness of past sins, highlighting how Jewish thought on the jubilee year hinged upon the cancellation of debt. It will be worth looking at the thoughts of Bl. John Paul II on the significance of the Great Jubilee in some detail below:

Against this background, we can understand the custom of Jubilees, which began in the Old Testament and continues in the history of the Church. Jesus of Nazareth, going back one day to the synagogue of his home town, stood up to read (cf. Lk 4:16-30). Taking the book of the Prophet Isaiah, he read this passage: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour" (61:1-2).
The Jubilee, "a year of the Lord's favour", characterizes all the activity of Jesus; it is not merely the recurrence of an anniversary in time.
12. The words and deeds of Jesus thus represent the fulfilment of the whole tradition of Jubilees in the Old Testament. We know that the Jubilee was a time dedicated in a special way to God. It fell every seventh year, according to the Law of Moses: this was the "sabbatical year", during which the earth was left fallow and slaves were set free. The duty to free slaves was regulated by detailed prescriptions contained in the Books of Exodus (23:10-11), Leviticus (25:1-28) and Deuteronomy (15:1-6). In other words, these prescriptions are found in practically the whole of biblical legislation, which is thus marked by this very specific characteristic. In the sabbatical year, in addition to the freeing of slaves the Law also provided for the cancellation of all debts in accordance with precise regulations. And all this was to be done in honour of God. What was true for the sabbatical year was also true for the jubilee year, which fell every fifty years. In the jubilee year, however, the customs of the sabbatical year were broadened and celebrated with even greater solemnity. As we read in Leviticus: "You shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family" (25:10). One of the most significant consequences of the jubilee year was the general "emancipation" of all the dwellers on the land in need of being freed. On this occasion every Israelite regained possession of his ancestral land, if he happened to have sold it or lost it by falling into slavery. He could never be completely deprived of the land, because it belonged to God; nor could the Israelites remain for ever in a state of slavery, since God had "redeemed" them for himself as his exclusive possession by freeing them from slavery in Egypt.
The prescriptions for the jubilee year largely remained ideals—more a hope than an actual fact. They thus became a prophetia futuri insofar as they foretold the freedom which would be won by the coming Messiah. Even so, on the basis of the juridical norms contained in these prescriptions a kind of social doctrine began to emerge, which would then more clearly develop beginning with the New Testament. The jubilee year was meant to restore equality among all the children of Israel, offering new possibilities to families which had lost their property and even their personal freedom...

If in his Providence God had given the earth to humanity, that meant that he had given it to everyone. Therefore the riches of Creation were to be considered as a common good of the whole of humanity. Those who possessed these goods as personal property were really only stewards, ministers charged with working in the name of God, who remains the sole owner in the full sense, since it is God's will that created goods should serve everyone in a just way. The jubilee year was meant to restore this social justice. The social doctrine of the Church, which has always been a part of Church teaching and which has developed greatly in the last century, particularly after the Encyclical Rerum Novarum, is rooted in the tradition of the jubilee year.
14. What needs to be emphasized, however, is what Isaiah expresses in the words "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour". For the Church, the Jubilee is precisely this "year of the Lord's favour", a year of the remission of sins and of the punishments due to them, a year of reconciliation between disputing parties, a year of manifold conversions and of sacramental and extra-sacramental penance. The tradition of jubilee years involves the granting of indulgences on a larger scale than at other times...

In view of this, the two thousand years which have passed since the Birth of Christ (prescinding from the question of its precise chronology) represent an extraordinarily great Jubilee, not only for Christians but indirectly for the whole of humanity, given the prominent role played by Christianity during these two millennia. It is significant that the calculation of the passing years begins almost everywhere with the year of Christ's coming into the world, which is thus the centre of the calendar most widely used today. Is this not another sign of the unparalleled effect of the Birth of Jesus of Nazareth on the history of mankind?
(Tertio Millennio Adveniente)

It is also by no accident that the Great Jubilee was chosen as the year of the canonisation of St. Faustina and inauguration of the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday. During his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, the pope quoted from St. Faustina's Diary:

Jesus said to Sr Faustina one day: "Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy" (Diary, p. 132). Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium.
(See here)

This quote refers to various other prophecies of St. Faustina concerning the period of Mercy that will be given to the world before Christ's coming in judgment:

Speak to the world about My mercy... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy.
(Diary 848)

Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy.
(Diary 1588)

He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).

You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy.
(Diary 635).

The fact that Bl. John Paul II chose the feast of the Great Jubilee to establish the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, gives us a degree of insight into his beliefs concerning this richly symbolic time period. We can gain a further sense of John Paul II's thought on the significance of the Great Jubilee year, and its relation to the coming of the Second Pentecost or "new springtime" of the Church, by further examining Tertio Millennio Adveniente:

With regard to its content, this Great Jubilee will be, in a certain sense, like any other. But at the same time it will be different, greater than any other. For the Church respects the measurements of time: hours, days, years, centuries. She thus goes forward with every individual, helping everyone to realize how each of these measurements of time is imbued with the presence of God and with his saving activity. In this spirit the Church rejoices, gives thanks and asks forgiveness, presenting her petitions to the Lord of history and of human consciences. Among the most fervent petitions which the Church makes to the Lord during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches, is that unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion...

What these Popes have accomplished during and since the Council, in their Magisterium no less than in their pastoral activity, has certainly made a significant contribution to the preparation of that new springtime of Christian life which will be revealed by the Great Jubilee, if Christians are docile to the action of the Holy Spirit.

So it is clear that John Paul II thought of the turn of the millennium as the beginning of a "new springtime" for the Church, which in the papal encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem, he links with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised during the Second Pentecost:

The Church feels herself called to this mission of proclaiming the Spirit, while together with the human family she approaches the end of the second Millennium after Christ. Against the background of a heaven and earth which will "pass away," she knows well that "the words which will not pass away" acquire a particular eloquence. They are the words of Christ about the Holy Spirit, the inexhaustible source of the "water welling up to eternal life," as truth and saving grace. Upon these words she wishes to reflect, to these words she wishes to call the attention of believers and of all people, as she prepares to celebrate- as will be said later on-the great Jubilee which will mark the passage from the second to the third Christian Millennium.
(Dominum et Vivificantem. See full text here).

We can thus see the intent of the symbolic gesture made by the Pope during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the Great Jubilee year, when on 23rd March, 2000, he became the first pope in history to pray in the Cenacle - the Upper Room in Jerusalem where the Last Supper was held, and the same location where the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles during Pentecost.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Acts 2:1-4)

As we shall discuss in more detail in a future post, the scene of the tongues of fire descending upon Apostles during Pentecost was reenacted during the apparitions of Our Lady of Assiut on the Great Jubilee year on 29th March 2000 (just days after the Pope's prayers in the Cenacle) - one of the most remarkable apparitions of modern times (which I argue in the book are directly connected to the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12). According to eyewitness accounts, the apparitions at Assiut began inside the Church at an icon representing the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, which depicted the Virgin Mary with a Dove over her head surrounded by the disciples. The Dove in the icon began to illuminate first, and the light then spread down to illuminate the heads of the disciples before spreading around the rest of the Church (see the full eyewitness report at the Zeitun website here).
It is also perhaps worth noting that St. Peter's first words at Pentecost are taken from the Book of Joel, directly linking the final Outpouring of the Spirit with the "signs of heaven", which we have already noted in the post Signs in the Sky, all took place at the turn of the millennium:

 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

(Acts 2:14-21)

And on a further side note, the mention of the "blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke" that was predicted by Joel to accompany the signs in heaven would most likely correspond with the 9/11 attacks in 2001 (see the post The Two Towers and the Sixth Seal).
We find John Paul II's emphasis on the outpouring of the Spirit once again in the apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, where the Pope stated that the symbolic actions undertaken during the feast of the Great Jubilee year should be considered as a prophecy of the future:

It is impossible to take the measure of this event of grace which in the course of the year has touched people's hearts. But certainly, "a river of living water", the water that continually flows "from the throne of God and of the Lamb" (cf. Rev 22:1), has been poured out on the Church. This is the water of the Spirit which quenches thirst and brings new life (cf. Jn 4:14). This is the merciful love of the Father which has once again been made known and given to us in Christ. At the end of this year we can repeat with renewed jubilation the ancient words of thanksgiving: "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love endures for ever" (Ps 118:1).
For all this, I feel the need to write to you, dearly beloved, to share this song of praise with you. From the beginning of my Pontificate, my thoughts had been on this Holy Year 2000 as an important appointment. I thought of its celebration as a providential opportunity during which the Church, thirty-five years after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, would examine how far she had renewed herself, in order to be able to take up her evangelizing mission with fresh enthusiasm.
Has the Jubilee succeeded in this aim? Our commitment, with its generous efforts and inevitable failings, is under God's scrutiny. But we cannot fail to give thanks for the "marvels" the Lord has worked for us: "Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo" (Ps 89:2).
At the same time, what we have observed demands to be reconsidered, and in a sense "deciphered", in order to hear what the Spirit has been saying to the Church (cf. Rev 2:7,11,17, etc.) during this most intense year.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is especially necessary for us to direct our thoughts to the future which lies before us. Often during these months we have looked towards the new millennium which is beginning, as we lived this Jubilee not only as a remembrance of the past, but also as a prophecy of the future.
(See full text here).

In another important encyclical, Redemptoris Mater, John Paul II speaks of the significance of the turn of the millennium while reflecting upon the precursory role of the Virgin Mary in accordance with the Divine plan of salvation. There appears to be some notable influences here of the mariology of St. Louis De Montfort, who spoke of the eschatological role of Mary leading up to the time of the Second Advent:

The circumstance which now moves me to take up this subject once more is the prospect of the year 2000, now drawing near, in which the Bimillennial Jubilee of the birth of Jesus Christ at the same time directs our gaze towards his Mother. In recent years, various opinions have been voiced suggesting that it would be fitting to precede that anniversary by a similar Jubilee in celebration of the birth of Mary.
In fact, even though it is not possible to establish an exact chronological point for identifying the date of Mary's birth, the Church has constantly been aware that Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ. It is a fact that when "the fullness of time" was definitively drawing near-the saving advent of Emmanuel - he who was from eternity destined to be his Mother already existed on earth. The fact that she "preceded" the coming of Christ is reflected every year in the liturgy of Advent. Therefore, if to that ancient historical expectation of the Savior we compare these years which are bringing us closer to the end of the second Millennium after Christ and to the beginning of the third, it becomes fully comprehensible that in this present period we wish to turn in a special way to her, the one who in the "night" of the Advent expectation began to shine like a true "Morning Star" (Stella Matutina). For just as this star, together with the "dawn," precedes the rising of the sun, so Mary from the time of her Immaculate Conception preceded the coming of the Savior, the rising of the "Sun of Justice" in the history of the human race.

Her presence in the midst of Israel-a presence so discreet as to pass almost unnoticed by the eyes of her contemporaries-shone very clearly before the Eternal One, who had associated this hidden "daughter of Sion" (cf. Zeph. 3:14; Zeph. 2:10) with the plan of salvation embracing the whole history of humanity. With good reason, then, at the end of this Millennium, we Christians who know that the providential plan of the Most Holy Trinity is the central reality of Revelation and of faith feel the need to emphasize the unique presence of the Mother of Christ in history, especially during these last years leading up to the year 2000.

(Redemptoris Mater 3. See full text here).

If we compare the above reflections on the turn of the millennium and the precursory role of the Virgin Mary with the prophecies of St. Louis De Montfort in his Treatise on True Devotion, we can see some striking parallels:

"If 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 the full chapter of the relevant portion of Treatise on True Devotion here).

The kernel of John Paul II's thought on the precursory role of Mary and its relation to the Second Advent and the turn of the millennium in the 1987 encyclical Redemptoris Mater, can be found in a prayer service the Pope held at the Spanish Steps on 8th Dec, 1983.

O Mary! Be the Mother of our liberation from every evil:
From the evil that overburdens man's conscience,
and from that evil which always more threateningly obstructs
the horizon of our century.
You are the light of the first Advent!
You are the morning star that precedes the coming of the Messiah.
Now that the Church and mankind are approaching the end
of the second millennium of Christ's coming--
be for us the light of this new Advent,
be its morning star,
so that darkness does not surround us!
Precisely at the end of the second millennium
there accumulate on the horizon of all mankind
enormously threatening clouds, and darkness falls
upon human souls.

(The full English text of this prayer can be found here. The original document can be found in Italian on the Vatican website here.)

Of further import which appears to link this thought back to the prophecies of Our Lady of Fatima, we find that this prayer was offered on the exact same day the pope issued his intention to carry out the Act of Entrustment of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in an apostolic letter, with words that were quite rightly labelled as "apocalyptic" by some sections of the media:

Dear brothers in the episcopal ministry. On 25 March 1983 we started the special Jubilee of the Redemption. Thank you again for joining me in inaugurating, in that same day, the Year of the Redemption in your diocese. The solemnity of the Annunciation, which recalls the liturgical year in the beginning of the work of redemption in human history, was particularly suited for such opening. This is connected with the beginning of Advent, and all the current Year of the Redemption has in a sense the character of Advent, as we approach the two thousand years after Christ's birth. We live this expectation of the fulfillment of the second millennium of the Christian era, sharing difficult and painful experiences of the people, indeed all humanity in the contemporary world.

This world of men and nations we have before our eyes today: the world of the second millennium is ending, the contemporary world, our world! The Church, remembering the words of the Lord: "Go... and make disciples of all nations... Here I am with you always, until the end of the world " (Mt 28, 19-20), has revived, in Vatican Council II, the consciousness of his mission in this world. And therefore, O Mother of men and peoples, you who know all their sufferings and their hopes, you who feel maternally all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the plea that, moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your heart, hugs with love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord, that our human world, that I entrust and consecrate to you, full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of and peoples. In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations, which thus entrusted and consecrated especially need.

Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of people today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future! From famine and war, deliver us! From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us! From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us! From hatred and from the dignity of the sons of God, deliver us!From every kind of injustice in society, national and international, deliver us! From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us! From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us! From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us! From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us! deliver us!

(The original Italian is here. Both this original Italian document, as well as that of the prayer service held at the Spanish Steps above, bear the date of 8th Dec 1983).

There is a certain logic behind the idea that the role of Our Lady in End-time events would occur by the millennial anniversary of her greatest contribution to salvation history - the moment when she brought forth her Son for the redemption of the world. And John Paul II was undoubtedly fully aware of the various prophecies that pointed to this time period as the time of the Triumph of Mary. As we have already discussed in recent posts, the turn of the millennium was highlighted by a number of saints and visionaries as a time of singular prophetic importance. According to the most widely accepted interpretation of Pope Leo XIII's prophecy of the 100 years of Satan's power, the turn of the millennium marked the end of Satan's greater control over human affairs. This prophecy is styled after the Book of Job, where Satan is permitted to test God's servant through a series of trials. Here Satan acts in the forensic role of the prosecution before the heavenly court, where he accuses the Christian brethren "day and night before our God" (Rev 12:10). The fact that Pope Leo set about composing the St. Michael prayer directly after experiencing this vision, specifically links the end of this 100 years of power with the outcome of the War in Heaven described in Rev 12:7-12, when Satan is cast from the heavenly court to earth, whereupon he transfers his great power and authority to the Beast that rises from the sea:

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!”
(Rev 12:7-12)

St. John Bosco also pointed to this time period as the moment of a great Marian victory (see here), as did Fr. Stefano Gobbi (see here). And in the post The Year of the Dragon, we discuss various other prophecies concerning the turn of the millennium.
According to traditional Catholic thought, the victory over Satan is won through the intercession of Mary, who as the Woman Adorned with the Sun, was foretold in the protoevangelium to crush the head of the Serpent:

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

(Gen 3:15)

This passage is frequently alluded to in Scripture as a prediction of the defeat of Satan - the moment God deals a fatal blow to the head of the Leviathan:

Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
(Ps 74:12-14)

In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
(Isa 27:1)

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
(Rom 16:20)

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.(Luke 10:18-19)

But paradoxically, while this is a moment of great victory in heaven, that will allow the fruit of the Triumph to take place with the gift of the Second Pentecost, it is also a time of great peril for the inhabitants of the earth - "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!”. Upon being cast to earth, Satan immediately continues his quest to destroy the Woman (who also represents the Church), sending forth a flood of apostasy which threatens to sweep her away (a time period it seems that we are currently experiencing), before she is rescued by the two wings of the great eagle (which represents the Two Witnesses), who inaugurate the Second Pentecost - after which, the earth comes to the Woman's aid and the flood is swallowed up:

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.
(Rev 12:13-16)

The Devil cannot succeed to sweep the Woman away with the flood, for the Church is built upon the Rock of St. Peter -  "on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". (Matt 16:18)

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock."
(Matt 7:24-25)

Once thwarted by the ministry of the Two Witnesses, the Dragon then sets about pursuing the rest of the Woman's seed - which refers to the final persecution of Christians under the Antichrist:

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.
(Rev 12:17)

So although the victory is won in heaven and the head of the Serpent has been crushed, enigmatically, once he has been cast to earth Satan transfers his power and authority to the Beast, so that the mortal wound dealt to the head of the Leviathan appears to be healed:

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. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
(Rev 13:1-4)

It is at this same point in time that the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is fulfilled as an antithetical parallelism of the sealing of the saints in heaven during the opening of the sixth seal. The forerunner to the Antichrist - the False Prophet or "anti-Elijah", has already prepared the way for the coming of the Beast by causing the inhabitants of the earth to construct for themselves an image in its honour - an image which is one and the same as the "mark" bearing the number of its name.

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.
(Rev 13:11-15)

So each of these prophecies converge on a single point in time - a prophetic nexus that was the millennial anniversary of the Advent of Christ. A time period which John Paul II pointed to as the ushering in of a new Advent, guided by the Morning Star of the Theotokos - the God-bearer. The one who crushes the head of the Serpent to illuminate the way before the dawn of the Second Pentecost, when the Bride will prepare itself for the coming of the Groom.
If the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary began on the Great Jubilee year, then it should be thought of as occurring over an age rather than a specific moment in time. It is an ongoing process in an age which will bring forth a new springtime for the faith before the Second Coming of Christ, when the Triumph will finally be complete and the final trial will begin.
It would also make sense out of St. Faustina's prophecy that a spark would come from Poland to prepare the way for the Coming of Christ; as by his own admission, the pontificate of Bl. John Paul II was centred around the Great Jubilee - the moment when the prophecy of the Woman Adorned with the Sun appears to have reached its ultimate fulfilment. It may also further explain the motto De Labor Solis ("from the labour of the Sun"), which is equated with the pontificate of John Paul II in St. Malachy's list of popes. It is well known that Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) was both born and buried on the day of a solar eclipse. But this phrase is also obviously derived from the imagery of the birth pangs of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12. A portion of the Apocalyspe which depicts the Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Second Advent, preparing the way for the defeat of Satan and the Second Coming of her Son, Christ Jesus:

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.
(Rev 12:1-2)