A “blood moon” (lunar eclipse) on the vigil of a feast of one of the most important virgin martyrs of the Church, which itself is the day before the day that we mourn (and the wicked celebrate) the Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion in the United States is fitting and poetic. But what if it is more than that? Could it be somehow prophetic?
2017 was the centennial of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, and many were filled with expectation, especially those who did not believe that all her requests had been completely fulfilled.
Looking around at the situation in both the world and the Church, many thought that this would be the time that Our Lord, through His Mother, would step in in some powerful, miraculous way. To some, this expectation was bolstered by a series of celestial signs that began in 2013 but grew in intensity and multiplied in 2016 and 2017. All these signs are connected in some way to the Blessed Virgin Mary and through her, to the Apocalypse of Saint John, usually referred to as the Book of Revelation. They included:
- Lightning striking the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica on February 11, 2013, which was not only the day that Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication but the memorial (double major feast on the Tridentine calendar) of Our Lady of Lourdes
- Lightning striking the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica a second time on October 7, 2016 which is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.
- Two earthquakes that struck Mexico, the strongest of which struck Mexico City, the site of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the image of whom matches the description of the Woman in the Twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse.
- Another earthquake hit Akita, Japan, site of an apparition considered by many to be a continuation of that of Our Lady of Fatima, on September 8, 2017 which is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- A total solar eclipse that occurred on the feast of Our Lady of Knock (August 21, 2017) and the vigil of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 22, 2017), as well as the first day of the 40 day period known as St. Michael’s Lent that ends on the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (September 29, 2017)
- An astronomical conjunction that appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017 which is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham (September 23, 2017), consisting of the constellations Virgo (the Virgin), Leo (the Lion), the sun, moon and the planets Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Mars that matches first two verses of the Twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse with startling precision.
- The Draconid meteor shower, originating in the constellation Draco (the Dragon), that occurred on October 7, 2017 which is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary and appear as stars falling from the Dragon, in line with the third and fourth verses of the Twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse.
“The Sun will be turned to darkness…”
Of these signs, the one that was talked about the most was the astronomical conjunction. It was unprecedented and was very similar to what some researchers believe was the Star of Bethlehem. More importantly, it perfected the description of the “great sign” in the sky in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which Catholics consider to be the Virgin Mary, and occurred in the lead up to the centennial of Fatima. However, it has become clear that the key to these signs is not the startling astronomical conjunction but the solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses happen all the time, but this one was significant because no total solar eclipse had been visible across the contiguous United States since 1918 (the year after Fatima!). When considering the eclipse, this Scripture verse comes to mind:
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light”-Matthew 13:24
In His Mount Olivet discourse, Our Lord is alluding to this passage from the prophet Joel:
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.” –Joel 2:30-31 RSV
Last night’s blood moon was not the first since the Great American Eclipse, it was the second. The first occurred on July 27, 2018. This was the night before Pope Francis removed Archbishop Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals. (Although at the time of the eclipse, it was already very early morning in Rome.) This was culmination of months of revelations that McCarrick had abused not only minors but seminarians from his archdiocese and that “everybody knew” but said nothing.
And this was only the beginning of what came to be done as the “Summer of Shame.” Two and a half weeks later, on August 14, the vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady, the Pennsylvania grand jury issued a report that was both explosive and earth shattering. It revealed an epidemic of sexual abuse among the clergy of six Pennsylvania dioceses going back to at least the 50’s. Worse than that, it revealed a systemic and massive cover-up of those crimes, which implicated Archbishop Donald, Cardinal Wuerl during his time as bishop of Pittsburgh, before he succeeded McCarrick as Archbishop of New York. The content of this report revealed behavior of priests that is of course sickeningly disgusting. However, beyond the simple fact that all sexual abuse is a powerful tool of Satan, the description of the crimes perpetrated is Satanic in a way that indicates that at least some of them were literal Satanists.
V for Vigano
However, the biggest bombshell came eight days later, on August 21, the vigil of the Queenship of Our Lady. This was the report by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, that Pope Benedict XVI had put “restrictions” on McCarrick which had been lifted by Pope Francis, who then sought advice from McCarrick and episcopal appointments and creation of Cardinals for the United States. In short, Pope Francis knew about McCarrick and not only did nothing but rehabilitated the man.
What is notable is that the Vigano report was released one year to the day after the Great American Eclipse.
Just before telling His Apostles what signs will portend His Coming, Our Lord tells them
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know the summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you that know that He is near, at the very gates.” –Mark 13:28-29 RSV
The Mount Olivet discourse takes place during Holy Week, following the triumphal entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. According to Mark’s Gospel, on Monday of that week, as Jesus and His disciples were coming from Bethany, where they were staying, to Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fig tree. He went and looked for figs, because He was hungry, but finding none, He cursed the tree.
And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And His disciples heard it.-Mark 11:13 RSV
When evening comes, they return to Bethany and returning by the same route the next day, they see that the tree has withered. This was a sign and a warning to the people of Jerusalem: the Lord had entered His city and not found the fruit He expected. Thus, eventually, the Temple would be destroyed and replaced.
You Have a Year…
In the Gospel according to St. Luke, Jesus delivers a parable concerning a Barren Fig Tree.
A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, “Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?” And he answered him, “Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” –Luke 13:6-9 RSV
In other parables, the owner of the vineyard is seen to be God the Father, and the vineyard is Israel. The vinedresser here is Christ. This parable too was a warning as it was delivered a year before the events of Holy Week. Now, when Jesus enters the Holy City, he not only finds a random fig tree without fruit but He finds that His Chosen People and their Temple are without fruit. He curses the fig tree as a final warning to Jerusalem that they too will be destroyed and no one will eat fruit from them again, less than forty years after He is speaking.
What Does It Mean?
This makes the timing of Vigano’s report, McCarrick’s removal and total eclipses of both the sun and moon, visible in the United States, startling. Could the Great American Eclipse have been a sign, like the withering of the fig tree, that we had a year to show that we could bear good fruit? Is the Catholic Church in America about to be eclipsed? The hours of the eclipse matched those of the darkness while Christ hung on the Cross on Good Friday. Is the Church, not only in America, but in the entire world, about to endure a metaphorical crucifixion? Are we about to be destroyed, at least in the eyes of the world, as the Temple was?
Vigano’s report revealed that the corruption, or at least the cover up, in the Church went all the way to the very top, to Pope Francis himself. Francis was elected as a result of Benedict XVI’s abdication, right after which the first of the aforementioned signs occurred: lightning striking St. Peter’s. Could this be to what all those signs are pointing?
I do not claim to know. After all, Our Lord said
But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. –Mark 13: 32 RSV
But He also said
And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars –Luke 21:25 RSV
And more importantly
Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.-Matthew 24:42 RSV
So I will continue to do what I believe all good Catholics, indeed all Christians, should do: watch and pray. However, I think it would be imprudent to not pick up one’s head and take closer notice of what is going on, even in the skies.