Conferences given at the MMP International Clergy Retreats
Fr. Francis Geremia, c.s.
THE MMP IS THE FULFILMENT OF THE PROPHECIES OF ST. LOUIS GRIGNION DE MONTFORT ON THE APOSTLES OF THE LAST TIMES
Don Stefano has often spoken to us on this topic: I have chosen it because I have always been fascinated about the fact that we are a part of God’s plan for these times, as was revealed to St. Louis G. De Montfort, because the Saint’s prophecy gives us a greater belief in the authenticity of Our Lady’s Messages to us, her beloved sons. With regards to Montfort’s writings and to Our Lady’s Messages to the MMP, I would like to apply the same principle that was explained a few years ago by Don Stefano Gobbi, to those who asked if the Pope had copied Our Lady’s Messages in some of his speeches which were completely similar to our book. He rightly answered: they both have the same origin: the Holy Spirit. This is what we affirm for Montfort and for the MMP.
Mary is the sign which God gives us today (#62 b) “There is only one sign which God gives to the world and to the Church of this day: I myself.
c. I alone am announced as a great sign in the heavens: this Woman, clothed in the sun, with the moon as a carpet under her feet and twelve stars as a luminous crown about her head.
My victory over the Red Dragon has been foretold and over atheism which is triumphing and apparently victorious today. This victory will be obtained through the triumph of my Immaculate Heart in the world, and I will achieve this victory through the priests of my Movement.
e) For the present, do not look for any other prodigies in the heavens: this will be the only prodigy!”
Montfort writes in the Treatise on True Devotion (#49): “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.” Making the Immaculate Heart of Mary known is precisely one of the three commitments of the MMP, as we say in our act of Consecration: “And lastly, we promise to lead the faithful entrusted to our care to a renewed devotion to you.” Montfort continues: “God wishes therefore to reveal Mary, his masterpiece, and make her more known in these latter times because she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice Jesus Christ and therefore she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged. 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”. (TD 50)
In the Messages we read:
#166 i) “Even in this second coming, the Son will come to you through his Mother. As the Word of the Father made use of my virginal womb to come to you, so also will Jesus make use of my Immaculate Heart to come and reign in your midst. j) This is the hour of my Immaculate Heart, because the coming of Jesus’ glorious reign of love is now in preparation.”
#316 e) “I am the Mother of Hope and of Trust. Live with me through these times of your second Advent. As I was the virginal Mother of the first coming of Jesus, so also today I am the glorious Mother of his second coming.”
God wants Mary to be the only way to come to Him.
Montfort (TD 50 #5): “Mary 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.”
In the Message of October 20, 1973 we read:
d. “With the act of consecration you have put your life in my hands. Now it belongs to me, it is mine. I have taken possession of it and now, bit by bit, I am transforming it according to my will.
e) Gently will I lead you to that perfection which is pleasing to my heart and little by little I will transform you into a very faithful image of my Son Jesus.
k) I will also give you a new way of thinking: you will think according to the Heart of Jesus and my motherly Heart, seeing everything in God and as God sees, according to the Spirit of Wisdom. I will give you wisdom of heart.”
The next paragraph of the same message contains the whole spirit of Montfort:
l. “Well now; the priests of my Movement must all be like this. Because they have consecrated themselves to me, they must feel, see and think as I do, together with me, because I want to take complete possession of their life. I want to transform it, and make of it an image of my Son Jesus, the First Born of so many other sons of mine.”
Montfort (TD 50 #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.”
# 431 f) “I am terrible as an army drawn up in battle array, because the task which has been entrusted to me by the Lord is that of conquering Satan; of crushing the head of the ancient serpent; of enchaining the huge Red Dragon and of casting him into his abyss of fire; of struggling with and of defeating the one who opposes himself to Christ, namely the Antichrist, in order to prepare the second coming of Jesus, who will restore his glorious reign among you.”
# 254 d) “To walk along my way, there can be no descending to compromise with evil, because this road winds its way only over [the terrain] of enmity between these two opposed realities. My Son Jesus becomes the sign of this contradiction and has been given to you by the Father for the salvation and the ruin of many.”
“Mary and the final battle”
Montfort (TD 51): “It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil: ‘I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race; she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel’ (Gen. 3:15).
God has established only one enmity – but it is an irreconcilable one – which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer. Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother.” #88 h) “My mission is to fight and defeat Satan, to crush his head with my heel.
i) I conquered in the beginning when the Trinity proclaimed me as the sign of sure victory, at the moment when all humanity had fallen under the bondage of sin. ..
j) I conquered when, by my yes, the Word was made flesh in my most pure womb and when on Calvary my Son Jesus offered Himself on the altar of the Cross.
l) I have continued my battle throughout the long years of the Church’s pilgrimage on earth: its greatest victories have been due to my special motherly action…
n) And in this century, while atheism has organized itself as a force spread out for the conquest of the whole world and the complete destruction of my Church, I again appeared from heaven to tell you not to fear, because in this terrible struggle I will be the victress: ‘In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph!’”
The persecution against those consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
We read in the Book of Revelation: “Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God’s commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17).
Montfort comments (TD 54): “…The slaves of Satan, the friends of the world – for they are all one and the same – have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just.”
#451 f) – “As apostles of the last times, you must follow Jesus along the road of disdain for the world and for yourselves, of humility, of prayer, of poverty, of silence, of mortification, of charity and of a more profound union with God. You are unknown and despised by the world and by those who surround you; you are often obstructed, marginalized and persecuted, because this suffering is necessary for the fecundity of your very mission.”
Montfort (TD 54): “…But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will unmask his serpent’s cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time will keep her faithful servants safe from his cruel claws.”
#48 f) “No external interference will ever be able to harm this work of mine which I am jealously bringing to birth for the salvation of my Church.”
#54 a) “Continue, my son, your life of simple and filial abandonment. Live always in greatest confidence in my motherly action.
b) Do not let yourself be caught up with things; do not become anxious. I tell you once again: no outside interference will be able to harm this work of mine.”
Even today Mary defeats Satan with her humility. Montfort (TD 54): “…But Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God’s graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.”
#78 g) “Satan torments them, sifts them violently, seduces them with pride and greatly discourages them! He bites furiously at my heel; he hurls himself with rage at my little children; he knows that soon it will be the faithful priests, and I with them, who will crush his head forever.”
#109 You Must Be Little – September 8, 1976
q) “And lastly, you must be little to form this humble heel which Satan will try to bite, but with which I will crush his head.”
Here I would like to make clear a very important truth of our spiritual life: When the messages of Our Lady and therefore the prophecies of Montfort speak about little Apostles, the most worthless before the world and themselves, it does not mean that we are free from all sin: the difference is that we don’t let pride overcome us, but we humbly run to Jesus, to Confession, we feel humiliated for having betrayed our consecration and we live a life of penance because we know we have been pardoned by Jesus and Mary, that we have nothing of our own and consequently, we find the strength of our apostolate solely in the strength of Jesus and Mary.
This reminds me of the legend of the shepherd boy of Bethlehem: A legend narrates that as soon as the shepherds received the news of Jesus’ birth from the angel, they hastened to go and visit him. Everyone brought a gift: wool, milk, sheep, goats and other gifts. They were about to set off but Shamir, who was 16, didn’t want to join the large group, because he didn’t have anything to bring as a gift. Everyone offered to give him a gift to bring. But Shamir refused because the gift he would offer wouldn’t really have come from him. The old lady of the village persuaded him to join the others and Shamir obeyed. When they arrived at the grotto, the shepherds wanted to put their gifts in Mary’s hands, but she had Jesus in her arms, and Joseph was busy preparing tea. So Mary noticed Shamir, who didn’t have anything in his hands, and called him saying: “Shamir, since you don’t have anything, take Jesus into your arms and bring him to everyone”. This is what happens to us too, if we know how to empty ourselves so that we can be filled with Jesus.
(TD 55): “…They will perceive the splendours of this Queen and will consecrate themselves entirely to her service as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience her motherly kindness and affection for her children… They will love her tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion she is and how much they stand in need of her help. They will have recourse to her as their advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that she is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and will surrender themselves to her, body and soul, without reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus.”
“Mary and the last apostles”
Only those who have a life of prayer and are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can have a more profound knowledge and understanding of the privileges Mary has and the role Jesus gave her especially during these times. She herself told us that “it is not given to all to understand this.” Let us thank our Mother who has chosen us: it is up to us to be faithful and strong Apostles of these last times. The ancient proverb “know yourself” is especially true for those whom Our Lady has chosen as her apostles. If we want to learn whether we are her apostles, we should ask ourselves: do we pray and suffer for her triumph? Do we promote Cenacles and the Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart? Do we defend the truths of the Catholic Church in unity and love with the Holy Father, with prudence, kindness and love, in imitation of our Heavenly Mother?
Montfort (TD 58): “They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from his enemies.”
#451– d) “Apostles of the last times, you must announce with courage all the truths of the Catholic faith; proclaim the Gospel with force; and resolutely unmask the dangerous heresies which disguise themselves with truth in order to better deceive minds and thus lead astray from the true faith a great number of my children.”
Montfort (TD 56): “But what will they be like, these servants, these slaves, these children of Mary? They will be ministers of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of divine love. They will become in Mary’s powerful hands, like sharp arrows, with which she will transfix her enemies (Ps 127:4).”
#414 j) “The twelve stars also signify a new reality. Indeed the Apocalypse sees me as a great sign in heaven: the Woman Clothed with the Sun who does battle with the Dragon and his powerful army of evil. And so the stars about my head indicate those who consecrate themselves to my Immaculate Heart, who form part of my victorious army, and who allow themselves to be guided by me in order to fight this battle and to attain in the end our greatest victory. Thus all my beloved ones and children consecrated to my Immaculate Heart, called to be today the apostles of the last times, are the most luminous stars of my royal crown.”
#510 i) “Mine is the task of opening the door of the new era, which is awaiting you. Mine is the task of leading you towards the new heavens and the new earth. Above all, the task entrusted to the Mother of God is that of conquering Satan and every evil force, in order that God may achieve his greatest triumph in the world.”
True disciples of Jesus
Montfort (TD 59): “Lastly, we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favor to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior. Such are the great men who are to come. By the will of God Mary is to prepare them to extend his rule over the impious and unbelievers.”
#126 i) “In one hand you will have the crown of the rosary and in the other, the Cross of my Son to whom you will draw souls in increasingly large numbers in the measure that the battle becomes more intense and more decisive.
j) You will be clad in the fire of the most pure light of the Holy Spirit with which to burn away all the darkness of error; through you, the truth will in the end conquer.
k) Others will be called to stand in the line of support.
l) They will have to pray and suffer much. From many of these, I will have to ask a suffering so great that it will culminate in the offering of their own lives.
Apostles of the last times, because you must announce the closely approaching return of Jesus in glory, who will lead humanity into the new times, when at last there will be seen new heavens and a new earth.”
#533 m) “Proclaim to all his forthcoming return: ‘Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!’” (cf. Rev 22:20).