[Benedict XVI] had rather a philosophical voice, and made his commentary from the crossroad of faith and reason, expounding that strange and miraculous historical triad — the intermingling of the Hebrew Scriptural inheritance, with the vivid fact of Greek reason, with the coalescence of Roman law. All the three strands were woven together in actual human history, and came to maturity as complement to the revelation of Jesus Christ, as BC intersected with AD. (David Warren, Towards Epiphany)
Rome: the name of the city founded near the swamps of Latium in the central part of Italy still evokes memories of marching legions that threaded most of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Some affirm one glorious Roman legion reached China. Liqian (sounds like “legion” does it?) is a small city deep in China. The inhabitants have strangely Western features. Some believe they derive from an ancient Roman legion, which disappeared after the battle of Carrhae. The complete explanation of the investigation and debate on the extraordinary Roman legionaries in China can be heard (in Italian) in this short conference by Prof. Roberto Trizio. My point here is that Romans managed to extend their small domain across the known world in a feat of resilience and strength never repeated in ancient history. (cf. Daniel 7:7)
Keep in mind the political evolution of Rome from its tribal stage, to the age of kings, then the Republic that ends in the Triumvirate that eventually produces the Empire. The political history of Rome starts evolving in earnest with Caesar Augustus and progresses through what we could call the dynastic age until the great reforms of Diocletian that paved the way for the Tetrarchs. One of those Tetrarchs was Flavius Valerius Constantius who was the father of Constantine.
Constantine the Great or Flavius Valerius Constantinus acceded to imperial power by a coup d’état. His troops proclaimed him Emperor in 306 AD in York, England which was by then called Eboracum a city in the Roman province of Britannia.
Constantine had to fight many battles on his way to be Emperor. Early in the fall of 312 AD he had to fight his rival Maxentius.
In the eve of the battle, Constantine had a dream in which he was shown the Christian symbol of the Chi Rho and was instructed to paint it on the troops’ shields. He was then admonished: “In Hoc Signo” meaning “Under this sign [you shall prevail]” which coincidentally is the same as the initials IHS, Iesu Hominum Salvator, Jesus Savior of Mankind. Constantine obeyed and won the battle thus becoming the only ‘Augustus’ for the whole Roman Empire both East and West.
Christ was now in the very center of the Roman Empire through an unlikely convert: Constantine.
Not long after that battle, Constantine promoted freedom of religion in the whole empire, returning to the formerly persecuted Christians their properties and lost titles and honors.
Some concentrate their attention on the so called Edict of Milan but there were more subtle events taking place. Before Constantine, the empire was ruled by a Tetrarchy. Two Emperors ruled one in the East and one in the West and both had the right to name a successor, a Caesar who was not at the level of ‘Augustus’ but rather a kind of ‘Emperor in wait’. That solved the problem of the dynastic wars.
Now that Constantine had destroyed the political order by concentrating all power on himself he quickly moved to consolidate it. Perhaps he was attracted to Christianity for other reasons as well but many historians think there was also a political reason: Christians believed in one God and were organized all over the Roman Empire under the guidance of their Episkopoi, that is Greek for ‘overseer’ or ‘supervisor’. The word evolved in our language to ‘Bishop’.
While the Christians were organized, they were not in absolute accord on the details of their doctrine. East, West, North, and South, Romans, and barbarians held slightly different customs and beliefs. Constantine wanted Christianity for the whole empire because … an Empire with One Emperor went very well with a religion with One God. But there was this prickly matter of Christology: a disagreement had emerged among Christians about the very nature of Christ. Was Christ created or uncreated? The controversy was the origin of many contentious disputes. Constantine, still holding the title of Pontifex Maximus, was the top religious authority for all religions in the Roman Empire. He decided to call a Christian council to resolve the matter. That was the Council of Nicaea that produced the Nicene Creed, once and for all establishing the official basic doctrine (Credo) for all Christians worldwide. That was called a Catholic belief, that is universal in this sense: it is the creed of all north, south, east, and west but is is also the belief that was and the belief that it will always be. Thus it is something that extends not only geographically but also in history. That Catholic order is what makes the Catholic Doctrine unique: we are in communion among ourselves no matter where we live. We are also in communion with those who preceded us in time and with those that will come after us.
Constantine did not know it at that time but he was laying the foundations of Christendom. The Roman Empire was changed during his tenure. Diocletian reforms had gone far in organizing Rome but Constantine was shaping something new, something that gathered together the best of the Roman Kingdom, the Republic, and the Empire. Constantine also managed to last long enough in the throne to allow his changes to become part of the legal, economic, military, and cultural fabric of the empire.
Allow me to shamelessly quote myself to insert a useful note here:
“To the principle of Divine Sovereignty the devil opposes the ‘principle’ of conquest by stealth, force or outright robbery. God’s answer to that is St. Peter. Once Peter is anointed as the Prince of the Apostles in charge of the Royal Household of Israel (cf. Matthew 16 and Isaiah 22) he proceeds to conquer Rome for Christ. He offers a glorious martyrdom reflecting Mt. Calvary on Mons Vaticanus, where the prophets of old Rome used to give their oracles (the mount of the vaticinii, or predictions). After that, he continues through his successors until emperor Gratian surrenders the title of Pontifex to the head of the See of Rome in the 4th century. Rome is thus given by Peter to Christ as a trophy and so Rome now belongs to Christ by the principle of Divine Sovereignty and by the principle of Conquest. The devil has been humiliated. Now —right now— Our Lord has lured his enemies to Rome. The usurpers believe they have conquered back the unconquerable. But their sad situation is: they have come out of their hiding place and are now surrounded and ready to be dispatched back to hell. They have done all their blasphemous deeds in sight of the whole world. Their days are counted. Peter’s victory will be complete. They should have known that when they realized that Benedict XVI took the Petrine munus with him to Heaven. For the usurpers their carnage will be their loot. The Church is unconquerable.”
Christ conquers Rome
Notice how Christ has used Constantine to give Rome a new impulse. Unbelievable as it may seem to some, the obscure Galilean that was crucified by Romans, managed to make his Church and his doctrine the center of the Roman Empire. And not only that, Christus was now giving Rome a new impulse. Few notice that Rome was dying when Constantine launched her into a new mission: to be the garden where the fruits of Christianity would bloom transforming the entire world.
Pope Sylvester, the Bishop of Rome, could not attend the Council of Nicaea but he agreed and ratified the Council’s Creed that was later incorporated to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. Sylvester was a Roman born in the civitas, in Rome itself. It was under the reign of Sylvester that Emperor Constantine began the construction of St. Peter’s, a cruciform basilica built on the spot where the first Pope was martyred by Emperor Nero. Volumes could be written to list the number of cosmic coincidences piling up there. It was the same hill where the sacred forest grew. Lost in the mists of history are the customs of the old augures the priests that used to take a white doe there to celebrate the vaticinii. There they sacrificed the doe and read its entrails to produce the oracles for the kings of Rome. It was a “hill of prophecies” Mons Vaticanus.
Nero, always a bit of a heretic, built the Circus there. That is the place where the condemned Christians where given the fateful damnatio ad bestias, sent to be devoured by wild beasts or crucified and then burned to illuminate the field. All to entertain Nero and the Roman populace, always willing to witness the gruesome spectacle. Think of that when you see an image of St. Peter’s Basilica or St. Peter’s Square. That is the place where St. Peter and countless faithful glorified God with their martyrdom. When Pope Benedict XVI died on that hill, he was adding himself to a list of martyrs whose names endure forever in God’s mind.
Think of the glorious conquest of that hill. In doing so, consider the vision of Fatima: a ‘Bishop dressed in white’ laboriously climbing a hill atop of which a cross made of a cork-tree stands, a cross too weak to hold the weight of Christ, Peter, and so many martyrs.
From Sylvester I to Benedict XVI
Pope Sylvester is a marker in time for us. He witnessed the inception of what would later become Christendom. He saw the first St. Peter’s Basilica that was built in the shape of the Cross. That Basilica was to last to the days of Pope Julius II, Giuliano della Rovere Albisola who came from an impoverished but noble family of Northern Italy. In the 1500’s it was Pope Julius who conceived the idea of building a “bigger and better” St. Peter’s Basilica, something that would represent the grandeur of the Church. Something to impress everyone in the world. Not really a Christ like idea but it was done. While raising the money for the huge construction several mistakes were made. From the temerary handling of the fund raising process resulted the German Reformation. Certainly a bad side effect we have to live with to this day. There were also some symbolic difficulties: the new basilica was a round building. The cruciform basilica built by Constantine, a millennium old jewel, was demolished. Almost like an act of sympathetic magic, the Church was also partially demolished as Protestant movements flared up through Europe. The Church was never going to be the same again.
That was roughly the century when America was discovered, the Turks toppled the Western Roman Empire, the Battle of Lepanto was fought and won, the last Arabs were expelled from Spain, and Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico bringing in about ten million new faithful to the Church. The young Church in the Americas was bringing in as many new souls as they were lost to the German Reformation. These events happened (not necessarily in that order) and the world began to change. Christendom was beginning to crumble under the pressure of Islam, Illuminism, and a great internal crisis. The Masonic movement, the French Revolution, Liberalism, Marxism, etc. came like the blows of a hammer as centuries went by and the old Church struggled.
During the 20th century two big events gave the Catholic people hope. In 1917 as the scourge of Communism began to shake the world, the Virgin Mary appeared to three little shepherds in Fatima. Through her words we had a glimpse of the future. A new consecration was needed. The world was in danger and Our Blessed Mother was here to warn us of the terrible battles to come.
That century saw the effects of a gradual infiltration of the Church by several hostile forces. The priesthood was attacked with more fury. To this day we do not have a definite idea of the amount of damage done. The corruption is visible now but we do not know how deep the rot is. In 1961 Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared to four girls in Garabandal, in Northern Spain. There she began to uncover clerical corruption but more importantly, Mother Mary announced how many Bishops of Rome were left to seat in the throne of Peter before the End of Times.
- John XXIII
- Paul VI
- John Paul I (his brief reign was prophesied to seer Conchita González)
- John Paul II
- Benedict XVI
Among other important things we were told that a period of confusion would ensue with “Bishops fighting Bishops and Cardinals fighting Cardinals” and that “the Holy Father will have much to suffer”. That is something we can consider fulfilled at the beginning of this 2023 AD.
Benedict the Beloved
We have arrived to the last Pope of the Garabandal prophecies. As recently predicted by Fr. Oliveira, a seer from Southern Brazil, our beloved Pope Benedict XVI went to his eternal reward on the last day of the year. The date of Pope Benedict’s demise is screaming a sign to us. Benedict died on the day the Church remembers Pope Sylvester I. The “bookends” so often observed when studying prophetic events are there for all to see. The long arc of the Age of the Church is coming to a close.
Perhaps the time for predicting is over. Most of us know what kind of times are upon us. I think we don’t have ten years, who knows if we have five! The only thing we know about the final day is that is going to surprise everyone alive.
Be prepared, physically and spiritually. Think of the martyrs of ancient Rome. Think of the power of Christ who conquered Rome and led us to this day.