The Three Days of Darkness gains its origin from Exodus 10: 21-23 with the ninth plague God sent on the Egyptians, imparting to Moses, "'Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that over the land of Egypt there may be such intense darkness that one can feel it.' So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky and there was dense darkness through-out the land of Egypt for three days. Men could not see one another nor could they move from where they were, for three days. But all the Israelites had light where they dwell." This was the precursor to the Passover when the Angel of Death passed over all the houses of Egypt and those Israelites who had smeared the blood of the lamb on their doors were spared God's wrath. This became not only the cornerstone of the Jewish faith but also of the New Covenant when the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ was shed for the salvation of all God's children. This is why, in the tradition of the Passover, it is so important all Catholics and Christians, for that matter, put the crucifix - the outward sign of the Blood of the Lamb - on their front doors as a form of protection and as an unfearing identification that they belong to the one, true God and no harm can come to their souls. Just as the Israelites ate of the flesh of the lamb, so today Jesus has given His Own flesh and blood to be consumed through the Most Holy Eucharist. Just as God commanded that no bone in the lamb's body be broken, so also Christ's bones were not broken but His Sacred Heart pierced with a lance in which both blood and water poured forth. This water, referred to by Our Lady as the cleansing that will purge the earth in those final three days, is the healing waters of Baptism, the healing water that will flood the earth with graces as the fire of the Holy Spirit envelops the world.
All we need to realize this is not fiction and that the chastisement is the precursor to the pending Three Days of Darkness is to look to Christ's words in Matthew 24:29 on the signs of the last days, "But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from Heaven, and the powers of Heaven will be shaken" and the prophecy given to Saint John in Apocalypse/Revelation 16: 1-21 regarding the Seven Bowls poured out by the Angels which foretell of the seven plagues of the seven angels. The first three bowls or signs, if you will, are in order "the sore and grievous wound was made upon the men who have the mark of the beast, and upon those who worshipped its image" which refers to the mark of the beast that separates them from those marked with the sign of the Cross, again a Passover reference; the second bowl is the one poured out "upon the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every live thing in the sea died"; the third also refers to water, though many discern this as in the second as the ambiotic water of the mother's womb and the slaughter of the innocents through abortion:"upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood." The fourth speaks of the sun as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:29, "And the fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun, and he was allowed to scorch mankind with fire. And mankind were scorched with great heat and they blasphemed the name of God Who has authority over all these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory." When we look at the travesties being committed today, the out and out disrespect for God and all things sacred, and the pride of those who continue in their evil ways without any contrition, we can see we are either dangerously close to or in the midst of the times God speaks of. The fifth bowl, again, many discern as the plague of AIDS today, "And the fifth poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and its kingdom became dark, and they gnawed their tongues for pain. And they blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their wounds, and they did not repent of their works." Today, led by the media, Hollywood influence, and special interest gay groups, they cry out in pain but rather than repenting of their sins, of changing their ways, they insist on living the way they want in both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity, and demand more including same-sex marriages, an abomination before the Almighty Who instituted the Sacrament of Marriage as something truly sacred and holy. Satan's plan is to desecrate all that is holy. Are we in these times? "The sixth poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates, and dried up its waters, that a way might be made ready for the kings from the rising sun." It can be discerned that this refers to the coming of the 12 kings which are referred to often in Apocalypse/Revelation, as in 6:15, but more specifically chapters 17 through 19 when the angel refers to the kings as the seven heads and ten horns and as harlots who sold out to the beast. Also, the reference to the 'great river Euphrates' can signify the situation with Iraq today where Babylon once stood and where the river Euphrates flowed. The seventh and final bowl treats the forces of nature that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24: 6-22 and which Our Lady refers to in her LaSalette message, "And the seventh poured out his bowl upon the air, and there came forth a loud voice out of the temple from the throne, saying, 'It has come to pass!' And there flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, and there was a great earthquake such as never has been since men were first upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it. And the great city came into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains could not be found. And great hail, heavy as a talent, came down from Heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for it was very great." While this has been discerned as literally earthquakes and confirmed by many visionaries and messengers, the analogy can also be made in parable-form of the "air" referring to our 20th Century technology where 'flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder' have roared forth from radios, televisions, films and satellites destroying many souls and shaking the moral fiber of the world with great cities falling into sin through the influence of our audio-visual bombardment. Are we in these times?
All true private revelation not only entirely supports Public Revelation, but often is a fulfillment of it.Besides Sacred Scripture, Our Lady's revelations to numerous messengers and visionaries bears out all that God has planned in the last days in fulfillment of His promise that Jesus will come again. We pray this refrain at every Mass immediately after the Consecration, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!" The Chastisement and the last days have been the subject of many apparitions beginning at LaSalette. The Blessed Mother focused on this at Garabandal, which is once again in the hands of the Church for investigation, when she foretold of the Warning, that time when everyone would see mystically the state of their soul as God sees, not as man. It will be, if you will, a dress rehearsal for the Final Judgment and one of the most benevolent signs of God's Almighty Mercy and Justice. This was first prophecied in the eighteenth century by Blessed Anna Maria Taigi as the "illumination." We shall cover her more in depth in the next installment. The Warning will be followed by the Miracle that will be seen by all near the pines in Spain, but no one will be able to touch it. There has been much speculation on when this will be and what, even to the fact this Miracle will be repeated wherever Our Lady has appeared. Though all this is fascinating, perhaps too much attention has been placed on the particulars and not enough emphasis placed on preparation of our souls for this event which will signal, without a doubt, that we are indeed in the times spoken of in Sacred Scripture. In Akita, Japan the statue of Our Lady wept 101 times because of her children's unpreparedness for the pending chastisement; in Naju, Korea Mary appeared to visionary Julia Kim and very clearly outlined the the need to repent of the sin of Abortion and conversion or nuclear war would surface. This we covered to some degree in the last issue's installment on LaSalette in THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS. The nuclear issue was made evidently clear as a fulfillment of scripture when the Blessed Mother appeared to visionary Maria Kizyn at Hrushiv in the Ukraine exactly one year after the catastrophic nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. The word "Chernobyl" in Russian means "wormwood", fulfilling God's words in Jeremiah 9: 14, "See now, I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink. I will scatter them among nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; I willl send the sword to pursue them until I have completely destroyed them" and Jeremiah 23:15, "Behold, I will give them wormwood to eat, and poison to drink; for from Jerusalem's prophets ungodliness has gone forth into the whole land." This is made evidently clear in Apocalypse/Revelation 8:10-11 regarding the third trumpet, "And the third angel sounded the trumpet, and there fell from Heaven a great star, burning like a torch, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood. And the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many people died of the waters because they were made bitter." We can discern from this that the 'waters' are not only the water the people would drink, but again the ambiotic fluid of the womb where many babies died with their mothers at the disaster of Chernobyl, because of the words 'rivers and upon the fountains of waters.' For more on Chernobyl, Hrushiv and more prophecies of the end times, particularly in respect to Russia, we refer you to visionary Josyp Terelya's book Witness. There have been many other omens of all that has been written in Sacred Scriptures as given to modern visionaries and messengers at apparitions in Betania to Maria Esperanza de Bianchini, in Damascus, Syria to stigmatist Myrna Nazour and in San Nicholas, Argentina to Gladys Quiroga de Motta, who also was given the stigmata. In our own country there have been countless messages imparted regarding the fulfillment of these times with the vision given to Brother David Lopez while he was on pilgrimage to another great Marian shrine of our day - Medjugorje - as being the most vivid and detailed. For more on what God and the Blessed Mother revealed to him we refer you to Father Albert Hebert, S.J.'s books, specificaly "Three Days Darkness" and the excellent tome by Ted and Maureen Flynn "The Thunder of Justice". In the next issue we will continue with this, specifically focusing on the detailed messages and visions given in private revelation.