THE THREE PROPHECIES
OF ST. JOHN BOSCO
The First Prophecy
God alone is almighty, all-knowing, all-seeing. God has neither past nor future; everything is present to Him, everything at a single point of time. Nothing eludes God. No person, no place is distant from Him. In His infinite mercy and for His glory He alone can unveil the future to man.
On the vigil of the Epiphany of this year, 1870,all material things in my room disappeared, and I found myself contemplating supernatural matters. It was only a matter of an instant, but I saw a great deal. Although what I witnessed was sensibly present, I find it extremely difficult to communicate it to others intelligibly, as one may realize by what follows. This is the Word of God in human parlance:
"War will come from the south, peace from the north.
"The laws of France no longer recognize the Creator. The Creator will reveal Himself by visiting her three times with the scourge of His wrath. The first time He will destroy her pride by defeat, pillage, and destruction of crops, cattle, and men. On His second visit the great whore of Babylon, which the faithful grievingly call Europe's brothel, shall lose her leader and fall prey to chaos.
"Paris! Paris! Instead of fortifying yourself with the Lord's name, you surround yourself with houses of ill repute. You yourself shall destroy them; your idol, the Pantheon, will be razed to the ground,so that it may truthfully be said that 'iniquity has lied to itself.' [Ps. 26,12] Your enemies will plunge you into anguish, famine, terror, and the contempt for My law, says the Lord.
"On My third visit, you shall fall under the foreign yoke. From afar your enemies will see your palaces in flames, your home in ruins, soaked in the blood of your heroes who are no more.
"But behold, a great warrior from the north appears, a banner in his right hand, his arm bearing this inscription: 'Irresistible is the hand of the Lord.' At that moment the Venerable Old Man of Rome went forward to meet him, wielding a flaming torch. The banner then grew larger and its blackness became white as snow; in its center stood out the name of the Almighty in golden letters.
"The warrior (Don Carlos and the Pope) and his followers bowed profoundly to the Venerable Old Man and joined hands with him.
"Now the voice of Heaven is addressed to the Shepherd of Shepherds. (To Pius IX) You are in solemn conference with your co-workers (the Vatican Council), but the enemy of good never stands idle. He cunningly plots and sets all his wiles against you. He will sow discord among your helpers and will rear enemies among My sons. (The grave frustrations [suffered by Pius IX] during the Vatican Council.) The powers of the world shall vomit fire. They would love to smother My words in the throats of the guardians of My law, but they shall not succeed. (This has already been attempted and will still be attempted, especially in Prussia.) They shall do much harm, but only to themselves. Hurry! If knots cannot be untied, sever them. Do not halt in the face of difficulties, but go forth until the hydra of error has been beheaded (through the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility). At this blow earth and hell shall tremble, but he world will be saved and the faithful shall exult. Gather around you only two co-workers, yet wherever you go, carry on the task entrusted to you and bring it to completion (the Vatican Council). Days go by swiftly and your years are reaching their appointed number, but the great Queen shall always assist you, and, as in the past, She shall always be magnum et singulare in Ecclesia praesidium [the powerful, prodigious defense of the Church].
"But you, O Italy, land of blessings, who has plunged you into desolation? Not your enemies, but your own friends. Do you not hear your children begging for the bread of faith, unable to find one to break it for them? What shall I do? I shall strike the shepherds and scatter the sheep so that those who sit upon the chair of Moses may seek better pastures and their flock may gently listen and be fed. (A seeming allusion to inadequate religious instruction.)
"But My hand shall be heavy upon both flock and shepherds. Famine, plague, and war shall cause mothers to mourn the blood of their sons and husbands shed on foreign soil. (A seeming allusion to this year's famine. Pestilence and war shall follow.)
"What shall befall you, ungrateful, effeminate, proud Rome? You have reached a point when you seek and admire nought in your sovereign but luxury, forgetting that both your glory and his lies on Golgotha. Now he is old, frail, defenseless, and dispossessed. (Present condition of Pius IX.) Nevertheless, though captive, his words cause the whole world to tremble.
"O Rome! Four times shall I come to you! The first time I shall smite your regions and its people. The second time I shall bring slaughter and destruction to your very gates. Should not that make you open your eyes? A third time shall I come, and I will demolish your defenses and defenders. (The present state of Rome.) At My Father's command, terror, dismay, and desolation will reign.
"My wise followers flee (many live away from Rome, many are obliged to disperse), but My law is still trod underfoot. Therefore, I shall come a fourth time. Woe to you if My law again shall go unheeded. There shall be defections among both learned and ignorant. (This has happened and is still happening.) Your blood and that of your children shall wipe out your transgressions. (A seeming allusion to some future disaster.)
"War, plague, and famine are the scourges to smite human pride and malice. (This summarizes the above-mentioned punishments.) Where are your magnificent villas and palaces, you people of wealth? (We shall see!) They have become the litter of squares and streets!
"And you priests, why are you not prostrate between the vestibule and the altar, weeping and praying that the scourge may cease? Why do you not take up the shield of faith and preach My Word from the rooftops, in the houses, streets, and squares, and even in inaccessible places? Do you not know that this is the terrible two-edged sword which smites My enemies and placates the wrath of God and man?
"These things shall inexorably come to pass, all in succession.
"Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is Hers. Like mist She shall scatter Her enemies. She shall vest the Venerable Old Man with all his former garments.
"There shall yet come a violent hurricane. Iniquity is at an end, sin shall cease, and before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on the earth.
"The great Minister shall see the Bride of his King clothed in glory.
"Throughout the world a sun so bright shall shineas was never seen since the flames of the Cenacle until today, nor shall it be seen again until the end of time."
The Second Prophecy
(May 24 - June 24, 1873)
It was a dark night (error), and men could no longer find their way back to their own countries. Suddenly a most brilliant light (faith in God and in His power) shone in the sky, illuminating their way as at high noon. At that moment from the Vatican came forth, as in procession, a multitude of men and women, young children, monks, nuns, and priests, and at their head was the Pope. (It seems to allude to the suppression of monasteries and schools run by religious and to the Pope's exile.)
But a furious storm broke out, somewhat dimming that light, as if light and darkness were locked in battle. (Perhaps this means a battle between truth and error, or else a bloody war.) Meanwhile the long procession reached a small square littered with dead and wounded, many of whom cried for help.
The ranks of the procession thinned considerably. After a two-hundred day march, all realized that they were no longer in Rome. In dismay they swarmed about the Pontiff to protect him and minister to him in his needs.
At that moment two angels appeared, bearing a banner which they presented to the Supreme Pontiff, saying: "Take the banner of Her who battles and routs the most powerful armies on earth. Your enemies have vanished: with tears and sighs your children plead for your return."
One side of the banner bore the inscription: Regina sine labe concepta [Queen conceived without sine],and the other side read: Auxilium Christianorum [Help of Christians].
The Pontiff accepted the banner gladly, but he became distressed to see how few were his followers.
But the two angels went on: "Go now, comfort your children. Write to your brothers scattered throughout the world that men must reform their lives. This cannot be achieved unless the bread of the Divine Word is broken among the peoples. Teach children their catechism and preach detachment from earthly things. The time has come," the two angles concluded, "when the poor will evangelize the world. Priests shall be sought among those who wield the hoe, the spade, and the hammer, as David prophesied: 'God lifted the poor man from the fields to place him on the throne of His people.'"
On hearing this, the Pontiff moved on, and the ranks began to swell. Upon reaching the Holy City, the Pontiff wept at the sight of its desolate citizens, for many of them were no longer. He then entered St. Peter's and intoned the Te Deum, to which a chorus of angels responded, singing: Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis [Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will.] When the song was over, all darkness vanished and a blazing sun shone. The population had declined greatly in the cities and in the countryside; the land was mangled as if by a hurricane and hailstorm, and people sought each other, deeply moved, and saying: Est Deus in Israel [There is a God in Israel].
From the start of the exile until the intoning of the Te Deum, the sun rose 200 times. All the events described covered a period of 400 days.
The person reporting these things is the same who unerringly predicted what happened to France a year before it took place. These predictions were widely known and were fulfilled day by day, as if a script were being followed.
According to this same person, France, Spain, Austria and a German power would be the instruments of Divine Providence in preventing the collapse of civil society and restoring peace to the Church which for so long and in so many way has been fought against. These event would start in the spring of 1874 and would be completed within a year and a few months, unless new iniquities should be perpetrated against God's will.
The Third Prophecy
Thus says the Lord to the emperor of Austria: "Be of good cheer and look after My faithful servants and yourself. My wrath is now spilling over all the nations because they want to make people forget My laws, glorifying those who defile them and oppressing My faithful adherents. Will you be the rod of My power? Will out carry out My inscrutable design and become a benefactor of the world? Rely on the Northern Powers, but not on Prussia. Enter into relations with Russia, but form no alliance. Join forces with Catholic France; after France, you shall have Spain. All together, become one in will and action.
"Observe absolute secrecy with the enemies of My holy name. Prudence and vigor will make you and your allies invincible. Do not believe the lies of whoever tells you otherwise. Abhor the enemies of the Cross. Put your hope and trust in Me. I make armies victorious. I am the Savior of nations and sovereign. Amen. Amen."
Note: This letter was sent to the emperor of Austria in July 1873 through a trusted person who delivered it to him in person. He read it attentively and sent his hearty thanks to the sender, saying that he would avail himself of it.