Barack Obama’s presidency has been an inspiration to many Americans—especially nutjobs. Ever since the first-black-president-to-be appeared on the national political stage, a cottage industry of conservative conspiracy theorists has churned out bizarro, paranoid, and just plain racist effluvia—some of which has trickled into the political mainstream. Below, we’ve charted some of the Obama-baiters best (i.e., worst) work. (Scroll down for more detailed descriptions of the conspiracy theories in the diagram.)
Disclaimer: It should go without saying that none of these are true. Follow links at your own risk.
Obama is a secret Muslim: This one began right after he took the stage at the 2004 Democratic convention, with chain emails alleging his “true” religious affiliation. The rumor soon found its way onto the popular conservative online forum Free Republic, and took on a whole new life in the years to come. Related: Obama secretly speaks Arabic, attended a madrassa as a kid in Indonesia, referred to “my Muslim faith” in an interview, and was sworn in on a Koran. Steve Brodner
Obama is bringing 100 million Muslims to America: Avi Lipkin and his PR outfit Special Guests claimed to have evidence of a scheme to bring roughly 100 million Muslims from the Middle East into the United States, converting the country into an Islamic nation by the end of Obama’s second term and making it easier to obliterate Israel.
Obama once aided the mujahideen: Harlem pastor and professional race-baiter James David Manningcontended that in his younger days, Obama went undercover as a CIA agent to facilitate the transfer of cash and weapons to the Afghan mujahideen in the ’80s, thereby aiding what would become the Taliban.
Obama is in the pocket of the Muslim Brotherhood: Billy Graham’s son Franklin wants you to know that Obama is allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to take over the federal government.
Obama redecorated the Oval Office in Middle Eastern style: Driven by his fierce sense of anti-American interior design, Obama got rid of the red, white, and blue decoration scheme in his White House office.
Obama married a Pakistani guy: World Net Daily correspondent and conspiracymonger extraordinaire Jerome Corsi posted a video in which he claimed to have “strong” evidence that Obama was once married to his college roommate from Pakistan. The smoking gun: Photos of the chums in which the future president is “sitting about on the [Pakistani roommate’s] lap.” Related: For years Obama wore a gold ring on his left hand. Was it his gay-wedding ring?
Obama’s ring has a Koranic verse on it: The very same ring, which Obama now wears as his (straight) wedding band, is allegedly emblazoned with a key phrase in the Islamic declaration of faith: “There is no god except Allah.” (It’s not.)
Obama was funded by a Saudi prince: Another fairy tale courtesy of Corsi: In late-’70s Chicago, Obama secured political and academic funding from a variety of sketchy Arab sponsors, including a Saudi prince. Which may explain why President Obama bowed to the Saudi king when they met in 2009.
Obama was born in Kenya: In early 2008, fringe theorists began a push to prove Obama was born on foreign soil and was therefore ineligible to live in the White House. The theory gained national attention thanks to the efforts of perennial GOP candidate Alan Keyes, “birther queen”Orly Taitz, and Corsi. Related: Obama’s birth certificate is a fake, he killed his grandmother in Hawaii because she knew the truth, sealed access to his birth certificate and other damning documents, and did pretty much everything horrible you could possibly do for the sake of a phony birth certificate.
Obama lost his US citizenship: According to Corsi, Obama became a citizen of Indonesia while he lived there as a child.Steve Brodner
Michelle’s “whitey” tape: During the 2008 campaign, rumors surfaced that a video of Michelle Obama using the word “whitey” would be released to sink her husband’s campaign. It’s never materialized. Related: The time Glenn Beck called Barack Obama a racist.
Obama was a Black Panther: Well, only if you’re not very good at spotting photoshopped images.
Obama is the son of Malcolm X: Because, you know, black people. This charmer popped up on Atlas Shrugged, Pamela Geller’s anti-Muslim website. (Geller is also known for obsessing overShariah turkeys she believes are destroying Thanksgiving.)
Obama is the son of Frank Marshall Davis: The conspiracy film Dreams From My Real Fatherespouses the theory that Davis, a leftist activist, was not only Obama’s ideological mentor but his biological father. Related: Obama got a nose job to make his nose look less like Davis’.
Obama’s ghostwriter was Bill Ayers: Conservative commentators claimed they uncovered evidence that ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers was the true author of Obama’s 1995 memoir Dreams from my Father. Beyond their shared radicalism, Obama asked Ayers to help because he hadwriter’s block.
Obama trained to overthrow the government: In 2008, leading Obama conspiracy theorist Andy Martin declared on Fox News’ Hannity’s America that the then-presidential candidate had trained for “a radical overthrow of the government” during his time as a community organizer in Chicago.
Obama wouldn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance: During the ’08 campaign, Obama was rumored to have refused to say the pledge during a town hall meeting. A photo of the incident was actually taken while the national anthem was being sung.
Obama removed the flag from Air Force One: …and replaced it with his campaign logo.
Obama ordered soldiers to swear allegiance to him: In April 2009, a clearly satirical report detailing how secretary of defense Robert Gates was growing “extremely frustrated” with the White House’s plans to scrub the Constitution from the military oath of loyalty made the rounds on the right-wing blogosphere.
Obama secretly gave away American islands to Russia: Texas House candidate Wes Riddle endorsed this theory and noted the relinquishment as grounds for impeachment. However, the seven Arctic islands were actually given away in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.Steve Brodner
Obama caused the recession—in 1995: According to a recent Daily Caller story, Obama’s efforts to force banks to lend to African Americans in the mid-’90s led to the subprime mortgage crisis that killed the economy in 2008.
Obama’s youth reeducation camps: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) warned that “young people will be put into mandatory service” at politically correct, billion-dollar camps run by the Democrats.
Obama’s coming for your guns: Extreme gun-rights outfits, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), alleged that the Obama administration is supporting the (nonexistent) United Nations Small Arms Treaty, which would lead to nationwide gun confiscation. Unfounded fears of gun confiscation have multiplied since the Newtown massacre.
Obama’s coming for your gold: This theory was floated by Glenn Beck—and the gold company he shilled for.
Obama is planning FEMA concentration camps: Again with the camps. This theory got a big boost from Glenn Beck (who claims he didn’t mean anything by it). Related: An executive order titled, “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” was issued in the middle of March 2012. Conservative commentators saw it as a martial law power-grab that allowed the president to commandeer farmland, steal everyone’s food, and draft any American into slave labor for a war of aggression against Iran. Also, he has a “secret vault” at Interpol’s headquarters for imprisoning Americans. (Chuck Norris is on the case.)
Obama wants to confiscate your IRA: Townhall.com sent out an message ad claiming that Obama wants to seize your retirement account by force.
Obama caused the BP oil spill: Conspiracy-minded radio host Alex Jones promoted the theory that the Deepwater Horizon spill was all part of the administration’s plans of oil nationalization and global government.
Obama was behind the Aurora massacre: In July, Gun Owners of America blasted out a press release claiming that the mass murder at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was suspiciously timed. “Someone in Washington” was probably behind it, paving the way for Obama-led firearm confiscation and “government genocide.”
Obama personally caused Hurricane Sandy: It wasn’t global warming that made Sandy so intense; it was Barack. Alex Jones’ site reportedthe president engineered the storm using a Pentagon weather modification project. The mayhem caused by the hurricane would afford Obama the opportunity to score points by briskly managing disaster relief a week before the election.
Obama had Andrew Breitbart killed: In March 2012, conservative media impresario Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure. Less than a month prior to his death, he had announced that he had uncovered footage of Obama’s formative years as a radical. So obviously, Obama had him offed. (The tapes were later revealed to contain things like a young Obama hugging a black college professor.) Related: People—like a Rod Blagojevich fundraiser and an Obama impersonator—died between 2008 and 2012. Obama was in office between 2008 and 2012…coincidence?!?!
Obama spiked the jobs report: “Jobs truthers” (like former GE CEO Jack Welch and Florida tea party congressman Allen West) accused the Obama administration of cooking the September unemployment numbers to manufacture a rosier picture of the economy and boost the president’s chances of reelection.
Obama faked bin Laden’s death: Since no photographs of Osama bin Laden’s corpse were produced, the Al Qaeda leader must still be out there. Fox News’ Steve Doocy and Andrew Napolitano entertained the idea that Operation Neptune Spear was merely a ploy to revive Obama’s sagging approval ratings. Related: Obama was photoshopped into the iconic killing-OBL White House photo.
Obama’s plan to fake an assassination attempt: A false-flag operation would create urban tumult and give Obama the pretext to declare martial law, thus suspending democracy, postponing the 2012 election, and prolonging his stay in office. The theory was flagged by Tenn. State Rep. Kelly Keisling, among others, after circulating online.
Obama’s planning a third term: The dust from the 2012 election had barely cleared when this one popped up.
Obama the brainwashing hypnotist: As a master of neurolinguistic programming, Obama convinced Americans to vote for him via subliminal messages. Related: Rush Limbaugh pondered if hypnosis was the reason that so many Jewish voters were in the bag for Obama. In October, Georgia GOP lawmakers held a briefing on the president’s secret mind-control plot.
Obama’s teleprompter: Obama’s eloquence is a myth! The 44th president is incapable of speaking in public with his teleprompter.
Obama had a ghostwriter for everything: Jack Cashill over at WND had a hot scoop on how Obama’s love letters to his college girlfriend were ghostwritten.
Obama’s anti-Semitic poetry: However, according to the American Thinker, Obama’s ghostwriters did not write his youthful poem “Underground,” which compares Jews to fig-eating underwater apes and echoes Koranic verse.
Obama’s exiled lover: Obama was supposedly fooling around with an attractive young staffer from his 2004 Senate campaign. Michelle Obama had the temptress packed off to the Caribbean before the ’08 campaign.
Obama is gay: Which explains why he joined Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church. No, really. (Via Corsi, of course.)
Obama’s crack cocaine/gay sex/murder orgy cover-up: In 2008, a small-time conman named Larry Sinclair and his kilt-wearing lawyer held a press conference to tell the world of the future president’s murderous, drug-and-sodomy-fueled crimes.
Obama’s campaigns were funded by drug money: During an October conference call organized to oppose pot legalization, a writer from Lyndon LaRouche’s magazine asked about “reports [that both Obama’s] 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns have been financed in part by laundered drug money.”
Obama is a lizard overlord: According to codes hidden in Biblical verse, Obama is a reptilian humanoid. This idea has found its way on to some right-wing radio shows, and two Daily Callerreporters recently published a (satirical?) e-book on the topic titled, The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama’s True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer.
Obama’s adventures on Mars: As a teen, Obama participated in a CIA initiative to teleport to Mars using a top-secret “jump room.” Self-described time travelers William Stillings and Andrew Basiago claim to have met the future POTUS at American space bases on the Red Planet. In early 2012, a spokesman for the National Security Council actually acknowledged these claims, and issued a fairly convincing denial.
- BENGHAZI: Did Obama Make a Deal with the Muslim Brotherhood? (bokertov.typepad.com)
- Yes Really – Obama, Hillary Clinton Charged in Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy (im41.com)
- Tim Arango of the NYT has a theory for the popularity of conspiracy theories in Turkey (angryarab.net)
- The psychology of conspiracy theories (conservativeread.com)
- Birther buffoons delighted with death of Hawaiian bureaucrat (blogs.e-rockford.com)
- From gun grabs to Obama’s third term, poll shows Republicans more apt to believe in conspiracy theories (al.com)
- Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to be True (freepatriot.org)
- Top 25 Most Popular Conspiracy Theories (list25.com)
- Egyptian legal controlling authority charges aka Obama and Hillary Clinton for conspiring with Muslim Brotherhood terrorists (moralmatters.org)
- Obama, Clinton Charged in Muslim Brotherhood Conspiracy… (gopthedailydose.com)
- Apple’s Siri Predicts That The Gates Of Hades Will Open On July 27th, 2014 (koshermetal.wordpress.com)
- WTF? Siri Iphone App Says Gates of Hades Will Open on July 27th 2014 (sgtreport.com)
- Siri talks about “Hades”? (momstothemax.wordpress.com)
- Greek Mythology: Hades (history.answers.com)
- Debunking the mystery of Siri and the Gates of Hell (dailydot.com)
- July 27, 2014 (less all lies) (heirofroyalty.wordpress.com)
- Siri Predicts The Opening Of The Gates Of Hell (cultofmac.com)
- The Underworld: What Happens to the Dead in Greek Mythology (history.answers.com)
- July 27, 2014 the Gates of Hades Open??? (newjerusalemcoming.wordpress.com)
- Siri Iphone App Says Gates of Hades Will Open on July 27th 2014 (disclose.tv)
The 2013 Middle East cold snap refers to the winter storm that hit the Middle East region in December 2013, affecting Jordan,Turkey, Cyprus, Syria,Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Egypt. The storm has been called Alexa by various media outlets and has caused mayhem to millions of poor and displaced people across the region especially to the refugees of the Syrian conflict.
Events by country
By December 14, Alexa had covered the island’s Troodos mountain range with snow. Snowing had begun several days earlier, with snow reaching a peak thickness of 70 cm in Troodos.As well as 400 power cuts, Alexa resulted in several villages, including Armenohori, Farmakas, Kampi and Sina Oros, losing access to electricity for extended periods of time.
Egypt’s capital Cairo witnessed rare snowfall (mostly graupel) on Friday December 13 that the local media claimed to be the first in 112 years and night temperature is expected to drop as low as 2 °C (36 °F).
Jerusalem was paralysed by its fiercest snowstorm in years, with its mayor calling out the army to help stranded motorists and authorities urging residents to stay indoors. Netanyahu called it a “once-in-a-century” storm.
Roads were closed in Israel by deep snow and flooding. Thick clouds prompted Ben-Gurion International Airport to shut down, forcing US Secretary of State John Kerry to cut short his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to return to Israel before roads and airports were out of service. Jerusalem was cut off for 48 hours by deep snow and flooding and cars abandoned after they got stuck in snow.
After a day of lesser snow, a heavy snowstorm on 13 December 2013 deposited 40–60 cm (16–24 in) of snow in Jerusalem and between 60 and 100 cm (24 and 39 in) in the Golan Heights, and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in the Kefar Etzion area. Snow fell in Haifa for the first time in 22 years. In warmer parts of Israel very heavy rain fell and caused flooding. The railway into Jerusalem ran although it was Sabbath for people stranded by blocked roads.
In Jordan, Ghazi Sarhan, spokesman for Jordan’s Administration of Syrian Refugee Camps, announced on December 13, that “During the past 48 hours 10,000 blankets and 1,500 heaters have been distributed to refugees.” Deep snow fell in Amman, where King Abdullah II of Jordan helped to push a car that had got stuck in snow.
It was reported that Lebanese Army was called in to help distribute emergency aid to Syrian refugees, as the UN handed out fuel, blankets, heaters and food rations yesterday amid a third day of severe winter weather in the region.
According to Abou Faour’s announcement, published in Al Nahar newspaper on December 12, “There are 1,600 refugee [makeshift camps] in addition to 431 random camps, which makes it difficult to reach these places. That is why the cabinet had to ask for the help of the army to make as much aid reach those refugees as possible”.
Snow in Nablus and Hebron ranged from 60–145 cm, and in Bethlehem 20–55 cm. The scene in Manger Square, the square adjacent to the Church of Nativity was that of a white Christmas with the square fully decorated and covered with a deep coat of snow.
The Gaza Strip was lashed by torrential rain for a third day, and its Hamas rulers said that residents had been evacuated from 60 flooded homes since storms hit the coastal territory on December 11.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) issued plans to airlift 40 tonnes of food for 50,000-60,000 people into the northeastern province of Hasakha from Iraq. The UN airlift of urgently needed food for tens of thousands of people in northeastern Syria, originally planned for December 12, was however delayed by snow.
According to Matthew Hollingworth, Syria Country Director for the United Nation’s World Food Programme, most internally displaced Syrians fled their homes with few belongings so they do not even have enough warm clothes or blankets to fend off the freezing weather. They desperately need fuel for heating and to cook the food they receive as humanitarian assistance.” Reportedly, a child and a baby died from the cold on December 12, and an activist in a besieged rebel-held town of Hara said residents were struggling to stay warm with the electricity cut off and no food or fuel allowed in.
In southern Syria, the Golan Heights were covered with snow up to at least 100 cm deep.
Beginning December 11, a strong ridge in the jet stream caused a big anticyclone over Europe; its east edge drew a strong current of cold air south from the Arctic. This polar outbreak overspread Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean region, pushing below moist air associated with a passing front, causing heavy snow and sleet over higher elevations in Syria, Lebanon, andIsrael. At lower elevations, heavy rain from the system caused flooding in some areas.
(The west edge of the same anticyclone drew in a warm southwest wind from around the Azores to Britain.)
- Rare storm leaves Jerusalem snowed in (bigstory.ap.org)
- A Rare Winter Storm Hits The Middle East, Blanketing Desert in Snow (laughingsquid.com)
- King of Jordan helps family push car which had become stuck in freak snow storm (dailymail.co.uk)
- Middle East under snow – in pictures – #WorldNews (execdaily.wordpress.com)
- Winter Storm ‘Alexa’ Chills Middle East (sott.net)
- Egypt sees snow for the first time in 112 years (aroundthe-world.info)
- The Middle Eastern snowstorm, viewed from space (washingtonpost.com)
- King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan helps family push car stuck in snow storm (dailymail.co.uk)
- Middle East under snow – in pictures (theguardian.com)
- Snow in the Middle East – in pictures (theguardian.com)
- ISON – Now – After Perihelion Huge, Strong And Intact (zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com)
- !!!!!!! (1) ISON is in an Outburst Now. The Hidden Code; (2) Polar Quakes/Ison (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- PROPHECIES? on ison (zeitgeist77.wordpress.com)
- 5 Things You Should Know About Comet ISON – The Countdown #36 (disclose.tv)
- Comet ISON flameout (thesciencebulletin.wordpress.com)
- Ison Survived It’s Trip Around the Sun! (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
- Comet Ison & the PRM (tribelightstation.wordpress.com)
- Ison Update (giftoftruth.wordpress.com)
- Latest on ISON. Video, ISON is getting stranger! (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
- NASA FINNALY spill beans on ISON – LYING? – YOU DECIDE (yomeanthun.wordpress.com)
- Is ISON the Blue Kachina of Hopi Prophecy? (yomeanthun.wordpress.com)
- Tolec – Comet ISON is Blue Star Kachina of Hopi Prophecy (wolfke74.wordpress.com)
- Latest on ISON. Video, ISON is getting stranger! (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
- Comet Ison: Bible end time prophecy (hiddenscoop.com)
- 5 Things You Should Know About Comet ISON – The Countdown #36 (disclose.tv)
- Ison Survived It’s Trip Around the Sun! (prayingforoneday.wordpress.com)
- Crop Circles Show Winged Ison (globalrumblings.blogspot.com)
- !!!!!!! (1) ISON is in an Outburst Now. The Hidden Code; (2) Polar Quakes/Ison (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Urgent Situation Aboard ISS As Cooling System Fails! Ison, Kachina & Hopi Prophecy! (disclose.tv)
- NASA FINNALY spill beans on ISON – LYING? – YOU DECIDE (yomeanthun.wordpress.com)
St. Catherine Labouré
As regular readers will by now already know, Pope Francis has promised to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th, 2013, as part of several planned events to mark the end of the Year of Faith. This act seems a rather fitting close to a year that has already proven itself to be of major prophetic importance. Between the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication and the lightning strikes on St. Peter’s Basilica that followed just hours afterwards on 11th February, to the Chelyabinsk Meteor Strike a few days later on 15th February, as well as the timing of the election of Pope Francis in relation to the “Worthy Shepherd Prophecy” of Bl. Tomasuccio de Foligno, this year has already been stacked full of both “signs in the sky” and striking prophetic coincidences in connection with them. So the timing of the appearance of Comet ISON in November of this year just after the scheduled date for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th would also appear to be of some similar prophetic significance. Christ Himself foretold that there would be several important “signs in the sky” to announce the approach of His Second Coming:
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven”.
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
We are therefore instructed to take notice of any significant astronomical events, in order to discern the “signs of the times” we are living in, so that we might lift our heads up to the realization that the redemption of Christ is drawing near to us. So in addition to the various other “signs in the sky” we have already witnessed this year, we should also take into consideration the timing of the appearance of this comet in relation to the upcoming consecration. Comets have been viewed as a harbinger of world changing events since biblical times, and there is a consensus among theologians that the Wormwood Star of the Book of Revelation, described as falling from heaven whilst “burning like a torch” (Rev 8:10-11), is an accurate depiction of a comet, similar to how they were described in other contemporary first century AD accounts. The arrival of comets in the night skies should definitely be considered to rank among the “signs in the sky” that we have been instructed to be on the lookout for by Christ.
While the display of ISON is no longer thought to be of the proportions previously expected, due to an apparent “flat-lining” of its increase in brightness since the start of the year, the true extent of the appearance of this comet is still as of yet an unknown quantity and there is still a good chance that it will be one of the most noteworthy comets of this century (see here for one of the latest updates on the level of ISON’s brightness). Whether or not ISON will be as spectacular as Hale-Bopp in 1997 (which currently looks unlikely), the timing of the appearance of this comet in November still appears to be of some significance, not only in relation to the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in October, but also in the fact that is the first in a series of heavenly portents that will take place during Jewish feast days between now and 2015. The perihelion of Comet ISON (the point at which it will be closest to the Sun, and consequently appear at its brightest) will take place on November 28th, which it has been noted coincides with the Feast of Hanukkah. Several prophecy commentators have already compared the timing of this event with the much vaunted coming of the tetrad sequence of blood moons occurring on Jewish feast days next year, which will start on the Feast of Passover on April 15th, 2014.
For quite some time now, certain prophecy teachers have been pointing to the significance of these tetrad blood moons (a sequence of four total lunar eclipses), which as well as in April 2014, will also occur on the Feast of Tabernacles on October 8th 2014, Passover on April 4th 2015, and again on the Feast of Tabernacles on September 28th, 2015. In addition to this, there will also be a total solar eclipse shortly before a Passover blood moon, on March 20th 2015 (1st Nisan), and a partial solar eclipse on the Feast of Trumpets on September 13th, 2015. It has frequently been noted that there have only been seven occurrences of these blood moon tetrads falling on Jewish feast days since the first coming of Christ, and that the last two times have fallen within close proximity together – in 1949-1950 and 1967-1968, dates that are remarkably close to the restoration of Israel in 1948 and the capture of Jerusalem by Israel following the Six Day War in 1968. While most prophecy commentators have related the significance of these blood moon tetrads to the Second Coming of Christ and the erroneous teaching of a “rapture”, it seems much more likely that if these striking coincidences symbolize anything, then they appear to point towards the promised restoration of the Church.
First is the fact that two of the blood moons occur on the Feast of Passover – which commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from a life of slavery in Egypt. The Jewish Passover symbolizes the rescue of God’s people from bondage to sin, and prefigures not only the Passion of Christ as the Lamb of God, but also to the time when the Church will be delivered from the new “bondage in Egypt” – the Great Apostasy. The Book of Deuteronomy promised that God would once again raise up a prophet like Moses, who would deliver his people from a state of captivity:
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.”
The appearance of Moses and Elijah during the Transfiguration of Christ on the Feast of Tabernacles pointed to the role of the Two Witnesses as the promised prophet like Moses and the Elijah to come, and it is this event that Christians associate with this Jewish feast day. So if they symbolize anything, I would assume that the blood moons on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles point to an Exodus of the Church (as the New Israel) from its current state of apostasy, and also to the means of its deliverance through the ministry of the Two Witnesses. This would then be reinforced by the fact that the last two appearances of the tetrad blood moons on Jewish feast days occurred within time periods associated with the restoration of Israel. The restoration of Israel prefigures the restoration of the Church, just as the Jewish Holocaust under Hitler foreshadows the future persecution of Christians under the Antichrist. This follows the order of sequence outlined by St. Paul in his letter to the Romans – to “the Jew first”, and then to the Gentiles.
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Gentile, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Gentile. For God shows no partiality.
The fact that the perihelion of Comet ISON on November 28th will occur during the Feast of Hanukkah – which begins during the evening of November 27th – also brings to mind that this is a feast which commemorates the deliverance of Israel under the Maccabees. So here once again we have the theme of restoration.
Out of curiosity, I decided to research the significance of the date of November 28th in relation to Catholic feast days, since we know that drawing parallels between important dates is but one of the ways that God likes to communicate with us (we need only to think of the Jewish feast Tisha B’Av for an example of this). It just so happens that November 28th is the feast day of St. Catherine Labouré. The apparitions of Our Lady to St. Catherine Labouré at Rue de Bac, Paris, in 1830 are widely regarded among Catholics as those which marked the beginning of the great Marian age predicted by St. Louis de Montfort in his Treatise on True Devotion. Writing in the early 18th century, St. Louis de Montfort prophetically announced that the Virgin Mary would play an ever greater role in bringing people to Christ towards the end of the world by crushing the head of the Serpent, in order to prepare us for the Second Coming of her Son Jesus Christ:
Mary’s part in the latter times
The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ so that men, as yet insufficiently instructed and enlightened concerning the person of her Son, might not wander from the truth by becoming too strongly attached to her. This would apparently have happened if she had been known, on account of the wondrous charms with which Almighty God had endowed even her outward appearance. So true is this that St. Denis the Areopagite tells us in his writings that when he saw her he would have taken her for a goddess, because of her incomparable beauty, had not his well-grounded faith taught him otherwise. But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. The reasons which moved the Holy Spirit to hide his spouse during her life and to reveal but very little of her since the first preaching of the gospel exist no longer.
1) God wishes to make Mary better known in the latter times.
50. God wishes therefore to reveal Mary, his masterpiece, and make her more known in these latter times:
(1) Because she kept herself hidden in this world and in her great humility considered herself lower than dust, having obtained from God, his apostles and evangelists the favour of being made known.
(2) Because, as Mary is not only God’s masterpiece of glory in heaven, but also his masterpiece of grace on earth, he wishes to be glorified and praised because of her by those living upon earth.
(3) Since she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice Jesus Christ, she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged.
(4) As she was the way by which Jesus first came to us, she will again be the way by which he will come to us the second time though not in the same manner.
(5) Since she is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. But no one can find Mary who does not look for her. No one can look for her who does not know her, for no one seeks or desires something unknown. Mary then must be better known than ever for the deeper understanding and the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity.
(6) In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for his cause.
(7) Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time – even less now than ever – to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary’s faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.
(St. Louis de Montfort Treatise on True Devotion paragraphs 49-50)
Given the fact that the apparitions at Rue de Bac are considered to be the beginning of this prophesied Marian age which precedes the Second Coming of Christ, it should be worth studying them in some more detail. Rev. Robert J. Billett provides an outline of the visions given to St. Catherine Labouré, the content of which she was instructed to incorporate into the Miraculous Medal:
The mission that God wanted to entrust to Catherine was made manifest to her on November 27, 1830. It was the mission of making and distributing the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the Miraculous Medal. That day was the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Sisters were gathered in the chapel as usual for prayers at five-thirty in the afternoon. Suddenly Our Lady appeared to Catherine.
At first Mary appeared standing on a globe and dressed in white having with a long white veil which fell to her feet. The Virgin held in her hands, at the height of her shoulders, a golden ball which she seemed to be offering to God as she raised her eyes to heaven. Her fingers were covered with rings whose precious jewels sparkled brilliantly and showered down innumerable rays of light on the globe beneath her feet, almost obscuring the view of her feet. Mary lowered her eyes and looked directly at Catherine. Mary said nothing, but Catherine heard this message, “The ball which you see represents the world, especially France, and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The jewels which give no rays symbolize the graces that are not given because they are not asked for.” Then the apparition changed.
Our Lady appeared with a white dress, a blue mantle, and a white veil which draped back over her shoulders. She was still standing on the globe, and had one foot on the head of a serpent which lay at her feet. The 1830 was marked on the globe. The Virgin had her arms and hands pointed downwards, and a cascade of rays was falling down from both hands onto the globe. An oval frame formed around the Blessed Virgin, and written around within it, in letters of gold, was the beautiful prayer, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” This was the front side of the medal that was to be made.
Then the vision revolved to show the reverse side of the medal. Catherine saw a Cross with a bar at its feet with which was intertwined an “M.” Beneath the “M” were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, both surmounted by flames of love, one having a crown of thorns, and other pierced with a sword. Encircling all of this were twelve stars around the oval frame.
(Rev. Robert J. Billett, C.M.F. St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal http://www.marys-touch.com/Saints/medal/medal.htm)
The apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Labouré share some striking imagery with the Third Secret of Fatima, and there is clearly an intention here to invite us to draw a point of comparison between the two. The rays of light which emanate from the hands of Our Lady to shine down graces upon the world in the visions of St. Catherine Labouré is reflected in the Third Secret of Fatima, when the Virgin Mary issues dazzling radiance from her right hand in order protect us from the flames of the Angel’s flaming sword – which threatens to consume the world in chastisement for its sins:
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that
looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth
with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.
The front and back images shown on the Miraculous Medal are presented here side-by-side
The rays of light shown falling down upon the world from the hands of Virgin Mary on the
Miraculous Medal thus represent the graces which flow from the hands of Our Lady during the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart. We can be doubly sure that this vision concerns the Triumph of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the fact that St. Catherine Labouré saw her standing with one foot crushing the head of the Serpent upon a globe representing the earth. The crushing of the Serpent’s head is directly related to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The twelve stars depicted on the reverse side of the Miraculous Medal inform us that this is the Woman Adorned with the Sun in the Book of Revelation, who is presented with twelve stars around her head (Rev 12:1). And chapter 12 of the Apocalypse is in turn a prophetic expansion of the Protoevangelium of Gen 3:15:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the
dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place
for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the
earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his
Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has
come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to
be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.
In the vision of St. Catherine Labouré, the Virgin Mary stands victorious over the wicked Dragon as the new Eve, having trod down the Ancient Serpent under her heel. The Immaculate Heart of Mary itself appears on the reverse side in this vision, sharing the same side of the Miraculous Medal as the right hand of the Virgin, from which the Third Secret tells us issues the radiance of flowing grace to save the world from flames, recalling God’s promises in the Book of Malachi:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that
it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn
the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
Without the coming of Elijah to restore the Church, to “turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers”, the earth would be met with a decree of utter destruction in blazing flames, and no one would be saved. Yet in one final outpouring of Divine Mercy before the Day of Judgment, God gives the Two Witnesses to the Church, when the Woman is given “the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness” (Rev 12:14). The arm of the angel with the flaming sword is stayed by the radiance which issues from Our Lady’s motherly hands, in order to allow for a period of penance and conversion.
The Immaculate Heart is depicted on the Miraculous Medal as being pierced by the sword of Our Lady of Sorrows (Luke 2:35), and is shown alongside the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The positioning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus alongside the Immaculate Heart of Mary recalls the fact that the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Leo XIII in 1899 took place at the beginning of the 100 years of Satan’s greater power, and was framed at the end of the 20th century by Pope Bl. John Paul II’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This may suggest that it these consecrations that must take place before the head of the Serpent is finally crushed, and Satan is cast from heaven at the end of his period of greater power. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is described by Our Lady as the remedy to the vision of hell seen in the first part of the Secret, and it is only through this devotion that the head of the Serpent can be crushed:
The vision of St. Catherine Labouré also appears to be connected to Our Lady of Lourdes, given
the fact that the prayer inscribed upon the Miraculous Medal invokes the Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” This immediately brings to mind the most famous words of Our Lady of Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception”, which were spoken to St. Bernardette Soubirous at the Grotto of Massabielle on 11th February, 1858 – just shortly after the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was infallibly defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The dogmatic teaching of the Immaculate Conception, which is binding on all Catholics, affirmed as a Divinely revealed truth that the Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. St. Bernardette, a poor, uneducated peasant girl, could not have possibly known the complicated theological implications of this recently pronounced dogma, and this statement was one of the indicators that confirmed the validity of these apparitions.
This dogmatic teaching provides us with a unique insight into the eschatological significance of the Protoevangelium. Just as sin was introduced into the world by a woman succumbing to the
temptation of the Serpent during the creation, so the world would be saved by a woman born
without sin during the new creation. A woman who would appear as the Morning Star to announce the coming of the new dawn, when the Second Coming of Christ would usher in the creation of the new heaven and the new earth. The timing of the apparitions of St. Catherine Labouré, which took place on the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, reminds us that the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary takes place just before the Second Advent of Christ, when a woman
born free from the stain of original sin finally brings the events of the fall of mankind to its final conclusion, and paradise is finally restored.
The combination of deeply symbolic imagery shown on the Miraculous Medal leads to us to the understanding that St. Catherine Labouré’s vision illustrates how the victory of the Woman Adorned with the Sun over the Serpent is won through the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, linking together the apparitions of Lourdes and Fatima through the eschatological significance of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. It may thus be of some relevance that the events leading up to the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th this year, began on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – on 11 Feb, 2013, when Pope Benedict first announced his intention to abdicate the papacy. And the lightning that struck St. Peter’s Basilica within hours of this announcement was not the only deeply symbolic act of nature that has taken place this year in connection with Our Lady of Lourdes. The flooding which inundated Lourdes on 18th June, 2013, has been similarly looked upon by many Catholics as some sort of heavenly sign or warning – especially given the dramatic nature of this event. Video footage of the flooding at Lourdes showed the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Massabielle threatening to be swept away by the flood waters, which were highly reminiscent of the words of the Apocalypse:
and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. (Rev 12:15-16)