By Dorothy Cummings McLean, LifeSiteNews, November 23, 2017
Bienno, Italy, November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): A close friend of Saint John Paul II has affirmed that the late pope, revealed to have been a mystic, told him that Europe would be invaded by Islam.
Speaking to a large group at the hermitage of “Saints Peter and Paul” this past October, Monsignor Mauro Longhi of the Opus Dei prelature recounted a conversation he had with the late pontiff in March of 1993 on one of their many hiking trips in the mountains. Having got ahead of the rest of their companions, Longhi and St. John Paul took a sandwich break.
In video footage of the October talk, Longhi is heard saying that he noticed that the saint’s hands were trembling. (John Paul’s Parkinson’s disease had not yet been revealed in 1993.) The pope noticed the then-young man’s gaze.
“Dear Mauro, it’s old age,” he explained.
Longhi jumped in to say, “But, no, Holiness, you are young.”
“It’s not true,” the pope snapped back. “I say that I am old because I am old.”
Longhi continued: “Then Wojtyla changed tone, and making me privy to one of his night-time visions, told me, ‘Tell this to those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a deadly scourge. Deeper, more painful and more deadly than those of this millennium’, referring to … communism and Nazi totalitarianism. ‘It’s called islamism. They will invade Europe. I saw the hordes coming from the West to the East’, and he described to me the countries one by one: from Morocco to Libya to Egypt, and so on to the eastern parts. The Holy Father added, ‘They will invade Europe, Europe will be like a cellar, old relics, shadowy, cobwebs. Family heirlooms. You, the Church of the third millennium, will have to contain the invasion. Not with armies, armies will not suffice, but with your faith, lived with integrity.’ ”
According to La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, which broke the story in Italian, Longhi is a “priest above suspicion,” having “enjoyed the personal esteem not only of John Paul II but also of Benedict XVI, so much so that in 1997 he was called to the Vatican dicastery of the Congregation for Clergy.” Between 1985 and 1995 Longhi, who was ordained in 1995, accompanied John Paul II on his skiing and hiking trips, hosting him at Opus Dei’s summer home in Abruzzo, which at the time was only “a simple house in the countryside.”
Longhi told the crowd that the pontiff used to sneak out of Rome in a modest car for these trips, accompanied by his personal secretary, Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, and a few other Polish friends. When the car stopped at a tollbooth “the one place in which someone might recognize him”, “Papa Wojtyła” would pretend to be deeply engrossed in the newspaper he held before his face.
John Paul II was famously an athlete; that he was also a mystic is much less known. Nevertheless, according to La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Longhi related that John Paul could be found at night on his knees before the Tabernacle in the chapel of the house in the mountains. Those who lived in the house could hear him conversing, “at times even animatedly” with the Lord or “with His beloved mother, the Virgin Mary.”
Moreover, Longhi said that John Paul’s greatest friend, Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, had told him that the saint had the “gift of visions.” [Youtube footage: 00:31:05] When Longhi asked what that meant, Deskur said, “He speaks to God Incarnate, Jesus; he sees His face and he sees also the face of His mother.”
Apparently these visions began at Karol Wojtyła’s first Mass, November 2, 1946, in the crypt of St. Leonard in Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, during the Elevation of the Host.
Although John Paul II has sometimes been dubbed “the Pope of Islam”, and traditionalists have long deplored photos of the saint kissing the Koran, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana holds that these revelations do not contradict his remarks in his “now-forgotten” 2003 encyclical Ecclesia in Europa. The journal observes that the Holy Father seemed to “beseech”
Christians to be trained in “an objective knowledge of Islam”.
In Ecclesia in Europe, John Paul II wrote that:
… Aproper relationship with Islam is particularly important. As has often become evident in recent years to the Bishops of Europe, this “needs to be conducted prudently, with clear ideas about possibilities and limits, and with confidence in God’s saving plan for all his children”. It is also necessary to take into account the notable gap between European culture, with its profound Christian roots, and Muslim thought.
In this regard, Christians living in daily contact with Muslims should be properly trained in an objective knowledge of Islam and enabled to draw comparisons with their own faith. Such training should be provided particularly to seminarians, priests and all pastoral workers. It is on the other hand understandable that the Church, even as she asks the European institutions to ensure the promotion of religious freedom in Europe, should feel the need to insist that reciprocity in guaranteeing religious freedom also be observed in countries of different religious traditions, where Christians are a minority.
In this context, “one can understand the astonishment and the feeling of frustration of Christians who welcome, for example in Europe, believers of other religions, giving them the possibility of exercising their worship, and who see themselves forbidden all exercise of Christian worship” in countries where those believers are in the majority and have made their own religion the only one admitted and promoted. The human person has a right to religious freedom, and all people, in every part of the world, “should be immune from coercion on the part of individuals, social groups and every human power”.
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana seems to be aware of the waves that its article will make with these revelations. The concluding paragraph of its article about Monsignor Longhi’s October 22 presentation observes that we are confronted with a “politically incorrect reading of the islamic phenomenon by a pope canonized by the Catholic Church.”
The journal calls this reading both “prophetic” and “magisterial,” and suggests that the predicted invasion may already be happening. It ends:
“Meanwhile, inexorably, the lights are going out on Christian Europe, reduced to a basement filled with old relics and spiderwebs. ‘Karol the Great’ has spoken, and even more today he invites us to resist the invasion with the faith lived in its entirety.”
Art for this post on the key characterisitcs of good spiritual direction: Feature Image: Ein ernstes Gespräch (A Serious Conversation), Ludwig Johann Passini, by 1902, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.