by Arthur Policarpio
In the past several years, there has been a prevalence of “end-time prophecies”. Various apparitions of Our Lady, as well as numerous private revelations, all refer to the current times we are living in as the “end times”. Their common theme: that our present generation will witness the Second Coming of Christ.
In the ongoing Medjugorje apparitions, the visionaries received various secrets - all prophecies pertaining to future events leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus that will happen in our generation. Our Lady has said that the visionaries will witness the fulfillment of the prophecies. While the Church is still investigating the apparitions, the fruits of the apparitions are abundantly clear: since the apparitions began more than 30 years ago, more than 40 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje, with countless stories of conversion and healing.
In an apparition of Our Lady in Rwanda, Africa approved by the local Bishop in 1995, the visionaries were told to prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord. Alphonsine says: “She (the Blessed Mother) said to pray hard – we must prepare now for the return of her Son Jesus.”
And we can hardly shrug off what the Lord Jesus said to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of Poland (St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul): “You will prepare the world for My final coming…let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice.”
Other contemporary apparitions of Our Lady likewise speak of the End Times: Garabandal and Akita, to name a few. Akita speaks of a “great chastisement” by fire that will befall the world - unless mankind repents. Garabandal speaks of interventions planned by the Lord to prepare the world for His Second Coming: a worldwide Warning, a worldwide Miracle, and a cataclysmic Chastisement if the world does not repent.
Then, there are also the prophecies and messages given to the Irish seer "Maria Divine Mercy", which states in unequivocal terms that we are living in the end times. Click here for a objective review of these messages.
The unmistakable fact is that there are many modern-day prophecies and apparitions that are telling us that the Second Coming of Jesus will happen in our generation.
The question, then, is this: can we trust these prophecies and private revelations on the End Times?
The Catholic Church has always cautioned the faithful against trusting private revelations - and rightfully so, since there are many fake revelations with questionable origins. The problem, though, with this overly critical and doubtful attitude towards private revelations is that there is a tendency to dismiss all private revelations.
But then, who are we to say that God cannot communicate with us as He chooses to? Throughout history, in fact, God has always communicated to His people through “private revelations”. The burning bush of Moses, the revelations of the prophets, Noah, Daniel, Revelations as revealed to St. John - all of these are private revelations no different from those happening today. The only difference between the private revelations of the past and the private revelations of the present is that those in the past were documented in the Bible.If we simply ignore these modern-day prophecies without, at the very least, studying them and sincerely asking the Lord for the grace of discernment, then we will be no different from the people during the time of Noah. They jeered Noah and scorned his prophesied Great Flood - and ultimately paid the price:
As it was in the days of Noah, they ate and drank, married and were giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the Ark and the flood came and destroyed them all...Even shall it be in the day when the Son of Man shall be revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)
In the “Graces and Mercy” prayer book, Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) is quoted as saying: “In cases which concern private revelation, it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe, and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true.”
How do we know which of the various end-time revelations is trustworthy?
Among the various revelations, perhaps the most widely-accepted “source” is the book “Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests” - a collection of private revelations given to Fr. Stefano Gobbi by Our Lady. The messages bear the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur (nothing contrary to faith or morals) from James Byrne, S.T.D., former Archbishop of Dubuque, Donald Montrose, D.D., Bishop of Stockton, and Bernardino Cardinal Echevarria Ruiz, O.F.M., Archbishop Emeritus of Guayaquil.
Perhaps the most important criterion for determining the authenticity of a private revelation is the fruits produced. In the case of the revelations to Fr. Gobbi, the messages have spawned a worldwide movement - the Marian Movement of Priests and Lay People - that today has millions of members throughout the world, including more than 300 bishops and sixty thousand priests.
Our Lady calls the priests of the Marian Movement “Apostles of the Last Times.” In a December 24, 1990 message of Our Lady to Fr. Gobbi, she specifically mentioned that “Jesus...is returning to you in glory”:
You have entered into the last times. And so, receive the prophetic announcements which...have pointed out to you that this, his Second Birth, is close at hand. As Mother of the Second Advent, I am preparing you for his new birth. For this reason, in every part of the world, I am on the point of forming the cohort of the little ones, of the poor, of the humble, and the pure in heart to prepare thus a precious cradle for Jesus who is returning to you in glory.
In a December 31, 1992 message to Fr. Gobbi, Our Lady said:
I have announced to you many times that the end of the times and the coming of Jesus in glory is very near. Now, I want to help you understand the signs described in the Holy Scriptures, which indicate that His glorious return is now close...I have wanted to teach you about these signs, which Jesus has pointed to you in His gospel, in order to prepare you for the end of the times, because these are about to take place in your days.
The first sign is the spread of errors. 2 Thessalonians 2-3 says that “the day of the Lord will not come unless the great apostasy comes first.” The “apostasy” referred to here is the general loss of faith.
It will not take a theologian figure out that majority of people in the world today essentially live pagan lives. There may no longer be human sacrifices (at least in public), worship of golden calves, and other similar pagan practices of old. But these have been replaced by the modern idols of materialism, sex, rationalism, love of self, and many other vices.
Errors about the Faith are being spread all over the world, with even renowned theologians questioning traditional Catholic doctrines and teachings, such as celibacy, the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the role of mediation of Mary, and many others. The result of all this is the general loss of Faith among majority of the world’s population. Jesus has said, “When the Son of Man returns, will He still find faith in the earth?”
The second sign is the outbreak of wars and fratricidal struggles. Jesus said:
When you hear of reports of wars, close at hand or far away, see that you are not alarmed; for these things must happen. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many places. All this will be only the beginning of greater sufferings to come. Evildoing will be so widespread that the love of many will grow cold. But God will save those who persevere until the end. (Mt 24, 6-8. 12-13).
We have only to switch on our television sets to CNN to realize that wars threaten our world. The Middle East is literally a time-bomb waiting to explode.
The third sign is the bloody persecution of Christians. Jesus said:
They will hand you over to persecution and they will kill you. You will be hated by all because of me. And then many will abandon the faith; they will betray and hate one another. Meanwhile, the message of the kingdom of God will be preached in all the world; all nations must hear it. And then the end will come. (Mt 24: 9-14).
Many Christians are brutally persecuted in various Middle East and African nations. China, home of more than 1 billion people, is officially atheist. The official Catholic Church in China is essentially an underground movement. Many reports of brutal persecution of Christians all over the world are reported.
The fourth sign according to Our Lady is “the horrible sacrilege perpetuated by him who sets himself against Christ, that is, the Antichrist.” The Bible prophesies the coming of a cunning and powerful global leader who, shortly before Christ’s Second Coming, will rule and deceive many nations. 2 Thes 4:9 speaks of the Antichrist as follows:
This one will oppose and exalt himself against everything that men adore and call God. The lawless one will come by the power of Satan, with all the force of false miracles and pretended wonders. He will make use of every kind of wicked deception, in order to work harm.
The Bible predicts a future time when the “perpetual sacrifice”, that is, the Holy Mass, will be abolished. We find this in the prophecies of prophet Daniel, one of the “end time” prophets of the Bible:
Go, Daniel; these words are to remain secret and sealed until the end time. Many will be cleansed, made white and upright, but the wicked will persist in doing wrong...Now, from the moment that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits with patience and attains one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. (Daniel 12, 9-12)
Our Lady explains to Fr. Gobbi that the above prophecy of the abolishment of the “daily sacrifice” consists of the future abolition of the Holy Mass by the Antichrist:
By accepting the protestant doctrine, people will hold that the Mass is not a sacrifice but only a sacred meal, that is to say, a remembrance of that which Jesus did at his last supper. And thus, the celebration of the Holy Mass will be suppressed. In this abolition of the daily sacrifice consists the horrible sacrilege accomplished by the Antichrist, which will last about three and a half years, namely, one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
This event obviously hasn’t happened yet - but when it does, then we can be certain that the events leading to the Second Coming are reaching its pinnacle.
The fifth sign is “extraordinary phenomena, which occur in the skies.” Jesus describes what will happen shortly before His Second Coming as follows:
The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; and the stars will fall from the sky; and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. All the tribes of the earth will mourn, and men will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven, with great power and splendor. (Matthew 24:30)
The “sign of the Son of Man” that will appear in heaven, as described in the Gospel, may be the sign of the Cross that will appear in the sky. In her diary, St. Faustina revealed this message given to her by Jesus:
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.
When will all this take place? No one knows, except the Father. But as Our Lady has said in her December 31, 1992 message to Fr. Gobbi, we have to be vigilant and carefully observe the signs of our times. We can confidently say that three out of the five signs mentioned above - apostasy, war, persecution of Christians - have already occurred.
When the last two signs emerge - the full manifestation of the Antichrist and his subsequent abolition of the Holy Mass, plus the “signs in the sky” prophesied - then we will know with much confidence that indeed, the Second Coming is near.
For many, any talk on the “end of the world” is a cause for much fear. However, a careful study of the various reliable private revelations on the end times will show that the end times is actually not something to be feared. Instead, it is a message of hope. God will restore order in the world, Jesus will come into the world and rightfully claim His place as king. For those who believe and accept Him, the Second Coming will be a glorious moment when we will all finally claim our rightful heritage of eternal joy.
The “end of the world” should be interpreted as the “end of the world as we know it.” It is not really the end - but rather, the end of Satan’s reign on earth. The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, Satan will be defeated - and we will all live with our families in the “new heavens and new earth” promised by the Lord to His faithful followers.
In her August 15, 1991 message to Fr. Gobbi, Our Lady describes this new era of peace and joy that coincides with the “end of times”:
The new era coincides with the complete fulfillment of the divine will...From the perfect fulfillment of the divine will, the whole world is becoming renewed, because God finds there, as it were, His new garden of Eden, where He can dwell in loving companionship with his creatures...The new era, which I am preparing for you, coincides with the defeat of Satan and of his universal reign. All his power is destroyed.
How do we respond to all this? The answer is to continue living our normal lives, but with a difference: greater prayers, and an attitude of vigilant waiting. We continue living the way we are supposed to live as Christians: to live each day as if it were our last. To love our family and our neighbors as if it were our last. And finally, to pray as if it were our last. The weapons that are given to us are the same: Holy Mass, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, frequent Confession. If we do this, then the end of the world will not be a time of distress for us, but a time of great rejoicing and happiness.
The Second Coming of Christ will take place in your lifetime.
According to this book which contains a series of incredible messages and prophecies to an Irish seer, our present generation will witness the Second Coming of Christ.
Click here to read a book review that summarises the key messages of the book.
Get the latest articles straight to your inbox - Free!