11 Feb 2013, Lightning strikes St. Peter’s for the first time in recorded history, on the day of Benedict’s resignation, the 155th anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
7 Oct 2016, Lightning strikes St. Peter’s for the second time in recorded history, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the 445th anniversary of Our Lady of Victory, commemorating the dual miracle of Lepanto, the greatest naval battle in the history of mankind, and the vision of victory granted to Pope St. Pius V.
Francis went on later that day to address the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, founded by St. Eugène de Mazenod in the wake of the French Revolution. He could have talked about Mary, Lepanto, the menace of Islam, the horrors of the revolution. Yeah right.
“May mercy always be the heart of your mission, of your evangelising effort in today’s world. On the day of the canonisation of Fr. de Mazenod, St. John Paul II defined him as a ‘man of Advent’, docile to the Holy Spirit in reading the signs of the times and following the work of God in the history of the Church…May you too be ‘men of Advent’, able to grasp the signs of new times and to guide brothers on the ways that God opens in the Church and in the world. The Church is living, along with the world as a whole, in an age of great transformations…She needs men who carry in their heart…unconditional love for the Church, who increasingly endeavours to be an open house. It is important to work for a Church that is for all, ready to welcome and to accompany!”
Oh, I’m paying attention to the signs alright.
13 Oct 2016, the 99th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun – the greatest physical manifestation by the Creator of the Universe since the Incarnation – Francis hosted a thousand Lutheran pilgrims at the Vatican. They brought in a statue of Luther to “accompany” Francis in his remarks. Of course this made it impossible for him to talk about Mary, or Fatima, or Sister Lucia. So he said this:
“Let us give thanks to God, because today, as Lutherans and Catholics, we are journeying together on the way from conflict to communion.”
This statement is demonstrably false, unless I missed something about the Lutherans denouncing their heresies. But of course we are talking here about a false unity where we pretend there aren’t any differences, and both sides are somehow “right”. It would be a whole new religion called Church of Nice, where everything is allowed except intellectual honesty.
“False unity trumps Truth” is Canon #1 of the Church of Nice.
30 Oct 2016, Feast of Christ the King in the traditional calendar, the latest in a series of earthquakes destroys the 14th century basilica at Norcia, birthplace of St. Benedict and an epicenter of traditional Catholicism. Damage is spread all the way to Rome, a hundred miles away, including a crack above the main arch of St. Paul Outside the Walls, built in the 4th century by Constantine. This is the place with the mosaic portraits of all the popes.
At the Angelus today, Francis prayed for the victims, then said this:
“Over the next two days I will be making an Apostolic Journey to Sweden, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Reformation, which will see Catholics and Lutherans gathered together in remembrance and prayer. I ask you all to pray that this trip is a new stage in fraternal path toward full communion.”
Tomorrow is the start of a year-long “celebration” of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s riving of Christianity. Francis will address a gathering of false ecumenists and heretics in Lund. In case you don’t know, 31 October 1517 is the date celebrated by protestants as the birthday of the “reformation”, because it’s the date that Luther sent his 95 Theses to his superior, the Archbishop of Mainz.
Everywhere are signs. So yeah, you might want to stay frosty.