St. Hildegard’s Curious Illuminations

Illumination from the Rupertsberg Manuscript

One of the interesting things about the illuminations that accompany the Rupertsberg manuscript of Scivias (late 12th-century), the book in which Hildegard recorded her visions, is that much of the artwork appears to contradict the text. For example, the ‘Yellow Lion’ is painted red and the ‘Pale Horse’ is kind of a brownish-green. In later manuscripts produced after her death this is not the case.

The manuscript was produced in Hildegard’s own abbey for which she was the abbess and scholars believe that the discrpancy demonstrates that Hildegard herself was either the artist that produced the illuminations or directly supervised their design.

The Pale Horse is pale because it is supposed to be extremely sickly, but the actual description of the symbolism of the horse is quite opposite:

“Another is like a pale horse; for those times will produce people who drown themselves in sin, and in their licentious and swift moving pleasures neglect all virtuous activities. And then these kingdoms will lose their ruddy strength and grow pale with the fear of ruin, and their hearts will be broken.”†

The paleness, you will notice, occurs only at the end of the era. In the beginning the horse is healthy, directing its energy towards licentiousness (sexual immorality). This era corresponds to the sexual revolution of the 1950s-1980s. You will recall that the damaging consequences of the sexual revolution on western society began to reveal themselves in the 1980s. Statistics on abortion, divorce, single-parent families, suicide, STDs (including AIDS), etc., all exploded higher as the era came to an end.

The five beasts from a 14th-century manuscript

Only Hildegard would have painted a horse that was not pale. As noted, illuminations on later manuscripts portray a white or greyish horse.

The same is the case with the Yellow Lion; it turns yellow only at the end of the era:

“Another is like a yellow lion; for this era will endure martial people, who instigate many wars but do not think of the righteousness of God in them; for those kingdoms will begin to weaken and tire, as the yellow color shows.”

This era corresponds to  the period of 1914-1945. It was an age of extreme nationalism that led to numerous genocides. As the militaristic era came to a close, the fall of the Nazis and their allies proved to be a spectacular exhibition of self-delusion and cowardice which has been well documented by historians.

I wrote The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard six years ago and the history that has unfolded since resembles events she describes in her fifth vision (Grey Wolf): migration, growing wealth inequality, sex and financial scandals in the Church, persecution, social unrest, etc.

…rjt

†Quotations taken from Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, translated by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop. The Abbey of Regina Laudis: Benedictine Congregation Regina Laudis of the Strict Observance, Inc. Paulist Press, 1990.

Now’s the Time to Reevaluate Catholic Prophetic Literature

A poll taken in the U.K. showed that more people believe in ghosts and UFOs than in God. While there’s a natural curiosity in the possibility of the existence of the supernatural, hence the popularity of movies like The Exorcist, it doesn’t necessarily lead people to God. St. Paul explains this curious phenomenon:

Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything… (1 Cor. 2:12-15).

Continue reading “Now’s the Time to Reevaluate Catholic Prophetic Literature”

Dawn of the Grey Wolf?

In COVID-13 the leaders of the world have been dealt a hand of cards that revealed a big fat ‘Catch-22’. On the one hand little was known about the severity of the virus and inaction might have caused unpleasant scenes of overwhelmed hospitals like we saw in Wuhan, China and Northern Italy.

On the other hand, shutting down entire economies of the Western world indefinitely can only guarantee another depression. The debt burdens and expenses of governments, corporations, and individuals cannot be serviced if everything is closed. A negative-feedback loop is currently underway that may take years to unwind. 2020 will be the year historians use to mark an abrupt end of an era. Continue reading “Dawn of the Grey Wolf?”

Troubling Consequenses of Notre Dame

From the air it looked like a giant burning cross.

What was striking in the fire’s aftermath is that whenever a commentator brought up the dramatic rise in attacks on churches in France they were quickly silenced by the government and the press.

Churches in France are being vandalized, ransacked, and desecrated (and burned) at the rate of about three per day and local police rarely conduct investigations.

In light of my understanding of St. Hildegard’s prophetic visions of the last days, the fire was a clear sign from God that the persecutions of the Church as described in her vision of the Grey Wolf are commencing. Continue reading “Troubling Consequenses of Notre Dame”

From Yellow Vests to Grey Wolves: Insurrection in France

“Couper la tête du roi!”

“Cut off the king’s head” is a common chant heard by the weekly protesters in France, squarely aimed at President Macron.

The fascinating thing is that the Yellow Vests have no real leaders, or common ideology or politics. They’re middle and lower class people who are struggling to keep up with ever-increasing cost of living, including taxation, the highest in the developed world. They blame the elites in Paris and the other European capitals whose priorities are climate change, massive immigration, globalization, and abandoning France’s common culture and history. Continue reading “From Yellow Vests to Grey Wolves: Insurrection in France”

St. Hildegard and The Convergence of Feast Days in 2038

A number of Catholic prophecies identify a year in which will mark the reversal of a period of persecution the Church will undergo just prior to the time of the Antichrist. The prophecies suggest that at that time the persecution will have reached an apex, and through divine intervention, the Church will be ultimately liberated. The year isn’t named but will be characterized by the following:

“When the Feast of St. Mark (April 25) shall fall on Easter, the Feast of St. Anthony (June 13) on Pentecost, and that of St. John (June 24th) on Corpus Christi, the whole world shall cry, Woe!” (Ven. Magdalene Porzat, ca. 1850).

This confluence occurred in 1943 and will occur again in 2038, and then not until 2190. What makes this prophecy intriguing is that 2038 will likely be during St. Hildegard’s era of the Grey Wolf, the conclusion of which is represented by the sudden ending of a period of persecution and a glorious new beginning for the Church.

Orval Abbey, founded 1132 AD. Destroyed during the French Revolution, later rebuilt.

A related prophecy appears in a sixteenth-century document known as the Prophecy of Orval. This is not a person but the name of a Cistercian monastery in Belgium which still exists today. A fragment of the anonymous prophecy, discovered in its archives in the mid-nineteenth century, describes the exact length of a period of God’s chastisement of His people which occurs near the time of the Antichrist: Continue reading “St. Hildegard and The Convergence of Feast Days in 2038”

Envisioning an American Theocracy

Several years ago a provocative article appeared on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s website which attracted both criticism and praise. Hypothetically applying St. Thomas’ principle that grace “…perfects, heals, and elevates nature” to the state, he explores answers to the following question:

“…[I]f we Catholics lived holy lives and lovingly evangelized as we should, What would the United States look like?”

Dr. Marshall’s pieces are usually short but he gives this one a lot of thought, listing 28 changes that would reflect the transformation of the country into a Catholic state. It is no surprise that the article immediately drew criticism from protestants and non-Christians, but it also drew disapproval from liberal Catholics. Commonweal Magazine called the article flawed and “a political dream” adding, “It’s not Martin Luther King’s dream, either.”

Why would any Catholic find it objectionable for someone to conceive of America as a Catholic country in service to Christ? And I fail to understand the reference to MLK other than your typical PC ad hominem slander, branding someone they disagree with as a racist.

These are a some of Dr. Taylor’s reflections:

  • The newly elected president would recite his oath of office, not only with his hand on the Holy Bible, but kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance held by the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC. within the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. In other words, the President would make his oath directly to Christ.
  • Mary under her title “Immaculate Conception” is currently the patroness of the United States. She would become featured on our national seal and on our currency.
  • January 21, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, would be a perennial day of national penance.
  • Abortion, contraception, sodomy, euthanasia, and divorce would be illegal as these sins are contrary to the natural law. Of course, abused wives would be protected and assisted under law.
  • Public blasphemy and the abuse of the most holy name of Jesus would be forbidden in film, television, and music.
  • All Holy Days of Obligation would become federal holidays and Days of Obligation would not be transferred to Sundays since they would become holidays for all citizens. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday would also become nationally recognized holidays.
  • The sin of usury in form of credit cards, school loans, and other disadvantaging lending policies would be criminalized as contrary to natural law.

    No more “bishops of bling”
  • The clergy (but especially our archbishops and bishops) would not live like royalty in mansions as in previous years but would live penitent and poor lives like great bishops of old such as St Martin of Tours, St Francis de Sales, St Augustine, and St Bonaventure.
  • The meetings of the Senate and Congress would begin with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and with prayers and benedictions from the clergy.
  • Those of different religions would be tolerated and by no means forced to convert to Catholicism. Conversion, as the Popes have taught, is an act of the will and people should not be forced through political coercion.

Towards the end of the era of the Grey Wolf, St. Hildegard envisioned that after a period of persecution the Church will have achieved her mission and “…be replete with the full number of her children” (Scivias, Book III, Vision 10, Chapter 13).* It will also have achieved a new height in spirituality:

“For until the time of the son of perdition, who will pretend to be the man of strength, His [Christ’s] faithful members will be perfected in fortitude and He will be splendid in the justice of his righteous worshippers” (Chapt. 9).

The world Dr. Marshall describes, whether here or in Europe, is not unimaginable. When asked why he thought Europe would return to the Catholic faith, the late would-be emperor Otto von Hapsburg answered simply, “Because we have the truth!”.

…rjt

*Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, translated by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop. The Abby of Regina Laudis: Benedictine Congregation Regina Laudis of the Strict Observance, Inc. Paulist Press, 1990.

The Grim Consequences of Growing Wealth Inequality in the U.S.

French economist Thomas Piketty’s 2014 best seller, Capital in the 21st-Century, is a historical study of wealth inequality since the industrial revolution. He demonstrates that an increase in income inequality was inherent to capitalism. The formula was simple, if the rate of growth on income derived from invested assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) is higher than the gross domestic product (GDP — the rate of growth of the economy), then national wealth will be gradually concentrated in the hands of existing holders of investment assets.

The author’s painstaking statistical analysis was the first of its kind and his work is admired by a broad range of economists. He notes that there are troubling social consequences when inequality reaches a certain level, as it did just before WWI and WWII. He also discovered that the inequality is never corrected by economic growth. Continue reading “The Grim Consequences of Growing Wealth Inequality in the U.S.”

St. Hildegard’s Unsettling Vision of the Bride of Christ

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Bride of Christ, Scivias, Book III, vision 11, chapter 13

It is generally agreed that the illuminations which accompany Hildegard’s Scivias (Rupertsberg Manuscript) were either sketched and painted by her, or produced under her supervision. The image of the Church as a Bride appears periodically throughout her visionary work. In Book III, Vision 11, chap. 13, which immediately follows her description of the era of the Grey Wolf, she describes the vision that corresponds to the illumination here:

“And I saw again the figure of a woman whom I had previously seen in front of the alter that stands before the eyes of God, …but now I saw her from the waist down. And from her waist to the place that denotes the female, she had various scaly blemishes, and in that latter place was a black and monstrous head.”

The Bride who appeared in an earlier vision only from the waist up is now seen fully complete, which reflects that the last days have arrived. Importantly, Hildegard adds that by this time the Church will be “…replete with the full number of her children” (Chap. 13); it will have completed her mission of evangelization. Continue reading “St. Hildegard’s Unsettling Vision of the Bride of Christ”

Why Europe Will Return to the Christian Faith

“Because we have the truth”

Otto von Habsburg
Otto von Habsburg

This was the reply of the late Otto von Habsburg (1912-2011) when asked the question of why he was so convinced Europe would once again return to Christianity. The inquiry was in the context of Europe’s continuing secularization on the one hand, and non-Christian immigration on the other.

The interviewer, an instructor at Thomas More College, was surprised by the would-be Emperor of Austria’s confidence:

“The manner of his response made a deep impression on me. It was sovereign and serene, and filled with a glowing, inspiring hope—a hope anchored in an unwavering faith in Christ and His Church.”

Continue reading “Why Europe Will Return to the Christian Faith”