The Apocalypse of St. John by Rev. E. Sylvester Berry [1921]
Part II

1. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and wonderful: seven angels having the seven last plagues. For in them is filled up the wrath of God.

2. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire, and them that had overcome the beast, and his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God:

3. And singing the canticle of Moses, the servant of God, and the canticle of the Lamb, saying: Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, O King of ages.

4. And who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and magnify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come, and shall adore in thy sight, because thy judgments are manifest.

1. During the great conflict with Antichrist, the Church shall have power to send plagues upon his empire such as those which Moses brought down upon the Egyptians.1 The seven angels represent the bishops and priests of the Church; and especially great saints raised up to battle against the powers of darkness. The nature of these plagues indicates that they will accompany the preaching of Elias and his companion.2

The seven angels receive the vials from one of the four living creatures to signify that they have a mission to preach the Gospel and condemn the wicked. The plagues which they inflict are called the last because they shall fill up the measure of God's justice against His enemies and the enemies of His Church.

2-4. The sea of crystal which St. John saw in a former vision,3 is now mingled with fire. The light which pervades it enlightens the faithful, while the fire consumes the wicked. The vision now looks to the future when Antichrist will have been completely overcome. The victors standing upon the sea of glass chant hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God. Moses song of victory over the Egyptians4 is well suited to the occasion, especially if he be the companion of Elias in those days.

The canticle of the Lamb is another hymn of praise to God for the triumph of Christ and His Church over all enemies.5 The manifest judgments of God against all enemies of the Church lead to the conversion of all nations and the universal reign of Christ upon earth.

(1) Exodus viii-xii.
(2) See above, xi, 5, 6.
(3) Cf. iv, 6.
(4) Exodus xv, 1-19.
(5) Cf. Jeremias x, 6, 7

5. And after these things I looked; and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6. And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed with clean and white linen, and girt about the breasts with golden girdles.

7. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

8. And the temple was filled with smoke from the majesty of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

5. This vision reveals to St. John the nature of the plagues to be inflicted upon the empire of Antichrist. The Church, typified by the tabernacle of the Old Law, is opened to give testimony to God.1 The Church teaching gives testimony through the preaching of the Gospel and the power of miracles. The Church militant gives testimony by the blood of martyrs shed in her defense. Through the ministry of the seven angels Christ will condemn and punish those who refuse this twofold testimony.

6, 7. The seven angels are the ministers of the Church, and perhaps also the angelic hosts of heaven who labor in unison as the ministers of God to accomplish His decrees. They are clothed in the priestly garments of white linen, and girt about with golden cinctures, symbols of preparedness and charity.2

8. A cloud by day and fire by night hung over the tabernacle in the wilderness to assure the Israelites of God's protecting presence.3 Likewise in the vision of Isaias a cloud of smoke symbolized God's special presence in the temple of Jerusalem.4  Here the smoke filling the temple must signify that God will manifest His power in a special manner to protect the Church against the onslaughts of her enemies. No one can enter the temple; in other words, no nation will be converted until the seven plagues have accomplished the overthrow of Antichrist and the destruction of his empire.

(1) Exodus xl, 32.
(2) See above, i, 13.
(3) Exodus xl, 34, 35.
(4) Isaias vi, 4.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part II


1. And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels: Go, and pour out the seven vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

2. And the first went and poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a sore and grievous wound upon men, who had the character of the beast; and upon them that adored the image thereof

3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and there came blood as it were of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.

4. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and the fountains of waters; and there was made blood.

5. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: Thou art just, O Lord, who art, and who wast, the Holy One, because thou hast judged these things.

6. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

7. And I heard another, from the altar, saying: Yea, O Lord God Almighty, true and just are thy judgments.

1. The great voice proceeding from the temple filled with the divine presence would seem to be the voice of God Himself, but the wording of the command rather opposes this interpretation: "Pour out the vials of the wrath of God." It is probably the voice of the living creature who gave the vials to the angels, thus showing that they are commissioned by the authority of the Church.

2. The first vial is poured out upon earth to inflict malignant sores upon those who follow Antichrist. This resembles the sixth plague sent upon Egypt in which "there came boils with swelling blains in men and beasts."1 God also threatened the unfaithful Jews in the wilderness with like punishment: "May the Lord strike thee with a very sore ulcer in the knees and in the legs, and be thou incurable from the sole of the foot to the top of the head.2 Herod Arippa was similarly stricken when he allowed himself to be hailed as God.3

In a moral sense this plague refers to the shame and confusion of those who harden their hearts and close their ears to the voice of the Church. In this sense it refers especially to the Jews who rejected the true Messias and become leaders against His Church in the days of Antichrist.

3. The second plague changes the waters of the sea into blood and destroys all living things therein. This may be taken literally as in the first Egyptian plague when Moses turned the waters of all Egypt into blood. In a figurative sense the sea represents the nations in revolt against the Church. They shall be chastized by war and revolution almost to extermination. But if the destruction of every living soul" be taken literally the sea must refer to particular nations or peoples.

4. The streams and their sources shall likewise be changed into blood. In a symbolic meaning this signifies that the teachers of error and blasphemy shall be slain.

5. 6. The Church teaches that nations as well as individuals have angels to guide and protect them. The Bible speaks of the guardian angels of the Persians and Macedonians.4 The angel of the waters mentioned here must be the guardian of those nations hostile to the Church. He is forced to acknowledge the justice of God s judgment against them. It is just retribution for the blood of martyrs which they have shed. What they meted out to others is now measured unto themselves.5 

7. A voice from the altar proclaims the justice of God s dealings with those wicked nations: "Just and true are Thy judgments, Lord God Almighty." This is probably the voice of the martyrs approving the manifestations of justice for which they had prayed.6

(1) Exodus ix, 10.
(2) Deuteronomy xxviii, 35.
(3) Acts of the Apostles xii, 23.
(4) Daniel x, 13; Acts of the Apostles xvi, 9.
(5) St. Matthew vii, 2.
(6) See ch. vi, 10.

8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and it was given unto him to afflict men with heat and fire:

9. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God, who hath power over these plagues, neither did they penance to give him glory.

10. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom became dark, and they gnawed their tongues for pain.

11. And they blasphemed the God of heaven, be cause of their pains and wounds, and did not penance for their works.

12. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon that great River Euphrates: and dried up the water thereof, that a way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun.

13. And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.

14. For they are the spirits of devils working signs, and they go forth unto the kings of the whole earth, to gather them to battle against the great day of the Almighty God.

15. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16. And he shall gather them together into a place, which in Hebrew is called Armagedon.

8, 9. The fourth vial is emptied on the sun which thereupon sends forth its scorching rays to torture the wicked; but Pharao-like instead of being converted they harden their hearts and blaspheme God. In a figurative sense the burning rays of the sun are the rigors of God s justice. Christ, the sun of justice, is a guiding light to the faithful, but a consuming fire to the wicked.

10, 11. The fifth plague is directed against Jerusalem, the residence of Antichrist and the capital of his kingdom. This kingdom of darkness shall be made still darker by the confusion and ruin. The enemies of the Church shall bite their tongues in anger and despair, yet they will not repent of their sins.

12. As in ix, 14, the Euphrates symbolizes nations in revolt against the Church. Here they are the Gentile nations subject to Antichrist. The vision probably means that these nations shall be so reduced in strength by the sixth plague that kings from the East will not hesitate to march against them. These eastern kings probably represent nations that remain faithful to the Church and now come to her defense.1

13, 14. Antichrist and his prophet prepare to resist this attack by sending out messengers with the power of false miracles. By means of these prodigies kings and people are rallied to the cause of Antichrist and march to his defense against the invading armies.

15. This verse is a warning to the faithful to be prepared for the great conflict. They must guard well their garments of good works lest they be found without God s grace in that evil day. Our Lord gave a similar warning when He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem: "Watch ye therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come."2

16. The armies from the East will meet the forces of Antichrist near Jerusalem.3 The scene of carnage that follows makes the field of battle another Mageddo, where the invading armies are completely victorious. A further description of the battle is found in ch. xix. It seems that it will occur after the fall of Rome.

Armagedon is the Greek for Har-Mageddo (Mount Mageddo), a place often drenched with Israel's blood.4 The defeat of Antichrist may be accomplished on this very battle ground.

(1) See above, page 128.
(2) St. Matthew xxiv, 42.
(3) Cf. ch. xiv, 19, 20.
(4) Cf. Judges v, 19; IV Kings ix, 27; xxiii, 29; Zacharias xxi, 1 1 .

17. And the seventh angel poured out his vial upon the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple from the throne, saying: It is done.

18. And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and there was a great earthquake, such an one as never had been since men were upon the earth, such an earthquake, so great.

19. And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the Gentiles fell. And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the indignation of his wrath.

20. And every island flew away, and the mountains were not found.

21. And great hail, like a talent, came down from heaven upon men: and men blasphemed God for the plague of the hail: because it was exceeding great.

17. As the seventh angel pours out his vial upon the air, a great voice from the temple cries out "It is done." This voice, mentioned in v. I,1 now proclaims the defeat of Antichrist and the destruction of his empire.

18. The lightnings flashing and the thunders rolling in heaven are symbols of divine judgments. The great earthquake is the social upheaval following the fall of Antichrist. Perhaps the thunder and lightning, and the hail mentioned below should be taken literally like the disturbance of the elements described in Exodus: "The Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning running along the ground: and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. And the hail and fire mixed drove on together: and it was of so great bigness, as never before was seen in the whole land of Egypt.""

19. The great city (Jerusalem) is divided into three sections by yawning chasms caused by the earth quake. A similar punishment befell Jerusalem after the death of the two witnesses when one-tenth of the city was destroyed and seven thousand persons perished. The rending of the rocks by an earthquake at the time of our Lord s death upon the cross warrants the belief that these later disturbances will be actual upheavals of the earth.

In a figurative sense the division of the city may refer to rival factions warring amongst themselves. During the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman army in 70 A. D. the greatest sufferings were caused by warring factions within the walls of the city.3 Rome, the great Babylon, is also destroyed and the cities of the Gentiles are laid waste. These cities are probably the capitals of those nations that submit to the domination of the neo-pagan empire of Rome and thus become parts of the empire of Antichrist.

20, 21. The severity of divine judgments against all unfaithful nations is graphically portrayed by the symbolic expressions of these verses. The destruction of the ancient Roman empire is described in almost identical language.4

(1) Of. also ch. xxi, 3.
(2) Exodus ix, 23, 24; cf. Josue x, 11.
(3) Josephus, "Wars of the Jews," Book V
(4) Ch. vi, 14, 15; cf. also Isaias xiii; Ezechiel x, xxii; Joel ii.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part II


1. And there came one of the seven angels, who had the seven vials, and spoke with me, saying: Come, I will show thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters,

2. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; and they who inhabit the earth, have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom

3. And he took me away in spirit into the desert. And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4. And the woman was clothed round about with purple and scarlet, and gilt with gold, and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of the abomination and filthiness of her fornication.

5. And on her forehead a name was written: a mystery; Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications, and the abominations of the earth.

6. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And I wondered, when I had seen her, with great admiration.

7. And the angel said to me: Why dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

8. The beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: and the inhabitants on the earth (whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) shall wonder, seeing the beast that was, and is not.

9. And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings:

10. Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time.

11. And the beast which was, and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction.

12. And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but shall receive power as kings one hour after the beast.

13. These have one design: and their strength and power they shall deliver to the beast.

14. These shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and they that are with him are called, and elect, and faithful.

15. And he said to me: The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and nations, and tongues.

16. And the ten horns which thou sawest in the beast: these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh and shall burn her with fire.

17. For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him, that they give their kingdom to the beast till the words of God be fulfilled.

18. And the woman which thou sawest, is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth.

1, 2. The fall and devastation of Rome were mentioned in the preceding chapter,1 but its importance as the seat of the false prophet and the capital of a world wide empire under Antichrist demands a more detailed account. Hence St. John now describes at length the new pagan empire of Rome (ch. xvii), and foretells its complete and final destruction (ch. xviii).

The great harlot sitting by many waters is Rome holding sway over many nations" that share in her corruption and infidelity to God. Ancient Tyre and Ninive were likewise designated as harlots by the prophets Isaias and Nabum,3 St. John simply follows out the symbolism in which infidelity to God is called fornication and adultery.4

3. St. John is led into a desert which foreshadows the great devastation and desolation that shall be wrought upon the unfaithful city. There he beholds a harlot seated upon a scarlet beast having seven heads and ten horns and covered over with names of blasphemy. This is evidently the beast from the sea, a symbol of Antichrist.5 Hence the vision indicates that the new pagan empire of Rome holds sway over the nations through the power and influence of Antichrist.

Scarlet is the emblem of imperial power, a power exercised over the nations by Antichrist through his prophet in Rome. Scarlet is also the color of blood and forbodes terrible persecutions in which the blood of martyrs will flow in copious streams.

The significance of the heads and horns and the names of blasphemy has been explained in connection with the beast from the sea.6 A further development is found in verses 9, 17.

4. The harlot wears a mantle of purple and gold, an emblem of the imperial power possessed by Rome as capital of a vast empire. The gems and golden cup imply riches and material prosperity, but the cup is filled with every iniquity and immorality.7 Riches and luxury have ever been the great demoralizers of nations as well as of individuals.

5. Through her power and riches Rome leads other nations to worship Antichrist and imitate her own immoralities. Hence the harlot bears upon her forehead the mystic title: "Babylon the Great, Mother of the Fornications and the Abominations of the Earth." It seems that Roman harlots often wore upon their fore heads a label whereon their names were conspicuously displayed.8 Here the name is a mystery showing that Babylon is used figuratively for Rome as in the Epistle of St. Peter and other early literature.5

6, 7. The woman glutted with the blood of martyrs is a warning to the faithful of great persecutions at Rome and throughout the empire during the reign of Antichrist and his prophet.

8-11. The angel s interpretation bristles with difficulties. He says the beast was, and is not, but shall come forth from the abyss only to perish again after a short time. In verse 11 the beast is identified with one of the heads which shall be the eighth although it is one of the seven, and shall quickly go into destruction. Further on (v. 16), it is said that the ten horns of the beast (in Greek, "the ten horns and the beast) will fight against the harlot and destroy her by fire.

Those who take Nero to be the Antichrist find an explanation for these mysteries, which at first sight, seems quite plausible. They have recourse to a popular legend that Nero, after attempting suicide, fled to the East and would soon reappear with the Parthian armies to conquer Rome and regain his throne.10 The writing of the Apocalypse is assigned to the reign of Vespasian who thus becomes the sixth head, the one who "now is," Titus is the seventh who is yet to come. His short reign fulfills the prediction: "He must remain a short time." Then Nero, one of the five who have fallen, re turns with the kings of Parthia (the ten horns) to regain his throne and establish himself as the eighth although he is one of the seven.

This interpretation is ingenious but impossible be cause, as already noted, Nero cannot be identified with Antichrist.11 But the insuperable difficulty lies in the fact that it destroys inspiration. The use of a legend in an inspired work might be admitted, incongruous though it seems, but a prophecy without fulfillment can not be inspired. Yet according to the above widely received interpretation the prophecy remains unfulfilled except in so far as Domitian was known as a second Nero on account of his cruelty.12 If the ten horns be interpreted as the Parthian kings, or satraps, there is no ground in history for representing Domitian or any other Emperor, as their leader. Neither was Rome ever destroyed by a Parthian invasion.

The settled conviction of many scholars that Nero was Antichrist makes it necessary to refer this whole prophecy to the time of St. John and interpret the seven heads as Roman Emperors. But the context shows that the prophecy concerns events that are still in the future, and most probably the seven kings will not be emperors of Rome. "The one who now is" refers not to the time of St. John, but to the time when the prophecy shall be fulfilled.

St. John says there will be many Antichrists; in fact there were many even in his day: Even now there are become many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour."3 Again he writes: "And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God: and this is Antichrist of whom you have heard that he coineth and he is now already in the world." According to these words of St. John every teacher of error and every adversary of the Church is an Antichrist.

Nero has ever been considered one of the principal Antichrists. Sts. Peter and Paul were the two witnesses raised up against him. Arius, leader of the first great heresy may well be called an Antichrist with St. Athana sius and St. Hilary as the witnesses opposed to him. Mahomed, Luther, and Voltaire are often enumerated as Antichrists and many others could be added to the list.

These few examples are sufficient to show that Antichrist will be like the true Messias in having forerunners who typify him in various ways; and since they are types of Antichrist it is not surprising that the prophecies concerning him can often be applied to them also in one or more particulars. But in Antichrist alone will they be realized in every particular. Hence the faithful will recognize him and avoid his snares, but the rest of man kind will be deceived by his "lying wonders."

The angel tells St. John that the seven heads are seven mountains and seven kings. The seven mountains upon which the harlot sits are quite generally interpreted as the seven hills of Rome. The only apparent reason for mentioning the seven hills would be to show that the name Babylon is used figuratively for Rome, but the usage seems to have been well known to the early Christians. The connection of kings and mountains under one symbol suggests the imagery of the ancient prophecies where mountains so often figure as symbols of kingdoms and empires.15 Hence the seven heads, which are seven mountains, may be the seven principal nations subject to Rome in the days of Antichrist.

One of the seven kings devotes himself and his kingdom so completely to the cause of Antichrist that he can rightly be identified with the beast as is done in verse 1 1 . This is the head which St. John saw in a former vision where it was wounded unto death but revived and healed in a mysterious manner to the astonishment of all.

"Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come," and the "beast which was, and is not; the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction." Any attempt to explain this mysterious prophecy before its accomplishment can be nothing more than speculation. Nevertheless we may find a solution that has some degree of probability.

Verse 10 may mean that five nations supporting the cause of Antichrist are overcome, one still maintains the conflict, and a seventh has not yet submitted to the domination of Rome, but will soon do so only to be defeated after a short time. Through the influence of Antichrist and his lying wonders, the nation most devoted to his cause will rally from defeat and be organized anew as the eighth kingdom although it is really one of the seven. It shall soon go down to destruction in the final defeat of Antichrist and the destruction of his empire.

Again the prophecy may be interpreted of the rulers instead of their kingdoms. In this sense "five are fallen," etc., would probably mean that the rulers of five nations have fallen from power, presumably by violent means, but the sixth still holds his throne. In the seventh kingdom a ruler is yet to come who will use his power in support of Antichrist.

One of the five kings, identified with the beast on account of his great devotion to the cause of Antichrist, has received a sword wound unto death13 but is quickly healed and reorganizes his kingdom, or obtains power over another nation. Thus he becomes the eighth, yet in reality he is one of the seven. The sword wound unto death may be understood literally thus making this extraordinary recovery one of the "lying wonders" of Antichrist, or his prophet, to deceive the nations.

12-14. The ten horns are ten kings or princes who shall come to the assistance of Antichrist for a short time.17 They will place all their power and resources at his command to accomplish the one object in view, the destruction of the Church. Despite their efforts they shall be overcome by the faithful of Christ who is Lord of lords and King of kings.

15. As in other visions the waters, or the sea, symbolize human society. Here they represent in particular the peoples and nations subject to Rome and with her in revolt against the Church. The seven principal ones were symbolized above by seven mountains.

16, 17. After a time the beast and his allied kings (the ten horns) will make war upon Rome and lay it waste with fire and sword. The barbarian invasions of Rome in the fourth and fifth centuries give some idea of the manner in which Rome shall become the prey of a "scourge of God"18 in punishment for revolt against the Church and for its worship of Antichrist. St. John gives no reason why Antichrist and his allies turn against Rome except that God puts it into their hearts to accomplish His purposes.

According to the Vulgate, only the ten kings will make war upon Rome: "The ten horns which thou sawest in the beast: these shall hate the harlot" etc. The Greek text reads: "The ten horns which thou sawest and the beast: these shall hate," etc. This is evi dently the better reading, as it fits into the context, God put it into the hearts of the ten kings to give their power to the beast to do His words. The "words of God" can be nothing else than the destruction of Rome.

(1) Ch. xvi, 19; cf. also ch. xiv, 8.
(2) See below, v. 15.
(3) Isaias xxiii, 16, 17; Nahum ill, 4.
(4) See above, page 45.
(5) See ch. xiii, 1.
(6) See above, page 122.
(7) Jeremias li, 7; Ezechiel xxviii, 13-19.
(8) Sieneca, "Controv. i."
(9) I Peter iv, 13; Sibylline Oracles v, 143, 159; II Baruch Ixvii, 7.
(10) Tacitus, "Histories" ii, 8; Suetonius, "Nero" 57.
(11) See above, page 140.
(12) Cf. Juvenal iv, 37 sq.; Martial xi, 33; Tertullian, Apology v.
(13) I John ii, 18.
(14) I John iv, 3.
(15) Cf. Isaias xli, 15; Jeremias ii, 25; Daniel II, 35, 44; Zacharias iv, 7.
(16) Cf. xiii, 3, 14.
(17) The Greek text reads "one hour with the beast"; cf. also above, page 157.
(18) Atilla called himself the "scourge of God."
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part II


1. And after these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was enlightened with his glory.

2. And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen; and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit, and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird:

3. Because all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication: and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her; and the merchants of the earth have been made rich by the power of her delicacies.

4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sing, and that you receive not of her plagues.

5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities.

6. Render to her as she also hath rendered to you; and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup wherein she hath mingled, mingle ye double unto her.

7. As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her; because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen, and am no widow; and sorrow I shall not see.

8. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burned with fire; because God is strong, who shall judge her.

9. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication, and lived in delicacies with her, shall weep, and bewail themselves over her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning.

10. Standing afar off for fear of her torments, saying: Alas, alas! that great city Babylon, that mighty city: for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep, and mourn over her: for no man shall buy their merchandise any more.

12. Merchandise of gold and silver, and precious stones; and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyme wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of precious stones, and of brass, and of iron, and of marble.

13. And cinnamon, and odours, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14. And the fruits of the desire of thy soul are departed from thee, and all fat and goodly things are perished from thee, and they shall find them no more at all.

15. The merchants of these things, who were made rich, shall stand afar off from her, for fear of her torments, weeping and mourning,

16. And saying: Alas! alas! that great city, which was clothed with fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and was gilt with gold, and precious stones, and pearls.

17. For in one hour are so great riches come to nought; and every shipmaster, and all that sail into the lake, and mariners, and as many as work in the sea, stood afar off, 

18. And cried, seeing the place of her burning, saying: What city is like to this great city?

19. And they cast dust upon their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying: Alas! alas! that great city, wherein all were made rich, that had ships at sea, by reason of her prices: for in one hour she is made desolate.

20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.

21. And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

22. And the voice of harpers, and of musicians, and of them that play on the pipe, and on the trumpet, shall no more be heard at all in thee; and no craftsman of any art whatsoever shall be found any more at all in thee; and the sound of the mill shall be heard no more at all in thee;

23. And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments.

24. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

1, 2. The mighty angel is probably a great saint or prophet raised up to enlighten the Church by his teaching and to foretell the destruction of Rome as Jonas foretold the fall of Ninive, and Daniel that of ancient Babylon. But if "angel" be taken literally it is probably St. Michael, the guardian of the Church or St. Gabriel, the mighty one of God.

The angel speaks of the fall of Borne as something already accomplished to show that it must surely come to pass. It shall be left so desolate that wild beasts will find it a fitting abode and unclean birds will hover about its ruins. Thus also did Isaias prophesy concerning ancient Babylon: "Wild beasts shall rest there and their houses shall be filled with serpents . . . and owls shall answer one another there, in the houses thereof, and sirens in the temples of pleasure."

Some interpreters take the words of the angel to mean that the ruins of Rome shall become the lurking place of evil spirits according to the words of Christ: When an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest."2

3. The terrible destruction and desolation of Rome is a punishment for her many sins and for the sins into which she has led other nations. The kings and merchants of the earth have been led into the sins and vices of Rome, and with her they have upheld Antichrist in his efforts against the Church.

4, 5. Another voice from heaven, a voice of mercy, warns the faithful of the impending ruin and exhorts them to seek safety in flight. In like manner did our Lord warn His disciples to flee from Jerusalem upon the approach of the Roman army.3 Heeding these words of warning the faithful fled to Pella in Peraea and thus escaped the terrible sufferings of the siege.

6-8. These verses are an apostrophe to the ministers of God's judgments, apparently the ten kings of the preceding chapter. They are to punish the wicked and unfaithful city for all the evils she has heaped upon them, presumably the evils resulting from apostacy and adherence to Antichrist. They shall punish her also for her own apostacy and worship of Antichrist: "Double unto her double according to her works: in the cup wherein she hath mingled mingle ye double unto her. The ruin and desolation of Rome shall be commensurate with her foimer glory, riches and power. The proud city that sits a queen" with neither fear nor anxiety, shall be humbled in the dust.

9, 10. The kings of earth who have shared her guilt shall lament, the fate of the city, but they stand afar off fearing to come to her assistance. Such is usually the friendship between nations!

11-16. The merchants of the earth "who were made rich, shall stand afar off from her for fear of her torments, weeping and mourning, and saying: Alas! alas! that great city, which was clothed with fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and was gilt with gold and precious stones, and pearls. For in one hour are so great riches come to nought.

17-19. In like manner do they who have prospered in the sea commerce with Rome bewail the loss of their markets: "Alas! alas! that great city wherein all were made rich that had ships at sea by reason of her prices; for in one hour she is made desolate.

20. The Apostles and prophets and all saints are called upon to rejoice at this manifestation of God's justice. The prayers of the martyrs4 are answered and their blood requited. The mention of Apostles may refer especially to Sts. Peter and Paul who suffered martyrdom at Rome under Nero.

21-24. These verses complete the picture of desolation brought upon the rich and powerful city. She shall be destroyed to remain forever but a heap of ruins, be cause through her have all nations been deceived "and in her is found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." The blood of martyrs throughout the empire is justly chargeable to Rome from which went forth the decrees of persecution.

(1) Isaias xiii, 21, 22.
(2) St. Matthew xii, 43.
(3) St. Matthew xxiv, 16-8.
(4) Ch. vi, 10.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part II


1. After these things I heard as it were the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia. Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God.

2. For true and just are his judgments, who hath judged the great harlot which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath revenged the blood of his servants at her hands.

3. And again they said: Alleluia. And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever.

4. And the four and twenty ancients, and the four living creatures fell down and adored God that sitteth upon the throne, saying: Amen; Alleluia.

5. And a voice came out from the throne, saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants; and you that fear him, little and great.

6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned.

7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself.

8. And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints.

9. And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith to me: These words of God are true.

10. And I fell down before his feet, to adore him. And he saith to me: See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren, who have the testimony of Jesus. Adore God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

1-3. In response to the summons given above (xviii, 20), St. John hears the voices of praise from great multitudes. They are the martyrs in heaven and the faithful on earth singing the praises of God for the manifestation of His justice in the fall of Rome. The ruins of the city shall remain as a lasting memorial of God s judgments upon unfaithful nations and peoples: Her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever."

4-6. The four and twenty ancients and the four living creatures, the entire priesthood of the Church, prostrate themselves in adoration and chant the words of praise: "Amen, Alleluia." A voice from the throne invites all servants of God to praise and adore Him, whereupon a mighty chorus goes up from the elect: "Alleluia, for the Lord our God the Almighty hath triumphed and now reigns over all nations. The united voices of this mighty throng resound like the roll of thunder or the beating of waves.

7, 8. They rejoice because the marriage of the Lamb is at hand and His spouse is in readiness. The Church, the spouse of Christ, ever triumphant in heaven, now triumphs on earth. She is clothed in radiant garments which are the good works of her faithful children.

9. The angel, the voice from the throne, commands St. John to write: "Blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb/ This marriage feast, or triumph of the Church, begins on earth but is consummated only in heaven. In this connection St. Gregory the Great remarks that as supper is taken before the night s repose so the supper of the Lamb precedes the repose of eternal happiness in heaven.1 The marriage supper is also a symbol of the Holy Eucharist to which all the faithful are invited, and in which they receive a foretaste of eternal union with Christ in heaven.

10. Filled with joy the aged Apostle falls at the feet of the angel to adore him, evidently mistaking him for our Lord. But the angel restrains him with the words: "See thou do it not for I am only thy fellow servant, like unto others who have received the spirit of prophecy to give testimony to Jesus.2

(1) St. Gregory the Great, "Homil. inEvang." ii, 24.
(2) Cf. also eh. xxii, 8, 9.

11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and with justice doth he judge and fight.

12. And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many diadems, and he had a name writ ten, which no man knoweth but himself.

13. And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood, and his name is called, The Word of God.

14. And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15. And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword; that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty.

16. And he hath on his garment, and on his thigh written: King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

11. Our Lord Himself now appears as a conqueror upon a white horse.1 Christ possesses all perfections, but in the triumph of the Church, fidelity to His promise that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, stands out most prominent. Hence He is called the Faithful and
True One.

12. As in a former vision, His eyes are like flames of fire.2 The many diadems signify that Christ, the King of kings, is master of all nations. The name which no man knoweth expresses some perfection or attribute of our Saviour not yet made known to the world. It probably has some connection with the universal reign of the Church after Antichrist.

13, 14. The blood-stained garment may mean that victory for the Church was won through the merits of Christ and His martyrs as stated in xii, 11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb . . . and they loved not their lives unto death. The blood may also be that of the enemies of Christ and His Church as is intimated by the treading of the winepress of God s anger (v. 15). This recalls the words of Isaias: "I have trodden the winepress alone ... I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel."3

Our Lord is followed by an army of the faithful upon white horses, symbols of victory. They are the called and elect and faithful," mentioned in the pre ceding chapter, who fight with the Lamb against the ten kings.4 They are probably the armies of faithful nations symbolized in xii, 16, by the earth that helps the woman, and mentioned in xvi, 12, as kings from the rising sun.

15, 16. The two-edged sword is here the sword of divine justice which strikes down unfaithful nations which Christ shall rule with a rod of iron. He treadeth the winepress of God's wrath by executing the divine decrees against all nations in revolt against God and His Church. Neither the name given to Christ here, nor the one found in verse 13, is to be identified with the unknown name mentioned in verse 12.

(1) See above, page 69.
(2) See above, page 30.
(3) Isaias Ixiii, 3.
(4) Ch. xvii, 14.

17. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that did fly through the midst of heaven: Come, gather yourselves together to the great supper of God:

18. That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of tribunes, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all freemen and bondmen, and of little and of great.

19. And I saw the beast, and the kings of earth, and their armies gathered together to make war with him that sat upon the horse, and with his army.

20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who wrought signs before him where with he seduced them who received the character of the beast, and who adored his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire, burning with brimstone.

21. And the rest were slain with the sword of him that sitteth upon the horse, which proceedeth out of his mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

17, 18. While Rome, the seat of the false prophet, is smouldering in ashes, Christ and His faithful followers go forth to give battle against Antichrist and his allied kings. An angel summons all birds of prey to feast upon the carcasses of kings and princes, freemen and bond men, great and small for the slaughter shall be great.5

19, 20. Antichrist and his allied kings now make a last effort against the forces of Christ and His Church. "I saw the beast and the kings of earth and their armies gathered together to make war with him that sat upon the horse." This seems to be a reference to the battle at Armagedon mentioned above (xvi, 16). Three false prophets were sent out as messengers of Antichrist to gather the kings of earth to battle but Antichrist and his forces are overcome and a voice from the temple cries out "It is done." Antichrist and his prophet are cast into hell, and their allies put to the sword. It is the last battle in the great conflict between the Church and the powers of darkness.

(5) Ezekiel xxxix, 17-2&; Jeremias xii, 9.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre



And I saw an angel corning down from heaven, having the keg to the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon,
the old serpent, which is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years.


The words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians 1 prove clearly that Antichrist must be a definite individual, and our study of the Apocalypse shows that he has not yet made his appearance in the world. But practically all interpreters who accept these conclusions take the reign of Antichrist as a prelude to the last judgment and the end of the world. Then, contrary to the plain sense of Holy Scripture, they place the universal reign of Christ before the time of Antichrist. This, in turn, makes the chaining of the dragon a difficult problem Some refer it to the time of our Saviour's death, or to the day of Pentecost. Others fix upon the date of Constantine's conversion, the reign of Charlemagne, the fall of the Western Empire, or the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, all purely arbitrary dates as their great divergencies prove.

A careful reading of the Apocalypse shows clearly that Antichrist will appear long centuries before the last judgment and the end of the world. In fact his reign will be but the final attempt of Satan to prevent the universal reign of Christ in the world. Since the day of Pentecost the Church has been engaged in perpetual warfare. Judaism was her first enemy; then followed Arianism, Mohammedanism, the Greek Schism, the Reformation, and secret societies fostering atheism and rationalism. Today she is also battling against indifferentism and a recrudescence of paganism. The reign of Antichrist shall be the final conflict in this prolonged struggle with the powers of darkness.

After the defeat of Antichrist the Gentile nations will return to the Church and the Jews will enter her fold. Then shall be fulfilled the words of Christ: "There shall be one fold and one shepherd."2 Unfortunately sin and evil will not have entirely disappeared, the good and the bad will still be mingled in the Church, although the good shall predominate. After many centuries, symbolized by a thousand years, faith will diminish and charity grow cold as a result of the long peace and security enjoyed by the Church. Then Satan, unchained for a short time, will seduce many nations (Gog and Magog) to make war on the Church and persecute the faithful. These apostate nations shall be promptly overwhelmed with a deluge of fire and the Church will come forth again triumphant. The general judgment and the end of the world will then be near at hand. Men will be living in daily expectation until our Lord appears in the clouds with the suddenness of a lightning flash. Then shall all people be gathered together unto judgment.

The establishment of the Church over all nations is foretold on almost every page of Holy Scripture. "He shall rule from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. . . . And all kings of the earth shall adore him; and all nations shall serve him."4 "All the nations thou has made shall come and adore before thee, O Lord," His empire shall be multiplied and there shall be no end of peace."5 "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all kings shall serve him and obey him."7 "He shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the ends of the earth."8

The Apostles Were sent forth to preach the Gospel to all nations and to every creature,9 and St. Paul applies to them the words of the Psalmist: "Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the whole world."10 Can it be supposed that these prophecies are fulfilled by the conversion of a few thou sand souls in the various pagan countries of the world? Can we admit that a world steeped in paganism, and torn with schism and heresy is the only result of Christ's death upon the Cross? Such an admission is necessary if the closing of the abyss and the binding of Satan be placed at the beginning of Christianity, and the thousand years of Christ's reign, before the defeat of Antichrist.

The prophecies cited above and hundreds of others scattered through the Scriptures make it certain that the reign of Christ shall be truly universal. After the Gentile nations return to the Faith, the Jews shall also submit to the yoke of the Gospel. St. Paul states this fact very plainly: "Blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel shall be saved as it is written: "There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."11 Again he writes: "If the loss of them (the Jews) be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"12

These prophecies will not be fulfilled before the time of Antichrist, since the Apocalypse clearly shows that he will come into a world harassed by paganism, apostacy, schism, and heresy.13 The Jews still unconverted, will accept him as Messias and assist in his warfare against the Church. Only after the defeat of Antichrist and the return of the Gentile nations to the Faith, will the Jews accept Christ as the true Messias. Then shall begin the universal reign of Christ over all peoples, and tribes, and tongues.

After the destruction of Rome in the days of Antichrist, it shall remain forever but a heap of ruins, and the haunt of filthy animals; "that great city shall be found no more at all." This fact taken in connection with the many prophecies concerning the future glory of Jerusalem, justifies the belief that it will become the city of the Popes and the capital of Christendom from the time of Antichrist until the consummation of the world. This, we believe, is not opposed to the teaching of the Church. Many theologians hold that the Papacy is connected with the bishopric of Rome by divine institution; yet this cannot be an article of Faith because it is contained neither in Scripture nor in tradition. It is of faith that the successor of St. Peter is head of the Church, and in the present order of things it is also of faith that the bishop of Rome is the successor of St. Peter."

Transfer of the Papacy from Rome to Jerusalem might be made by decree of a general council acting with the Pope, or by direct intervention of divine Providence. The prophets of old foretell the future glory of Jerusalem when it shall become again the Holy City and the spiritual capital of the world whence the waters of salvation flow out to all peoples. It shall also become the capital of a Jewish nation gathered about it once more. A few texts will suffice to establish these points. "Rejoice and praise, thou habitation of Sion: for great is he that is in the midst of thee, the Holy One of Israel."16

"Sing praise, and rejoice, daughter of Sion: for behold I come and I will dwell in the midst of thee," saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee."17 "And there shall be one day, which is known to the Lord. . . . And it shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: half of them to the east sea, and half of them to the last sea; they shall be in summer and winter. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name shall be one . . . and there shall be no more anathema; but Jerusalem shall sit secure."18 "At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord : and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord of Jerusalem, and they shall not! walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart."19

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: I am returned to Sion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts. Behold I will save my people from the land of the east, and from the land of the going down of the sun. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and injustice. . . . And it shall come to pass, that as you were a curse among the Gentiles, O house of Juda, and house of Israel: so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing."20

These and similar prophecies aroused in the Jewish breast an anxious longing for the glorious awakening of Israel. The people looked forward to the long expected Messias as a great leader of the restoration. The Apostles shared this expectation of their countrymen. When our Lord told them the Holy Ghost was shortly to come upon them they said : Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Christ did not tell them their expectations were vain; He simply said: "It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father has put in his own power."21 He told them, in effect, that the kingdom would be restored to Israel but it was not for them to know the time because the Father had not revealed it.

(1) II Thessalonians ii, 8.
(2) St. Johnx, 16.
(3) St. Matthew xxiv, ,27.
(4) Ps. fed, 8, 9.
(5) Ps. Ixxxv, 9.
(6) Isaias ix, 7.
(7) Daniel vii, 27.
(8) Zacharias ix, 10.
(9) St. Matthew xxviii, 16; St. Luke xvi, 15.
(10) Romans x, 18; Ps. xviii, 5.
(11) Romans xi, 25, 26; Isaias lix, 20.
(12) Romans xi, 15.
(13) Apocalypse ix, 20, 21.
(14) Tanquery, "Synopsis Theol. Dogm" pp. 383-4 .
(15) St. Matthew xxiii, 38, 39.
(16) Isaias xii, 6.
(17) Zacharias ii, 10, 12.
(18) Zacharias xiv, 7-11.
(19) Jeremias iii, 17.
(20) Zacharias viii, 3, 7, 8, 13.
(21) Acts of the Apostles i, 2.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part III



1. And I saw an angel corning down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand:

2. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

3. And he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should no more seduce the nations, till the thousand years be finished. And after that he must be loosed a little time.

4. And I saw seats; and they sat upon them; and judgment was given unto them; and the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not adored the beast nor his image, nor received his character on their fore head, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5. The rest of the dead lived not, till the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. In these the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ; and shall reign with him a thousand years.

1-3. Chapters ix-xix form an important part of the Apocalypse containing, as they do, an extended history of Antichrist and his warfare against the Church. As a preparation for his coming, the star fallen from heaven opens the abyss whence comes forth a great swarm of locusts.1 Then follows a prophetic account of his reign, the overthrow of his empire, and his final condemnation in hell. An angel from heaven now binds the dragon and casts him into the abyss which is closed and sealed that Satan may no longer seduce the nations as in the past. Thus all obstacles are removed and the Church begins her peaceful reign on earth. It should be noted, however, that not all evil spirits are thus sealed up in the abyss; there will still be sin and evil on earth. The individual must still struggle against temptation and seduction. In fact there can be no real progress in virtue without temptation.

4. St. John now sees the souls of those who participate with Christ in the government of His Church. They are the saints who worshipped not the beast nor his image, nor received his character on their forehead, and especially they are the martyrs who gave their lives "for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God." "Judgment was given unto them," for as St. Paul says: "the saints shall judge this world."2 The saints and martyrs are models and patrons for the faithful whom they teach and guide by the example of their lives on earth and by their intercession in heaven. Thus do they live and reign with Christ.

5. The wicked, the rest of the dead, live not the life of the soul because they have been condemned to the eternal torments of hell, which is the second death be cause it follows the death of the body.

6. The reign of the saints and martyrs with Christ in heaven is called the first resurrection. The resurrection of the body at the last judgment shall be the second. Blessed are they who have part in the first resurrection because the second death hath no power over them.

(1) Ch. ix, 2, 3.
(2) I Corinthians vi, 2.

7. And when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go forth, and seduce the nations, which are over the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sands of the sea.

8. And they came upon the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints, and the be loved city.

9. And there came down fire from God out of heaven, and devoured them; and the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast

10. And the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

7, 8. At the close of the period, symbolized by a thousand years, Salman will be loosed again for a short time during which he will seduce many nations. From the four quarters of the earth he will assemble an army, numerous as the sands of the sea, to war against the Church, the camp of the saints. Jerusalem the beloved, then the city of the Popes, will be the chief point of attack; but God will intervene in its defense by raining down fire upon the besieging hosts.

9. These hostile nations are symbolized as Gog and Magog,1 names made famous by the prophecy of Ezechiel in which their invasion and terrible destruction by fire is described at length. "Thou shalt come out of thy place from the northern parts, thou and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company and a mighty army. And thou shalt come upon my people of Israel like a cloud to cover the earth. . . . And I will judge him with pestilence, and with, blood, and with violent rain, and vast hailstones: and I will rain fire and brimstone upon him, and upon his army, and upon the many nations that are with him. . . And I will send fire on Magog, and on them that dwell confidently in the islands: and they shall know that I am the Lord. . . . Behold it cometh, and it is done, saith the Lord God: this is the day whereof I have spoken.

. . And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give Gog a noted place for a sepulchre in Israel: the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea, which shall cause astonishment in them that pass by: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and it shall be called the valley of the multitude of Gog. And the house of Israel shall bury them for seven months to cleanse the land. And all the people of the land shall bury him, and it shall be unto them a noted day, wherein I was glorified, saith the Lord God."2

10. Satan is now cast into hell to be tormented with the beast and the false prophet for all eternity.

(1) In Ezechiel, Magog seems to be a people and Gog their ruler.
(2) Ezechiel xxxviii, xxxix.

11. And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them.

12. And I saw the dead great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books according to their works.

13. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works.

14. And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death.

15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the pool of fire.

11. St. John now beholds our Lord seated upon His throne to judge the living and the dead. Heaven and earth fleeing before His face expresses the terror that shall seize upon the wicked: "Men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved."1 Our Lord s coming with power and majesty, and the signs that precede it were not revealed to St. John, probably because they had been sufficiently announced by Christ Himself in the Gospels.2

12. "Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together."3 In like manner at the corning of Christ the dead arise and come to judgment. The books are now opened and all are judged according to their works which are written either in the book of life or in the books of the dead. The books of the dead (wicked) are many while there is but one book of life because "many are called but few are chosen."4

13. The sea represents the nations opposed to the Church in the last days. Its dead are the people of those nations whom Christ shall find living at His coming. They are dead in sin and their works are written in the books of the dead. Death and hell must give up their dead, the wicked who die before the second corning of Christ. Their souls, condemned to hell, are now united to their risen bodies to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Thus do death and hell give up their dead.

14, 15. Those whose names are not written in the book of life are condemned, body and soul, to eternal torments which is the second death. Hence death and hell (the wicked) are cast into the pool of fire to be tormented for ever with the beast and his prophet.

The order of events immediately preceding the last judgment can be fairly well established from various passages of Scriptures. The revolt of Gog and Magog will be punished by a deluge of fire from heaven which will probably occasion the conversion of great numbers. At some time after this the signs foreboding the coming of Christ will strike terror into all hearts,5 and the day of judgment will be near at hand. "When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand."6 "But of the day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone."7 St. Paul says that the "day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night"; men will be found in the midst of their occupations as happened at the deluge of the days of Noe.8

At length there "shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all tribes of earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds with much power and majesty. And He shall send His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven, from the farthest parts of the heaven to the utmost bounds of them"9 At the sound of the trumpet the dead shall arise. The just found living upon earth in that day and the just who arise from the dead shall be caught up into the air to meet Christ and be united with Him forever. "The dead who are with Christ shall arise first. Then we who are alive, who are left shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ into the air and so shall we be always with the Lord."10

The wicked still living on earth and those raised up from the dead shall also be brought to judgment. Both good and bad are judged according to their works; "they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life," and shall hear those words of Christ: "Come ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."11 But they that have done evil shall hear those words of eternal judgment: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels."12

The words of St. Paul, "the dead who are with Christ shall rise first," do not mean that the resurrection of the just will take place before that of the wicked. St. Paul was writing to correct the erroneous belief of the Thessalonians that the just second corning of Christ will enjoy the glories of heaven sooner than those who have died. He tells them that the dead shall arise and then all shall be taken up together to meet Christ. Hence "we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not be before them who have slept."13

Shall those found living at the second coming of Christ undergo death before the judgment? The Church has decided nothing in the matter, but Sacred Scripture seems to indicate that they will not. St. Paul says: "We who are alive shall be taken up." Again he says: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet ... the dead shall arise again incorruptible; and we shall be changed."14 He evidently makes a distinction between those who are dead and those who remain alive at the coming of Christ. In the preceding verse the Apostle writes: "We shall all in deed rise again; but we shall not all be changed." This indicates that all must undergo death but the Greek text reads: "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." It mast be admitted that this reading agrees better with the context than the one found in the Vulgate.

However the question is of little importance. We must all be changed; "this corruptible must put on in- corruption; and this mortal must put on immortality." 15 The bodies of the just will be spiritualized and glorified as was the body of our divine Saviour; "it is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body; it is sown in dishonor, it shall rise in glory.16 Now it matters little indeed whether this change be accomplished directly in the living body or indirectly by death and immediate resurrection.

(1) St. Luke xxi. 26.
(2) St. Matthew xxiv, ,216 sq.; St. Markxiii, 22 sq.; St. Luke xxi, 25 sq.
(3) St. Matthew xxiv, 28.
(4) St. Matthew xxii, 14.
(5) St. Matthew xxiv, 29; St. Markxiii, 24; St. Luke xxi, 25.
(6) St. Luke xxi, 28.
(7) St. Matthew xxiv, 36.
(8) I Thessalonians v, 2; St. Matthew xxiv, 37.
(9) St. Matthew xxiv, 31.
(10) I Thessalonians iv, 15, 16.
(11) St. Johnv, 29; St. Matthew xxv, 34.
(12) St. Johnv, 29; St. Matthew xxv, 41.
(13) I Thessalonians iv, 14.
(14) I Corinthians xv, 52; cf. also II Corinthians v, 4,5.
(15) I Corinthians xv, 53.
(16) I Corinthians xv, 43. 44.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part III



1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more.

2. And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his
people; and God himself with them shall be their God.

4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.

5. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold I make all things anew. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true.

6. And he said to me: It is done. I am Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end. To him that thirsteth, I will give of the fountain of the water of life, freely.

7. He that shall overcome shall possess these things, and I will be his God; and he shall be my son.

8. But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

1-4. A former vision revealed to St. John the destruction of the present world by a return to chaos as at the beginning of creation.1 This destruction will be accomplished by fire as St. Peter distinctly states: "But the heavens and the earth which now are, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men. . . . But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up."2 Out of the elements thus purified by fire, God will form a new, a glorified earth to be a suitable habitation for the glorified bodies of the just. Then will the Church triumphant, the new Jerusalem, descend upon earth to be the tabernacle of God with men.

They shall be his people and He will be their God. They shall be happy with Him forever; "death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away." The renewal of the earth completes the "restitution of all things" mentioned by St. Peter.3 It is the revelation for which all nature groaneth and travaileth in expectation, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God.4 Isaias also prophesied this renewal: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make to stand before me, saith the Lord: so shall your seed stand and your name."5

Hence St. Peter writes: "But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwelleth."6 The "heavens" in this connection probably refers to the space occupied by the atmosphere surrounding the earth. This was the opinion of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Others believe that it includes all the heavenly bodies, the entire universe. The "sea" may be taken literally, though in a symbolic sense it refers to the nations opposed to the Church.7

5, 6. The work of Redemption is now completed even for inanimate nature which had been cursed in the sin of man: "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who made it subject in hope. Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God."8 All things began in Christ by creation; they now find their destiny in Him who is "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."9 He now gives to His faithful the waters of eternal life, the life of union with Him in the Beatific Vision.

7, 8. Eternal happiness is for those alone who over come in the conflict with temptation and sin. All others shall suffer the eternal torments of hell which is the second death.

(1) See above, page 77.
(2) II Peter iii, 7-10.
(3) Acts of the Apostles iii. 21.
(4) Romans viii, 20-23.
(5) Isaias Ixvi, 2.
(6) II Peter iii, 13.
(7) Cf. Schneider-Thurston, "The Other Life" ch. xiii, where this whole subject is discussed at length.
(8) Romans viii, 20, 21.
(9) See above, page 6.

9. And there came one of the seven angels, who had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and with me, saying: Come, and I will shew thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

10. And he took me in spirit to a great and high mountain: and he shewed me the holy city Jerusalem corning down out of heaven from God.

11. Having the glory of God, and the light thereof was like to a precious stone, as to the jasper stone, even as crystal.

12. And it had a wall, great and high, having twelve gates, and in the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

13. On the east, three gates; and on the north, three gates; and on the south, three gates; and on the west, three gates.

14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them, the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15. And he that spoke with me, had a measure of a reed of gold, to measure the city and the gates there of and the wall.

16. And the city lieth in a foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the golden reed for twelve thousand furlongs, and the length and the height and the breadth thereof are equal.

17. And he measured the wall thereof an hundred forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is of an angel.

18. And the building of the wall thereof was of jasper stone: but the city itself pure gold like to clear glass.

19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald:

20. The fifth, sardonyx: the sixth, sardius: the seventh, chrysolite, the eighth, beryl, the ninth, a topax: the tenth, a chrysoprasus: the eleventh, a jacinth: the twelfth an amethyst.

21. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, one to each: and every several gate was of one several pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22. And I saw no temple therein. For the Lord God Almighty is the temple thereof, and the Lamb.

23. And the city hath no need of the sun, nor moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God hath enlightened it and the Lamb is the lamp thereof.

24. And the nations shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it.

25. And the gates thereof shall not be shut by day: for there shall be no night there.

26. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

27. There shall not enter into it anything defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.

9, 10. One of the seven angels who poured out the vials of wrath, takes St. John in spirit upon a high mountain that he may have a bird's eye view, as it were, of the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, all ablaze with divine splendors. The great dimensions of the city are also indicated by the necessity of viewing it from a lofty mountain.

11. The glory of God enlightens the city whose radiant beauty is compared to the flashing hues of jasper, and the transparent brilliancy of crystal.

12, 13. The strong towering walls are an assurance that no enemy can assail its inhabitants nor disturb the peace and happiness that reigns within. The twelve gates inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes signify that many from each tribe shall be saved,1 and through these tribes shall the nations be blessed. Hence there are three gates on each side to show that all nations are called to the Faith and to salvation.2

14. The twelve foundation stones bear the names of the twelve Apostles because Christ "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone, in whom all the building being framed together groweth up into an holy tern pie in the Lord."3

15, 16. The angel measures the city and finds that it is a cube, a symbol of perfection. The dimensions are composed of the mystic numbers 12 and 1000, symbols of perfection and immensity. The reed is of gold, the symbol of charity, to signify that none can enter the heavenly Jerusalem unless he be enriched with good works and bear the treasure of Christian charity.

17. The height of the outer wall surrounding the city is insignificant when compared to the height of the city which is perfectly secure in itself and needs no protecting wall. The wall is measured in cubits, a measure in common use among men, but now employed by the angel in a mystic sense.

18-21. The description of the mystic Jerusalem is evidently symbolic. The dimensions signify perfection and immensity; the gold and precious stones remind as that it is necessary to have the gold of true charity and the gems of virtues and good works. Thus only can we enter this city of gleaming gold and sparkling gems. "Despairing of putting into words this the most sublime part of his vision, and wishing to depict it in consonance with our understanding, St. John has recourse to the harmonious proportions of numbers, and the varied and delicate tints of precious gems. Until we see heaven and are bathed in the full light of God, we shall never discover all that the Apostle desired to convey thereby; but while here below, nothing gives us a loftier notion of heaven's blessedness than beholding St. John, the most enlightened and inspired of sacred writers, utterly powerless to express in human language the de lights it holds in store for us."4 We can only say with St. Paul: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him,"5

22, 23. No temple is found in the heavenly city because God and the Lamb are themselves the temple. There every soul is united to God and flooded with the light of His eternal glory which renders useless all created light.

24-27. The elect of all nations shall dwell in this "light inaccessible"6 and the kings of earth shall bring thither their glory and honor to lay them before the throne of God. The gates of the city are not closed at night like those of earthly cities, because "night shall be no more." Only those who are pure of heart, whose names are written in the book of life, can enter through these gates.

(1) See above, page 81.
(2) Genesis xxii, 18; xxvi, 4.
(3) Ephesians ii, 20, 21.
(4) Fouard, "St. John" (Eng. Trans.), page 130.
(5) I Corinthians ii, 9; cf. also Isaias Ixiv. 4.
(6) I Timothy vi, 16.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Part III



1. And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2. In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him.

4 And they shall see his face: and his name shall be on their foreheads.

5. And night shall be no more: and they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, be cause the Lord God shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

1. The river flowing from the throne of God symbolizes the joy and happiness that floods the souls of the elect in their possession of God and union with Him. This is the living water promised by our Lord: "He that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst for ever: but the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."1

2. The tree of life stands in the midst of the city on either banks of the river at the disposal of all and to all it gives eternal life. Its twelve fruits ripening every month symbolize the happiness of heaven which shall be without interruption for all eternity. In this life the fruit of the tree is the Holy Eucharist, and its leaves the teachings of Christ and His Church. In heaven the fruit is the glory of the Beatific Vision; and the leaves, the accidental glory of the saints.2

3-5. Sin shall be no more, and the saints shall serve and glorify God whom they behold face to face. "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known."3 The name of God written upon the foreheads of the saints is a mark of their adoption as children of God by Baptism and Confirmation. "Be hold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God."4 

Night shall be no more; the saints need not the lamp of faith nor the guiding light of the Church. God Him self will be their light and they will reign with Him for ever. "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, Lord: they shall praise Thee for ever and ever.

(1) St. John iv, 13, 14; Psalm xxxv, 9, 10.
(2) Cath. Encyc., vol. viii, p. 174.
(3) I Corinth, xiii, 12.
(4) I John iii, 1.
(5) Psalm Ixxxiii, 5
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

Behold I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. APOCALYPSE xxii 7


6. And he said to me: These words are most faithful and true. And the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to shew his servants the things which must be done shortly.

7. And, Behold I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.

8. And I, John, who have heard and seen these things. And after I had heard and seen, I fell down to adore before the feet of the angel, who shewed
me these things.

9. And he said to me: See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the words of the
prophecy of this book. Adore God.

1O. And he saith to me: Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11. He that hurteth, let him hurt still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is just, let him be justified still: and he that is holy let him be sanctified still.

12. Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works.

13. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

14. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.

15. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.

16. I, Jesus have sent my angel, to testily to you these things in the churches. I am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star.

6, 7. The angel who acted as guide for St. John in viewing the new Jerusalem, now assures him that these visions are true revelations of what the future holds in store for the Church. They are true because God Himself has revealed them to St. John through the ministry of the angel. In a former vision God commanded St. John to write for these words are most faithful and true."1 Their accomplishment is near at hand, for has not our Lord said: "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book" The same warning is found in the opening words of the Apocalypse: Blessed is he that readeth, and heareth the words of this prophecy; and keepeth those things which are written in it; for
the time is at hand"; their fulfillment was beginning already in the days of St. John."2

8, 9. Probably many of these visions were not committed to writing until St. John had returned to Ephesus where he could dictate them to his disciples as was the custom of the other Apostles. Hence he is careful to attest their authenticity: "I, John, am he who saw and heard these things Perhaps he wrote these words with his own hand as a sort of signature after the manner of St. Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians.3

When the visions and revelations were ended, St. John prostrated himself before the angel as a parting salutation, but the angel refused this mark of respect, because as prophets of God they were equals. The words of the angel imply that he is the same one whom St. John mistook for our Lord on a former occasion. 4 There St. John intended divine worship as indicated by the Greek construction. Here, there can be no mistake; St. John is well aware that his guide is one of the seven angels who poured out the vials of wrath.5 This difference is reflected in the use of a Greek construction often found in the Old Testament to express the honor paid to angels and persons of superior rank.

10. St. John is commanded not to seal the book of his prophecy; it is to be published to the Church at once because the time for its fulfillment has already begun.6

11-13. Christ Himself now utters words of warning and encouragement. The wicked may continue in their evils, heaping sin upon sin, but they must know that God will deal with them according to their works. On the other hand, let the just be still more justified; let him add good works unto good works for he shall be rewarded accordingly. It is I, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, who shall punish and reward all men in justice according to their works.

14, 15. Blessed, therefore, are they who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb through Baptism, Penance, and martyrdom, for they shall enter the heavenly Jerusalem and be nourished by the tree of life. But woe to the wicked (dogs) who must remain without where there shall be "weeping and gnashing of teeth."; They shall have no part in the tree of life for Christ has said: "I give not that which is holy to dogs."8

16. Our Lord Himself now confirms the truth of the revelations made to His Apostles: It is I, Jesus, Who sent My angel to testily these things to the churches; I Who am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star.9

(1) Ch. xxi, 5.
(2) Ch. i, 3.
(3) I Corinthians xvi, 2 1 .
(4) Ch. xix, 10.
(5) Ch. xxi, 9.
(6) Ch. x, 4.
(7) St. Luke xiii, 28.
(8) St. Matthew vii, 6.
(9) See above, page 46.

17. And the spirit and the bride say: Come. And he that heareth, let him say; Come. And he that thirsteth, let him come: and he that will, let him take the water of life freely.

18. For I testily to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.

19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book.

20. He that giveth testimony of these things, saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

17. St. John, speaking in his own name, says that the Church, the bride of Christ, guided by the Holy Ghost, longs for the glorious coming of her divine Spouse. May all who hear her voice join in the self-same prayer. May those who thirst for the water of life receive it abundantly!

18, 19. The Apostle was aware of the risks his book would run at the hands of heretics who infested the churches of Asia Minor. He had been a witness to their shrewdness in interpolating and falsifying the most sacred texts. Hence he threatens with anathema anyone who may presume to mutilate his prophecies in any manner. This warning should be extended to the entire Scriptures of which the Apocalypse is but the final chapter.1

20. Our Lord, who testifies to the truth of these prophecies, says: " Behold, I come quickly." From hearts filled with faith and love we cry out: "So be it. Come Lord Jesus!"

Meditation upon the prophecies of the Apocalypse should strengthen our faith in God, and increase our zeal for His holy Church. They predict the great persecution of Antichrist whose near approach is fore shadowed by many signs; yet we know that the Church will at length triumph over the powers of hell and reign peacefully over all nations. Through prayers and good works we can beseech the mercy of God to shorten those days of trial for the sake of the elect.2 May He hasten the coming of His Kingdom! "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."


(1) Fouard, "St. John" (Eng. Trans.), p. 134.
(2) St. Matthew xxiv, 22.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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