Claim of 'seal' against anti-christ causing stir

by Michael H. Brown

@Spirit Daily

         We get the question everywhere we go. What do you make of Christina Gallagher? What do you think of her claim that people should go to her "House of Prayer" to receive a special protection against the anti-christ?

         For the unacquainted, Mrs. Gallagher, the wife of a plumber in Gortnadreha, Ireland, began having experience at a grotto in Cairns during the mid-1980s and says the Blessed Mother began to appear to her on January 21, 1988. Since then she has become a well-known mystic, with claims of everything from prophecy and visions to stigmata, levitation, and Eucharistic miracles. We ran an item more than a month ago about spectacular healings -- including of cancer -- documented by doctors.

         In other words, I have no doubt that Christina experiences the supernatural, and I also have no reason to question her motives. She has always struck me as a gentle, prayerful woman. I believe she possesses deep spiritual gifts. I first met her in 1991 and wrote about her in The Final Hour

         In short, I respect Christina at the same time that I know, like any seer, she has her hits and misses and each aspect of her mysticism -- each prophecy -- must be carefully discerned. What we need to know is that it started just before six a.m. on July 16, 2000 -- feast of Mount Carmel -- when Christina claims the Virgin Mary told her that "God desires all to receive the protection of the living God and the Seal given with such love" and that "the time of the Seal will be over one year from this Anniversary." The essence was that people were called to a little prayer center with a chapel she had established on Achill Island in the far windswept west of Ireland and called the House of Prayer. Those who did not respond, she quoted Mary, "when you come before Me in prayer and desire help, I will turn from you because so many of you have offended me so often." She also relayed a message that said, "The time of the antichrist is at hand."

         That was July. Six months later, when response was obviously less than overwhelming, Christina issued another warning. “People are being given a final opportunity to experience God’s Mercy and to receive His protection, but time is fast running out, and it seems that Our Lady’s words about ‘so many of my children, who do not listen’ are being fulfilled with the Hand of God coming over the world in Justice,” she said plaintively.

         It was mentioned more as a protection against events in a purification than against the anti-christ. Since I first met her, Christina has prescient about natural disasters -- and in a vision the previous November had seen widespread flooding, terrific lightning, and earthquakes. That much has already begun to occur. But what about notions of the anti-christ? Are we going to an extreme here? Do we heed Scripture which tells us to take what is good from a prophecy and leave the rest?

         Much of what is circulating about Christina comes from her spiritual director, Father Gerard McGinnity. "This Seal, as is evident from the context of the Book of Revelation (chapter 13, specially verses 16-18) as well as from [a] message of July 3, 1999 to Christina, is given for the time of the reign of the beast- the time of anti-Christ," he writes, "the time of purification. Those who have received it will not 'rush for the mark of the beast': they will be able to withstand the temptation of the beast. This Seal(ing) is a safeguard, then, at the time of ultimate testing."

         When it comes to the anti-Christ we get on less solid territory. Who knows? There's so much evil right now that it's possible such an entity could be precipitated. But we have to keep in mind that in other periods of history when there have been natural traumas -- when there have been major global purifications, like the one we are now entering -- rumors of the anti-Christ were likewise prevalent. This was especially seen just before the French Revolution gutted the Church and also in the High Middle Ages around the time of the devastating bubonic plague. 

         Neither of those times comprised the end of the world, but they were certainly severe and nearly apocalyptic times. 

         But back to the seal: Father McGinnity claims that those who want protection must come in person. "On the matter of traveling to Our Lady's House of Prayer to receive the Seal, I have to say that this is the only place Christina is aware  that the Seal is given - the sole exception being that for those entirely unable to travel there, God takes care of them wherever they are, provided they are properly disposed," he has written. "It is all too easy instead of praying for the grace, to indulge in musings and gossip and mislead other souls." He further quoted an alleged message Christina received as far back as October 5, 1992: "There will be many who will try to discredit you, many who are not of light - only darkness prevails in their hearts..."

         "Those of you who close your hearts to this gift, I tell you your cross will be heavy," added Christina.

         Could that be true? Would God set a single place -- a tiny one at that -- aside as a destination for apocalyptic protection? How could Achill Island -- a fishing area of 2,900 -- put up with millions or tens of millions of pilgrims? Is this to say that protection in times of trouble can't be gathered elsewhere?

         Those are the questions I get, including last week on a radio show, and I don't have any answers. There may indeed be a unique blessing there. All I know for certain is that prayer with faith work no matter where we are, and especially during participation in the Eucharist. At Medjugorje, where coming calamities have been alluded to, but where the anti-Christ has not been mentioned (and isn't in the secrets of the most well-known visionary, Vicka Ivankovic), the message is that with prayer and penance and fasting we'll ride the storm and can even suspend the laws of nature.

People just don’t seem to appreciate the greatness of what they are being offered by Our Lady. She wants hearts to be converted, and there is now less than six months to July next, when the time of the seal is over.” She said. I am not asking anyone to go to Achill, but Our Lady has asked them. I have been shown what lies ahead, and what people must face. Our Lady is offering people the chance to receive God’s protection against that, by coming to the House of Prayer with open hearts, so that they can stand up to that test.” Mrs. Gallagher explained.

 A history of Achill Island



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