SPARK FROM HEAVEN': POPE SEEN AS SIGN OF COMING EVENTS AND WAS LINKED TO SEERS
With the passing of John Paul II the prophetic adrenaline is flowing as seldom before, and for good reason: the Pope not only changed history -- making himself the focus of prophecy -- but was himself wide open to supernatural manifestations.
Under John Paul II the great mystic Padre Pio was canonized, as was Sister Faustina of Poland, who received the Divine Mercy revelations. A statue exuding tears was approved in Italy, as were apparitions in such places as Kibeho, Rwanda, Cuapa, Nicaragua, and Betania, Venezuela. It was John Paul II, through Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who in 1986 stopped a local bishop from rejecting the apparitions at Medjugorje (in Bosnia-Hercegovina).
Meanwhile, and meaningfully, his passing comes quickly in the wake of the deaths of famed mystics Maria Esperanza and Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima -- speeding the prophetic pulse. There is also Terri Schiavo: even secular outlets are calling it an uncanny "coincidence" that the "culture of life" Pope, who lobbied hard for Terri's life, and who was reportedly deeply upset on hearing news of her death, died two days after she did -- the Pope passing in a disabled state but with the dignity he wanted for everyone.
The connection to Fatima remains the strongest mystical link. The Pope credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life in 1981 and is believed to be the "bishop in white" mentioned in the legendary "third secret" -- which he released in 2000.
He may also be connected to the revelation of St. Faustina Kowalska of Poland -- the Divine Mercy saint who had quoted Jesus as saying, "I bear a special love for Poland and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming" (Diary 1732).
Many have long believed that John Paul II was that "spark," and such speculation can only gain momentum by further "coincidences," especially the fact that John Paul II died Saturday -- at the end of a more than weeklong Divine Mercy novena -- and on the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy that he himself had instituted. The first Mass offered for him was a Mass of Divine Mercy.
Thus, by that calculation, the death of the Pope is the harbinger of huge events. The death of this deeply Marian Pope also came on the First Saturday of the month, and was followed by suddenly fierce winds in Italy.
The Pope's passing also brings into play the prophecies of St. Malachy O'Morgair, an Irish monk who supposedly had a vision of the future popes while visiting Rome in 1139. The authenticity of the event is greatly disputed, and like all mysticism should be strictly discerned, but St. Malachy is said to have prophesied the list of popes through short, esoteric nicknames.
By this reckoning, if we accept it as a legitimate prophecy, John Paul II was De Labore Solis ("from the labor of the sun"), and would be followed by only two more popes -- the next being De Gloria Olivae ("from the glory of the olive") and then Petrus Romanus ("Peter the Roman").
The prophecies about the number of popes are many and often differ markedly from one another. At the popular and controversial site of Garabandal in Spain, a seer named Conchita Gonzalez once noted, "The Blessed Virgin said in 1962 that there will be only two more popes after Paul VI."
There was also St. John Bosco, who foresaw a time when a pontiff would stand at the helm of a noble ship in turbulent seas and guide it to safe passage between twin pillars that represent the Blessed Mother and the Eucharist. No Pope in history was more dedicated to the Virgin Mary than John Paul II, and he had declared the current year as the "Year of the Eucharist"!
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