Apocalypse Now? Another Great Sign Rises in the Heavens

Portrait Our Lady of Guadalupe

This is an article that was written for the Remnant Newspaper.

On September 23, 2017, we will see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). These events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. What does it mean?

[Editorial Note: In the following article, I intend to present a series of facts and observations from which I draw no definitive conclusion. Yet, these facts and observations are of such a nature, for no other reason than their observation and reporting, that lend themselves to misinterpretation. So let me be clear, in the following article, I predict nothing. I am offering my observations on some upcoming phenomena, both heavenly and man-made, potentially of great import, that people might find interesting and of which people should be aware.]

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The Great Sign in Heaven

What if God gave us a sign, would we even notice it? What if God, like He has done before, gave us a heavenly sign, a portent of great and terrible events? Would we even take notice? Are we, like so many that have come before us, so busy in our day-to-day lives that we never bother to even look up anymore? What if God gave us a heavenly sign today, would we notice? And if we did notice, would we care or just ignore it as some superstitious nonsense?

What if I told you that there is a forthcoming astronomical event that closely mirrors a sign from the Book of Revelation, stunning in its precision, context, and timing? Would you look up?

Revelation 12:1-5

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:

And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.

And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems:

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. “

The Star of Bethlehem

Before I begin, I think it is important to establish some sense of context. We take it as an established and undeniable part of our faith that, 2,000 years ago, God used an astronomical event to communicate with man, the Star of Bethlehem. Many people, when picturing the Star of Bethlehem, if they picture it at all, think of this massive bright star over Bethlehem that was so obvious to everyone that it sent the Magi on a long trek to find the promised king.

We know that version of events is in error, for when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem, just 8 kilometers from Bethlehem, they had to explain what it was they saw and why they interpreted it the way they did. King Herod, his court, and the rest of Jerusalem were largely ignorant of the events of the Star of Bethlehem. The people of Jerusalem, like us today, were busy providing for their families and going about their daily duties. Even though this great sign announcing the birth of the Savior, the very Son of God, was going on above their heads, they neither noticed it, nor cared about it.

In order to understand the proper context of the potential Revelation 12 sign, it is helpful to further examine the Star of Bethlehem. What was the Star of Bethlehem and how did the Magi see it when everybody else missed it? Short answer, they were paying attention.

I think that there is a compelling case that the Star of Bethlehem was a series of regular astronomical events involving rare conjunctions that symbolically indicated the birth of a king. It is important to note that this is emphatically not astrology. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines astrology as:

“…type of divination that involves the forecasting of earthly and human events through the observation and interpretation of the fixed stars, the Sun, the Moon, and the planets. Devotees believe that an understanding of the influence of the planets and stars on earthly affairs allows them to both predict and affect the destinies of individuals, groups, and nations.”

The Catholic Church explicitly condemns astrology, as it does all forms of divination (CCC 2116). But signs like the Star of Bethlehem are not divination of fates ordered by the stars, but regular astronomy and symbology with the idea that the God of the universe sometimes uses His creation to communicate with man. The bible is replete with instances that make this case. Psalm 19 states:

1 …The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…

— PSALM 19:1-4

Paul directly quotes this Psalm in Romans when making the case that the Jews had knowledge that the Messiah had come.

17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they [the Jews] not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

— ROMANS 10:17-18

Paul is clearly making the case that the Jews had knowledge of the Messiah because the heavens told them so. Obviously Paul is not endorsing astrology, but indicating that God can and does sometimes use the heavens to announce His plans. There is much more that can be said on the differences between astrology and understanding heavenly signs, but suffice it for now to say that looking to the heavens for confirmation and announcement of God’s plans is legitimate within the proper context and application.

So what was the Star of Bethlehem? As mentioned, I think there is a compelling case that the Star of Bethlehem was a series of astronomical events with significant symbolism. More detail can be seen at BethlehemStar.net, but I will attempt a brief summary.

In 3/2 B.C., there occurred a rare triple conjunction of Jupiter (the king planet, through its retrograde motion) and Regulus (the king star). The Magi likely interpreted this rare triple conjunction as a giant neon sign in the heavens blinking KING-KING-KING. This all began at the Jewish New year and all within the constellation of Leo (the lion, a symbol of the tribe of Judah). So it heavily symbolized Jewish King from the tribe of Judah, a clear indication for those familiar with the Messiah. Further, rising right behind Leo was the constellation Virgo, with the sun and the moon at her feet.

After this incredible triple conjunction, Jupiter began moving westward in the sky, eventually coming into conjunction with Venus, a planet long symbolically associated with motherhood. The conjunction of the king planet and the motherhood planet was so close, that no man alive had ever seen anything like it and together it formed the brightest object in the sky.

All this symbolism of a Jewish king from Judah and a Virgin was enough to get the well-versed Magi moving to Jerusalem, but you can understand why the average citizen of Jerusalem missed it.

Jupiter continued its western movement in the sky until it finally stopped. When it stopped (as seen from Jerusalem), it stopped directly south, directly over the small village of Bethlehem, on December 25 of 2 B.C.

This may be easily seen with modern star programs that can show you the night sky on any date in history from any perspective. It is the advent of such computer programs that now allows us to not only look at the past, but to look at the skies of the future.

Given the context of all I just described, it is when we turn our gaze to the heavens of the future that once again we are treated to heavenly signs of great symbolism.

Let us revisit the opening verses of Revelation 12.

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.”

The author of Revelation clearly indicates that this vision is one of a sign in heaven or in the sky. What do we see in the sky of the near future?

On November 20, 2016, an astronomical event begins that will last nine and a half months, culminating in startling concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. While I am not an astronomer, all my research indicates that this astronomical event, in all its particulars, is unique in the history of man.

On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin). Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12.

So what does it mean, if anything? The obvious and truthful answer is that we simply do not know. That said, we are not entirely without possible context.

It just so happens that these events transpire during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of “the woman clothed in the sun,” Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. The culmination of these astronomical events occurs just 3 weeks before the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of Fatima, in which the sun “danced” (another heavenly sign), an event that was witnessed by many thousands.

In the almost century that has followed that great event, we have seen Our Lady’s warnings come true with startling precision. People did not cease offending God and we have seen terrible wars, nations annihilated, and Russia spread her errors throughout the world and, if we are honest, even into the Church itself. And yet, we still await the fulfillment of her promises, the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, and a period of peace to be granted to the world.

But what you may not know is that within the Fatima story itself, there are indications that a 100-year period might be significant. In August 1931, Sister Lucy was staying with a friend at Rianjo, Spain. There, Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucy and He complained the requests of His mother had not been heeded saying, “Make it known to My ministers, given that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune. It is never too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”

And again in another text, Sr. Lucy quoted Our Lord as saying, “They did not wish to heed My request! … Like the King of France, they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.”

Those references to the King of France are very interesting for our discussion as this is an explicit reference to the requests of the Sacred Heart given through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque on June 17, 1689 to the King of France. King Louis XIV and his successors failed to heed Our Lord’s request to publicly consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a result, on June 17, 1789, one hundred years to the day after the request, the National Assembly of the French Revolution rose up and declared itself the government of France and stripped the king of his power. Later, the king lost his head to the revolution.

Now it is not possible to know the relevance of this 100-year allusion or to know if and when the clock may have started ticking, but it is certainly interesting and relevant in this context.

And of course, many are familiar with the vision of Pope Leo XIII in which he allegedly heard Satan granted one hundred years to try and destroy the Church. Immediately after this vision, Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer to St. Michael pleading with the Archangel to defend us in battle and be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. Pope Leo XIII then added the Leonine prayers to the end of the mass, later suppressed during Vatican II.

As we live through these tumultuous times in the Church, in which the very foundations of faith, even the very words and commands of Our Savior are diminished and ignored, it is impossible not to recall Pope Leo’s vision.

Speaking of our current crisis, in this era of false mercy, I must also note that the date the astronomical event begins, November 20, 2016, is the very day that Pope Francis’ declared “Year of Mercy” comes to an end. The very same day is the Feast of Christ the King.

In conclusion, I must stress that I make no specific claim of the significance, if any, of the astronomical event I described. Further, I make no claim to know the future or of any forthcoming events relating to the fulfillment of the promises of Fatima. I only relate this to you now as I find myself in a similar situation as those Magi 2,000 years ago. I look to the sky and say, “Alright Lord, you have my attention.”

Patrick Archbold

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The Spirit of the Synod: A Plague on Both Your Houses!

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Why the novusordoist “good guys” aren’t ever going to save the Church

October 24, 2015 – So, everyone is talking about what we come away with from the last three astounding weeks at the Synod. We are seeing the first of the wrap-up editorials. What are we to make of it all? The difficulty we are facing in trying to make sense of it all, however, is that we are not starting from true premises. We’ve got our facts wrong from the get-go, which as Aristotle helpfully told us, will not only make it impossible to come to a true conclusion, it will create larger and larger errors as we go along.The narrative so far has been that the Synod, and the conflicts in the Church in general, have been between the JP2/B16 “conservative” bishops, and the Francis/Kasperite (Kung, Mahoney, Bernardin, etc) “liberal” crowd. This has been adopted and reinforced by the mainstream secular and Catholic media. Well intentioned believing Catholics have had it drilled into their brains since the pontificate of John Paul II that we can understand the Church as being divided between “good conservative bishops” and “bad liberal bishops.” Added to this has been a mythology that the pope and “the Vatican” is on the conservative side of this.

This has recently been altered slightly by the narrative from the “liberal” faction, backed up by the secular media, that Francis represents a profound change in this last rule, and that he and his “reform-minded” pals have been at war from day one with the “conservative” Vatican curia, mostly appointed by John Paul II and Benedict, the “conservative” popes.

This new narrative has been loudly and desperately denied by what we must now call the “mainstream Catholic” media, who were once considered organs of the “conservative” party. News outlets like the National Catholic Register and EWTN are still widely regarded as being in this “conservative” camp, having come into prominence during the JPII/Benedict Long Interval. This appellation has stuck, and has been used to create such an oversimplified picture of the Church as to be, essentially, completely false. Since then, we have made slight adjustments as we have gone along. This or that bishop, whom we had thought was on “our” side turns out, shock! to be really a closeted liberal. But the whole basic “liberal vs. conservative” paradigm has been our working model. Trouble is, it’s completely wrong.

We have used this basic, completely wrong framework to build an assessment of what is going on in Rome with the Synod and other key PR operations like the Pope’s visits and “off the cuff” speeches and whatnot. This is where we get the concept of “the narrative”. The other day John Allen wrote about the possible narrative take-homes of the Synod, he listed the most obvious stuff: “Synod’s rigged” … “new era of inclusive listening”… [insert unimaginative journalistic thing here] blah blah blabbity-blah…Which one is the true one? G’head. Guess…

The trouble is that the Synod has demonstrated before all the world that the entire framework is false. We have expended all our effort in the last 50 years trying to find and concretize this distinction between “good conservatives” and “bad liberals,” and it has been demonstrated this month that it is all a mirage.

In reality, the arguments and outrages of the Synod aren’t over doctrine or dogmas per se. The battle is over first principles. And what the Synod has demonstrated is that the distinctions between the “good” and “bad” bishops we have been making are essentially false ones. They really aren’t different because they basically all accept the same first principles, or general premises: “The Church was bad, but thanks to Vatican II, we are now mature, and can face the modern world as part of it, with our heads held high at places like the UN, equal players in the international fields.”

All the Bishops essentially agree on this. All. Of. Them.

This is because in order to become a bishop in the last 50 years, this has been the only litmus test that counts. Their agreement on the positive developments in the Church since the Great and Glorious Council to End All Councils, is what makes them company men.

This basic agreement on the Everything’s Awesomeness of Vaticantwoism is the qualifying trait for the modern episcopate. This is why they all stuck it out to the end no matter how outrageous it all became. No matter that cardinals and bishops blasphemed and cursed the Lord for His idea of mercy being different from theirs. No matter that the Pope threatened and insulted them.

Their disputes among themselves are about doctrine, which is regarded as simply a matter of debatable talking points to modern churchmen – this is why we had all those reports from the Synod Aula about how wonderfully they were all getting on, and how while they can disagree on this or that doctrine or pastoral practice, it was all one big happy club of old boys. We heard a great deal about the “unity” and the “gentlemen’s agreement”. They are on the same page on general principles.

This is why Cardinals Pell and Napier were at such pains to assure the faithful that they would never dream of opposing the Pope! It is why our hearts sank when Archbishop Chaput told us that “warring camps” simply don’t exist” among the bishops. They’re just telling the exact truth.

And yes, that goes for every single bishop (and every wannabe) you can name who is supposed to be one of the “good guys.” Which is why we have a Napier and a Chaput and a Pell, quite honestly, telling us that all the “concerns”of the 13 signatories had been adequately addressed. It was true. While cardinals and bishops blasphemed and denied the Faith, their “concerns” had been mainly procedural. As Pell himself said, “That’s all we want, for whatever the Synod says, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, to be represented.”

“That’s in the long-term interest of everyone, because no matter how it might turn out, people want to feel that the bishops got to that situation fairly.” Not the salvation of souls. Not the correction of 50 years of rampant neomodernist heresy. Not the ongoing slaughter of millions of innocents. But that the bishops were “represented” “fairly.”

“The mood among the Synod fathers has been far friendlier than any commentators seem to imagine,” Chaput continued. “There are no ‘revolutionaries’ or ‘reactionaries’ in the Synod hall – only bishops sincerely trying to face sensitive issues and chart the right course for the Church in the light of the Gospel.” I’m sure he meant this to be comforting.

It wasn’t a betrayal to talk this way because they had never been the heroes of the traditional Catholic Faith the rather desperate American neo-conservative mainstream Catholic press and bloggers had wanted them to be.

Today we’re getting the first of the waves of editorials, mostly based on the accepted “lib vs. con” narrative, and they’re all going to miss the point. (Well, except maybe Steve’s.) The conclusion is going to be some variation on “The Synod has exposeddeep divisions in the Church,” and that’s true as far as it goes, but most of them will fail to correctly identify it. John-Henry Westen at LifeSite says that it’s the pope’s fault for allowing “heresy to be aired” at the Synod, without perhaps stopping to wonder how it was that these heretics had managed to rise so high in the first place. Others are no doubt going to blame the group of die-hard “conservatives” like Pell and the other 13 signatories for trying to derail the precious “Synodal process.” Certainly, that was what we’ve already heard from Cardinal Wuerl and his girls.

We now get to enjoy the tedium of watching news services compete to come up with something that all the other ones aren’t also saying. From CNS we have Cindy Wooden earnestly telling us that she’s got it: “The Deeper Synod question: How should Church relate to the wider world.” Very deep, yes, thanks Cindy.

A colleague of mine at What’s Up with the Synod wrote: “I believe I may have just developed a form of Tourette’s where, instead of cursing at inopportune times, I randomly yell ‘PASCENDI!’ at odd moments.”

Today we will no doubt have the bishops giving interviews after their vote, and I guarantee that the only thing we will hear from them is all about how wonderful it all was, how their disagreements were handled like gentlemen and were a valuable part of the Synodal process… how much they are all looking forward to the Pope’s speech and (should he choose to produce one) his summation document… la la la la… we can’t heeeaaar yoooooo!

This all sounds like rot to me and you because … well…because it is. 1300 amendment recommendations to a final document, drafted — without benefit of actually waiting to hear what the bishops said — by the same group of manifest shysters and heretics who have been giving us the Synod’s documents for the last two years. If the bishops spent five minutes considering each amendment, that clocks out at 108 hours. Then we have the Synod Fathers falling all over themselves expressing their “deep appreciation and admiration for the drafting committee’s work in incorporating the work of the past three weeks into the working document…” And of course, the inevitable, shouts of “Yay! good guys won! “ See? We told you everything was going to be fine! Trust the process! The bishops got this!”

But the reality is already being laid out for all the world to see. This Synod is intended as the beginning of a whole new Church. In fact, one of the bishops at a press conference in the last day or so said it pretty much right out loud.

“The final document is important, but even more important, the Pope has himself seen the Synodal experience, so he really knows what’s happening, and can do something with all that.” [Anyone who now continues to claim that Francis can’t know what’s being said and done in his name can be tarred and feathered without fear of sin.] Because the whole thing, from the first questionnaire, to the last preening, self congratulatory handshake in front of the cameras, has all been nothing more than Kabuki theatre.

The Traditionalist position is closely related to that old warning Aristotle made: start with one small error at the beginning and you will do nothing as you progress other than multiply, compound and enlarge that error. Well, that error at the beginning is as big as the Apenninerange.

Our gripe with the bishops at the Synod, both the “good” and the “bad,” is precisely on the level of first principles. It is Vaticantwoism –including the Novus Ordo Missae — that has to be jettisoned before any correction can be made. Yes, the Church has to go back. If you have taken the wrong path at a fork in the road, the solution is not to keep going while vaguely hoping that the two paths might converge again some day.

The refusal to face up to this one underlying principle, and the consequent failure to understand the real nature of the problem, is what is creating all the painful confusion among good believing neocatholics when a “good” bishop does something “bad.”

When a Chaput tells a pro-life organization that he is completely in favour of giving rape victims the abortifacient “Morning after pill” in Catholic hospitals, the cries of shock and betrayal can be heard the world over. “Wah! We thought he was on our side!”

This, if nothing else, is what I hope and pray the Synod has taught many people: while we can generally agree with the “good” bishops on some of the Church’s doctrines — mainly those relating to sex — our gripe with them is precisely on the level of first principles. And on those, ultimately, these “good conservatives” are of necessity on exactly the same page as the mad progressives. And, it must be said, against us, the faithful.

Taking this clarification of the paradigm, we can start to understand why so many of the “good conservatives” so obviously loathe the Traditionalists. They sense our fundamental opposition to where they stand on some very large ecclesiological and dogmatic issues.

So, I’m going to sum it up for all the editorialists out there trying to figure out why a Synod full of “good guys” who “rejected” the Kasper Programme in their “vote” on the final document, is STILL GOING TO GO FORWARD VERY BADLY. Even if the final document is a paragon of (what passes for) orthodoxy (in the post conciliar age).

Until now, we have all fallen into the habit of thinking of the episcopate as falling into two camps, and for what it’s worth, this has more or less been a useful model while examining the Novusordoist regime. The confusion comes in when we realise that this distinction fails to include the fact that they are all in the wrong camp together, and that being in that camp definitively precludes them from being any use at all in fighting the fight we are all in. They will continue to reject the only solution possible: restoration.

I have said it for many years now: Novusordoism. Is. Not. Catholicism.

Trads know this.

Now the rest of the world does too.

Hilary White