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By Fr. Regis Scanlon, Blog, August 12, 2019
Prologue: Fifty years ago, if you told Catholics that “cardinals would oppose cardinals and bishops would oppose bishops” in the Catholic Church, few would believe it. Now it has come true. Bishops and cardinals questioning teachings held since the beginning of the Church. What’s even harder to believe, it was all predicted in two separate Marian apparitions. One is the famous Fatima apparition to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, in 1917 at Fatima, Portugal and the other an apparition to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa at Akita, Japan in 1973. Here is more background about Fatima and Akita .
We can trust both apparitions. All the popes since Pius XII have accepted the message of Our Lady of Fatima. And the message to Sr. Agnes is the same as that which was told to the three children of Fatima. This was verified by Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, when he met with Bishop John Ito, the ordinary of Sr. Agnes. While Cardinal Ratzinger did not officially approve of the messages of Our Lady at Akita (it would have taken years to do so), “he did not object to the pastoral letter which Bishop Ito wrote in 1984” which stated about Akita that “It is the message of Fatima.” This is very important since Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, knew the contents of the Fatima Message, including the famous Third Secret. If the Akita message was not the same as that of Fatima, the Cardinal would have objected to Bishop Ito’s publication of it as such.
Our Lady Fatima said that Catholics must pray the daily Rosary and do penance so that people will stop offending God. Our Lady told little Jacinta that “the sins of the flesh” were the most frequent sins committed by people leading them to eternal punishment. If God was offended by these sins in 1917, how much more is He offended today? In 1917, it’s fair to say that “the sins of the flesh” were considered deviant behavior, but today the situation is far worse, because those sins, including pornography, masturbation, contraception, fornication, adultery and sodomy, are considered normal behavior. And, abortion, which is often done to cover up the “sins of the flesh,” was considered rare in 1917, but just from 1980 until today the global number of babies that have been aborted is 1.5 billion. The point here is that mankind has not only refused to repent of its “sins of the flesh,” it has even doubled down by expanding these sins in both kind and number exponentially.
Our Lady warned of horrible events if people didn’t repent of these sins. Bishops opposing bishops and cardinals opposing cardinals is only the beginning. At both Fatima and Akita the warning is: If the chief rulers of the world and of the Church will not oppose these evils, God will allow a punishment in which “millions upon millions will die from one hour to another” and “wipe out a great part of humanity.” This may seem harsh and extreme but it is merely the modern application of Scripture where St. Paul teaches in Rm. 1:18-32 and Eph. 5:3-6 that “the wrath of God” is being poured out upon those who practice “unnatural sexual relations” and “impurity.”
So, what’s coming for the world and the Church?
The Signs of the Times
While we should not recklessly seek signs from God, when convoking Vatican II in Humanae Salutis, Pope St. John XXIII referred to Sacred Scripture by asserting that it is wise to be able to read the “signs of the times” (Mt. 16:3). After all, if God does offer a sign to us, there could be serious consequences if we do not recognize and heed it. So, what are the “signs of the times” for us in this second decade of the third millennium?
The day of the year, Oct. 13, mysteriously connects several events of the past and future.
First of all, on Oct. 13 1884 Pope Leo XIII received a locution after Holy Communion. He overheard in this locution a dialogue between God and Satan reminiscent of the dialogue between God and Satan found in the book of Job 1:6-12. During this dialogue, Pope Leo XIII heard what he believed to be the voice of Satan challenging God by saying that he can destroy the Church if he had 100 years and the power. God permitted Satan the 100 years and the power probably to manifest His own power and glory. Following this Pope Leo XIII composed the famous prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to defeat Satan.
Satan began his assault on Oct. 13, 1917 with the Bolshevik Revolution and atheistic Communism. We can pinpoint this date because years later, Leon Trotsky opened his “Prinkipo Letter” by saying that “The still isolated October Revolution now completes its fifteenth year” and he dated this Letter Oct. 13, 1932.
However, on the same day as the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution, Oct. 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared at Fatima to warn the Church of Satan’s plan. She said that if the Church and leaders of nations did not oppose the sins of the flesh and the evils being spread by Russia, many nations would be annihilated and many souls would go to eternal punishment. To convince people that her message could be trusted, God worked a sign at Fatima, the famous the miracle of the sun.
Then, on Oct. 13, 1973, Our Lady appeared to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa. In the 1970’s, the rejection of traditional morality was rapidly becoming the norm. In 1973, abortion was approved as a constitutional “right” in the United States. Clearly, the warning of Fatima was being ignored by mankind. So once again Our Lady intervened to emphasize once again the necessity that God must be obeyed or there would be a punishment for the world. At this apparition the statue in the chapel, where Sr. Agnes prayed, shed tears 101 times because of the great number of souls going to eternal punishment. The message was to pray the rosary and do penance to prevent souls from going to eternal punishment.
The question is, why is the hierarchy of the Church not responding more forcefully to these clear warnings from God through our Lady especially since the number of people doing abortions and sins of the flesh is far from shrinking.
Another question: if these “Oct. 13” markers are important, then shouldn’t the end of the 100-year period given to Satan to destroy the Church have occurred on Oct. 13, 2018?
I would answer that question this way. While this is speculative, I think it’s important to note that one of those years during this 100-year period was an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy . This was a Roman Catholic period of prayer held from 8 December 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to 20 November 2016, the Feast of Christ the King to obtain God’s Mercy. Pope Francis hoped that during this “extraordinary time of grace” “We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew.” In fact, while every Holy Year of Jubilee is related to obtaining God’s Mercy in some way or another, this was the only Holy Year which was explicitly labeled as an “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” since Pope Boniface VIII inaugurated the Holy Years of Jubilee in the 1300’s. Clearly, “it is ‘innovative’ in that there has never before been a Jubilee Year dedicated to ‘mercy.’ So, it is unprecedented.”
In other words, God has delayed the punishment for sins to extend His mercy. One interpretation is that the faithful were given a Year of Mercy added on to the 100 in which to repent of their sins before God will send a chastisement to stop the evil in the world. But this also means that Satan will have one more year – 101 years– to try to destroy the Church before God brings his challenge to a halt.
That brings us to a new deadline for Satan’s 100 year of power — the approaching date of Oct. 13, 2019.
While there are other good explanations of the 101 times that Our Lady’s statue shed tears which do not contradict the above interpretation, the above interpretation seems to be the most probable meaning relating to Oct. 13 of why the statue of Our Lady in Akita shed tears 101 times during her apparitions to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa. Could it be that Our Lady shed tears for each year that sin would reign, and so many souls would go to eternal punishment?
According to this interpretation, if the leaders of the Church and nations have not opposed these “sins of the flesh” by Oct. 13, 2019, sometime after Oct 13, 2019, God will stop Satan with a chastisement which will bring mankind to its knees. This is both good and bad news. Even though our Lady’s message says that many will not survive the chastisement, those who do so will once again worship God as He intended and Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph and there will be peace.
For now, we must pray the rosary and do penance so that the Pope and bishops will publicly and forcefully oppose these “sins of the flesh” by name which are so rampant throughout our society. If they do so, perhaps mankind will wake up and repent, and we will all escape a severe chastisement.
Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap., is spiritual director and chaplain for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Denver. He was director of prison ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, from 1999 to 2010; a chaplain for Missionaries of Charity at their now-closed AIDS hospice, Seton House, and at Gift of Mary homeless shelter for women in Denver from 1989 to 2008. He is now the founder and president of The Julia Greeley Home, Inc., located in Denver. His articles have been published in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Catholic Faith, Soul Magazine, Pastoral Life, and The Priest. He has also made three series for Mother Angelica’s EWTN: “Crucial Questions,” “Catholic Answers,” and “What Did Vatican II Really Teach?”