The Seven, a prophetic novel by Michael H Brown  A coming sign? Events by a sinister personage? Disaster? In his first work of fiction, Brown pens the driving, suspenseful, and deeply spiritual story of a mysterious government property that harbors secrets relevant not only to a young cop who tries to investigate strange goings-on, but also to an equally mysterious and incredibly powerful old priest who joins forces with him to solve the mystery -- and try to prevent an end-times-like disaster!   CLICK HERE



By Michael H. Brown

Years ago, when Howard Q. Dee, ambassador from the Philippines to the Vatican, was chatting with a high Church official named Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Dee brought up the third secret of Fatima, which at the time was still just that: a secret. He also mentioned a recent revelation from Japan, wherein a great catastrophe was foreseen. This was Akita, where a deaf nun, Sister Agnes Sasagawa, said she "heard" the voice of Mary speak from a statue that wept both tears and blood. Cardinal Ratzinger (now, of course, Benedict XVI) had allowed the local bishop, John Ito, of Niigata, to issue a pastoral letter approving the Akita phenomena, at least in part.

"I surmised that Cardinal Ratzinger's approval of the pastoral must be because he recognized the Fatima third secret in the Akita message, a proof of its authenticity," wrote Ambassador Dee. "To confirm this assumption, during my farewell visit to Cardinal Ratzinger at the end of my Vatican stint as Philippine ambassador, I asked the good cardinal about the correlation of the Fatima and Akita messages. I knew it was a delicate question as his answer might reveal indirectly the content of the third secret. To my happy surprise, he confirmed that these two messages were essentially the same."

In fact, to a degree, they were: Sister Sasagawa had said she was told, "if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all of humanity. It will be a greater punishment than the Deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the sign left by my Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops, and the priests."

The message went on to warn that the devil would infiltrate the Church, cause great division, "sack" altars, and lead many religious to leave their vocations -- something that indeed was at full pace around and just after the revelation.  And, there were definitely similarities to Fatima. The message of potential "fire" from the sky fits with the image in the third Fatima secret that displayed an angel "with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'" The Fatima secret -- as we learned in June of 2000 -- also included the image of "a big city half in ruins" and persecution of the Pope, priests, and women religious.

Many have made the obvious connection between such images and the potential of nuclear war or disaster. That there is a connection between the two revelations seemed implicit in the fact that one of the crucial messages given to Sister Sasagawa took place on October 13, 1973 -- anniversary of the last formal Fatima apparition and the miracle of the sun, which Dee interpreted as perhaps symbolizing "fire" from the sky.

"I consider the Akita message the most important message given by Our Lady after the Fatima message," said Ambassador Dee (who reaffirmed what Cardinal Ratzinger told him in a conversation with me in the 1990s). "In spite of the apocalyptic overtone, the Holy See has endorsed it to the faithful, without fanfare for the same reason that it does not want to release the third secret of Fatima -- to avoid sensationalism. In Akita, the Blessed Mother said the Heavenly Father is very angry with this egoistic and arrogant world.

The Akita message bore even more striking similarities to what has been called the Neues Europa secret -- a version of the Fatima secret that allegedly was leaked in 1963 to a German publication by that name, which claimed the text had been cabled to President John Kennedy and Russian leader Nikita Krushchev, ostensibly to dissuade the two superpowers from just what the Fatima secret implied: a nuclear exchange.

Both Fatima seer Lucia dos Santos and the Vatican dismissed the Neues Europa "secret" as bogus, and in fact it contained highly sensational prophecies and at least one major mistake (stating that the secret was given at Fatima on October 13, 1917, when in fact the secret was granted to the young seers the previous July 13). The bishop of the diocese encompassing Fatima called this version of the secret "an invention" that "had nothing to do with the contents of the message." This was repeated in Rome by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, then prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (a position later occupied by Cardinal Ratzinger).

What Neues Europa claimed, on October 15, 1963, was that a great punishment was coming to mankind in the second half of the twentieth century and the punishment would involve a "big, big war" and that "fire and smoke will fall from the sky and the waters of the oceans will be turned to steam -- hurling their foam towards the sky, and all that is standing will be overthrown. Millions and more millions of men will lose their lives from one hour to the next, and those who remain living at that moment will envy those who are dead. There will be tribulation wherever the eye can see and misery over the earth and desolation in all countries." Half of mankind, claimed the Neues Europa "secret," would be killed in a matter of hours. It also said, "There will come a time of hardest trials for the Church. Cardinals will be against cardinals, and bishops against bishops. Satan will put himself in their midst. In Rome, also, there will be big changes. What is rotten will fall, and what will fall must not be maintained. The Church will be darkened and the world plunged into confusion. The time of times is coming and the end of all ends."

This bears obvious similarities to Sister Sasagawa's prophecies, including her message, on October 13, 1973, whereby she quoted Mary as warning that "the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by the confreres... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord."

It is not known if Sister Sasagawa -- way out there in Japan, in a secluded convent -- had read the Neues Europa "secret" (which was issued ten years before her revelation). It is indisputable that we have seen a Church where priests attack other priests (particularly Marian ones), cardinals have been at odds, and in Sister Sasagawa's own case, bishops argued over the credibility of her experiences, which Rome too initially resisted, and which still face stiff opposition.

When, some years ago, I checked with the Most Reverend Francis Keiichi Sato, who had succeeded Bishop Ito (but is himself now retired), he sent me a letter saying, "As you may know, opinions are divided on both sides of the question. As pastor of the people on both sides of the question, I have tried to maintain a delicate balance between giving freedom to devotions at Akita, and leaving it to time to clarify the nature of the events." With his letter was an official statement affirming that the statue, from which came the prophetic voice, did indeed exhibit inexplicable phenomena. "The fact that the wooden statue of Our Lady shed tears is undeniable," he wrote. "It is something that occurred over and over (101 times) between 1975 and 1981, with a great number of witnesses."

That means there is partial and tentative approval of Akita and that it is therefore worthy of consideration. The Akita statue is fashioned after another reported revelation that occurred in Amsterdam beginning on March 25, 1945, to a woman name Ida Peerleman -- who, like Sister Sasagawa, experienced both support and rejection from Church authorities, including authorities in Rome (at one point with the faithful forbidden to have anything to do with her claims to have seen the Blessed Mother as "Our Lady of All Nations").

The apparition, which has been approved by the current bishop (who reversed previous rejections), also foresaw great spiritual warfare -- particularly in the Church -- and apocalyptic-like disasters. It stated at one point that there would be "a complete revolution in Russia" one day and that "nature too will change." She saw a "great disaster of nature will take place." She also foresaw a Pope sitting on the Throne of St. Peter with the word "Violence" over his head.

Added Ida at another juncture, "In the distance I see a multitude of Eastern Peoples. 'These will rouse,' says the Lady. I see very far away. Then a skull appears and I hear the Lady say, 'A great disaster will occur; that will startle them." She saw a "peculiar cloud hanging over the world." She also said to watch for meteorites. At one point, Ida saw a missile. More hopefully, she also envisioned the conversion of England, Japan, and America. Fascinating it is that on October 11, 1993, during a meeting with Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, Sister Lucia of Fatima was quoted as saying that when Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart in 1984, his action thwarted a major and imminent conflict. "The consecration of 1984," said Sister Lucia (one of history's most famous seers), "prevented an atomic war that would have occurred in 1985."

According to a periodical called Stimme des Glaubens, during a visit to Fulda, Germany, in November of 1980, this same Pope allegedly was asked by a group of pilgrims why the third secret had not been revealed (at that point). John Paul II supposedly replied, "Given the gravity of its contents, so as not to encourage the worldwide power of Communism to take certain steps, my predecessors in the chair of Peter preferred, out of diplomacy, to delay its publication. On the other hand, all Christians must be content with this: if it is a question of a message where it is said that the oceans will entirely flood certain parts of the earth, that from moment to moment millions will die, hearing this, people should not long for the rest of the secret." Allegedly, he also told the pilgrims he was ready for martyrdom (this just before the assassination attempt on him). Through prayer, he said, it would be possible to diminish a coming trial for the Church, which he said would have to be renewed with blood.

"Be strong!" John Paul II supposedly added. "Be prepared! We should trust ourselves to Christ and His mother, pray often, and say the Rosary. Then, although we have done little, we have done everything."

While the fall of Communism brought a period of tranquil relations between the nuclear superpowers, it is interesting to note that on April 26, 1987 another well-known apparition occurred in a small, peasant hamlet called Hrushiw in the Ukraine (which at the time was part of the Soviet Union).

That was the first anniversary of the disaster at Chernobyl. 

Was this another apparitional hint -- that mankind faced something to do with radiation, or even a star falling as in Revelation 8:11? ("Chernobyl" is the Ukrainian word for a bitter herb known as "wormwood," which is also referred to in this verse from Revelation as poisoning a third of the waters.)

Many years before, a woman in another Ukrainian village, Dubovytsya, had a well-known vision during which the Virgin said, "Disaster is upon you as in the time of Noah. Not by flood but by fire will the destruction come. An immense flood of fire shall destroy nations for sinning against God."

Although the current events in Japan -- including great nuclear troubles -- do not fit the description of a fire that wipes out "a great part of humanity," Akita, located less than two hundred miles west of the now tsunami-devastated city of Sendai, may be accented as an indication of what still may be ahead for the world. It is difficult to tell. There remains controversy. The current bishop is reportedly negative, and the convent off limits. Last we heard, Sister Sasagawa was no longer there. If nothing else, we know the part of the Akita message that today resounds -- conflict in the Church, and on occasion, bishops versus bishops.

[see also: The messages of Akita and The third secret of Fatima]

[resources: The Final Hour]

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