1-18-2015: La Salette and Our Times
© Copyright 2015, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
There definitely has been an orchestrated campaign to destroy all credibility of the La Salette message as well as that of its seers, and it does appear that Pope Benedict XV interdicted the distribution of this message in 1916. In response to this, Our Lady came to Fatima to repeat her La Salette warning after Pope Benedict XV began listening to the Masonic French bishops and formally doubting La Salette. The contents of the La Salette message cannot be dismissed out of hand unless other approved prophecies, and even the teachings of the Church Herself, are likewise cast aside. The reason I say this is because what was predicted has come true and a pope long ago predicted it. The fact that the secret was distributed widely before the Church prohibited its circulation in the form in which it later appeared seems to suggest that despite even Church interdiction, Our Lady wished the La Salette seer Melanie Calvat to fulfill her mission on earth.
These apparitions are successfully being called into question because their true purpose and import is not appreciated or understood. The Church Herself has provided sufficient indication of what to expect in these times from a biblical and doctrinal standpoint, and the prophecies, generally speaking, are only valuable as adjuncts to these sources, not primary sources themselves. And yet it is not commonly known that despite the many decades, even centuries some of these prophecies and apparitions have been studied, there is still much that has not been taken into consideration concerning their relevance — even details that have failed to be examined at all. Prophecy always becomes clearer when one is closer to the event. Looking around us, it is hard to believe that we are not in the very midst of what Christ, the saints and holy Catholics predicted. In fact the better part of our lives has consisted in witnessing the events foretold in the Apocalypse, and the Third Secret of Fatima. That being said, there is much more to the equation than most would like to believe. The smokescreen thrown up over the past 150 years by those subverting the Church has done much to create suspicion and even derail the true meaning of what has been foretold for these times, whether they are the latter days, the end of an age or simply the end itself.
We know from Holy Scripture and the many unfulfilled predictions for the end of the world that we were never really meant to know everything. Our lot is to pray and watch, no matter how painful that may be; this is the penance Our Lady now exacts; the penance not performed by a sufficient number of Catholics prior to the death of Pope Pius XII. Yet despite the current visitation of the great spiritual chastisement on this generation predicted at Fatima and elsewhere, the expected temporal chastisement has not yet arrived. Many believe that chastisement will cause great loss of life and massive destruction. Some true Catholics believe that in order to dispel the present confusion about the very nature of the Church, She must triumph, if only briefly, before the end proper. Will it be a time of unprecedented abundance and prosperity? Only spiritually, as the earth returns to its primitive existence, retaining only a third to a fourth of its previous inhabitants. The world will become new missionary territory, with less land mass, more inland seas, lakes and streams and few if any of its major metropolises left. A Rome in utter shambles will perhaps be one of these and will need to be rebuilt. But others believe the Church may move to a different location, as Rome is slated for utter destruction in Apoc. 17. The city’s spiritual destruction is already accomplished but its literal destruction will probably follow. All this according to Scripture commentary and prophecy; but even then commentators do not all agree. Rome’s physical destruction may be postponed until the very last days of the world, and this may not be the time period in which we live.
In quoting encyclicals and other papal documents, the commentaries of saints and fathers, also scriptural scholars, such opinions at least are well founded and are not our own; only certain conclusions drawn from what they teach can be said to be our “opinion.” And it is not forbidden to draw such conclusions from Church teaching, either. In fact the Church condemns those who teach that we are not to draw such conclusions, (DZ 554). Some commentators seem at least to have foreseen our plight to some extent, and to have believed that the Church, at least for a time, would undergo an unforeseeable and unthinkable crisis. This is after all what the Church Herself teaches, and what the prophecies echo, so they are not without credibility. The only thing that presents a problem in prophecy is the placement by some seers of the expected peace and triumph of the Church prior to the reign of Antichrist. All indicators point to the fact that Antichrist was Paul 6, (yet even this is not an absolute certainty until a true pope decides on such matters.) If Antichrist has reigned we are due for the chastisement and brief peace predicted in many private prophecies, not just La Salette. not believe in La Salette, but they cannot dismiss the fact that others both before and after La Salette have predicted precisely the same events.
The Secret of La Salette
What Lucia had revealed about the Third Secret of Fatima and what others had drawn from these revelations was essentially the very same message given to children of La Salette. The message of Our Lady to these children in 1846 came at the precise moment that the Communist Manifesto was being written; yet it is seldom cited as a supplement to aid in Fatima’s interpretation, despite the fact that both messages have papal approval and warn of essentially the same evils. In its day the La Salette message was regarded as anti-clerical and some of its most persistent enemies were to be found among the clergy. Some also believed it was influenced by apocalyptic literature, which the seer Melanie Calvat supposedly added to the message itself. Because of these irregularities, authors and theologians writing in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century all but abandoned the message entirely. This is due partly to the fact that Pope St. Pius X forbade two commentaries on the secret written by seer Melanie Calvat’s spiritual director, Abbe Gilbert Combe, to be circulated because of their scandalous nature and also forbade any other further commentaries on the secret to be written. This of course occurred before the Fatima apparitions and the reiteration, by Our Lady, of basically the same message.
Since it appears that all that is humanly possible has been attempted to remedy the Church’s current situation, it is certain that God, Himself, will now intervene. And it is equally certain that through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, Our Lord has many times indicated to us just how and why this intervention must take place. The messages brought to earth by Our Lady over the past 175 years have left no doubt in the minds of the faithful that God is not pleased with humans and that the behavior, especially of Catholics wounds Him deeply and causes the Blessed Mother great sorrow. But the one message most crucial to our own time and place is the one embroiled in the most controversy, the one most maligned and suppressed.
That message is the one given to the two young sheepherders, Melanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, at La Salette France on Sept. 19, 1846. It was this very year that the American Church was formally consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, and the apparitions there seem to be a heavenly response to this solemn consecration. The children first received a general message, intended for public distribution. This predicted that grape, wheat and potato crops would spoil, nuts would go bad, and children would die of a mysterious disease. It also chastised Catholics for taking God’s name in vain, neglecting the third commandment forbidding servile work on Sundays, neglecting Holy Mass and ignoring the Lenten fast. After this general message and before Our Lady inquired about the children’s private devotions, she gave each child a secret, which the other could not hear. She instructed Melanie to make her secret known in 1858. The Church approved La Salette after the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Rome spent five years reviewing a thick dossier on the apparition. After receiving approval from Card. Lambruschini on Oct. 7, 1851, the Bishop of Grenoble issued the following statement concerning the apparitions on November 10, 1851: “The apparition of the Blessed Virgin…in the parish of La Salette…bears in itself all the characteristics of truth, …and the faithful have good grounds for believing it to be indubitable and certain.”
The controversial line known to all who are familiar with the secret and reported in many works on Catholic prophecy, even those available before the death of Pope Pius XII, appears towards the end of the La Salette secret: “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Antichrist. Yet heathen Rome will disappear.” The lack of a true pope also is referenced in the Quito message from the 1500s. In his 1970 book, Robert Bergin tells us in Chapter Five entitled “Persecution”: “Some interpret the reference in 2 Thessalonians — Antichrist showing himself in the temple of God as though he were God — to mean Antichrist will seize St. Peter’s and usurp the papal see.” Henry Cardinal Manning said the same in his work “The Holy See Tested by Prophecy,” citing the opinions of well-respected theologians. Yet it is clear from reading the decisions of Rome that the faithful have been forbidden to read and comment on the La Salette secret. So do any of us dare defy these condemnations? When hundreds of thousands over the past 150 plus years already have read the various versions of the secret published by others, it seems foolish to think that its circulation could be stopped, for even demands and impassioned pleadings have no effect on Traditionalists. One source reports that publication of the secret under some 28 imprimaturs, with and without the commentary so often confused with the secret itself, were available to the public at the end of the 19th century. And in all reality, the purpose for the condemnations can be seen to have ceased, since what the secret warns against has already occurred.
How to discern a true from a false revelation
We read in Deut. 18: 21-22: “…How shall I know the word that the Lord hath not spoken? Thou shalt have this sign: Whatever that same prophet fortelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass: that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear him.” The acid test of all prophecy, then, is whether or not it comes to pass as predicted. All but a small portion of what the La Salette Secret Melanie revealed, all that she said — in public defense of the Secret, in her private correspondence — only confirms the reality we face today, and only the truly blind refuse to see it. Those things yet unfulfilled are just that — they may well be fulfilled in the near future or perhaps not at all. This does not change the tenor of the message, according to Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey. “A revelation may be unwittingly altered by the seer himself when he attempts to explain [what he saw and/or heard], or, still oftener, by those to whom he dictates his revelations. St. Brigid realized herself that at times she retouched her revelations, the better to explain them; these added explanations are not always free from errors. It is acknowledged today that the scribes who wrote the revelations of Ven. Mary of Agreda, Anne Catherine Emmerich and Marie Lataste modified them to an extent difficult to determine,” (The Spiritual Life). Tanquerey further comments that prejudices and systems used by the seers’ spiritual directors can greatly influence what seers believe they have seen in visions. Melanie’s spiritual director, Abbe Combe, had great influence over Melanie and she is thought to have let his Apocalyptic revelries color her recollection of the message to some extent.
Yet really the only major event that has not come to pass that Melanie predicted is the chastisement of three days, and most certainly she is only one of many to warn of this and describe the peace that follows. Holy Scripture and the continual teachings of the magisterium confirm nearly all the rest, and to refuse to believe Divine Revelation and the interpretations of approved Catholic theologians who comment upon it is to reject the teachings of the Church. For those La Salette naysayers who lack any sort of authority over the faithful, yet who threaten that to read the secret is to invite excommunication and commit mortal sin, there is a simple answer: the secret only confirms scriptural prophecy, including the chastisement. Even the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico can be linked to actual historical accounts of three days’ darkness on this continent. The symbolism hidden beneath the Fatima apparitions also suggests some sort of cosmic event. To fail to give La Salette credence based on the fact that the chastisement has not yet occurred and because certain errors were made in the prediction for reasons stated above is not enough to discredit the message.
In the 1959 book edited by John J. Delaney, “A Woman Clothed with the Sun,” Rev. Joseph I. Dirvin, C.M., comments on Our Lady’s apparitions to St. Catherine Laboure. He refers to Our Lady’s predictions that the streets of France “would run with blood,” and “the whole world will be in sadness.” St. Catherine “clearly understood” Our Lady to mean that these events would last for 40 years. As Rev. Dirvin explains, France was torn by upheavals and revolutions beginning in 1830, only a week after the first apparition, and continuing until the final revolution in 1870. “The fulfillment of these terrible prophecies of the Mother of God may be considered in a practical way as grim proof of the authenticity of the visions,” Rev. Dirvin writes. “They may also be looked upon as hints of even more horrible punishments to befall mankind, such as World War I and II…” Rev. R. Gerald Culleton likewise states that, “All true prophecy is from God, for His glory and the sake of the ‘elect.’ As it becomes fulfilled it establishes its own divine origin and the reliability of the documents which convey it,” (“The Reign of Antichrist, 1951).
Fatima and La Salette
As if to rescue Melanie’s Secret from total oblivion, Our Lady appeared at Fatima with yet another message that should easily have been seen to refer to Freemasonry. This time Satan suppressed it altogether, and the contents of the Third Secret were never disclosed. Although Lucia dos Santos could have revealed the Third Secret after 1960, she was probably prevented from doing so, prevented, that is, if she had not already died or been murdered, and replaced by the woman who passed for “Sr. Lucy” until 2005. Our Lady told her that in 1960, the subject matter of the Secret would be “clearer,” as indeed it was with the reign of antipope John 23. In later writings, Lucia informed her readers that the Third Secret could be found in Apocalypse, chapters 8-13. This is practically a confirmation of La Salette, for it is in these chapters that we find the heart of the La Salette Secret. If the truth were known, the Third Secret only repeats and affirms Melanie’s own Secret; one “unofficial” version of the third secret released in the 1970s even prefaces its contents with this assertion. If they can be believed, some NO church officials confirm that they were permitted to view the secret, and that this unofficial version contains it in part. To deny that the fulfillment of so many warnings by a host of seers is to deny the reality of what we have seen and experienced. To reiterate Rev. Culleton and Holy Scripture, prophecy fulfilled passes the test of authenticity. We cannot change the fact that many have read this secret and believe it. Nor can we prevent the greater part of them from speculating about it and discussing it.
Concerning both Lourdes and La Salette, Pope St. Pius X wrote, in his encyclical Pascendi: “These apparitions or revelations have neither been approved nor condemned by the Holy See, which has simply allowed them to be believed on purely human faith, in the traditions which they relate, corroborated by testimony and documents worthy of credence. Anyone who follows this rule has no cause to fear.” St. Thomas Aquinas tells us human faith is an opinion strengthened by proofs, or certitude, which requires that the intellect firmly adhere to a given object. The Lourdes apparitions are commemorated with an official feast of the Church, which cannot be wrongly assigned; the Church cannot err in such things. Pope Pius XII confirmed the Fatima apparitions by consecrating both the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, (AAS 34, 1942, 346) and Russia specifically to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, (AAS 44, 1952, 511). Once again, these papal acts are normative acts and decisions. The Church allows belief in these apparitions on human faith arising from moral certitude as defined by the Council of Trent and Pope Benedict XIV. Pope Benedict XIV writes: “While there must not and cannot be given an assent of Catholic faith, there may, however, be given an assent of human faith following the rules of prudence and according to which these revelations are probable and piously credible,” (De Servorum Dei Beati…, 1747). Because the Church, when She truly was the Church has deemed them credible, we have no reason to doubt that they are credible, and every reason to believe they are worthy of belief.
If we mention La Salette at all, it is because so many have used its most controversial phrase, “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Antichrist” to condemn it as false. This is true especially of those supporting the usurpers reigning since the death of Pope Pius XII or those conclavist “popes’ elected by errant Sedevacantists. If we dissect this phrase it soon becomes apparent that it is in no way contradictory of Catholic dogma, as many pretend. The Cardinal Manning work mentioned above is proof of this. By “Rome” losing the faith is meant primarily the Cardinals with episcopal sees in Rome, but also the people of Rome themselves. Rome cannot here be interpreted as the Holy See itself. “The seat of Antichrist” tells us that a man most probably will usurp the papal see itself. This only follows the definition of antichrist given in the Catholic Encyclopedia — a king reigning during an interregnum.
Roncalli was never validly elected, as proved on the betrayedCatholics site. He was AN antichrist, just not THE Antichrist; this was the role of Paul 6. If these men reigned at all they reigned only as kings (pontifex maximus, as in the time of the Caesars) of Vatican City, which is its own state per the Lateran treaty. This is the answer to the ridiculous hypothesis posed by the “material-formal” crowd. Such a reign is not material/formal but temporal/spiritual. Rev. H. B. Kramer wrote: “This false prophet, possibly at the behest of Antichrist, usurps the papal supremacy…His assumed spiritual authority and supremacy over the Church would make him resemble the Bishop of Rome…He would be Pontifex Maximus, a title of pagan emperors, having spiritual and temporal authority. Assuming authority without having it makes him the False Prophet… Though he poses as a lamb, his doctrines betray him,” (“The Book of Destiny,” Nihil Obstat: J.S. Considine, O.P., Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: +Joseph M. Mueller, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, Jan. 26, 1956.) But no heretic or even suspect heretic could ever become a true pope. This phrase of the message does NOT insinuate in any possible way that a true pope could ever BE Antichrist; it clearly states that whenever he reigns, no faith — i.e., nothing Catholic — will exist then in Rome at all. Rather Rome will BECOME the seat of Antichrist, meaning it was the seat of someone else (Christ’s Vicar) before. Those who cannot see this are only intent on twisting the words for their own nefarious purposes. And there is little doubt that what Sr. Lucy said would “become clearer in 1960” was the very usurpation of the Holy See predicted by Pope Paul IV’s Cum ex Apostolatus Officio.
It was the resurgence of this old heresy of the Protestants, no doubt, that Benedict XV was so anxious to suppress — the claim that the pope was or could become Antichrist. The fulfillment of what was predicted in the secret had not, after all, become clear in his day. It was this very heresy that Pope Paul IV attacked and clarified in Cum ex…, and look at the relentless attacks launched against THAT Bull. As Pope Paul IV defined, the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place was Antichrist usurping the Papal See, appearing to be pope when he was not. And he makes clear reference in the first paragraph of his bull that its intent is to combat those “corrupting the sense of Holy Scripture.” Manning would later identify the papacy as the withholding power spoken of by St. Paul, impeding the coming of Antichrist, in his “The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Christ”: “This restraining power then, “is Christendom and its head; the Vicar of Jesus Christ.” In that twofold authority, temporal and spiritual, the Supreme Pontiff “is the direct antagonist to the principle of disorder.” In his work, “The Holy See Tested by Prophecy,” Manning himself states, citing the opinions of respected theologians, that the city of Rome will apostatize and be destroyed by Antichrist. This already has been accomplished spiritually, and remains only to be accomplished physically.
“The city of Rome, which has been the seat of the Vicar of Christ for 1800 years, if it become apostate like Jerusalem of old, will suffer a like condemnation…The writers of the Church tell us that the City of Rome has no prerogative except only that the Vicar of Christ is there; and if it become unfaithful, the same judgments which fell on Jerusalem, hallowed though it was by the presence of the Son of God, of the Master, and not the disciple only, shall fall likewise on Rome. The apostasy of the city of Rome from the Vicar of Christ, and its destruction by Antichrist, may be thoughts so new to many Catholics that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of the greatest repute.” He then brings in as his witnesses the theologians Malvenda, Ribera, Melus, Viegas, Suarez, Bellarmine and Bosius, Lessius and Lapide. St. Bellarmine wrote: “In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt, as we learn from the 16th verse of the 17th chapter of Apocalypse.’ The Jesuit Erbermann comments as follows: ‘We all agree with Bellarmine that the Roman people, a little before the end of the world, will return to paganism and drive out the Roman Pontiff.’…Lapide sums up what may be said to be the common interpretation of theologians. Commenting on the 18th chapter of the Apocalypse, he says: ‘These things are to be understood of the city of Rome…For from Christian it shall again become heathen. It shall cast out the Christian Pontiff, and the faithful who adhere to him.’”
We cannot very well deny what we see with our very eyes. If the secret is discussed or quoted to confirm what is also predicted in many other Church-approved private prophecies, we make no apologies. The secret is not being published and no commentaries are being written on the secret. Anyone today who would dispute the fact that we live in the times predicted in the Book of Daniel, the New Testament and especially the Apocalypse would have to be deaf and blind. Did Our Lady also predict them at Quito, La Salette, Fatima and elsewhere? Yes she did. We believe her messages only as confirmation of what is prophesied in the Scriptures. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that it is also prophesied in the Book of Genesis that SHE will crush the head of the serpent. That, after all, is the glorious role that no human can take from her, pope or not. For it is promised to her by God Himself.