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MYSTIC UP FOR SAINTHOOD WARNED OF BIN LADEN THREE TIMES BEFORE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11
It was Venezuelan mystic Maria Esperanza -- whose cause for sainthood is now under investigation by the diocesan tribunal -- who in December of 2000 claimed to Spirit Daily that enemies were on American soil -- one of them a "small" enemy -- and planning to strike. Our headline: "World-known mystic Maria Esperanza warns U.S. of foreign danger, sees world 'saddened' in a short while, is concerned with the Mid-East, the Pope, and two nations." She was warning of two foreign "powers," one that she described as small, the other larger, acting in such a way as to provoke America. "The United States has to be very careful," she stated. "It has to act with a lot of prudence." As her son-in-law and interpreter explained to us at the time (ten months before September 11), "She feels in her heart that there is a certain big thing that is about to happen." He went on to say that a heaviness in her heart indicated something was on the way. She repeated this warning while in New Jersey that following March of 2001. It would be something that "will shake the world."
Then, in mid-August of 2001, her family sent Spirit Daily a fax warning that the event of which she had been speaking was about to occur -- which, of course, it did, less than three weeks later. The exact date: August 25 at 9:35 p.m. The fax said the event would occur in "three weeks or three months." It happened 17 days later.
In the frenzied day after 9/11, Maria -- who happened to be in northern Manhattan on September 11, during a long stay in the U.S.! -- said she saw a "roaring lion" behind the attacks. This is before the world knew of Al Qaeda. It later turned out that Osama means "lion." Years before, in the 1990s, she had described to pilgrims a vision she had of two large towers in New York on fire and collapsing.
Of course, no "serious" people took her seriously. It was the fringe stuff of Catholics who believe in prophecy. After September 11, Maria and her family took time to go to three places in New York City -- including St. Patrick's Cathedral -- and circle them with prayer. It later turned out that churches -- including the Vatican -- were among Al Qaeda targets. The terrorist group appeared to be the "small" entity on American soil; the second, larger "nation" has not yet been discerned, though some may wonder, in light of events, whether it is Afghanistan, Iran, or Pakistan. She described the "small" one as "very smart and powerful" and working "inside" the United States. "They have people inside already," she had warned us. We all now know, of course, that terrorists were inside America training.
She further warned that the U.S. should not go to war -- that this was precisely what the "small" group wanted. She said doing so would solve nothing and would squander the sympathy around the world felt toward the United States. She urged humility. At the time, such a notion was considered almost heresy; many devout Catholics had accepted the idea that being against war was unpatriotic (and nearly anti-Christian). Other mystics like Josyp Terelya felt war was a mistake and that instead special forces should be used.
John Paul II argued forcefully the same. At the vigil for his beatification last weekend, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow, who was John Paul II's personal secretary for more than forty years, revealed the two occasions he saw John Paul II "really angry," but with "good reason." "In Agrigento [Sicily], he raised his voice against the mafia, and we were all a little scared," he said. "And the other occasion was during the Angelus, before the Iraq War, when he said with force: no to war, war doesn't resolve anything. I have seen war. I know what war is."
Finally, after two wars that killed hundreds of thousands (including more Americans than died in September 11) and turned much of the world against the U.S., it was special forces -- Navy Seals -- who found the master terrorist in a Pakistan "compound-hideout."
[resources: The Bridge to Heaven and Betania video]
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