In this age of the Great Apostasy, many Traditionalists will (unfortunately) abandon the approved theologians of the Church for private revelations. It is imperative that we learn the Faith, and not what passes for the "Faith" in some quarters. Certain people don't even understand basic terminology. "Public" and "private" revelation do not refer to how many people the revelation was given, but rather whether or not it is part of the Deposit of Faith to which we must assent. The Deposit of Faith, given by Jesus Christ to His One True Church, ended with the death of the last Apostle (St. John) in 100 A.D. That marks the end of public revelation. The Church has authority to make solemn pronouncements on what is contained in this revelation, and the faithful must give assent under pain of mortal sin and expulsion from the Mystical Body by heresy (e.g. It is part of the Deposit of Faith that Christ gave exactly seven (7) sacraments to His Church).
Private revelation is given by God after the close of public revelation to certain individuals (usually saints or people considered to be such). If a private revelation is approved by the Church, it means that it does not contradict matters of Faith and/or morals. It is worthy of belief, but you can deny it outright and not be a heretic. You also commit no sin of disbelief, provided your lack of faith in a particular approved revelation does not stem from disdain of ecclesiastical authority. While non-approved revelations should be avoided like the plague, even those which are approved can be misunderstood or have the message corrupted since Church approval does not entail any kind of infallible (or even authoritative) teaching. An example is the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. The late "Fr" Gruner made a business out of peddling dire predictions for the world. I have material of his dating back to the late 1980s claiming "we only have a couple of years left" unless the "pope" (John Paul II) consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That never happened and more than 25 years have passed without any calamity. Of course this never prevented Mr. Gruner from asking for the largest donation you could give as he shamelessly continued to predict the sky would fall "very shortly."
According to another prediction of Fatima, "Portugal will never lose the Faith." One need only take a look at the present day European country to see that it has rejected the Faith for Vatican II, and has promulgated many evil "laws" such as murdering babies by abortion. There are no more Traditionalists there (in sheer number or proportionately) than in any other neo-pagan State. I do believe Our Lady appeared in Fatima to three children, but I refuse to try and discern "true" from "false" messages, or listen to all the conspiracy theories involved. Holding on to the Faith will save us, not private revelations--especially ones laced with fearful consequences for those who refuse to propagate those messages.
One of the most fearful private revelations involves what is commonly referred to the "Three Days of Darkness" (hereinafter TDD). It is used by "mystical" sedevacantists as the answer to the Great Apostasy. God will use these TDD as a world-wide chastisement and then will bring back a true pope. There are so many versions of TDD it's hard to know how to describe it. I will use the version utilized by the "pope in red" website, specifically 3daysofdarkness.com.
The website states: "The Church does not oblige us to believe in any particular prophecy as a matter of faith [de fide], but we are indeed obliged to believe that prophecies may be made even in our own times, for this is in the Gospel [Evangelium]: the Holy Ghost will speak to many in the Latter Days.
Moreover, when an identical prophecy has been made by widely separated people in time and space, when this particular prophecy was accompanied by other predictions which have already come to pass, and when the holiness of the mystics in question has been recognized by the Church, we would be foolish indeed not to believe that the prophecy must come to pass. Such is the case concerning the Three Days of Darkness. How else could we explain that an illiterate peasant woman of Brittany is describing the very thing that another mystic in, say, Germany or Italy is also describing?"
With the defection of the hierarchy we must be very careful about who speaks for the Holy Ghost. "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (See St. Matt. 24:24). We are foolish to believe anything that is illogical, damaging to the Faith, and not approved by the Church--regardless of whomsoever allegedly said something. Many holy people claimed TDD. Especially Padre Pio and Blessed Anna- Maria Taigi. It is not unknown,because there was such a plague sent by God upon the Egyptians through Moses. Therefore, say TDD proponents, we must accept it as the truth. The website claims:
"After the three days of darkness, St. Peter and St. Paul, having come down from Heaven, will preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth. Whole nations will come back to the Church and the face of the earth will be renewed. Russia, England, and China will come into the Church." (Prophecy of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi [1769-1837 A.D.] who was Beatified by Bendedict XV in 1920.)
This assumes sedeprivationism. How else could there be a material "cardinal"?
There will be "proximate signs": "Here are the proximate signs in their probable order of occurrence. This, to be sure, is only my own opinion, and I may be wrong for I am no prophet myself; but, after studying a large number of prophecies, this order appears to me to be the most likely:
1. Flouting of church laws, irreverence and immodesty in church, fall in attendance at church. (These trends were observed in the 1950's, before the true Church was criminally usurped at the Oct 26, 1958 papal conclave.-ED)
2. Lack of charity towards others, heartlessness, indifference, divisions, contentions, godlessness, pride in human knowledge.
3. Breakdown of family life: immorality, adultery, perversion of youth via the media (e.g. homosexuals giving lectures in schools), immodest fashions, people concerned only with eating, drinking, dancing and other pleasures.
4. Civil commotions, contempt for authority, downfall of governments, confusion in high places, corruption, coups d'etat, civil war, revolution. (The first four proximate signs have already come to pass, at least partly; for we are yet to see civil war and revolution in the West. But the sequence of events is not strictly chronological; there is room for some overlapping. Thus, the 5th proximate sign seems to have begun also.)
5. Floods and droughts, crop failures, unusual weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, famines, epidemics, unknown diseases (e.g. new strains of viruses)."
Do you see the problem here? We have someone interpreting private messages with no Magisterial authority. Why should we believe this interpretations of alleged sayings based on alleged revelations. The beatification of Anna-Maria Taigi in no way guarantees any truth in private messages. The "proximate signs" are so broad as to be seen in any era. Note that # 1 goes back to the 1950s; at least 57 years ago. How is that "proximate"?
Next comes "The Warning":
"This will take place between the proximate and the immediate signs. It will be a supernatural occurrence.
During the Warning, many will be scared to their wits end, and many will wish to die, but the Warning itself will be completely harmless.
The Warning must be viewed as the last act of mercy from God, a final appeal to mankind to do penance before the three days of darkness and the destruction of three-quarters of the human race. At a time when the murder of unborn babies and the sin of Sodom and Lesbos have become acceptable and "legal", we should not wonder why God is going to punish mankind.
By that time, war and revolution will have already caused a high death-toll, and Communism will be victorious, but all this will be as nothing compared with the death-toll caused by the Three Days."
I agree that humanity has deserved just punishment, and after the Supreme Court ruling on sodomite "marriage" being a "right," the end may come soon, but not necessarily via TDD.
Next, "The Immediate Sign":
The wind will howl and roar. Lightning and thunderbolts of an unprecedented magnitude will strike the earth. The whole earth will shake, heavenly bodies will be disturbed (this will be the beginning of the Three Days). Every Demon, every evil spirit will be released from hell and allowed to roam the earth. Terrifying apparitions will take place. Many will die from sheer fright. Fire will rain forth from the sky, all large cities will be destroyed, poisonous gases will fill the air, cries and lamentations everywhere. The unbelievers will burn in the open like withered grass. The entire earth will be afflicted; it will look like a huge graveyard.
As soon as you notice (these signs), go indoors, lock all doors and windows, pull down the blinds, stick adhesive paper on vents and around windows and doors. Do not answer calls from outside, do not look at the windows, or you will die on the spot: keep your eyes down to make sure you do not see the windows; the Wrath of God is mighty and no one should attempt to behold it. Light blessed wax candles; nothing else will burn, but the candles will not be extinguished once lit. Nothing will put them out in the houses of the faithful, but they will not burn in the houses of the godless. Sprinkle holy water about the house and especially in the vicinity of doors and windows: the devils fear holy water. Bless yourself with it and anoint your five senses with it: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, and forehead. Keep on hand a sufficient supply of drinking water and, if possible, food also (but you can live without food for three days.) Kneel down and pray incessantly with outstretched arms, or prostrate on the floor. Make acts of contrition, faith, hope, and charity. Above all say the Rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries.
Some people, especially children, will be taken up to Heaven beforehand to spare them the horror of these days. People caught outdoors will die instantly. Three-quarters of the human race will be exterminated, more men than women. No one will escape the terror of these days.
And the aftermath:
But, when all seems lost and hopeless, then, in the twinkling of an eye, the ordeal will be over: the sun will rise and shine again as in springtime over a purified earth.
Some nations will disappear entirely, and the face of the earth will be changed. There will be no more "Big Business" and huge factories which sap men's souls. Craftsmanship will revive, and assembly lines will give way to the working bench.
People will return to the land, but food will be scarce for about three years. Married women will bear many children, for it will be regarded as a disgrace not to have children, no more "career women" addicted to the "pill". Unmarried females, there will be many, will enter the religious orders and form large congregations of Nuns within the reborn Church. Disease will decrease dramatically, and mental illnesses will be rare, for man will have retrieved his natural environment. It will be an age of faith, true brotherhood between neighbors, civil harmony, peace, and prosperity. The land will yield crops as never before. Police will have little work to do: crime will disappear almost entirely. Mutual trust and honesty will be universal. There will be little work for lawyers, either. All the manpower which is currently taken up by the wickedness of the modern world will be released and available for the production of useful commodities. Thus, prosperity will be very great. This wonderful period will probably last 30 years approximately.
As soon as you see the sun rise again at the end of the Three Days, drop to your knees and give thanks to God.
And of course, "believe it or else":
Be warned, SPREAD THE MESSAGE, but do not fear: it would be an offense to God to show lack of confidence in His protection. Those who spread the message will be protected, but the scoffers, the skeptics, and those who dismiss the message because they are frightened, will not escape the chastisement.
Whew! Scary stuff! I will not spread the message, nor worry about TDD,and here's some more reasons why:
- Why does Catholicism need to spread if everyone who survives is already Catholic and under a newly crowned pope? The number of Traditionalists is quite few; certainly not 25% of the world's population that will survive.
- Since only blessed candles of wax can be lit, how do you light your candle when the TDD arrive? You would need to keep one lit in your house 24/7 like some ecclesiastical version of militia "preppers." Does God really want us storing food, water and blessed candles?
- It contradicts Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Bible verses used to support TDD have all been understood by the Church as outside the genre of apocalyptic language. There is nothing in Tradition that speaks of TDD. If the Great Apostasy ends this way (and proponents claim we are definitely in the Great Apostasy of the Book of Revelation), that displaces the Antichrist, False Prophet, and Second Coming of Christ; all matters of public revelation.
- Padre Pio also believed that the book, The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valorta was good and holy. However, that writing had been placed on the Index of Forbidden Books for heretical statements. Padre Pio was "canonized" by Antipope John Paul II. That's not to say he might not really be a saint, but no saint is infallible about private prophesies and revelations. He might have been mistaken about the book for a number of inculpable reasons, and the same goes for TDD.
Don't be concerned about frightful images in an alleged "Three Days of Darkness." Learn the teachings of the One True Church as expounded by Her approved theologians to really know and love the Faith. Stay close to the Mass and sacraments as best you can and always strive to be in the state of Grace. In this way, darkness will never overcome Christ in your mind, heart and soul-- He is truly The Light of the World.