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'Pope Of My Secret': The Link Between John Paul II, Mercy, And Coming Events
Like it or not, the death of Pope John Paul II shows every sign of igniting renewed interest in, even fervor for, the prophetic, and that interest may have grown during his funeral Friday when in a eulogy Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger accented both the Pope's dedication to the Blessed Mother and his focus on Divine Mercy.
"He interpreted for us the paschal mystery as a mystery of Divine Mercy," the cardinal pointed out to history's largest television audience. "In his last book, he wrote: 'The limit imposed upon evil 'is ultimately Divine Mercy' (Memory and Identity, Page 60-61)."
Divine Mercy rings a prophetic bell because it was established as an official feast day of the Church by John Paul II -- who then died on its vigil, April 2, and on the ninth day of the annual Divine Mercy novena.
That feast was originally inspired by St. Faustina Kowalska, a mystic who was from the Pope's native Poland. The first Mass said for the Pope after his death was a Mass of Divine Mercy -- and it was John Paul who canonized St. Faustina.
The connections are clear and the prophetic component comes in with one of St. Faustina's revelations that (quoting Jesus), "I bear a special love for Poland and if she will be obedient to My Will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming" (Diary 1732).
This has dovetailed with the intuition of many who believe that the Pope's passing will signal great changes or even a shift of era in the world, although the Church, especially in the U.S., has been cautious and often reluctant to consider the prophetic component.
As one blogger pointed out, "It has also been noted that not only did John Paul II die on the last day of the Divine Mercy novena and the eve of the feast itself, the traditional nine-day novena-mourning period for the Pope will end on the third Sunday in Easter -- which this year just happens to be the eve of the feast of St. Stanislaus of Krakow, who was a patron saint of Poland, the Pope's predecessor as archbishop of Krakow, and a personal hero of the Pope's." Reportedly, John Paul even briefly considered taking the Polish saint's name.
And then, there is the Marian devotion. So dedicated was the Pope that an "M" for Mary was placed on his casket, and this too circled into the Faustina revelation. As Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in his funeral homily Friday, "the Holy Father found the purest reflection of God's mercy in the Mother of God."
Perhaps most direct was a message from Father Stefano Gobbi, an Italian locutionist whose writings have been in wide circulation among priests and Marian laity alike and whose messages, if not deemed as official locutions by the Church (and each to be discerned individually), seem, at least in a number of instances, to have infusions of the inspirational -- as in the one cited above, which correctly foresaw that contents of the third Fatima secret nearly a decade before it was revealed.
That secret cited the shooting of a "bishop in white," which the Vatican said represented the pontiff ("bishop of Rome"), who was shot on May 13, 1981. The secret was later released by John Paul II -- who believed that the attempt on his life was thwarted by the intervention of the Fatima Virgin and even alluded to this in his last will.
On May 13, 1991, anniversary of the first Fatima apparitions and tenth anniversary of the assassination attempt, Father Gobbi reported a locution (or "voice"), supposedly from Mary, that said, "You are aware of being spiritually very much united with my Pope, John Paul II, this precious gift which my Immaculate Heart has made to you, who, in these very moments, is in prayer at the Cova da Iria [in Fatima], to thank me for the motherly and extraordinary protection which I gave him, by saving his life, on the occasion of the bloody attempt made upon it, which took place ten years ago in St. Peter's Square.
"Today I confirm for you that this is the Pope of my secret; the Pope about whom I spoke to the children during the apparitions; the Pope of my love and of my sorrow. With great courage and with superhuman strength, he goes about every part of the world, heedless of the fatigue and the many dangers, in order to confirm all in the faith and thus he carries out his apostolic ministry as successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ, universal pastor of the holy Catholic Church, founded on the rock of my Son, Jesus."
That the Pope was not only shot on the Fatima feast day, but also was the Pope who revealed the third secret and who at the same time oversaw the beatification of two of the Fatima seers -- and that his death so closely followed that of the third Fatima visionary, Lucia dos Santos, who died in February -- only adds sinew to arguments that the life of this man was prophetic.
According to Father Gobbi, whose writings have at times ignited controversy (but have circulated to tens of thousands of priests), the Blessed Mother allegedly went on to describe the Pope as giving "the light of Christ in these times of darkness."
"When this Pope will have completed the task which Jesus has entrusted to him and I will come down from Heaven to receive his sacrifice, all of you will be cloaked in a dense darkness of apostasy, which will then become general," she said.
Coming full circle back to prophecies that some link to a manifestation of Christ, or even the Second Coming, the priest asserted that during the same "message," Mary told him that there would be the faithful "remnant" which would find refuge in her heart.
"And it will be this little faithful remnant, prepared and formed by me, that will have the task of receiving Christ, Who will return to you in glory, bringing about in this way the beginning of a new era which awaits you," she allegedly said.
[see also: Pope's death of prophetic significance? and An intellect and a mystic]
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