Friday 6 February 2015

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

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

A common theme throughout the apparitions of Our Lady of Zeitoun, and other related apparitions in Egypt was that the location and timing of the apparitions themselves were a key component in conveying their true significance. The apparitions in Egypt have all occurred in locations associated with the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt to escape from King Herod's Slaughter of the Holy Innocents. The main appearances of Our Lady of Zeitoun also first began to coincide exactly with the legalization of abortion in the United Kingdom in April 1968, which paved the way for this policy to be adopted throughout the Western Hemisphere (see my earlier post on this subject Our Lady of Light and the Apocalyptic Nativity). So the central "message" of these apparitions were a warning that humanity was about to commit a new "Slaughter of the Innocents" on a massive, worldwide scale.

An interesting feature of these recent apparitions in Northern Iraq is that they were centred on the town of Alqosh (Elkosh in ancient Hebrew), which was the hometown of the biblical Prophet Nahum, which lay just a few miles north of the city of Nineveh:

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

While little is known of the Prophet Nahum himself, the central thrust of this book focused on the impending destruction of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, much like the Prophet Jonah. Only while the Ninevites to whom Jonah preached circa 786-746BC repented and were spared when Nahum issued his oracle warning of the imminent destruction of Nineveh around 615BC, the city soon met its ultimate downfall at the hands of the Medes and Babylonians.

The timing of this recent apparition seems to be of great importance here, as the site of ancient Nineveh now houses the city of Mosul, which was taken last year by ISIS, who set about the destruction of the tomb of the Prophet Jonah on July 24th, 2014. Does this new apparition augur the destruction of the city of Mosul as Divine Retribution for this desecration? The apparitions took place at the start of a US led operation, backing Kurdish forces to take back the city of Mosul, which began on this exact date - 21st January, 2015.

As we have noted on several posts previously, the site of ancient Nineveh lay in the path of the 1999 solar eclipse, which I argue in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, was part of the "signs in heaven" foretold in the Book of Revelation, which include a total solar eclipse, accompanied by an earthquake, as well as a total lunar eclipse, a meteor shower, and the appearance of a sign involving "blood, fire and columns of smoke" (see the earlier post "Signs in the Sky"). 

Another interesting link between the 1999 solar eclipse to the apparitions of Our Lady in Egypt can be found in the fact that the apparitions of Our Lady of Assiut in the Great Jubilee Year 2000 on August 17th, occurred on the exact anniversary of the Izmit earthquake, which took place in Turkey on 17th August, 1999 - just days after the eclipse had also passed by this area on August 11th before moving on to transverse the site of ancient Nineveh. The location of Izmit itself was highly significant in the fact that this is the site of ancient Nicomedia - the location where the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued his first Edict against Christians on February 23rd AD303, beginning the Great Persecution. The Diocletianic Persecution saw the most intense attack against Christians established throughout the majority of the Roman Empire, and in many ways reflects the coming Great Persecution of Christians under the Antichrist, which was foreseen in the Third Secret of Fatima (first published at the turn of the millennium on 24th June 2000).

It is of some import here that the city of Nineveh was founded by the biblical King Nimrod, who according to tradition was the builder of the Tower of Babel. As I have argued at some length in the previous post The Angel of the Seven Thunders, the miraculous reversal of the confusion of tongues at Pentecost, pointed to the significance of the story of the Tower of Babel and how this event would figure once again in the Second Pentecost. We have also noted in this post the connection between the "blood, fire and columns of smoke" quoted by St. Peter at Pentecost in Acts 3 as being part of the "signs in heaven", and how this ties into the events of 9/11 at the turn of the millennium, which were accompanied by the astronomical signs which took place on the millennial anniversary of the birth of Christ (prefigured by the Protoevangelium and the crushing of the head of the Serpent). It seems of some importance here then that the events of the destruction of the Twin Towers have directly led to the current situation at the site of ancient Nineveh, with the occupation of Mosul by ISIS.

For the Prophet Nahum, the impending destruction of Nineveh by the Babylonians was a sign of the restoration of the glory of Israel, which according to Catholic eschatology, refers to the future conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming of Christ, prophesied by St. Peter at Pentecost:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Adad Gate in Ancient Nineveh

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

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


Anonymous said...

Thank you Emmett.

jim.carroll said...

FWIW, the Daily Mail is reporting that ISIS is planning to destroy the walls of Nineveh.

Personally, I'm interested in seeing what will happen in April. On 1 April, "the state of Palestine" will be recognized by the International Criminal Court. If Palestine launches more missiles into Israel from Gaza after then, and Israel retaliates, I think that will begin another all-out war with all the surrounding states attacking Israel.

Anonymous said...

There will be no missiles launched into Israel from Gaza. Israel obtained the Iron Dome from Obama, they are protected from Gaza. At the same time, Netanyahu has destroyed Palestine in such a way that they are literally a trapped people. Israel has retaliated already. The all-out war has began with the ISIS movement. Notice ISIS has not attacked Saudi Arabia or Israel. This all-out war is all about taking Syria from Assad. It is a Saudi/Sunni fight against an Iran/Shia, and Israel backs the ISIS Saudi Arabia. It's an immoral union, and a dangerous one for the rest of the world. Hopefully, Netanyahu loses the next election and someone less evil takes over.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks Jim! I have updated this post to include mention of the Daily Mail's article, and also the fact that the walls of ancient Nineveh are now being demolished by ISIS, following the assault of the Iraqi army on Jan 21st. I'm not too worried about any of these events escalating into Armageddon just yet though. But it does seem to allude to the future conversion of the Jews, which I think is significant on the approach of the centenary of Fatima.
I think the current Israeli regime's treatment of the Palestinians is deplorable also anon.

Anonymous said...

Why would God destroy Mosul for the crimes of ISIS?

If anything, God would destroy Israel and Saudi Arabia for covertly funding and supporting ISIS.

Ever notice that Israel NEVER bombs ISIS but has plenty of time to bomb the Christian-protecting Assad? Do not forget that the Antichrist will arise in Israel and will persecute Christians in the Middle East like no other tyrant ever has: the ongoing persecution and destruction of Catholics in Iraq and Syria certainly meets this requirement. Please be aware that Obama created ISIS. ISIS has gone by many names: FSA, Syrian Rebels, Libyan Freedom fighters, etc., but basically they are mujahideen that were funded and armed by the West as part of Obama's "Arab Spring." Never forget this fact, and the fact that Obama and Congress have a very cozy relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Ever notice that Saudi Arabia has the full support of the West, even though Saudi Arabis is the true Tryant in the Gulf? There is no religious freedom for Christians or Jews in Saudi Arabia, as there is in Assad's Syria. Saudi Arabai is a monster, one which the West fully supports. Ever wonder why the U.S. bombed Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia following 9/11 - a curious fact given that the 9/11 hijackers were all from Saudi Arabia.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emmett, I edited the photo changing the exposure and fineness. It distinctly looks like Jesus holding his cross.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Anon,

Have you any way of showing us this edited picture?

Anonymous said...

I uploaded it to a free site.

It looks better on my PC when using Windows photo editor.

This is what I see...
Jesus standing mostly at profile with his head turned toward you. His left are right hands holding the cross close to him. You can see the cross as a lighter shade around/behind his head.

It's definitely not Mother Mary.

Anonymous said...

Emmett, thanks again! Please keep writing! I believe you will have a great deal more to write about!
It is obvious to all of us, in prayer, that we enter, each month, into a deeper period of purification for ourselves and the world.
I'm not a crazed blood moon guy, but I can't help think that they are another sign that Israel will enter into more difficult times during this year and after the 4th blood moon in the fall of this year (2015) which should make for interesting times for them and our world in 2016, 2017 and on. And of course one can mix that with 2017 being the 100 year anniversary of our Lady's apparitions in Fatima. And we know that our Lady does not come on any given date for the heck of it -- but that dates and years are picked by God to send her to relay an extended message.
Even in Medjugorje -- (where in the early 90's during a message on the 25th she said that in Medj she is leading us to the fulfillmnt of what she began at Fatima! ) She has given each visionary 10 secrets (the ones dealing with the world are all the same for all 6 visionaries) Mirjana who will reveal through a priest, the secrets, said that re: March 18 (Mirjana's birthday and the day each year, besides the 2nd of the month that Mirjana has an apparition) Mirjana said, the 2nd and 18th were chosen by our Lady and when the secrets occur the world will know why Mary comes to Mirjana on the 2nd of every month (for Unbelievers) and March 18th every year. In other words -- the 2nd and the 18th - the dates - are distinctly connected to the secrets. So, we who believe that 2017 (and probably Oct. 13th) have absolute meaning -- may be absolutely on point. Dates matter to God -- its how, in simplicity, He shows us he is present with us always -- and that as years and years pass -- it is the same God who is guiding and loving us -- and it is the same Mother, in Fatima and in Medjugojre -- that is bringing all things to fulfillment in Her Son!
J Michael P

Anonymous said...

this is very educational and principaly for the gentlemen who did not grasp father kramer.posted in an earlier topic


Anonymous said...

I also played around with the image. It's fascinating.

I used Photoshop CS4, used "Auto" on "Levels & Curves," reduced some noise, took the brightness way down (after curves were applied) and Contrast up a lot.

If indeed this is an apparition, I see a figure's left side (perhaps 10% - 20% turned toward us). The brightest red edge is in front of the figure (the bright red edge in front really stands out in other types of image editing).

It seems like a robed figure, wearing a mantle. But I agree with the other poster, I cannot square this image with that of Our Lady, as the left arm seems to be holding something. I've viewed it all kinds of ways as possibly the Christ child being held, but the object is too "bean shaped" to make any sense.

I can much more make it out to be a cross being held, with the left hand under the upper portion and the left arm of the top beam being the bright spot in the image, pointing downward.

I think what I find most fascinating is that the fiery red edge is the most powerful in what we think is the front area, especially the face.

Mark L.

Anonymous said...

I did another one. This time I Inverted the previous image -

Mark L.

Anonymous said...

One more. This time I altered a fair number of things but mainly used the Shadows/Highlights tool. There just isn't much data in the web image. If we can get more data...

Anyway, I see the image quite differently now. I still see a figure's left side, facing left, but now it does indeed look like the Virgin to me, with her arms held out beckoning, pleading.

I can't figure out what the bright object is around her mid-thigh area, however. If it were the baby Jesus in a knee-high crib and her left arm were gesturing down to him perhaps...but that isn't an image we have seen from her.

Let me know your thoughts. I also cross-referenced with the online images from the Egypt apparitions but weren't able to square this one with those. There is such tiny image data, anything could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

(sorry, that last post was from me again - Mark L.)

I really need to create an account here at some point.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks for sharing these enhanced images Anon and Mark L. It's still difficult to make out exact details from these images, and a lot of it could be open to personal interpretation (much like pareidolia). For example in that last image that Mark shared, I think I can make out the Virgin holding the Christ Child, complete with His own halo, and right hand held up in blessing. But I could be wrong.
We have to remember that in the case of Zeitoun and its related apparitions, what was captured on camera did not compare to what was being witnessed by those present - and Our Lady appeared to be a lot more detailed when we look at eyewitness reports. Michael O'Neill of the Miracle Hunter website is going to be interviewing the reporter who broke the story - Robert Gardner, tonight on his weekly radio show about this, so perhaps we'll get some additional details then.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Emmett,

Pareidolia is a constant concern of mine. I think SpiritDaily falls into it often, with clouds and so forth.

The image data is remarkably sparse - only 16k of data to work with. Even so, I'm intrigued by the intense red aura around the "figure" as well as the higher intensity of white image data around what would be the head as well as the area around west of mid-center. The image histogram shows the data.

So it does have a compelling aspect to it, especially if the eyewitness reports include Blessed Mary holding the Christ Child. That would be quite thrilling!

I have been most eager to hear what others see in this image since last night. I don't make out what you see, Emmett, I wish you'd sketch it out with a pen & upload the image you see.

Astrophotography is a hobby of mine, which involves a huge amount of image manipulation. I don't claim to be any kind of expert in it, but it does fascinate me to take raw image data and tease out what is really there inside of it all.

I would love to get my hands on higher quality images, including the full image data from whoever provided this image. I don't think there's a camera in existence, even in the Middle East, which outputs a 16k image! So someone ripped it way down for faster web access I'm guessing. I'd love to have the original image file.

Thanks for the Miracle Hunter tip! (A very good read, by the way) I will be most eager to follow this.

Mark L.

Anonymous said...

These are not Marian apparitions.

Unknown said...

I am working on a book and would like to know if you have any news on the so-called Marian apparition appearing in Iraq.
L. A. Marzulli

Emmett O'Regan said...

I've posted everything I know about it on a few blog posts here. I would suggest you try to get in touch with Jeff Gardener, who was on the ground in Iraq, and interviewed many of the witnesses. His website is at the link below:

Anonymous said...

What is to be noticed is the scarlet colors on both these photos, especially after the analysis on the above 2 links.
These one's are professional as in the 2 links above here, and the one not analyzed that is above.
Yes, both are the same surrounding blue, scarlet colors ...... don't be quick to jump to conclusions that they are something other than celestial

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me why on Earth would the virgin Mary appear with the "child" Christ?!?! Is she now more powerful than him? More important than him? The passage in Luke CLEARLY stated what Mary's role was, Jesus could have easily said yes pray to her she has a sacred place with me but he said BLRSSED RATHER THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEY IT. YOUR interpretation is just that your interpretation. Be careful not to lead others in darkness.

Sean said...

The Lord said the even the elect could be deceived in the end times. The only remedy to this deception is the word of God. It is a light to our path, guides us, feeds us, sanctifies us, saves us, and it is the ultimate weapon against the enemy as the Lord quoted scripture in the battle with the Devil and the battle with the Pharisees. An evil generation seeks a sign. You must be fruitful to enter the kingdom of heaven and Jesus said to do this you must abide in him and his words abide in you. Do you know his words? aid do what he tells you.

SilverStone said...

Eclipses of the sun and moon are totally predictable. They can't be "the "signs in heaven" foretold in the Book of Revelation." True signs can't be predicted by astronomers or scientists. An eclipse lasts mo more than 10 or so minutes. The darkness occurring at Christ's crucifixion last several hours, well beyond the time frame of any possible eclipse.