Monday, April 02, 2012

Leo XIII and the 100 Years test...

In a post titled, There was something awful about the 20th century, Monsignor Pope mentions the Prayer to St. Michael, which Leo XIII ordered to be said after all low Masses, a practice in use until the reforms of Vatican II.  The vision of Pope Leo might be apocryphal, but the insertion of the prayer at the end of Mass is not.  Monsignor records the vision as follows:
October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had just finished celebrating Mass in a chapel in the Vatican. At the Mass were a few Cardinals and members of the household staff. Suddenly the Pope stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. The going straightway from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael and later issued instructions that it be said after all Low Masses everywhere in the world. He explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he had suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. There he heard the voice of Satan in his pride, boasting to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.” The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.” Satan replied, “To do so, I need more time and more power.” The Lord said, “How much time? How much power?” “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.” was Satan’s reply. Mysteriously our Lord said, “You have the time, you have the power. Do with them what you will.” - Source
I've always accepted the story of the vision as true, but apparently there is no official documentation of it.  When I was little, it was my understanding the St. Michael prayer was said for the conversion of Russia. 

I was thinking of the vision all day however, and I couldn't help wonder about all the subsequent prophecies of a great chastisement for the sins of the world - if indeed Satan had been given permission to destroy the Church and lead souls to perdition, why should we be chastised?  The devil started it.  Then I remembered the test in the Garden of Eden... the story of the prophet Job... the temptation and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Oh - as for the hundred years time limit - I think we are overdo for a correction - but remember, God measures time differently than we do.


  1. There is a lot of supporting evidence that Pope Leo XIII did indeed experience a vision in relation to his institution of the St Michael Prayer. The earliest version of this story to appear in print was in 1934, in a German Sunday newspaper article Theo-Prakt. Quartalschrift 87. This story seemed to be confirmed 14 years later, in the Roman journal Ephemerides Liturgicae V in 1947, by Fr. Domenico Pechenino, a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII - who witnessed the pope experiencing this vision. In the above journal, Fr Pechenino describes the pope as experiencing the vision in near verbatim language to the apocryphal account, and that the Holy Father immediately set about composing the St Michael Prayer thereafter. However this account leaves out any mention of the hundred years granted to Satan. But we can be almost certain that Fr Pechenino was aware of the 100 years element in this story, since it was first published 13 years previously, but he doesn't attempt to refute that this was the central component of the pope's vision. This therefore seems to be a deliberately low-key confirmation that the events transpired as recounted in the apocrypal account.

  2. I was always disturbed as a boy (1970s) when I found out that the prayer to St Michael was suppressed after the liturgical changes. I thought why would they do this now when we need such prayer and protection more than ever? It seemed to border on insane. I mean it seems that this vision of the pope was a clear warning of what was to come as was the third secret of Fatima which was to be revealed in 1960 (in its entirety) why? Because it would be more clear than we were told. I believe the third secret has to do with Apostasy in the Church from the highest levels...I remember Mother Angelica saying that she believed when the secret was allegedly revealed that "we didn't get the whole thing" and I believe firmly that to be true.

    Regarding the St Michael Prayer I mean really there is nothing that prevents a priest and congregation from saying the prayer after Mass. I know that EWTN Masses do it. But I think that such a practice smacks too much of "Pre Vatican II" practice so again this false, misguided concept that there is a "Pre Vatican II Church & Post Vatican II Church" rears its ugly head... I have come to believe that the "Diabolical disorientation" within spoken of by Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima is at least part of the Chastisement.

  3. Emmett - thanks for that documentation.

    Servus - St. Agnes used to recite it after Masses - not sure if they continue to do so.

  4. Servus, we recite it after all the daily Masses at the Church on LSU's campus.

    Didn't Leo XIII command it to be said after all *low masses*? so it wouldn't be heard after the main Mass on Sunday anyway.

  5. Terry,

    You are right about St Agnes reciting it after all Masses. I forgot about that. Yet another good reason to miss it!

    Mercury, who initiated the recitation after Mass at LSU? I grew accustomed to it when I had the opportunity to assist daily at the traditional Mass. I say the prayer myself twice a day (morning and evening). The community I visited in Austria says it after all Masses Novus Ordo and Vetus Ordo.

  6. Terry, this post is very apt after your previous post on the parish council


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