But first, there would be a total corruption of morals in society; this would affect the Church, too
I was leafing through the current issue of The Flock, the newsletter of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, (available here) when I came across an article by the redoubtable Mrs Daphne McLeod about Our Lady of Quito—otherwise known as Our Lady of Good Success—who appeared several times to Mother Mariana, Abbess of the convent of the Immaculate Conception in Quito, Ecuador, at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries.
On one of these occasions, she made a particularly remarkable prophecy. You will see why—knowing Mrs McLeod’s passionate concern for the religious education of our children, and her repeated warnings over the years about the consequences of the denatured and insubstantial superficiality of what they are now fed as RE—she draws our attention in The Flock to this particular apparition of Our Lady.
My source for what follows is an admirable and extremely useful site, snappily entitled “Apparitions and Shrines of the Blessed Virgin Mary which have been approved by legitimate Church Authority”.
Early in the morning of January 21, 1610, the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael appeared to Mother Mariana. Then Our Lady appeared to her and predicted many things about our own times: this is part of what Mother Mariana afterwards related that she told her:
“…. I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…. the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs (morals)….
“They will focus principally on the children in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times! It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, and also that of Confirmation…
“As for the Sacrament of Matrimony… it will be attacked and deeply profaned… The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished… Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations.
“The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests…
“Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” In a subsequent apparition, Our Lady told Mother Mariana that these apparitions were not to become generally known until the twentieth century.
Now, it is true that Our Lady’s prophecies here are concerned particularly with what will happen more than three centuries in the future “in what is today the Colony and will then be the Republic of Ecuador”, where, she says, “Satan will reign almost completely by means of the Masonic sects”. All the same (though I can’t quite see the few harmless Masons I have known bringing in the sovereignty of Satan here) the relevance of these prophecies to English Society and the English Church (indeed to the whole modern world) in the twentieth century—and therefore now—is obvious enough. She even homes in on the sixties: she times this “eruption” of the passions to take place “shortly after the middle of the twentieth century”.
Particularly striking, you may think, are Our Lady’s words about how “the Sacrament of Matrimony …will be attacked and deeply profaned”, and that remarkable passage about some “depraved priests, who will scandalise the Christian people, [and who] will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests…”
Mrs McLeod sees particular relevance to her own concerns about the woeful state and dire consequences of what our children are taught in Catholic schools, and draws attention particularly to Our Lady’s prophecy that those who do Satan’s will “would ‘focus particularly on the children in order to achieve this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times!’ “. Mrs McLeod observes that “We can see only too clearly what she meant now that the inadequate, even false, religious teaching given to the children in so many Catholic schools and parishes leaves them highly vulnerable to the explicit classroom lessons on sex, not to mention the television programmes and computer games, which inevitably corrupt and deprave them.”
No doubt someone will throw doubt on that analysis, and say that the prophecy really isn’t about RE in rainy old England but about what’s supposed to be going on now in Ecuador (incidentally does anyone out there know anything about what IS going on in Ecuador?); but if anyone does say that, I think they will be quite wrong. Our Lady’s prophecies are usually universal in their application: and we live in what is sometimes ludicrously called a “globalised world”. These prophecies are just as much about about Europe and North America: there is surely no doubt that these extraordinary words are meant for us, too. A few translations to modern idioms and modern forms of collaboration with Satan may be necessary: I have just mentioned the mild and unthreatening nature of English masonry. But it hasn’t been like that everywhere. In 1952, for instance, the Grand Lodge of France passed a series of resolutions against the Catholic Church, including one “to unmask by every means the subtle scheming of the Vatican State Secretariat, which aims at imposing the shameful guardianship of religious and political-economic dictatorship on the whole of mankind . . . and to accept, in the relentless struggle against clericalism, every alliance compatible with the Masonic ideal.”
Well, there are plenty of anti-clerical cults today, consumed by a fanatical anti-clericalism of exactly the same sort, who wage a constant struggle to get God out of modern culture in any way they can think of, large and small; How about this example, reported approvingly by one of these anti-God cults, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, in which an outfit called New York City Atheists is joining one Dr. Michael Newdow, a California-based Atheist “physician/lawyer”, in a suit to get the words “In God We Trust” removed from American coins and currency. That would be a small but significant victory in the unending culture wars of our times.
You can all think of a hundred other examples, emanating not just from hard-line cultists like Dawkins, but from soft-core and mostly low-key almost subconsciously anti-Christian organisations like the BBC. It all adds up to a cultural explosion, the effects of which have indeed erupted, as Our Lady prophesied, in “a total corruption” of our mores and many of our institutions, both within the Church and in the wider secular society of which we are part.
The most important thing to understand is that it would be just wrong to despair at all this. The fightback is underway. For, in the end, Our Lady of Quito’s prophecies do not end with spiritual catastrophe. In a later apparition she foretold that “In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Most Holy Son will destine for that restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and much confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions when everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This, then, will be the happy beginning of the complete restoration.”
I believe we have seen that faith and valour over the last half century, above all in the present Holy Father and his heroic predecessor; and that that complete restoration has indeed happily begun.