Three Days of Darkness – Part 2

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We said in Part 1 that the Great Tribulation begins with the recovery of the Ark of the Covenant. The message to be preached will be as Jesus said: “This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole … Continue reading

Pope Gregory, the Great Monarch, Petrus Romanus

Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the city of Guadalupe, Spain, is some 120 miles west south west of Madrid, and is also about 300 miles south of Garabandal and about 300 miles east of Fatima (Portugal).

The history of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to a Pope Gregory the Great. In the year 590, he gave to Bishop Leander of Seville, Spain, the richly decorated statue made of dark wood, called black virgin, now known as ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe.’

This pope is extremely important and so very interesting. ‘Delaney’s Dictionary of Saints’ records:
GREGORY I THE GREAT (540-604). Son of a wealthy patrician, Gordianus, he was born and educated at Rome. He was prefect of Rome when the Lombard invasion of Italy was threatening Rome in 571. Long attracted to the religious life, about 574 he converted his home in Rome into St. Andrew’s Monastery under Valentius, became a monk there, and founded six monasteries on his estates in Sicily. After several years of seclusion at St. Andrew’s, he was ordained by Pope Pelagius II and was made one of the seven papal deacons in 578. He served as papal nuncio to the Byzantine court, 579-85, was recalled in 586, resumed his monastic life, and became abbot of St. Andrew’s. He set out to evangelize England but was brought back to Rome by Pope Pelagius when plague struck Rome, 589-90. Pelagius was stricken and died, and Gregory was elected Pope and consecrated on September 3, 590.

He restored ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations, and was prodigious in his charities. He administered papal properties wisely and justly, ransomed captives from the Lombards, protected Jews from unjust coercion, and fed the victims of a famine. In 593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and he negotiated a peace with the Lombard King—an unprecedented move that effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine Emperor’s representative, the exarch. This was the beginning of a series of actions by which Gregory resisted the arrogance, incompetence, and treachery of Byzantine authorities by which he appointed governors of the Italian cities, providing them with war materials and denouncing the heavy taxes levied on the Italians by Byzantine officials. He thus started on its course the acquisition and exercise of temporal power by the papacy. He was responsible for the conversion of England to Christianity by his interest in that country and his dispatch of St. Augustine of Canterbury and forty monks from St. Andrew’s there (though the story in Bede’s history of the English Church that he was motivated to do so by the sight of a group of blond, handsome Saxon slaves up for sale in the marketplace may be apocryphal). He was untiring in his efforts to ensure that the papacy was the supreme authority in the Church, and denouncing John, Patriarch of Constantinople, for his use of the title Ecumenical Patriarch (he himself preferred as his own title “Servant of the Servants of God,” a title used by Popes to this day, fourteen centuries later). He was an eloquent preacher and was mainly responsible for the restoration of a Rome devastated by the invasions, pillages, and earthquakes of the century before his pontificate. He wrote treatises, notably his Dialogues, a collection of visions, prophecies, miracles, and lives of Italian saints, and Liber regulae past oralis (on the duties of bishops), and hundreds of sermons and letters. Whether he was the compiler of the Antiphony on which the Roman schola cantorum was based and several hymns attributed to him is uncertain, but he did greatly influence the Roman liturgy. The custom of saying thirty successive Masses for a dead person goes back to him and bears his name, and to Gregory is due Gregorian Chant. He actively encouraged Benedictine monasticism, and his grants of privileges to monks often restricting episcopal jurisdictions was the beginning of later exemptions that were to bring religious orders directly under papal control.

He is the last of the traditional Latin Doctors of the Church, is justly called “the Great,” and is considered the founder of the medieval papacy. He died in Rome on March 12 and was canonized by acclamation immediately after his death. September 3.”

It is noteworthy how he combated the temporal powers of his day, provided for true evangelism without compromise with ecumenism. I summarize some of the highlights from above:
1. He restored ecclesiastical discipline.
2. Removed unworthy clerics from office.
3. Abolished the commercialism of clerical fees.
4. Ransomed captives from the Lombards.
5. Protected Jews from unjust coercion.
5. Fed the victims of famine.
6. Set aside the authority of the lay governments over the Church of Jesus Christ.
7. Resisted the arrogance, incompetence, and treachery of secular politicians.
8. Appointed governors of the Italian cities, providing them with war materials.
9. Denounced the heavy taxes levied on the Italians by secular officials.
10. Established the acquisition and exercise of temporal power by the Papacy.
11. Converted England to Christianity.
12. Ensured that the Papacy was the supreme authority in the Church.
13. He wrote treatises, notably his Dialogues, a collection of visions, prophecies, miracles.
14. He greatly influenced the Roman liturgy.
15. Brought religious orders directly under Papal control.
16. He also died on a notable day (my birthday!).

The prophetic gift by Gregory the Great in 590 was to have far reaching effects in the time of history. Our Lady of Guadalupe was buried from 711 until 1326. In 1491 it appears that Christopher (one who carries Christ) Columbus received the Sacraments of Confessions and Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral of the Virgin’s Statue in Guadalupe before going to America. Undoubtedly the holy image was responsible for him changing the names of his fleet to Santa Maria, Pinta, Niña, which when joined in a sentence, Holy Mary paints Girl, was the prophesy of the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.

There is more to the Italian Christopher Columbus and his finding the ‘new world’ on Spanish ships. I will deal with Columbus a little later, but first let us take a look at ‘the new world.’ His heroic efforts inspired an Irish priest to form the great society of ‘The Knights of Columbus.’ It was through the great discovery by Columbus that so many Catholics came to America. What we now consider the Western States of the USA, it was in the1700s part of Mexico and became Roman Catholic after the arrival of the Spanish Missionaries. The Mexicans named their cities and rivers, and mountains after the names of Jesus, Holy Eucharist and saints: Corpus Christi, Santa Maria, Santa Fe, San Diego, San Francisco, etc.

On the east coast of the USA there were four main groups of ‘invaders.’
1. The French who came via the Great Lakes and ventured down the middle of the country, naming the big river ‘The Immaculate Conception.’
2. The north east saw the arrival of the Puritan Pilgrims, and this group were fiercely anti-Catholic. They called their territory ‘New England.’
3. To the center states came the Protestant Anglicans, and these also were anti-Catholic. This group went on to conquer the south. They settled an area which they named after the English monarchy York, ‘New York.’
4. Arriving at the area south of New York were the Catholic pilgrims in an area they called ‘Mary Land.’ The site of their landing they called Saint Mary’s. North of there they founded a settlement which they called ‘Rosary.’ East of Mary Land they founded an area which they called ‘The Virgin.’ Like the Mexicans, they called their settlements by the names of saints, like St. Augustine, St. Charles, St. James, St. Martin, St. Michael, St. Paul and many more. Also they gave place names such as Bethlehem, Hebron, Salem, etc. If the names given by the Catholic pilgrims had not been changed by the anti-Catholic forces, the states of Virginia and Maryland would have been called by the combined names of ‘The Virgin Mary Land.’

All of these points have an interconnected and tangible meaning and focus. Pope Gregory the Great was a powerful Pope in the line of Petrus Romanus, and a powerful Monarch in the authority of Christ the King. He established the lineage and the supremacy of the Papacy over all matters spiritual and civil. He re-established what had been abandoned from the command by Jesus Christ: “Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven” (Mt 16:18,19). Jesus gave to His Monarch Peter, full authority by saying ‘whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven’. There can be no question about the God given spiritual and temporal authority to His Vicar. So the names of the cities and lands which God gave to His servants, who were inspired to call by the names of Heaven, yet sinful man choose to call those places by unholy names: “That which God has cleansed, do not thou call common” (Acts 10:15). If Saint Malachy in his Prophecies were to take an example of a ‘perfect Petrus Romanus’ he would have chosen Pope Gregory the Great.

Returning briefly to Christopher Columbus, it is noteworthy that The Catholic Knights of Columbus were named after him. According to Encyclopedia Britannica: “the Knights of Columbus international fraternal benefit society of Roman Catholic men, founded by the Reverend Michael J. McGivney and chartered by the state of Connecticut in the United States in 1882.”

In an extract taken from the website: http://www.parishpriest.org/prpt/en/more_home/index.html
we read: “In Father Michael McGivney (1852-1890), born and raised in a Connecticut factory town, the modern era’s ideal of the priesthood hit its zenith. The son of Irish immigrants, he was a man to whom “family values” represented more than mere rhetoric. And he left a legacy of hope still celebrated around the world. He founded the Knights of Columbus, an organization that has helped to save countless families from the indignity of destitution. In the late 1800s, discrimination against American Catholics was widespread. Many Catholics struggled to find work and ended up in inferno-like mills. An injury or death of the wage earner would leave the family penniless. The grim threat of chronic homelessness and even starvation could fast become realities. Catholics were regularly excluded from labor unions and other organizations that provided social services. In addition, Catholics were barred from many of the popular fraternal organizations, or, as in the case of Freemasonry, forbidden from joining by policy of the Catholic Church. McGivney wished to provide them an alternative. He also believed that Catholicism and fraternalism were not incompatible and wanted to found a society to encourage men to be proud of their American-Catholic heritage.

Wikipedia says: “The name of Columbus was also partially intended as a mild rebuke to Anglo-Saxon Protestant leaders, who upheld the explorer (a Catholic Genovese Italian working for Catholic Spain) as an American hero, yet simultaneously sought to marginalize recent Catholic immigrants. In taking Columbus as their patron, they were expressing their belief that not only could Catholics be full members of American society, but were instrumental in its foundation.”

Pope Gregory the Great is the proto-type and photo-type of Petrus Romanus and the Great Monarch. When we look at the retaking of the pagan territories as prophesied by the acts of Pope Gregory, fulfilled by Christopher Columbus, and inspired, encouraged, and demonstrated by Our Lady, the Virgin of Guadalupe, we will see that this act is not just the ‘new world of the Americas’, but the restoration of all things in Christ (Ac 3:21), that is the new heaven and the new earth, as the old things will pass away, for the first heaven and the first earth was gone and the sea is now no more (Apoc 21:1). Jesus said: “Behold, I make all things new” (Apoc 21:8). The inspirational Petrus Romanus (Pope Gregory) laid out the framework or guidelines under which the rulers of evil and the princes of darkness will be destroyed. These are also highlighted in the book ‘Understanding the Apocalypse.’

In conclusion, Our Lady of Guadalupe inspired Pope Gregory the Great, to lay the groundwork for Her apparitions and prophecies which led to the annihilation of the evil empire of Montezuma in Mexico. Her inspiration encouraged and led Christopher Columbus to persevere in his struggle to find ‘the new world,’ which brought relief and hope to the oppressed both in the ‘new world’ and in the ‘old world.’ The Great Monarch, Petrus Romanus, will see in the prophetic courage of Gregory the Great, the willingness of Christopher Columbus to not fear the storm and rebukes, to hold fast the confession of faith and trust in the Lord, and above all, to always be as the three wise men, finding Jesus through Mary (Mt 2:11).

It is through the love and direction of Our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of All Nations, that the Eucharistic Reign of Christ is fulfilled on earth, in which the Kingship of Christ is fully established under Jesus Christ the King of All Creation. The Kingdom of God the Father is come, on earth as it is in Heaven (Mt 6:10). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

There are three different but connected stories about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

FIRST: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spain, 1326. There is the Statue which was buried for SIX HUNDRED YEARS in a cave at Guadalupe in Spain that was revealed by Our Lady to a shepherd man in 1326. Here is what happened:

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a richly decorated statue made of dark wood, a so-called black virgin. It was given in the year 580 by Pope Gregory the Great to Bishop Leander of Seville Spain. During the Moorish invasion of 711, when the priests of Seville fled north, they took the statue with them. A fifteenth century account says that when they came to the mountains near the Guadalupe River, “the saintly priests dug a cave that was like a tomb, surrounded the  cave with large boulders, and placed inside it the image of our Lady Saint Mary.”

The statue was lost and forgotten during the long struggle by Christian forces to take Spain back from the Moors. The expulsion of the Moors was largely complete when, in 1326, a cowherd named Gil Cordero found one of his cows lying dead near a spring. As he started to butcher it, opening it’s breast in the traditional way with a cut in the form of a cross, the cow, to the herdsman’s astonishment and fear, stood up very much alive. Then the Virgin Mary appeared and said to him: “Have no fear, for I am the Mother of God by whom the human race achieved redemption. Take your cow and go…to your home and tell the clergy, and other people to come to this place where I appear to you and to dig here, and they will find a statue of Me.

The herdsman did as he was told, and when others mocked him, he convinced them he was telling the truth by pointing to the cow and saying, “Friends, do not dismiss these things; if you will not believe me, then believe the mark the cow bears on her breast.” And he told the clergy where to dig to find the statue, adding that the Virgin also told him that “she would have many people come to Her house from many regions because of the many miracles She would work on sea as well as land.” So the clergy and others went there and found the statue of Mary just where it had been buried some six hundred years before.

The clergy immediately, began building a crude chapel to house the Madonna, later the King of Spain ordered that a chapel be built on the site, which soon became a shrine. Over the centuries, members of the ruling class donated elaborate  garments for the statue, including a headdress containing thirty thousand jewels. It is believed that Christopher Columbus prayed here before making his first voyage to the New world, where he named a West Indian island Guadeloupe in honor of the Virgin. + (This article was taken from ‘Miracles of Mary’ by Michael S. Durham).

SECOND: There is the story of CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.
This great man and his crew went to Holy Mass where they all received Holy Communion at the hands of Padre Juan Perez. Columbus renamed his flag ship ‘Santa Maria’ – (Holy Mary). The other ships were called ‘Pinta’ (Paint) and ‘Nina’ (Girl). If we put the names together we see the prophesy to be fulfilled in 1531 at Guadalupe, Mexico, ‘Holy Mary Paints Girl.’

Notice in the previous article that Our Lady said: ‘the many miracles She would work on sea as well as land’, well the renaming the flag ship to Santa Maria was a prophetic event which in the next article is fulfilled in the Tilma.

THIRD: Again – Our Lady of Guadalupe, this time in Mexico, 1531.
It was the Heavenly sounds something like a choir of songbirds, most unusual for a cold winter day that brought the Mexican peasant Juan Diego to a sudden stop as he ran over a hill called Tepeyac. The date was Saturday December 9, 1531.

Then he heard a woman’s voice of incomparable sweetness calling him from above: “Juan, Juan Diego, Juanito, Juan Dieguito.” Climbing to the top of the rock-strewn hill, Juan beheld a beautiful Mexican girl, “radiant as the sun, emerging from a golden cloud of light.” She spoke to him in his native dialect, “Juan, smallest and dearest of my little children, where were you going?” After Juan explained that he was on his way to the town of Tlaltelolco to hear Mass and receive religious instruction, the young woman identified herself: “I am the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God Who gives life and maintains it in existence.”

The apparition asked that a church a trecoali in Juan’s Aztec dialect-be built on that spot and promised, “I will show my compassion to your people and to all people who sincerely ask my help in their sorrows.” The Virgin then told him to go Tenochtitlan, the native word for the settlement that was to become Mexico City, and relay her request to the bishop. Juan Diego, was now prostrate on the ground before her, agreed to do this at once,

Juan Diego was then fifty seven years old. He lived near his uncle, Juan Bernardino, who had raised him from childhood, in a nearby village called Tolpetlac.  The two men had been converted to Christianity, a faith that had been brought to Mexico by Cortez during his conquest in 15l9-21, just a few years before. Juan Diego knew nothing of the world beyond his own village. He had never been to Tenochtitlan, although the island city was only five miles away

When Juan arrived at the palace of Fray Juan de Zumarraga, the Bishop-elect of Tenochtitlan, suspicious servants kept the rustic, who insisted that his message was for the bishop’s ears only, waiting for hours. Finally Juan was ushered into the bishop’s presence. No one knows exactly what was said; apparently Bishop Zumarraga humored Juan Diego by promising he would think about the Virgin’s request for a church at Tepeyac and he ended the interview on an encouraging note: he said that Juan Diego could return later if  he wanted.

Juan was not happy about the message he had to relate to the Virgin, who was waiting for him in the same place on the hill. He implored her to send someone else, insisting, “I am nobody.” But the Virgin was not to be dissuaded. Addressing him as “My little son,” she replied: “There are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen.” She told him to return the next day to the bishop and repeat the request.

At the palace on Sunday, the  bishop again listened patiently, then told Juan to ask the Virgin for a sign as proof of who she was. Back at Tepeyac, the Virgin told her “little son” to return the next morning and she would provide a sign.

Juan returned home to find his uncle deathly ill with fever. To nurse him, Juan stayed by his side and did not meet the Virgin, as he had promised, on Monday morning. On Tuesday his uncle implored Juan to go to Tlaltelolco for a priest. Juan set off immediately, but, in crossing Tepeyac, he veered around the other side of the hill in hopes of avoiding the Virgin. But, as he had feared, there she was blocking his path.

Juan was afraid the Virgin would be angry, but she reassured him: “Do not be distressed and afraid.” His uncle had already recovered from his illness, she said. Now Juan was free to go on to the bishop and repeat her request that a church be built. But first he needed a sign, so she sent him to the top of the mountain to pick the flowers growing there.

Juan Diego must have wondered what sort of flowers he would find growing there among the cacti in the middle of December. But there they were – Castilian roses growing in profusion. He made a pouch from his tilma, the traditional blanket-like cape he was wearing, filled it with blossoms, and hurried back to where the Virgin waited. She neatly rearranged the flowers, tied the lower corners of the tilma around his neck so the flowers would not fall out, and sent him on his way with the promise that, this tine, the bishop would believe him.

At the palace, Juan came before the bishop and members of his entourage. He told his story then untied the cape and let the flowers tumble to the floor. But it wasn’t the winter roses that caused the bishop and others to fall to their knees. It was the cape. For there on the outside of the rough woven garment was a picture of Mary just as Juan Diego had described her: a radiant figure bathed in golden rays of light, wearing a bluish mantle bordered in gold and adorned with golden stars.

The next day, Wednesday, the tilma was taken to the cathedral where crowds came to see and worship. Juan took the bishop to the spot where he first saw the Virgin and then returned to his village, where his uncle was waiting, completely cured. He told Juan that while he was near death, a young woman surrounded by a soft light, appeared out of the darkness and told him that she had sent his nephew to Tenochtitlan with a picture of her self. Just before She vanished, She said, “Call Me and call My image Santa Maria de Guadalupe.” When the Spanish clergy heard that, they were delighted, for Guadalupe, in that era was the name of the most famous shrine to Mary in Spain.

It took only thirteen days to build a simple chapel at the site. On the day after Christmas, a procession brought the tilma to Tepeyac. Until he died in 1548, Juan Diego lived in a hut next to the chapel, where he spent his days telling his story and showing the picture on the cape to pilgrims. After his uncle died in 1544, his simple dwelling in Tolpetlac became a chapel.

The Virgin’s image continued to work miracles. In 1544, the presence of the tilma is believed to have ended a pestilence that was decimating the population of Mexico City. In 1546, when heavy rains threatened to flood the city, a lay sister dreamed she saw the Virgin of Guadalupe propping up the walls of the convent, and so the picture was returned to Mexico City until the waters subsided. In 1921, with the tilma was now in a large cathedral at Tepeyac, anticlerical forces detonated a powerful bomb that was hidden in flowers at the altar. The blast miraculously killed no one and caused no damage to the image of Mary

There have been many scientific inquiries into the structure of the tilma, including one in 1977 that used infrared photography and computer enhancement to examine the picture, but none has produced a satisfactory explanation of how an image of such startling clarity could be superimposed on material woven from crude cactus cloth. Under ordinary circumstances, such material should have disintegrated within twenty years. Nor has the cloth been sized or the paint varnished, but still the image has not faded or cracked in more than four and a half centuries. The artists and scientists who have examined the Virgin of Guadalupe over the years mostly agree with the inquiry of 1666 that concluded, “It is impossible for any human craftsman to paint or create a work so fine, clean, and well formed on fabric so coarse as that of this tilma.”

It is also believed that the name Guadalupe might have been the result of linguistic confusion or perhaps it was divine design. In speaking to the uncle, Juan Bernardino, in dialect, the Virgin might have used a word, Coatlallope, that sounded like Guadalupe to the Spaniards but to the natives meant “who treads on the snake.” The Spaniards were pleased because the word, as they heard it, linked the miracle at Tepeyac to the most famous shrine to Mary in Spain, and the natives were delighted because the word in their language predicted the demise of a dreaded god, a feathered serpent, whom they would happily be rid of.

The Virgin of Guadalupe helped the Mexican people achieve a national and religious identity. In 1754, Pope Benedict XIV declared her Patroness and Protectress of New Spain, and during the Mexican Revolutionary Wars, the insurgents rallied to the cry “Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe and down with bad government.” And they carried her image on their banners into battle.

Today, the influence of the Virgin of Guadalupe is felt throughout the hemisphere, especially in the southwestern United States. In 1945,she was again coronated, this time as “Queen of Wisdom of the Americas.”

At Tepeyac the original chapel holding the tilma was rebuilt several times until it was replaced by a twin towered basilica in 1709. The tilma was moved again in 1976 to a new round cathedral, built next to the old, with a capacity of ten thousand people. Twelve million people visit Guadalupe, long ago swallowed up by Mexico City every year. It is, by far, the most popular shrine to the Virgin Mary in the western Hemisphere.
(This article was taken from ‘Miracles of Mary’ by Michael S. Durham).

MAYBE A FOURTH: I conclude this article with a story of a faithful friend and his family. I received them all into the Church – married them, baptized their six children, and heard the oldest First Confession and gave them their First Holy Communion.
Where do they live? On Guadalupe Mountain, part of the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range, (Blood of Christ) on the Red River (Blood of Christ)! Their Family Name? Perez, same as Padre Juan who celebrated Mass for Christopher Columbus!

God bless you all.