Signs Of The Times: Do They Hint At Christ Appearing In A Special 'Manifestation'?
Wortley photo showing letters in sky above Medjugorje
By Michael H. Brown
From Italy to Bangladesh, from the West Bank to Detroit and Florida and Texas, statues of the Virgin Mary allegedly weep tears or exude oil. From Venezuela to Canada -- from Africa to Japan -- there are visions and alleged apparitions.
Skeptics can pretend it isn't occurring, or look down their noses at it, but the Bible is based on the supernatural -- as is the Church itself -- and at least some of the occurrences, if not the majority, warrant serious consideration. We must discern.
They also raise this question: Is the same about to happen with Christ? Is the Lord about to "present" Himself -- to manifest in a similar fashion?
We ask that question because we keep getting what we think are indications that the future may indeed bring such a manifestation. We're not speaking of the Second Coming -- of which we know nothing. And we are not positing "intermediate" or "middle coming" theories (we know nothing of that, either). What we're speaking about is some form of display or presentation that may resemble the way in which the Blessed Mother has been appearing and manifesting.
For years we have been following what we call the "1990 prophecy," a message in an anonymous vision that correctly predicted the onset of a great evil that fit the description of cloning; that warned that New York City would be under a "cloud," with its pride to be broken (as would also occur to other cities); and warned that there would be an increase in the intensity of regional disasters.
Those predictions came true (they were immediately followed by the record nor'easters, hurricanes, and El Ninos), but there was also something else, something we have hesitated to focus upon, something we are still uncertain how to discern. As so often we do, we'll leave it up to your discernment.
Allegedly quoting the Lord through an angel, it had to do with an appearance of Jesus. "I will come not as a man of flesh, but like My mother, who already nurses Me and holds Me in her arms, as a light and power," it said. "I will manifest Myself in a series of supernatural events similar to the apparitions but much more powerful. In other words, My second coming will be different than My first, and like My first, it will be spectacular to many but also unknown initially to many, or disbelieved. Yet truly I tell you, the arrogance of the world will have been broken, and so many more than normal will believe.
"I will come in towering light.
"My mother held me in her arms at Medjugorje, as an infant.
"I will come as she has come, in light.
"Know this about the world: I would not appear on television, nor ride a car, nor travel in an airplane.
"Would I come in such a manner?
"Would I live in such a world?"
Again, it's for your discernment. It is speaking about Jesus showing Himself supernaturally, not in a manger, not as a physical personage, but as a manifestation of some sort -- a manifestation that will splice the present darkness. This may be connected with a famous prophecy from St. Faustina of Poland -- who quoted Jesus as telling her that "before I come as a just judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy.
"Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day."
In its turn that prophecy connects with an event recorded over Jerusalem in the fourth century by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem -- who in a letter to the Emperor Constantius wrote, "On the nones of May, about the third hour [May 3, 3 p.m.], a great luminous cross appeared in the heavens, just over Golgotha, reaching as far as the holy mount of Olivet, seen, not by one or two persons, but clearly and evidently by the whole city. This was not, as might be thought, a fancy-bred and transient appearance: but it continued several hours together, visible to our eyes and brighter than the sun. The whole city, penetrated alike with awe and with joy at this portent, ran immediately to the church, all with one voice giving praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God."
It is therefore clear that great signs in the sky -- clearly miraculous ones related to Jesus -- have historical precedent. Indeed, Constantine the Great, praying for victory during a battle around the same time in history, is said to have seen a similar manifestation when he and his men witnessed the radiant form of a cross-like emblem above the setting sun. It was surrounded by the words, In This, Conquer -- and was seen by at least 25,000 soldiers.
Constantine swore to the vision and said it was followed by a dream in which Christ spoke to Him.
Is this what we too can expect? Is this the type of event that is coming? If so, we wonder if it is one of the secrets at Medjugorje. We were intrigued to see that an Irish journalist, Heather Parsons, claims in a recent book that she saw actual writing in the sky above Medjugorje -- the word "Peace" in letters that looked like a Celtic script, right there in the daytime sky. This brought back memories of a similar claim by peasants and a priest who claimed to have seen the word Mir (Croatian for "peace") in the sky above Medjugorje (which is three hours west of Sarajevo) in 1981.
And it gets doubly interesting when we reflect back on the testimony of an American named Celia Wortley from Harriman, New York, -- who on June 25, 1995, was with a priest, a friend, and her daughter in Medjugorje when the extraordinary photo above was taken. The first shows Celia with a friend, Janet Gowey, on Apparition Hill (where Mary was first spotted, holding Jesus, in 1981). While the sky is clear in the first photo, seconds later another was snapped, and when this second photo was developed, there was no longer anyone in the photo. Instead the sky was dark and the letters C-H-R-I-S-T appeared above the cross (which marks a spot of apparition).
Peace. Mir. Christ.
In addition to the letters, Parsons says she saw a figure who looked like Jesus. "As I continued to stare at the sun, I saw what seemed like a fountain of light gush up from it," she writes. "Just as with a fountain of water, where it reached its highest point this fountain of light separated and there appeared, to my utter astonishment, a bright, shining figure with arms outstretched. So bright and shining that I could never describe the whiteness of the garment, but a figure that I immediately recognized, despite my own lack of religious interest for many years, as the Risen Christ."
The apparition or "manifestation" occurred ten times, and reminds us of Matthew 24 -- which says that "the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and 'all clans of earth will strike their breasts' as they see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven' with power and great glory." It also fits an alleged message from Medjugorje in which the Blessed Mother said on January 8, 1984, "Do not think that Jesus is going to manifest Himself again in the manger."
It was a year after this message that Parsons saw what she now reports.
Moreover, Christ has also reportedly manifested at a Church-approved apparition site in Betania, Venezuela -- where it's claimed that in February of 1995 more than two dozen competent observers watched the apparition of a male figure they also took to be Jesus in a wooded area. These witnesses, many of them professionals, saw a figure with a red, pulsing heart and a sword that seemed to symbolize justice. It was purportedly observed through something they could describe only as a spiritual "screen." Note two things: that the main seer at Betania, Maria Esperanza, believes one day Jesus will manifest "in glory with rays of light" and that Christ appeared after His death to bless His disciples at Bethany.
"Betania" means "Bethany."
So comes the question: are we looking at an event that would be similar to His appearance after the Resurrection? Are we are the verge of a corporeal apparition somewhere or at several places around the world -- or even many places? Are we speaking about a Presence that will be visible or invisible, public or private, real or in "dreams"?
We can say that Scripture clearly sees Our Lord arriving at some point in the form of brightness and we also note that recent alleged weeping statues have occurred at churches associated with the transfiguration -- which had Jesus viewing an apparition and Himself clothed with Light. Is this all a preview of what will be a greater phenomenon? Are we starting to see hints of a major manifestation?
We receive more and more reports, and they seem to symbolize the coming enhanced Presence of Christ -- which many believe will arrive to break the power of evil, a period during which the devil has exerted extended power. The indications of a manifestation coincide with the Pope's monumental release of the "Luminous Mysteries" -- which expand the Rosary to focus more on Jesus Himself and which tie into the mystical undercurrent in the very use of the term "luminous." They also coincide with reports of Arabs who have recently converted after seeing Jesus in dreams.
Let us note that at Fatima Christ appeared in the final apparition during the famous sun miracle on October 13, 1917 as a grown man dressed in red. He blessed the crowd, then appeared as an Infant with St. Joseph and His Blessed Mother.
At Medjugorje -- as alluded to in the 1990 prophecy -- His only appearance was on the first day of apparitions when during the first apparition He was seen by the visionaries cradled in Mary's arms.
Is He now set to reappear as a grown man? Is He about to bless the people as at Fatima -- but on a larger scale?
If Jesus appears with the same presence as Our Lady of Medjugorje, it would be a heart-stopping and monumental event -- at least to those who believe it. We must keep in mind the many who have not heard of or do not believe in the appearances of the Blessed Mother. Said the 1990 prophecy, such a manifestation or even a "coming" (we have no idea which, although the prophecy mentioned a Coming), "will be different than My first, and like My first, it will be spectacular to many but also unknown initially to many, or disbelieved.
"Yet truly I tell you," it added, "the arrogance of the world will have been broken."
This we believe. Scripture clearly sees the Lord arriving in light -- or some form of brightness. As soon as Christ manifests, in whatever way He ends up manifesting -- in flesh or spirit, visibly or unseen -- it will be the end of the evil period; and knowing that we can say, "Marana tha." "Our Lord, come quickly!"
[Resources: Vicka: Touched by a Mother's Love, The Day Will Come]
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