Over the past several years, one of my primary study interests besides Islam has been what Holy Scripture sometimes refers to as the “latter days”1 or “last days,”2 that is, the era leading up to the glorious Second Coming of Christ.3 My interest in this topic has led me to read several interesting resources, including two books that provide a concise yet thorough look at authentic Catholic teaching concerning the end times. Those books are Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement by Yves Dupont and Prophecy for Today: A Summary of the Catholic Tradition Concerning the End of-Time Era by Edward Connor. Both of these works present a large collection of prophecies from reliable Catholic sources, together with each author’s commentary, and cover such themes as the increased prominence of Mary prior to the Second Coming, the rise of a great Catholic Monarch, and the reign of an extraordinarily holy Pope. The definitive destruction of Islam, as you will soon hear, is foretold in the context of these specific themes. But before we explore the prophetic texts themselves, it is worth our time to hear the testimony of Mr. Dupont regarding the importance of prophecy. In the Introduction to his book, he states: Indeed, prophecies are for our edification: They cast a light on many problems; they warn us against errors; they prepare us for dangers to come; and they are a manifestation of the power of God. At the same time, they are an encouragement and a consolation. The current crisis in the Church and in the world was predicted long ago, but the final victory of the Christian forces is also predicted; this is an encouragement and a consolation.4 I’m now going to share with you a small sampling of these prophecies quoted by Dupont and Connor in their respective books, some of which are found in both, beginning with those that foretell the increased prominence of Our Lady in the latter days. This period of time is popularly referred to as the “Age of Mary” and seems to be intertwined with the reign of the Great Monarch and Angelic Pope (more on those subjects in a few moments):

I. Concerning the Age of Mary

Ven. Mary of Agreda (1602- 1665), the renowned Franciscan mystic from Spain who received numerous visions of the life of the Blessed Virgin, testified: It was revealed to me that through the intercession of the Mother of God all heresies will disappear. The victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother. In the latter days, the Lord will in a special manner spread the renown of His Mother. Mary began salvation, and by her intercession it will be completed. Before the second coming of Christ, Mary, more than ever, must shine in mercy, might, and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic faith. The power of Mary in the latter days will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and the Mohammadans, and it will be a time of great joy when Mary is enthroned as Mistress and Queen of Hearts. It is very interesting to note that in The Mystical City of God (the written account of her visions), Ven. Mary of Agreda describes how almost immediately after Our Lord’s redemptive death, the devil and his minions devised a myriad of heresies to lead souls away from Christ, including “the sect of Mahomet.”Next, we have St. Louis De Montfort (1673-1716), the veritable Apostle of Our Lady who was named Missionary Apostolic by Pope Clement XI. He stated: “The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolaters and Moslems, and there will come a glorious era in which Mary will be the ruler and Queen of human hearts.” De Montfort wrote extensively about the increased prominence of Our Lady leading up to the Second Coming of Her Divine Son in his classic work True Devotion to Mary. The following is one such passage not included by Dupont or Connor in their respective books: “Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and in grace, in these latter times: in mercy, to bring back and lovingly receive the poor strayed sinners who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church; in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Mahometans, Jews and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God to seduce all those who shall oppose them and to make them fall by promises and threats; and finally, she must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, who shall battle for His interests.” Notice how Ven. Mary and St. Louis both predict the ultimate demise of Islam specifically through the intervention of Our Lady. Continuing on this theme, let’s return for a moment to Archbishop Sheen’s book The World’s First Love, in which he wrote: It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Muslims are not to be realized, but that Islam, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity—and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect. It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teaching of Christianity but through a summoning of Muslims to a veneration of the Mother of God. He goes on to explain that although Muslims vehemently reject the divinity of Christ, they ironically have great devotion to His Mother. In fact, there is a verse in the Quran that seems to imply belief in the Immaculate Conception, which he quotes: “Oh, Mary, Allah has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth.” [Surah 3:42]10 Finally, Archbishop Sheen makes a crucial connection between the conversion of Muslims and Our Lady of Fatima: Mary, then, is for the Muslims the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammad himself. … Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and sign of hope to the Muslim people and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too. … Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Muslims will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima.

11 Footnotes: (1) See Dan. 10:14. (2) See II Tim. 3:1, II Pet. 3:3. (3) It is interesting to note that during her 1957 interview with Fr. Augustine Fuentes, Sister Lucia revealed the following: “Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but She made me understand this…” (http://www. fatima.org/essentials/opposed/frfuentes. asp). (4) Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement (Rockford: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1970), p. 9. (5) Dupont, Catholic Prophecy, p. 33; Edward Connor, Prophecy for Today: A Summary of the Catholic Tradition Concerning the End of-Time Era (Charlotte: TAN Books, 2010 edition), p. 49. (6) The Mystical City of God, A Popular Abridgement (Rockford: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1978), p. 584. (7) Dupont, Catholic Prophecy, p. 33; Connor, Prophecy for Today, p. 49. (8) True Devotion to Mary, n. 50, § 6 (p. 29 of edition published by TAN Books in 1985). (9) Sheen, The World’s First Love, p. 205. (10) Ibid., p. 206. (11) Ibid., p. 206-208.

By Matt Gaspers

The Fatima Crusader | Issue 116