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The recent quakes have caused an upsurge in prophecy greater than anything similar in quite some time, with a perception that matters are at higher stride. One is reminded of Maria Esperanza, who when asked about coming events once said, "It may come like an earthquake, very hard things. I see like caves inside the earth. The core of the earth, it is not balanced."

That's the seer who is up for veneration and who was associated with the apparition site of Betania in Venezuela.

In attention Betania is behind only Kibeho, Rwanda (where apparitions have been approved), and Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which has been in the news of late due to reports that a new Vatican commission will review the situation, headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini of Italy -- whose stand on apparitions is not known, though he did discipline a wayward priest associated with an alleged Italian seer (the priest allegedly was defying diocesan orders). According to one report, Cardinal Ruini also looked negatively upon a "weeping" statue in the Italian town of Civitavecchia -- a statue that had been purchased at Medjugorje and that the local bishop approved after witnessing bloody tears himself. Does this portend a negative disposition toward mysticism, or does another cardinal, Christoph Schönborn of Austria, who is highly in favor, have an insight when he says the matter is being discussed at the Vatican in the wake of his recent visit and that "I am very confident that the Commission, which the Holy Father is setting up to examine the events of Medjugorje, is very good and will work very conscious of its responsibility, and that the result will certainly be good"?

There are unconfirmed reports that Medjugorje may be taken from the antagonistic Mostar diocese and assigned to a different one (Trebinjska) We will wait to see if that is confirmed. Asked Thursday by a video team in Rome about heading Medjugorje panel, Cardinal Ruini said, "I can't speak about this."

Also recently: on Monday (March 8), a seer from Medjugorje was allowed to have his apparition and speak at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago -- which is headed by Cardinal Francis George, who also heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. When it comes to prophecy, we know only that "secrets" were given at Medjugorje that have to do with major events and change in the world, good and bad.

Back to quakes: a stir was created when it appeared that an alleged visionary from Anguera, Brazil, seemed to foresee the Haitian and Chilean quakes, as well as a disaster on Madeira Island, which is owned by Portugal. The question of the week: does the seer mention so many possible places that he is liable to hit on one -- or are many places in the line of fire? Is there a "rattling" going on?

Among Pedro's most recent messages (from "Our Lady Queen of Peace"):

March 9: "Dear children, ye a future of great trials. I suffer for what comes to you. From the depths of the earth come immense rivers of fire. Many areas will be completely devastated and destruction will go through many countries."

March 7: "Dear Sons and Daughters, I love you as you are and I come from heaven to offer you the grace of sincere conversion. Open your hearts to my call. I want to lead you to a high peak of holiness. Don't back out. Don't lose heart. Accept faithfully the Gospel of My Jesus. Humanity has gotten away from God, and people have become slaves of sin. Truly liberate yourselves and return to Him Who is your one true Savior. Seek strength in prayer. Only by prayer will you be able to support the trials that are on the way. Now is a time of Grace for each one of you. Don't live far from The Lord. He is calling you and waiting for you. Those who dwell in the land of the queen will live moments of great tribulation. It will be on a Friday, and men will weep and wail. Pray. Pray. Pray. This is the message I give you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank you for permitting Me to reunite you here once more. I bless you in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace."

March 6: You live in a time when the creature is considered worth more than The Creator and humanity is spiritually blind. After all the tribulation, the transformation of the world will come. God will work a great miracle, and you will see that which human eyes have never seen. It will be a time of joy for God´s chosen ones. Forward without fear. Those who dwell in a great city in Brazil will live moments of great tribulations. Scientists will give the warning and everybody will flee. The discovery of a great gap will get the attention of the whole world. Be at peace. Return to The Lord. He is waiting for you with open arms." 

March 4: "Death will pass through Teixira de Freitas (a town in Bahia, Brazil) and my poor children will weep and lament."

March 1: "A frightening event will happen in Uruguay, and be repeated in Espírito Santo. Death will pass through three states in Brazil accompanied by great destruction. There is no greater pain."

February 27: "Now is the time for your conversion. The times I announced in the past have come. Be strong. Death will pass through Spain. Costa Rica will live moments of anguish. A sleeping giant will bring suffering and death to África."

February 20:  "Humanity lives far from The Lord and is heading towards a great abyss. Tell everyone that the time is short. Bend your knees in prayer and you shall see peace reign on earth. I suffer because of what awaits you. A frightening event will happen in Spain and will spread to various countries of Europe. France will drink a cup bitter with pain which I announced in the past."

It says in Scripture to test the spirits; retain what is good; and leave the rest. In the case of Pedro, there are more than 720 pages of messages between 1987 and 2007 (one is 132 pages long)!

What to make of such a volume?

Pedro mentions some drastic events, like days of darkness and nations "disappearing."

Also recently (February 25): "Dear sons and daughters, pray. The power of prayer will lead you to a truly sincere conversion. Humanity needs to receive the love of the Lord. Open your hearts and don't let the devil contaminate you. You belong to the Lord. You have great value in the eyes of the Lord. Hear My appeals. Pray much of the Church of my Jesus. The Church will drink the bitter cup of suffering. The darkness of lack of faith and of infidelity will spread more and more within the Church. A great scandal will shake the faith of the people and the church will lose much. I ask you to keep your flame of faith alive. Don't go away from the truth. Accept My Gospel joyfully and you will be saved."

In addition to quakes (and troubles in the Church, which we will touch on next week) is the theme of "transformation" that runs through messages from other visionaries or locutionists. Jesus allegedly told a Texas woman: "My little one, I need all prayer warriors to pray. A great historical event is about to take place that will transform humanity. Daughter, ask all servants of God to pray for mercy, protection and peace.”

How much do we accept (whether or not a seer has past "hits")?

The rate of warning has intensified. From another alleged seer came this admonition: "The Archangels showed me the vision of December 7, 2009. Again I saw major earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, severe weather, hot and cold, the sufferings in the economy worldwide. I saw the seriousness of the calamities and pestilence that would continue throughout the world. The Archangel Michael said: 'Beloved, as sin increases, suffering will continue to cover many parts of the world. Many souls continue to live without God and thus ignore the warnings from Heaven. Pray and fast, beloved, asking the mercy of the eternal Father upon a world that continues to walk in darkness.'"

In the U.S., a Catholic who had a famous near-death experience now says he hears an angelic voice speak prophecy to him and for several years has been conveying the message of a "great shaking."

We'll let the prophecy roll this week; you discern. One from the Upper Midwest: "I tell you My child that the days, the hour is rolling ahead like claps of thunder and cities will become like deserts. An island in the middle of the Pacific will descend into the ocean as the earth continues to respond to the depth of man’s sins."

Protestants also have seen the earth rocking and rolling.

Let's end with this supposed one from January: "Little children, remain strong in prayer for there will be much more suffering throughout the world, and many will be affected by these sufferings. Pray with your Heavenly Mother and fear nothing for I am with you. Trust in my powerful intercession. Offer your masses, rosaries, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, frequent confessions and reading holy scripture for the conversion of the world. Do this daily, if possible. Do not abandon the call to holiness. I am praying for you as family and securing the path that will lead you to Heaven."

[resources: Tower of Light and Spiritual Warfare Prayers]

[See also: Pedro's messages, Do 'direct hits' make Brazilian seer legitimate?, Commissioned by God and What vicar of Pope's cathedral said about Medjugorje]

[Michael Brown retreat, St. Louis: March 27]

[And: Seminary professor: how to judge apparitions]

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