I am sharing here the conclusions of a bit of spiritual detective work. I offer no comment on the truth or lack-there-of of any of the ideas—I have no idea—I merely offer the conclusions for the reader’s consideration.
On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XII had a vision as he left mass one night. The vision went as thus:
The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church."
The gentle voice of Our Lord: "You can? Then go ahead and do so."
Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power."
Our Lord: "How much time? How much power?
Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service."
Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."
This Pope went on to write the prayer to St. Michael that many Catholic churches pray. I will put that at the end of this post.
Note: Some people believe that this 100 years began in 1884, some in 1914 (WWII). Some in 1917*, some in 1922 (Death of the last Catholic monarch.)
*The Pope’s vision happened October 13th, 1884. 33 years (age of Christ at his death) later to the day, there was an event at Fatima where 70,000 people saw some kind of vision, as per a prediction of a vision of St. Mary. St. Mary also called on the Church to pray for Russia—claming that if they did, Russia would covert. If not, Russia would spread their errors around the world. This event took place about two weeks before Red October.
But I digress.
So, my question is: Why would God give control of the Church to the Devil?
More on that later.
Meanwhile, about two years ago, I read a book that included information about the Catholic Victim Souls, also often called stigmata. These were women (and a few men), often but not always nuns, who suffer their whole lives, but they have visions where they are assured that their suffering is helping others. They often have visions, develop strange and interesting abilities, experience miracles, etc.
I found these Victim Souls very interesting, but I was very puzzled by the metaphysics of why they were suffering. I could understand that perhaps people felt that they wanted to be allowed to share Jesus’s suffering, but the metaphysics of how it would work, why it would happen, was fuzzy to me.
I looked into it all I could, online, in books: I could find nothing.
Then, by chance, a month or so ago, I read a comment on a blog that referred to something a demon said. I thought this was mildly interesting. I asked the name of the book. It was called Mary Crushes The Serpent.
I bought the book. I read it. It was about exorcisms performed over a hundred years ago. Part way through the book, however, I came upon something fascinating!
According to the book, when the priests exorcised demons, the demons sometimes spoke and said things, including why they were possessing the person. Sometimes, it was due to ill luck. Sometimes, it was due to interaction with the occult by the possessee. BUT there was a third group, too.
These were people (women in this case) who were possessed because they were volunteering to suffer at the request of the Virgin Mary.
The book was describing the Victim Souls—from the point of view of the demons!!!
As you can imagine, after all my vain searching, I was fascinated. This is what it said:
The demons reported that they were allowed to possess these women and to make them suffer, but if the women held out, if they did not lose their faith (like Job resisting “cursing God”), the demons would lose.
If the demons lost, they had to return to Hell and free all the souls on earth that had been held under their sway.
According to these demons, the people they had to release from their sway were then free to convert, if they wished. (Some did. Of some, the priest writing the book did not know their final fate.)
So, according to this book, if the Victim Souls suffered willingly, without losing their faith, then the demon who possessed them and caused their agony would eventually admit defeat, at which time, they would release the other people under their sway.
So, by suffering, these women set free all those who were under the sway of that particular demon.
Which brings us back to my question:
Why would God give control of the Church to the Devil?
And I thought…
What if the Church is acting like a stigmata?
If so, if the Church does not break before the end of the 100 years, the devil will have to return to Hell…
And free all souls under his sway.
Kind of cool, eh?
Pope Leo XII’s prayer:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.