PART III examines the beginning of the Seven Year Trial following the Illumination.
THE GREAT SIGN
When the angel had descended I beheld above him a great shining cross in the heavens. On it hung the Savior from whose Wounds shot brilliant rays over the whole earth. Those glorious wounds were red… their center gold-yellow… He wore no crown of thorns, but from all the Wounds of His Head streamed rays. Those from His Hands, Feet, and Side were fine as hair and shone with rainbow colors; sometimes they were all united and fell upon villages, cities, and houses throughout the world… I also saw a shining red heart floating in the air. From one side flowed a current of white light to the Wound of the Sacred Side, and from the other a second current fell upon the Church in many regions; its rays attracted numerous souls who, by the Heart and the current of light, entered into the Side of Jesus. I was told that this was the Heart of Mary. Beside these rays, I saw from all the Wounds about thirty ladders let down to earth. —Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Emmerich, Vol. I, p. 569
The Sacred Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side. —Lucia Speaks, III Memoir, World Apostolate of Fatima, Washington, NJ: 1976; p.137
Many modern mystics and seers say that a great “miracle” or “permanent sign” will follow the Illumination which will then be followed by a chastisement from Heaven, its severity depending upon the response to these graces. The Church Fathers haven’t spoken directly of this sign. However, I believe Scripture has.
After seeing the temple opened, St. John goes on to write:
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Rev 12:1)
St. John refers to this “great sign” as the Woman. Blessed Catherine’s vision seems to describe at first the Illumination and then a Marian sign attached to it. Keep in mind that Rev 11:19 (the Ark) and 12:1 (the Woman) are artificially separated by a chapter break which St. John did not insert himself. The text itself flows naturally from the Ark to the Great Sign, but the insertion of chapter numbering for Sacred Scripture began in the Middle Ages. The Ark and the Great Sign may simply be one vision.
Some modern seers tell us that the Great Sign will only be seen in certain regions, such as Garabandal, Spain, or Medjugorje. That is similar to what Blessed Anne saw:
From one side flowed a current of white light to the Wound of the Sacred Side, and from the other a second current fell upon the Church in many regions…
Whatever the Great Sign is, I believe it will be Eucharistic in nature—a foreshadowing of the Eucharistic reign during the Era of Peace. Blessed Catherine said:
Beside these rays, I saw from all the Wounds about thirty ladders let down to earth.
Was this the sign that Jesus spoke of?
I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. (John 1:51)
This is a reference to Jacob’s dream in which he saw a ladder reaching up to the heavens and angels going up and down it. It is significant what he says upon waking:
Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it!” In solemn wonder he cried out: “How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven!” (Gen 28:16-17)
The gateway to heaven is the Eucharist (John 6:51). And many, particularly our Evangelical brothers and sisters, will exclaim in wonder before the altars of our churches, “Truly, the Lord is in this spot although I did not know it!” There will also be many tears of joy as they realize that they too have a Mother.
The “great sign” in the sky, the Woman clothed with the Sun, is likely a dual reference to Mary as well as the Church bathed in the light of the Eucharist—a literal visible sign in some regions, and perhaps upon many altars. Did St. Faustina have visions of this?
I saw the two rays coming out from the Host, as in the image, closely united but not intermingled; and they passed through the hands of my confessor, and then through the hands of the clergy and from their hands to the people, and then they returned to the Host… —Diary of St Faustina, n. 344
THE SEVENTH SEAL
After the Sixth Seal is broken, there is a pause—it is the Eye of the Storm. God gives the earth’s inhabitants an opportunity to pass through the Door of Mercy, to enter the Ark, before those who refuse to repent must pass through the Door of Justice:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites. (Rev 7:1-4)
Since Mary is a type of the Church, what applies to her applies to the Church as well. Thus, when I say we are being gathered into the Ark, it means first, that we are being brought into the sanctuary and safety of our Mother’s heart, the way a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings. But she gathers us there, not for herself, but for and around her Son. So secondly, it means that God will gather all those who respond to this time of mercy into the one, true, holy and apostolic Ark: the Catholic Church. It is built on ROCK. The waves will come, but they will not prevail against her foundations. The truth, which she guards and proclaims, will be safeguarded for herself and for the world during the coming storms. Thus, the Ark is both Mary and the Church—safety, refuge, and protection.
As I wrote in The Seven Year Trial – Part I, this period after the Illumination is the Great Harvest of souls and liberation of many from the power of Satan. It is during this time that Satan is cast from the heavens to the earth by St. Michael the Archangel (the “heavens” in this passage refers to the realms above the material world, not Paradise as such.) This Exorcism of the Dragon< /em>, this cleansing of the heavens, is also, I believe, within the Seventh Seal. And thus, there is silence in heaven before the Storm begins to rage again:
When he broke open the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Rev 8:1)
This silence is both real and a false peace. That is because “another sign” appears after the great sign of the Woman: a Dragon with “ten horns” (see The Coming Counterfeit). Revelation 17:2 says:
The tens horns that you saw represent ten kings who have not yet been crowned; they will receive royal authority along with the beast for one hour.
Thus, a false peace begins, lasting “about half an hour” or three and a half years as the New World Order is established as a kingdom… until the Antichrist takes his throne in the last half of the Seven Year Trial.
The Illumination is also referred to as “the Warning.” Thus, the surrounding phenomena accompanying this event will be similar, but not as intense as those which manifest at the peak of Antichrist’s reign. The Illumination is a warning of God’s judgment which will come later in full force for those who refuse to pass through the Door of Mercy, as we read in this passage:
Yes, Lord God almighty, your judgments are true and just… The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” Then there were lightning flashes, rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake…God remembered great Babylon, giving it the cup filled with the wine of his fury and wrath. (Rev 16:7, 17-19)
Again, lightning flashes, rumblings, peals of thunder etc. as if the temple in heaven has been opened again. Indeed, Jesus appears, this time not in warning, but in judgment:
Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was called “Faithful and True.” (Rev 19:11)
He is followed by all those who remained faithful to Him—-the “son” whom the Woman gave birth to during the Seven Year Trial who was “destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod” (Rev 12:5). This judgment is the second Harvest, the Harvest of Grapes or blood.
The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” …The beast was caught and with it the false prophet who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur. The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Rev 19:14-21)
The Era of Peace that follows the vanquishing of the Beast and the False Prophet is the reign of Jesus with His saints—the mystical union of Head and Body in the Divine Will before the return of Christ in the flesh at the end of time for the Final Judgment.
In Part IV, a deeper look at the first three and a half years of the Great Trial.