Part 3A--The Apostasy:  Its Forewarning through Private Revelation

                                                 13th through 19th Centuries


God the Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Our Lady of Emmitsburg,

the Doctors and Fathers of the Church,

the Saints, Mystics and Stigmatists,

the Popes and Theologians,


Mother Church


Sacred Scripture and Her Catechism

Speak about:


The Apostasy


(Compiled by Michael T. Sullivan, MD)


"But when the Son of Man comes,

will He find faith on earth?" 

(Lk 18: 7-8)



The Catholic Dictionary defines "apostasy" as the total rejection by a baptized person of the Christian faith he/she once professed.


In a talk given just after Sen. Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, but before he assumed power, Fr. Clement Machado, S.O.L.T., a well-known and experienced charismatic priest/exorcist, now specializing in the area of Spiritual Warfare, spoke about the "apostasy" in November, 2008, at Chicago Heights, Illinois:


"…If you look at the signs of the apostasy, you see that most people have apostatized from the faith. That is the sign of the Antichrist.  That is the sign of the end times. 


Major apostasy on a worldwide global scale is unprecedented.  And what does "apostasy" mean?  Apostasy doesn't mean people that never believed who don't believe.  It's people who were believers who drop away from the faith.  And that is what is happening! 


If you look at the way people have left the practice of faith, the practice of religion, let alone the practice and belief in Christianity and Catholicism, let alone belief in God, it is unprecedented!  You can imagine when people leave, when Catholics fall away from the faith, do their children become Catholics?  No!  The children become nothing.  They are not even Catholics or Christians anymore.  They are not even baptized anymore; and therefore, somebody who is not baptized cannot apostatize.  Somebody apostatizes when they have already been part of the faith. 


See how 80% of people basically have apostatized from the faith, don't practice anymore; and that is a conservative estimate.  In many countries, it is even worse.  If you go to Europe, the same thing--how very few people at all practice, maybe 5%, if that.  95% apostasy, heresy!  This is the stuff of the evil one.  This isn't something that will happen in 100 or 200 or 300 years, dear friends.  It's already happening…."  (Homily, Fr. Clement Machado, SOLT, Nov. 2008)


Part 1:  Apostasy:  Its Roots and Freemasonry

Part 2:  Apostasy:  Its Forewarning through Mother Church

Part 3:  Apostasy:  Its Forewarning through Private Revelation

                                A. 13th--19th Centuries

                                B.  20th Century to Present Day

Part 4   Apostasy:  Its Defeat




"But without faith it is impossible to please God.

For he that comes to God, must believe that He is,

and is a rewarder to them that seek Him."

(Heb 11:6)



Private revelation, especially through Church-approved apparitions (let alone not yet approved apparitions) of Our Lord and Our Lady to many mystics over the centuries, has contributed much to our understanding and expectations of the threatened apostasy and the purification of the Church that must accompany it.  So what is the climate in the Church and the world that makes such fertile ground for such an apostasy. 


St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

(1226-1274 AD)

The Subject of Obedience

Summa Theologicae, II-II, 104, Art. 3 & 5


St. Thomas of Aquinas was a Dominican priest and Doctor of the Church. He was a great preacher and prolific writer, leaving his unfinished masterpiece of great learning, Summa Theologicae.  In his writings on "obedience" he presents a clarification:


"Obedience deserves praise because it proceeds from charity: for Gregory says (Moral XXV) that 'obedience should be practiced not out of servile fear, but from a sense of charity; not through fear of punishment, but through love of justice. Therefore, charity is a greater virtue than obedience. "  (Art 3)


He further states:  "There are three kinds of obedience:  obedience sufficient for salvation; perfect or superabundant obedience; and finally, what he calls indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.  Indiscreet obedience is contrary to God's law and, therefore, we must never give it.  Indiscreet obedience is, quite simply, a sin.  He further teaches that even a professed religious, who have the highest duty of obedience in the Church, is bound to obey his superiors only in respect to those things that belong to his mode of religious life.  Superabundant obedience must not be contrary to God or to the rule they profess, for obedience in these cases would be unlawful."  (Art. 5)


Seemingly, in the cases of private revelation, Marian apparitions and the supernatural in general, it appears that some level of imposed indiscreet obedience may be being used by Church hierarchy both as a shield and a tool to obstruct God's gifts from Heaven, rather than as the virtue of obedience it is meant to be.


St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

(1347-1380 AD)


St. Catherine of Siena was a virgin, 3rd Order Dominican, Papal consultant, and subsequently declared, a Doctor of the Church.  When in a vision Christ spoke to St. Catherine of his desire to send her into the world for its re-evangelization, in humility she asked how and why she, a woman, would be sent when "it is not highly considered by men, and also because it is not good, for decency's sake, for a woman to mix with men."  Christ's reply is very telling:


"You must know that in these latter days there has been such an upsurge of pride, especially in the case of men who imagine themselves to be learned or wise, that my justice cannot endure them any longer, without delivering a just chastisement upon them that will bring them to confusion….To confound their arrogance, I will raise up women ignorant and frail by nature but endowed with strength and Divine Wisdom.  Then, if they will come to their senses and humble themselves, I will behave with the utmost Mercy towards them, that is to say, towards those who, according to the grace given them, receive my doctrine, offered them in fragile but specially chosen vessels, and follow it reverently….For indeed it is only just that those who try to exalt themselves should be humbled."  (Life of St. Catherine, Blessed Raymond of Capus, pp. 108-109)


In her spiritual classic "Dialogue" with God the Father, St. Catherine of Siena  is led by the Eternal Father to understand what can lead to this loss of faith, even in the Church:


"Every light that comes from Holy Scripture has come and still comes from that light.  This is why the foolish, proud and learned people go blind even though it is light, because their pride and the cloud of selfish love have covered and blotted out this light.  So they read Scripture literally rather than with understanding.  They taste only its letter in their chasing after a multiplicity of books, never tasting the marrow of Scripture because they have let go of the light by which Scripture was formed and proclaimed….For one cannot share what one does not have in oneself, and because these persons' lives are darksome, they often share the light of Holy Scripture in darkness.  You will find the opposite in my servants, for they share the light within them in hunger and longing for others' salvation." (God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna, Dialogue)


St. Bridget of Sweden

(Died 1373)


St. Bridget was a wife, mother, widow, mystic, and founder of a religious order.  She is well-known for the promises from Our Lord associated with the daily recitation of the 15 Prayers of St. Bridget as well as the record of her mystical experiences in a book entitled "The Revelations " of St. Bridget::


Bridget writes that the Church in her time had among its members, both clerical and lay, a disproportionate number of apostates, primarily those who had succumbed to the temptations of pride, avarice, and carnal indulgence. (Revelations, Bk 6, Ch. 33, ie., 6.33)….Hardly anyone believes that Christ is a Just Judge who will punish evildoers severely after death; and those who are within the Church but do not belong there on account of their evil lives, attack and oppress God's elect who remain faithful. (1.5)  The clergy are the worst of all on account of their exalted spiritual calling, since Christ chose them before all the angels, giving them alone the power to handle His Body in the Eucharist. (3.5; 1.48)


One aspect of pride particularly affecting the clergy is vainglory, in which they seek to gain the praise of others by being considered learned (1.33).  They outwardly praise Christ while their intention is to receive praise themselves and to advance themselves in the Church and in worldly holdings. (6.37)  They will often refuse to admonish sinners and will say what people want to hear in order to be liked and appreciated. (1.55)  Avarice or covetousness in relation to the clergy and religious often refers not only to a disordered love of material wealth and possessions, but also to a desire for higher offices and honors.  Especially serious is this sin when it pertains to religious since they have made a vow of poverty, although secular clergy can also sin grievously by their worldly ways and attachments.(4.126)


Bridget accuses many priests of hypocrisy, concealing their impurity and other sins under the outward appearance of piety.  Such hypocrites are worse than Judas, who at least acknowledged his wicked deed and regretted it, although he did not turn to God's Mercy.  These priests, however, continue to feign righteousness. (4.132)


Christ also complains, through Bridget, that Christians lack a salutary fear of God's justice.  Priests in particular are guilty of lacking fear when they celebrate Mass, not realizing their utter unworthiness to approach Christ's altar, nor how pure they ought to be who actually handle Purity Incarnate. (6.9)  Many priests and religious offend Him by not trusting in Him to give them what they need, for He wants to support them in all their temporal and spiritual needs; but they lack the necessary confidence in God.  This lack of trust and confidence in God also leads many religious to violate their vow of poverty (6.35)


Bridget reproaches many of the clergy for having abandoned their primary duty of helping to save souls of those entrusted to them because of their inordinate concern for their own temporal aims.  (4.132-3) The bad example of many priests lead many people gradually into spiritual blindness and to become complacent in sin, and then to even boast about it, even if previously they had been ashamed of it.  (4.132)  Priests and religious are accused by Christ of being deficient and often totally negligent in their preaching and instructing the people in the faith.  Christ complains to Bridget  "They do not speak of my wonderful deeds nor do they teach my doctrine, but instead they teach love of the world."  (4.132)  Many priests succumb to the temptation to avoid teaching about the 'hard sayings' of Christ in order not to offend people and to be well received by them, and also for monetary gain.  They yield to the demands of the world because they fear and cannot endure being persecuted and hated by the world.  By being agreeable to people, Christ's justice remains hidden and the people blindly live in presumptuous confidence of their salvation.  (8)


"Woe to you, you hypocrites!

You who shut up the knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven in men's faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to." 

(Mt. 23-13)


Bridget hears the devil tempting a certain bishop":


"Of what concern is it to you how this or that person lives?  Why should you offend and correct those by whom you could be honored and loved?  If they don't offend you and your loved ones, why should you care how they live or whether they offend God?  If you are good yourself, why should you judge others?"  (3.2; cf 4.126)  Bridget states that many priests follow this advice, to their own damnation.  They ignore sin that should be corrected.  They choose to forget, on account of their worldly and carnal attachments, as well as inordinate concern for human respect, that reproving the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy, the neglect of which they will be held accountable before God  (3.15)



St. John the Baptist tells Bridget:  "Not in a thousand years has God's anger at the world been so great."  (4.134)  In fact, Bridget saw her 14th century as the beginning of the age of widespread apostasy that would last until the end of the world and the Final Judgment:  the first age having lasted from Adam to Christ, and the second from Christ to her time.  The Antichrist would be born at the end of the third age."  (6.67)

     (Revelations of St. Bridget, by Br. Sean Wright, 2003)




Our Lady of Good Success (1563-1634)

Apparitions of Our Lady and Our Lord

To Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres


Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres was a  cloistered Conceptionist nun in Quito, Ecuador, who for 40 years (1594-1634) received apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and served as a victim soul for the Church of the 20th century.  She had been told that God was ready to punish the world for three main sins:  blasphemy, impurity and heresy, and that what the world needed was penances, suffering, prayer and self-denial in order to sustain itself.  These apparitions and their message were first approved in 1611 by Bishop Salvador de Ribera, and then reaffirmed by Archbishop Carlos Maria on July 31, 1941.  Her incorrupt body was discovered in 1906 and can still be seen today.


Future times to come for the Catholic Church particularly in 20th century


"…Heresies would spread and dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs…..The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened….There will be almost no virgin souls in the world….During these unfortunate times evil will invade childhood innocence.  In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity….The secular clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties.  Lacking  the Divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to attain.  How the Church will suffer during this dark night!  Lacking a prelate and father to guide them….many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger….Against them the impious will rage a cruel war, overwhelming them with vituperations, calumnies and vexations in order to stop them from fulfilling their ministry."  (Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres,  Feb. 2, 1634)




Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824)

Augustinian nun, mystic, stigmatist, visionary and prophet

Beatified by JPII, Oct. 3, 2004


Anne Catherine Emmerich was a West German Augustinian nun who bore the wounds of Christ on her body and who lived many years solely on Holy Communion until she died.  She was given many visions of our Blessed Lord and Lady, including the events of their earthly lives, and these were printed into books which have received the Imprimatur in 1914.  It is felt that most of her prophesies were made by the year 1820:



The Great Apostasy


"Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops.  Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths.  Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities….I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound.  I also saw the Holy Father--God-fearing and prayerful.  Nothing left to be desired in his appearance, but he was weakened by old age and by much suffering.  He head was lolling from side to side, and it dropped onto his chest as if he was falling asleep…Then I saw that everything pertaining to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence.  Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction.  In those days, faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars. 


I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church.  They were building a great, strange and extravagant Church.  Everyone was to be admitted to it in order to be united and have equal rights:  Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description.  Such was to be the new Church…"  (Blessed Catherine Anne Emmerich)



The False Ecumenical, Heretical Church


I saw also the relationship between two popes….I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church….I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city of Rome.  The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness….I had another vision of the great tribulation.  It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted.  I saw many older priests, especially, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded.  It was as if people were splitting into two camps.


I saw again the strange big church that was being built there in Rome.  There was nothing holy in it.  I saw this just as I saw a movement led by Ecclesiastics to which contributed angels, saints and other Christians.  But there in the strange big church all the work was being done mechanically according to set rules and formulae.  Everything was being done according to human reason.  I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines and opinions.  There was something proud, presumptuous and violent about it; and they seemed very successful…..I saw again the new and odd-looking church which they were trying to build.  There was nothing holy about it….People were kneading bread in the crypt below….but it would not rise, nor did they receive the Body of Our Lord, but only bread.  Those who were in error, through no fault of their own, and who piously and ardently longed for the Body of Jesus, were spiritually consoled, but not by their communion.  Then my Guide (Jesus) said:  "This is Babel." …. I saw deplorable things; they were gambling, drinking and talking in church; they were also courting women.  All sorts of abominations were perpetrated there.  Priests allowed everything and said Mass with much irreverence.  I saw that few of them were still godly."  (Blessed Catherine Anne Emmerich)



Devout Catholics and Clergy Oppressed


"Then I saw an apparition of the Mother of God, and she said that the tribulation would be very great.  She added that people must pray fervently with outstretched arms….and they must keep coming to the church.  They must pray above all for the Church of Darkness to leave Rome….These were all good and devout people, and they did not know where help and guidance should be sought….I saw more martyrs, not now, but in the future….I saw the secret sect  (Freemasonry) relentlessly undermining the great Church.  Near them I saw a horrible beast coming up from the sea.  All over the world, good and devout people, especially the clergy, were harassed, oppressed and put into prison….Whole Catholic communities were being oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom.  I saw many churches closed down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed….."  (Blessed Catherine Anne Emmerich)




Our Lady of La Salette

Apparitions to Melanie Calvat in La Salette, France



In 1846 Our Lady appeared to two shepherd children, one being Melanie Calvat, in La Salette France, giving them many warnings about how God was going to punish mankind if mankind did not stop sinning.  Our Lady also made some startling prophecies.  The Bishop of La Salette published in 1851 a mandate which in part said:  "(The apparition) has within itself all the characteristics of the Truth, and that the faithful are justified in believing it is beyond doubt and for certain."  This mandate was sent to Rome and received the approval of Pope Pius IX.  Our Lady of La Salette warned:


"Lucifer, with a great number of demons will be unchained from Hell.  By degrees they shall abolish the Faith, even among persons consecrated to God."


"In every place there will be extraordinary prodigies, because the true Faith has been extinguished."


"The abomination shall be seen in holy places, in convents, and then the demon shall make himself the king of hearts."


"Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist."

(Our Lady of La Salette to Melanie Calvat, 1846)


"But when the Son of Man comes,

will He find faith on earth?" 

(Lk 18: 7-8)


(To be continued next week)