By Michael H. Brown
Recent Outages Bring To Mind Prophecy: Will There Be ‘Three Days Of Darkness’?
A hurricane-like storm struck from Italy to Poland last week while the lights flickered in parts of America as another strong winter system — propelled by the mysterious forces of El Nino — dumped more than twenty inches of snow on areas that already had seen twenty inches just a week before. That storm had knocked out power for tens of thousands on Christmas Eve and then Christmas itself.
Yes, the lights were flickering; there were storms in the air; it brought to mind a tremendous weeklong onslaught of ice that struck Montreal in 1998. That event had been a taste of apocalypse as it toppled huge 60-ton transmission towers and 27,000 utility poles across a 600-mile swath of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario — coating those provinces with up to four inches of ice (in the Ottawa region, the weight of precipitation was estimated by government scientists as comparable to 77,000 Titanics).
The important point is that residents went without light, heat, and running water for days and in some cases several weeks. No electricity. Darkness. Might such an event repeat? At one point three million residents of Montreal were tethered to civilization by a single power line — and so desperate that some began to chop up their porches for firewood. “We’ve looked in our weather files to see something like this, but nothing exists there,” we were told by David Phillips, a senior government climatologist. “Maybe in the X-files, but not in the weather files.”
It was the last time El Nino was around and we ask: Is this going to intensify? And will there come a time when darkness prevails over an even larger area?
We ask this because for many decades — since the late 1700s, but especially since the 1980s — prophecies calling for some kind of terrible chastisement that would include a terrible “three days of darkness” have been in circulation. Are they realistic? Do they warrant credibility? The concept of three darkened days hearkens back to the Book of Exodus, wherein Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky “and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days,” according to Scripture (Exodus 10:22). Others point to Mark 13:24 and the prophecy that “in those days, after the tribulation, the sun shall darken and the moon shall not give her light.”
This concept of chastisement through darkness returned in a big way during the last part of the 18th century — around the time of the French Revolution — and then through the 19th century, when a flurry of mystics, including luminaries such as Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, foresaw a time of extraordinary blackness. Although they started out as relatively mild (at LaSalette, an unapproved part of a prophecy called for three days of “convulsions”), such predictions gained momentum through the decades as mystics added their own, often sensational details. It would be a worldwide chastisement, claimed Marie Julie Jahenny of Coyault, France. Day would be as night, they warned. Night would be like a coal mine. The darkness would be almost palpable. Claimed Jahenny, who was born in 1850 (according to one website):
- The three days of darkness “will be on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Days of the Most Holy Sacrament, of the Cross and Our Lady. . . .” three days less one night.”
- “The earth will be covered in darkness,” she quoted the Virgin Mary as saying on 20th of September 1882, and hell will be loosed on earth. “Thunder and lightning will cause those who have no faith or trust in My Power, to die of fear.”
- “During these three days of terrifying darkness, no windows must be opened, because no one will be able to see the earth and the terrible color it will have in those days of punishment without dying at once… “
- “The sky will be on fire, the earth will split… During these three days of darkness let the blessed candle be lighted everywhere, no other light will shine…. “
- “NO ONE OUTSIDE A SHELTER.. will survive. The earth will shake as at the judgment and fear will be great. Yes, we will listen to the prayers of your
friends; NOT ONE WILL PERISH. We will need them to publish the glory of the Cross….” (8th of December 1882).
Some went so far as to foresee a hideous scene in which the only refuge — the only light — would be from blessed candles. Lightning would strike through homes, they warned, and demons, who would all be emptied out of the netherworld, would attempt to draw the faithful out of their homes by imitating the voices of the deceased. “All will be black, and the only thing which will give light will be blessed wax candles; even these will not burn in the houses of the godless and scoffers,” asserted one such warning. “Once lit, nothing will put them out in the houses of the believers. Be sure to keep a supply of blessed wax, believers.”
Were these just metaphors — symbols of evil? None of these prophecies came from a Church-approved site of apparitions. Nothing of this was said at the Miraculous Medal apparitions (which took place right in the midst of these other predictions) nor during the famous Fatima apparitions — and it is has been largely discounted by seers at Medjugorje (who warn about the sensationalism of this particular prophecy). Contrary to rumors, Padre Pio never mentioned the “three days of darkness.” A less drastic prophecy was uttered by St. Faustina Kowalska, who said Christ told her that “all light will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the opening where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up earth for a period of time.”
What could cause such darkness? Is there really any feasible scenario that would lead to such a pervasive lack of light? Just last week a researcher from Dartmouth is building a case for a dark-energy dominated “universe (black baryonic matter)”. But back to those storms: If nothing else, we know how fragile our infrastructure — our electric grid — can be. As writer Chris Wilson points out, on March 13, 1989, a huge magnetic storm on the sun totally shut down Hydro-Quebec, the power grid servicing Canada’s Quebec province. “The geomagnetic storm tripped five electrical transmission lines from James Bay, causing enormous power generation loss,” he writes. “Line restoration was complete by noon, but thousands of customers were still without power, as the system was trying to cope with the extra demand of Monday morning at the office, and customers were trying to recover from over nine hours of heat loss to their homes.” At the same time, beautiful auroras were visible as far south as southern France, all caused by the same storm.
Such auroras or “northern lights” were also considered as the “great sign” of Fatima when they occurred in 1938 (presaging war), and we are seeing more of them. Meanwhile, an act of terror, an earthquake (a major disruption of gas pipes across the Midwest), a wildfire, or a superstorm could bring extraordinary darkness to large parts of a country, and we need to appreciate how delicate — how overly reliant on fuel lines — our society has become.
We should rely on God instead. Perhaps it’s time to get back to more simplicity. Perhaps it’s time to realize that with prayer, there is light through any darkness.
Book store resource:
See also Pope tells 12 bishops to be ‘light’ in world of darkness: http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=29536
Actual prediction: http://www.webcom.com/enddays/Darkness-I-Impending