Catholic prophecy

    There are hundreds of "end time" prophecies recorded by seers and mystics of the Catholic church. These prophecies do not necessarily have official approval of the Catholic church, but what is relevant and significant is this: many people know about, study and believe these prophecies. After outlining what these prophecies predict, we will see why belief in these prophecies may prove to be very significant as end time events unfold. 

    Yves Dupont, in his book Catholic Prophecy (TAN Books and Publishers, Inc), has collected and organized some of the Catholic prophecies. He presents the following sequence of major events:

1. The Catholic church suffers the "Chastisement." Yves Dupont quotes a 17th century Catholic, Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser, for a description:

The fifth period is one of affliction, desolation, humiliation and poverty for the [Catholic] Church. Jesus Christ will purify His people through cruel wars, famines, plague epidemics, and other horrible calamities. He will also afflict the Latin Church with many heresies. It is a period of defections, calamities and extermination. Those Christians [Catholics] who survive the sword, plague and famines will be few on earth. Nations will fight against nations, and will be decimated by internecine dissensions.

During the fifth period, we see only calamities and devastation; oppression of Catholics by tyrants and heretics; executions of kings, and conspiracies to set up republics...

Yves Dupont quotes John of the Cleft Rock (14th century) and Jeanne le Royer (18th century) for additional descriptions:

Towards the end of the world, tyrants and hostile mobs will rob the Church and the clergy of all their possessions and will afflict and martyr them. Those who heap the most abuse upon them will be held in high esteem.

At that time, the Pope with his cardinals will have to flee Rome in tragic circumstances to a place where they will be unknown. The Pope will die a cruel death in his exile. The sufferings of the Church will be much greater than at any previous time in her history. (John of the Cleft Rock)

I saw a great power rise up against the church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church's property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and laws it held in contempt. (Jeanne le Royer)

2. The Chastisement of the fifth period is followed by sudden revival and supremacy for the Catholic church. A "Great Monarch" or "Great King" will rule the world, assisted by a pope. Here is Holzhauser's prophecy:

But, by the Hand of God Almighty, there occurs so wondrous a change during the sixth period that no one can humanly visualize it.

    The powerful Monarch, who will be sent by God, will uproot every republic. He will submit everything to his authority, and he will show great zeal for the true Church of Christ. The empire of the Mohammedans will be broken up, and this Monarch will reign in the East as well as in the West. All nations will come to worship God in the true Catholic and Roman faith. There will be many Saints and Doctors (of the Church) on earth. Peace will reign over the whole earth because God will bind Satan for a number of years until the days of the Son of Perdition. No one will be able to pervert the word of God since, during the sixth period, there will be an ecumenic council which will be the greatest of all councils. By the grace of God, by the power of the Great Monarch, by the authority of the Holy Pontiff, and by the union of all the most devout princes, atheism and every heresy will be banished from the earth. The Council will define the true sense of Holy Scripture, and this will be believed and accepted by everyone.

He will rule supreme in temporal matters. The Pope will rule supreme in spiritual matters at the same time. Persecution [against the Catholic Church] will cease and justice shall reign. He will root out false doctrines. His dominion will extend from East to West. All nations will adore God their Lord according to Catholic teaching. People will love justice, and peace will reign over the whole earth, for Divine Power will bind Satan for many years until the coming of the Son of Perdition.

Yves Dupont quotes Anna-Maria Taigi (19th century) for this description of the pope that reigns with the Great Monarch:

Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name will be praised over the whole earth.

    Whole nations will come back to the [Catholic] Church and the face of the earth will be renewed. Russia, England and China will come into the Church.

And another quote from John of the Cleft Rock:

But God will raise a holy Pope, and the Angels will rejoice. Enlightened by God, this man will rebuild almost the whole world through his holiness. He will lead everyone to the true Faith. Everywhere, the fear of God, virtue, and good morals will prevail. He will lead all erring sheep back to the fold, and there shall be one faith, one law, one rule of life, and one baptism on earth. All men will love each other and do good, and all quarrels and wars will cease.

3. "Antichrist" arrives and ends the reign of the Great Monarch and the pope. Holzhauser states:

The sixth period of the Church will begin with the powerful Monarch and the Holy Pontiff, as mentioned previously, and it will last until the revelation of Antichrist.

Yves Dupont summarizes saying:

At the end of this glorious reign Antichrist will come. He will be accepted by the Jewish nation as their messiah and king and will control the whole earth.

    Now we need to reconcile Bible prophecy with the Catholic prophecies. First, take note of the dramatic change Holzhauser predicts between the fifth and sixth periods of the Catholic church. The Catholic church goes from the "affliction, desolation, humiliation and poverty" of the fifth period through a "wondrous" change into the sixth period, when "all nations will come to worship God in the true Catholic and Roman faith." 

    What would move the whole world to such a dramatic turnaround in attitude toward Catholicism? Could it be the "sixth seal" events we previously studied in Revelation and Matthew... the great meteor shower, the darkening of the sun and moon, and the appearance of the "sign of the Son of Man" in the "clouds of heaven"? We have already seen how these events apparently "shortened" the "great tribulation" in Matthew 24. Raging wars and chaos are brought to a halt when mankind witnesses awesome astronomical events and realizes that God is real and is intervening in human affairs. From that time forward the attitude has changed... all mankind will look for Christ's predicted arrival on earth... but a great deception is about to take place! Do you remember the warning Jesus gave after He spoke of the shortening of the great tribulation? Here it is again:

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matt 24:22-27)

    It appears that many - except for the "very elect" - will be deceived into following a false Christ and false prophet after the heavenly signs cut short the "great tribulation." We have seen from Bible prophecy that this false Christ or Antichrist is Daniel's "little horn... speaking great things." It is the final world-ruling "beast" in power before the actual return of Christ. We have already seen Daniel's description: "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints [true Christians], and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Daniel 7:7,8). This is eerily similar to the "Great Monarch" of Holzhauser's prophecy, who will "rule supreme in temporal matters" and by whom "every heresy will be banished from the earth." And the "Holy Pontiff" with "the gift of miracles" (Taigi) that rules with the Great Monarch is eerily similar to the false prophet of Revelation 13:13-15:

he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast... and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed

    We have seen how the Bible's Antichrist and false prophet seem to correspond to the Catholic Great Monarch and Holy Pontiff. Can we also establish a correlation between Bible prophecy and Holzhauser's previous "fifth period" of "affliction, desolation, humiliation and poverty" for the Catholic church? Yes we can: there is a prophecy in Revelation which clearly shows that the "ten horns" - in power before the Antichrist "little horn" appears - will hate a symbolic "whore" and expose its faults, confiscate its property and subject it to legal trials and convictions. Here is the prophecy:

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (Revelation 17:16)

    A "woman" in Bible prophecy is often used to symbolize a church. The "whore" is the church "With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication," as defined in Revelation 17:2. Anyone familiar with European history can identify this church: it has a long history of consortiums with temporal powers. It has used this "fornication" to gain power, credibility and eminence in the eyes of the people, making them "drunk" or deceived. It is the same church which professes worship of God and Jesus, yet practices brazen disobedience to even the simplest of Jesus' commands: "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9).

   In our study of Daniel's prophecy we saw that the "ten horns" world power will apparently be the next major world power to appear. Will Europe's current struggles to achieve unity finally result in a union of ten nations? Will the Catholic church's present embarrassments - including sex crimes, financial scandals and accusations of anti-Semitism - grow into a grand fiasco of public humiliation and condemnation, particularly at the hands of the unified ten nations? We need to be mindful of these prophecies as the future unfolds.

    Bible prophecy has showed us that the reign of the Antichrist "beast" or "little horn" and false prophet will end, after about three and a half years, with the return of Christ (Daniel 7, Revelation 19). The beast and false prophet are to gather their armies at Armageddon (a few miles northwest of Jerusalem) in preparation for their attempt to defeat Christ (see Rev. 16:12-16) as He returns to Jerusalem. But according to Catholic prophecy the reign of the Monarch and Holy Pontiff ends with the arrival of Antichrist. Could it be none other than the Great Monarch and Holy Pontiff who gather their armies - in an attempt to defeat what they believe to be the arriving Antichrist - as per Catholic prophecy? But in fact they are attempting to defeat Christ, and are destroyed (Revelation 19). They and their followers will have failed to seek God and the truth during this, "the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Rev. 3:10).

   Now we can better appreciate the important role these Catholic prophecies might play in future events. Millions - the whole world - may view Catholic prophecy as fulfilled and validated during the Chastisement, and again during the reign of the Great Monarch. It would then be easy for them to believe that Antichrist comes next, not realizing or admitting that they are already following the Antichrist. Truly the beast and false prophet - the Great Monarch and Holy Pontiff - will be tools of the Devil, "which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9) until Christ returns.

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