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Last week a little-known mystic from Italy was beatified in the town of Cosenza. This was Elena Aiello.

It was no big event. It occurred on a weekday (Wednesday, September 14, 2011) -- and while the Pope mentioned her in remarks to pilgrims that day, there were no huge throngs, as far as we know.

Yet this is a very interesting mystic, one who presented unusual, dramatic, and even apocalyptic prophecies.

As we have explained before, Elena was born in Consenza on the Wednesday of Holy Week on April 10, 1895, lived a life of tremendous suffering and phenomena, including stigmata, and died in 1961. It was during Holy Week that she most often recorded alleged messages from Jesus and Mary.

We say "alleged" because her beatification does not mean Vatican approval of her mysticism. It does not authenticate the predictions. But it certainly makes them more pertinent. And in one case, Blessed Aiello directly predicted the fall of Benito Mussolini and even tried to warn him by letter, quoting Jesus. As a blog writer whose article we carried wrote, "Mussolini ignored the warning, and all that was foretold came to pass."

But it went far beyond that -- far beyond what was the future at that time, perhaps into our own. The question was whether Blessed Aiello was seeing something imminent in her own time (if there was not drastic moral improvement) or both in her time and future generations.

"People are offending God too much," she quoted the Blessed Mother as telling her in the 1940s. "Were I to show you all the sins committed on a single day, you would surely die of grief. These are grave times. The world is thoroughly upset because it is in a worse condition than at the time of the Deluge."

"You cannot possibly imagine what is going to happen. A great revolution shall break out and the streets shall be stained with blood. The Pope’s sufferings on this occasion may well be compared to the agony that will shorten his pilgrimage on earth. His successor shall pilot the boat during the storm. But the punishment of the wicked shall not be slow.

"That will be an exceedingly dreadful day. The earth shall quake so violently as to scare all mankind. And so, the wicked shall perish according to the inexorably severity of Divine Justice. If possible, publish this message throughout the world, and admonish all the people to do penance and to return right away to God."

In the 1940s the Pope was Pius XII. His successor was Paul VI. Was she referring to the famous prophetic image from John Bosco showing a ship between two pillars, or does that pertain to subsequent popes and how they have guided or will guide the Church? A constant theme of hers was fire. She saw chastisement not like the Deluge, but in the form of flames (as did St. Padre Pio -- and as did the third secret of Fatima). If the world was in a condition worse than the Flood back in the 1940s, we can only imagine what it looks like to God today. On Good Friday (April 7) 1950, Blessed Aiello claimed Mary told her:

“And all this fire is not that which will fall from the hands of men, but will be hurled directly from the angels (at the time of the great chastisement or purification that will come upon the earth). Therefore I ask prayers, penance and sacrifice, so I may act as Mediatrix for my Son in order to save souls.”

This is almost identical to the third secret -- which wasn't released until June of 2000 (fifty years of Aiello's prophecy) and saw "an angel with a flaming sword in his left hand, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire."

On Good Friday (April 16) in 1954, Blessed Aiello said Jesus appeared and told her:

"Behold my child, see to what ends the sins of man have reduced Me. The world has lowered itself in overflowing corruption. The governments of the people have risen like demons incarnated, and, while they speak of peace, they prepare for war, with the most devastating implements to destroy peoples and nations. Men have become ungrateful to My Sacred Heart, and abusing My Mercy, have transformed the earth into a scene of crime."

Like Fatima, Blessed Aiello warned of Russia and in one message said it would take over Europe and even the Vatican -- something that may have threatened at the time but that, like the image in the third secret, did not arrive -- thanks to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

It was tough stuff. It is stuff that, in other ways, has come to pass. It seemed to hint at what was beginning to happen and would continue to occur within families and the Church.

"Numerous scandals are bringing souls to ruin particularly through the corruption of youth," she quoted Jesus as saying. "Stirred up, and unrestrained in the enjoyment of the pleasures of the world, they have degraded their spirit in corruption and sin. The bad example of parents trains the family in scandal and infidelity, instead of virtue and prayer, which is almost dead on the lips of many. Stained and withered is the fountain of faith and sanctity of the home.

"The Church is opposed, and the priests are despised because of the bad ones who give scandal."

This was right at the time -- the Fifties and Sixties -- when, unbeknownst to the public, abuse by priests  was beginning to spread like an epidemic. "In so saying Our Lord God disappeared. Then the Madonna appeared to me. She was dressed in black, with seven swords piercing her Immaculate Heart," said Elena. "Coming closer, with an expression of profound sorrow, and with tears on her cheeks, she spoke to me, saying: ‘Listen attentively, and reveal to all:

"'My Heart is sad for so many sufferings in an impending world in ruin. The Justice of Our Father is most offended. Men live in their obstinacy of sin. The wrath of God is near. Soon the world will be afflicted with great calamities, bloody revolutions, frightful hurricanes, and the overflowing of streams and the seas.'"

How "soon" was soon? This is always an issue. And was it not also like the prophecies of LaSalette (the anniversary of which was Monday, September 19)?

On Good Friday (April 8) in 1955, Elena was warned that "in spite of repeated warnings, men are not returning to God.

"Dark and frightful days are approaching."

Yet: "the world will be at least in part saved."

It was now a decade and a half since the first warnings. More decades would pass. We see how the word "soon" is relative.

"Priests must unite by prayers and penance. They must hasten to spread the devotion to the Two Hearts. The hour of my triumph is close at hand. The victory will be accomplished through the love and mercy of the Heart of my Son, and of my Immaculate Heart the Mediatrix between men and God. By accepting this invitation, and by uniting their tears to those of My Sorrowful Heart, priests and religious will obtain great graces for the salvation of poor sinners."

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) 1956: “Everything is in suspense, like a thread; when this thread breaks, the Justice of God will fall like a thunderbolt and will complete its terrible course of purification.”

Foreseen were signs by way of "disease; by famine; by earthquakes; by cloudbursts, tornadoes, floods, and terrible storms; and by war.

"But men ignore all these warnings, and are unwilling to be convinced that my tears [weeping Madonnas?] are plain signs to serve notice that tragic events are hanging over the world, and that the hours of great trials are at hand.

"'If men do not amend their ways, a terrifying scourge of fire will come down from Heaven upon all the nations of the world, and men will be punished according to the debts contracted with Divine justice.

"'Some nations will be purified, while others will disappear entirely. You are to transmit these warnings to all, in order that the new generation will know that men had been warned in time to turn to God by doing penance, and thus could have avoided these punishments.'"

When would all this come about, she asked Our Lady?

"My daughter, the time is not far off," answered the Blessed Mother. "When men least expect it, the course of Divine Justice will be accomplished. My Heart is so big for poor sinners, and I make use of every possible means that they may be saved. Look at this mantle, how big it is. If I were not bent over the earth to cover all with my maternal love, the tempest of fire would have already broken upon the nations of the world!"

In 1959, Jesus allegedly told Blessed Aiello that "if men do not return to God, purifying fire will fall from the Heavens, like snowstorms, on all peoples, and a great part of humanity will be destroyed!" And Mary: "No longer do men speak according to the true spirit of the Gospel. The immorality of the times has ‘reached a peak. But men do not listen to my motherly warnings, so the world must soon be purified.’

"The only valid means for placating Divine Justice is to pray and do penance, returning to God with sincere sorrow for the faults committed, and then the chastisement of Divine Justice will be mitigated by mercy."

Good Friday 1960:

“I will manifest my partiality for Italy, which will be preserved from the fire, but the skies will be covered with dense darkness, and the earth will be shaken by fearful earthquakes which will open deep abysses. Provinces and cities will be destroyed, and all will cry out that the end of the world has come! Even Rome will be punished according to justice for its many and serious sins, because here sin has reached its peak.”

What are we to make of all this? Of course, thus far, that has not happened. Have we fasted before discerning it?

On Good Friday (March 23) 1961, the Madonna supposedly said: "My daughter, the scourge is near. Much is spoken of peace, but all the world will soon be at war, and the streets will be stained with blood! No gleam of light is seen in the world, because men live in the darkness of error, and the enormous weight of sin angers the justice of God."

"All nations will be punished, because sin has spread all over the world! Tremendous will be the punishments, because man has arrived at an insupportable contest with his God and Father, and has exasperated His infinite Goodness!"

"My heart bleeds for Italy also, which will be safe only in part for the Pope! Oh!, what grief to see the representative of Christ on earth hated, persecuted, outraged!”

This had also been said at Fatima -- and by earlier mystics through the 18th and 19th centuries.

“He, who is the Spiritual Father of the people, the defender of the Faith and of truth, whose face, radiant with light, shines upon the world, is greatly hated.

“He, who personifies Christ on earth, doing good for all, becomes thus outraged with impunity!”

[see previous article]

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