Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and to enter the holy season of Advent, our thoughts turn to the end of the world and the final coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As we observe the multiplication of errors against faith and morals on every side, it is tempting to lose heart and to doubt that there will ever be an era of peace, a restoration of the Faith all over the world, and the social reign of Christ the King. But this would be tragic, because God who does "nothing without telling His servants the prophets," has repeatedly foretold a future era of peace and a final Ecumenical Council that will put an end to all heresies. Moreover, in light of a number of authentic prophecies that speak of a future Ecumenical Council that will "define the true sense of Holy Scripture," it seems virtually certain that the overwhelming support in Scripture and Tradition for creation in six days will lead to a solemn definition of "day" in Genesis 1 as a 24-hour day.
In his book Trial, Tribulation, and Triumph, researcher Desmond Birch cites a number of holy men and women of recent centuries who prophesied an Ecumenical Council during the future era of peace that will define the sense of Scripture on certain important, unresolved questions. In particular, he mentions the seventeenth century founder of an institute for priests, Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser; Sr. Jeanne le Royer, a French nun and mystic of the eighteenth century; and a nineteenth century French nun known as the Ecstatic of Tours.
Before presenting the prophecies of a final Ecumenical Council during the Era of Peace, Birch cites the work of Scripture scholar Fr. Kramer whose analysis of the Book of Revelation argues that "the seven thunders" of chapters eleven and twelve of the Apocalypse refer to the declarations of an Ecumenical Council during the Era of Peace, before the appearance of the final Antichrist. According to Kramer:
The Seven Thunders may then be declarations of an ecumenical council clearing up all that was left unfinished by the magisterial office of the Church, before God will permit Satan to exert his supreme efforts to destroy her from without. The Seven Thunders will strengthen the faithful and loyal clergy in their belief and practices, expel all who are addicted to corrupt lives and superstitions and manifest the unwavering stand of the Church on the then prevailing maxims of the world . . . Through the Seven Thunders, God gave him (St. John) a special revelation of great importance, indicating what would immediately precede the coming of Antichrist, but it was to remain a secret to the Church.
Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser, a holy priest of the seventeenth century, founder of an Institute for the formation of priests approved by Pope Innocent XI in 1680. Holzhauser accurately predicted the execution of Charles I of England and the persecution of the Catholic Church in England for 120 years. (Prohibition of Mass under penalty of death lasted from 1658 until 1778.) The documents for his cause of canonization attribute miracles of healing to him. In one of his works, Venerable Holzhauser divided the history of the Church into seven periods and situated the seventeenth century Church in the fifth of these periods. He wrote:
During the fifth period, we saw only calamities and devastation; oppression of Catholics by tyrants and heretics; execution of Kings, and conspiracies to set up republics . . . Are we not to fear, during this period, that the Mohammedans will come again, working out their sinister schemes against the Latin Church? . . . During this period men will abuse the freedom of conscience conceded to them . . . there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The holy canons will be completely disregarded, and the clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. Everyone will be carried away and led to believe and to do what he fancies, according to the manner of the flesh . . . But, by the hand of God Almighty, there occurs so wondrous a change during the sixth period that no one can humanly visualize it.
The sixth period of the Church will begin with the powerful Monarch and the holy Pontiff . . . and it will last until the revelation of Antichrist. In this period, God will console His Holy Church for the affliction and great tribulation she has endured during the fifth period. All nations will become Catholic. Vocations will be abundant as never before, and all men will seek only the Kingdom of God and His justice. Men will live in peace, and this will be granted because people will make their peace with God. They will live under the protection of the Great Monarch and his successors.
All nations will come to worship God in the true Catholic and Roman faith. There will be many Saints and Doctors on earth. Peace will reign over the whole earth because God will bind Satan for a number of years until the days of the Son of Perdition. No one will be able to pervert the Word of God since, during the sixth period, there will be an Ecumenical Council which will be the greatest of all councils. By the grace of God, by the power of the Great Monarch, by the authority of the Holy Pontiff, and by the union of all the most devout princes, atheism and every heresy will be banished from the earth. The Council will define the true sense of Holy Scripture, and this will be believed and accepted by everyone.
It is difficult for twenty-first century readers to imagine how unbelievable Venerable Holzhauser's predictions of the rise of republics must have seemed to seventeenth century Catholics in nations where Christian monarchies had existed for many centuries. In our proud and unwavering faith in progress, we fail to consider that the restoration of monarchies in the future is no less likely today than the prophesied rise of republics in the seventeenth century. Moreover, Venerable Bartholomew was not the only authentic Catholic prophet to predict a future Ecumenical Council in similar terms.
Why would the six days of creation be among the passages of Holy Scripture whose "true sense" will be defined once and for all during the Era of Peace?
The answer emerges where Venerable Holzhauser remarks that "atheism and every heresy will be banished from the Earth." Given the intimate connection between the denial of the six days of creation and the acceptance of evolution - in dogma and in morals, as well as in nature - the definition of "day" in Genesis One as a 24-hour day would irrevocably seal the Church's condemnation of that error.
Like Venerable Holzhauser, Sister Jeanne le Royer foretold a great Council of pastors after a time of great trial and tribulation:
I see in God a large assembly of pastors who will uphold the rights of the church and of her Head. They will restore the former disciplines. I see, in particular, two servants of the Lord who will distinguish themselves in this glorious struggle and who, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, will fill with ardent zeal the hearts of this illustrious assembly.
Similarly, the Ecstatic of Tours predicted:
The Council will meet again after the victory. But, this time, men will be obliged to obey; There will be only one flock and one shepherd. All men will acknowledge the Pope as the Universal Father, the King of all peoples. Thus mankind will be regenerated.
Since the Ecstatic of Tours had lived during the first Vatican Council, which was interrupted by strife between French and Italian forces, it was logical for her to see the future council as a continuation of the work of Vatican I. On the other hand, as a "pastoral council," which did not define doctrine or condemn errors, Vatican II could not complete the work of Vatican I, which was a Council in the traditional sense, defining doctrine and condemning errors in faith and morals. Thus, the Ecstatic's prophetic announcement of a council "after the victory" of the Church points to a future Council that will complete the unfinished work of the First Vatican Council.
In light of the promises of Our Lady of Fatima, it is interesting to note that prophets of the Russian Orthodox Church have also predicted a future Ecumenical Council. St. Seraphim of Sarov who predicted the Bolshevik Revolution and the overthrow of the Tsar more than one hundred years in advance also foretold a final Ecumenical Council before the rise of Antichrist and the end of the world. He prophesied that its aim would be:
to unite and reunite all the holy Churches of Christ against the growing anti-Christian tendency under a single Head, Christ the Life-Giver, and under a single Protecting Veil of His Most Pure Mother, and to deliver to a final curse against the whole of Masonry and all the parties similar to it (under whatever names they may appear), the leaders of whom have one common aim: under the pretext of complete egalitarian earthly prosperity, and with the aid of people who have been made fanatical by them, to create anarchy in all states and to destroy Christianity throughout the world.
It is significant that St. Seraphim recognized that the Orthodox Churches have not been able to have an Ecumenical Council since their separation from the Church of old Rome. Thus, he regards this future Council as "the eighth" because it will involve the Bishops of the whole world, as did the seven Ecumenical Councils of the first millennium when the Patriarch of Constantinople remained in communion with the Bishop of Rome. We know that this event will only become possible after the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him, the act that will spark the conversion of Russia and her return to full communion with the Catholic Church.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God, may the Holy Spirit grant to the Pope and the Bishops the grace to consecrate Russia by name to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as soon as possible, and to usher in an era of peace, the restoration of the Church, and the greatest evangelization the world has ever known.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata,
P.S. As we prepare to enter the holy season of Advent, the Kolbe Center would like to offer you a simple way to beautify your homes, delight your children and grandchildren, and reinforce the true Catholic doctrine of creation, by offering a magnificent 54-piece puzzle of the holy icon of the first day of creation from Monreale Cathedral for a donation of $15 or more to support the work of the Kolbe Center. When writing the icon of the first day of creation, it is customary for iconographers to show the Eternal Word bringing forth the angelic hierarchies and physical light simultaneously. In this way, the holy icon gives the lie to the many modern commentators who insist that "There could not be days without the sun," by reminding us that God created the light on the first day of creation to alternate with darkness to form the day-night cycle, continuing in that role until God created the Sun on the fourth day of Creation Week to "rule the day" that He had created on Day One.
As your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, assemble this beautiful puzzle, your simple catechesis will allow them to delight in the beauty of the first day of creation when God created "the heavens and the Earth" and "the light" so that "there was evening and there was morning, one day." These puzzles make wonderful Christmas presents that will beautify your homes and the homes of your children, grandchildren, relatives and friends!