Modern Papal Visions

-1st Papal vision by Peter described in the Acts of the Apostles
-Recent popes receiving the "miracle of the sun" vision equivalent to that described by 70,000 at Fatima and many thousands at Medjugorje

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"...Peter went up to the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened..."
Acts of the Apostles 10:9-11

The apparitions and visions that ocassionally occur to the successors of Peter are difficult to definitively verify. For a variety of reasons, members of the Vatican's heirarchy do not like to broadcast the mystical experiences of the head of the Catholic Church. Despite this reluctance, from time to time details of such incidents do surface, almost always without attribution. Unfortunately, these episodes are nearly impossible to independently follow-up and evaluate. Nonetheless, the reality of these visions appears to be supported by the multiple sources that report a remarkably similar set of information describing the circumstances of the purported vision.

Leo XIII - a Vision of a Looming Crisis...

On October 13, 1884 Leo XIII had just completed a celebration of Mass in one of the Vatican's private chapels. Standing at the foot of the altar, he suddenly turned ashen and collapsed to the floor, apparently the victim of a stroke or heart attack. However, neither malady was the cause of his collapse. For he had just been given a vision of the future of the Church he loved so much. After a few minutes spent in what seemed like a coma, he revived and remarked to those around him, "Oh, what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!"
During Pope Leo's ecstacy he heard two voices, one deep and coarse which he understood to be Satan challenging the other voice, Jesus.  Paraphrasing:
Satan: "Given enough time and enough power I can defeat your church."
Jesus: "How much time and how much power?"
Satan: "100 years and the power over those who would serve me."
Jesus: "You will have the power and the time."
What Leo XIII apparently saw, as described later by those who talked to him at the time of his vision, was a period of about one hundred years when the power of Satan would reach its zenith. That period was to be the twentieth century. Leo was so shaken by the spectre of the destruction of moral and spiritual values both inside and outside the Church, that he composed a prayer which was to be said at the end of each Mass celebrated anywhere in the Catholic Church. This prayer to Michael the Archangel was said continuously until the Mass was restructured in the Second Vatican council. The prayer is as follows:

"Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen."
While this prayer may now seem quaint and mildly embarrassing to the modern reader with its reference to Satan and evil spirits, it should be noted that virtually all measures of social pathology and moral decline (things like the crime rate, percentage of unwed mothers, abortion rate, divorce rate, etc.) each started to rise sharply as the 1960's ended...a few years after this prayer had ceased being used in Church liturgies. Regardless, while the precise details of Leo's visions are not known, it would certainly appear that his concern about the coming difficulties in his Church and the world in which it found itself were well founded. 

Hopefully the reign of Satan is coming:

Pius XII - a Mystical Experience:

There were occasional rumors of visions and "angelic" phenomena associated with Pius XII during the entire duration of his papacy (1939 - 1958). He purportedly experienced mystical visions of both Jesus and Mary. After one of these "visions" he reportedly told one of his assistants, "Mankind must prepare itself for sufferings such as it has never before experienced."
He expressed dismay at what he saw facing humanity in the not so distant future, describing those times as "the darkest since the deluge". He described the times that were unfolding as a period of great spiritual conflict, noting, "The hour has struck - the battle, the most widespread, bitter and ferocious the world has ever known, has been joined. It must be fought to the finish." He made these comments having communicated with Sister Lucia, the surviving visionary of Fatima, a correspondence which he conducted through intermediaries. Apparently as a result of these contacts, he consecrated the entire Church and the world to Mary's heart in 1942 implicitly accepting Sister Lucia's visions at Tuy and Pontevedra in the late 1920's. In the late 1940's he learned from Sr. Lucia that, failing a Church-wide collegial consecration of Russia by the bishops in unison with the Pope, the tribulations prophesized at Fatima might still be ameliorated if the world could be consecrated to Mary's Immaculate Heart. If such a consecration could be again be performed, this time with the bishops of the Church and with a special mention of Russia in the words of dedication, then the tribulations which he saw in his visions could be mitigated.
To reaffirm the trust he exhibited in the Mother of God, he also witnessed the inexplicable solar phenomena of Fatima while walking in the Vatican gardens. He wrote to one of his cardinals,
"Having lifted the papers I had in my hand, I was struck by a phenomenon I had never seen before. The sun, which was fairly high, looked like a pale yellow opaque globe completely surrounded by a luminous halo, which nevertheless did not prevent me at all from staring attentively at the sun without the slightest discomfort. A very light cloud was before it. The opaque globe began moving outward, slowly turning over upon itself, and going from left to right and vice-versa. But within the globe very strong movements could be seen in all clarity and without interruption.".
After nearly 1,500 years as a common belief of many of the faithful and after nearly fifty years of intensive theological study, two days after his experiences in the Vatican garden Pius XII formally declared as Catholic Dogma that Mary was Assumed body and soul into Heaven - a doctrine known as the Assumption.

John Paul II - the Sun Spins in Rome...



Another intriguing vision occurred only once and only to one individual - in Rome in August of 1981. On May 13, 1981, during an open-air papal audience in St. Peter's Square, the Polish Pope who had dedicated his papacy to Mary, bent down to hug a young girl who was wearing a small likeness of Our Lady of Fatima. At that precise moment, Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish assassin, fired two shots at his head at close range. The bullets missed the Pope but hit two pilgrims standing nearby. Agca fired again hitting the Pope in the abdomen. Had he not bent down to hug that little girl wearing the picture of Mary, those two bullets would have ripped through his skull probably killing him instantly.
As it was, it would take him six months to fully recover from the wounds. As he convalesced at the Policlinico in Rome, John Paul became even more prayerful. He prayed to Our Lady of Fatima since he was convinced that it was her direct intercession that saved his life. He reread the three Secrets that the Lady of Fatima gave the three children in 1917 and which were finally recorded in written form by Sister Lucia in the late '30's and he instructed Bishop Pavol Hnilica, a Slovak bishop who was secretly ordained while a priest in communist Czechoslovakia, to send all the Church's documents on the events at Fatima for his review. The Pope also dispatched Sister Mary Ludovica to Fatima to meet with its retired Bishop John Venancio. The purpose of this meeting was never disclosed.
It was while he was in this state of mind at the Policlinico that John Paul reportedly witnessed the inexplicable phenomenon of the sun first seen at Fatima sixty five years earlier. Moreover, he reportedly received a vision of the future related to the third Fatima Secret at the same time the phenomenon of the sun took place.
What were the contents of his vision? Only John Paul knows. However, Bishop Hnilica reported at the time of the Pope's release from the Policlinico, that the Pope told him: "I have come to understand that the only way to save the world from war, to save it from atheism, is the conversion of Russia according to the message of Fatima." It is reasonable to suspect that, since the time of this vision, he has been acting in accord with what he believes are Heaven's wishes.
John Paul II has dedicated his papacy to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. His personal motto, Totus Tuus (Completely Yours), is a term illustrating the consecration of his life to the Blessed Virgin, a consecration that took place while he was still a Polish bishop.
The assassination attempt and the vision that followed it serve to affirm Mary's unique role for this Pope. He called the assassination attempt a "mysterious coincidence with the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima" in a speech he gave as a pilgrim to Fatima on May 13, 1982. During this pilgrimage, John Paul also conducted a service where he consecrated the world and, indirectly, Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His actions since his recovery appear to confirm that he is operating on a timetable established by Heaven; he acts as if what he does and how successful it will be are dependent on conforming to the sequence of events established by the Lord of history and provided to him by Our Lady of Fatima. A partial confirmation of this is based on the consecration of Russia and the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that John Paul performed on March 25, 1984. This act was an attempt to fulfil Mary's request to Sister Lucia, first in 1917 at Fatima, and again at Pontevedra, Spain on December 10, 1929. At Pontevedra, Sister Lucia was again visited by the Blessed Virgin. During this apparition, Our Lady told her that God wanted "the Pope, together with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart." In a previous apparition at Tuy, Spain on December 10, 1925, the Blessed Virgin told Sister Lucia:
" Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary."
In 1989, Sister Lucia told one of her relatives that the Consecration conducted by Pope John Paul and the bishops in 1984 was accepted by Heaven and Russia would be converted. (She did not say when this would occur.) The statement by the Mother of God that she could assure that sufficient graces would be available to anyone who made reparation to her Immaculate Heart combined with her promise that the dedication of Russia to her Immaculate Heart would lead to the conversion of Russia places Mary squarely at the heart of the world in which we now find ourselves. Our responses to her requests will determine the course of history - not in some far away future, but right now in the last half of the last decade of the second millenia after the birth of her Son.
It is astounding then, that in light of this, there has been a dramatic decline in all forms of devotion to Mary during the last thirty years just at a time when the world desperately needs it. John Paul's dedication to the Blessed Virgin, reinvigorated by the vision he had at the Policlinico, represents a real hope in mitigating against a near-term global period of stress.


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