Fire From Heaven and St. Michael’s Tears

Somewhere in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty there is claimed to have been placed a plaque inscribed with a passage from the sonnet The New Colossus written by Emma Lazarus.  The passage compares the two bronze statues for purpose:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
 Mother of Exiles.

The poem seems to suggest that the statue of liberty is a giant expression of a new concept, and leads one to believe that the new statue has a good purpose and the old one bad.  I’ll leave such discussion for another time, noting that the American statue, the new Colossus is a woman, while the Colossus of Rhodes was a man.  My point here being that by some choice, American determined to erect a bronze statue in harbor much like those inhabitants of Rhodes had done in 220 BC to celebrate their liberty from Cyprus.  In other words, our land shares some sort of connection to theirs.

colossus and statue of liberty

Today, Rhodes does not have a bronze statue, but St. Michael the archangel is the patron of the island.  Says the news there on the feast of the synaxis of the archangels, “The Commander Michael patron and lord of Rhodes guards the island and thousands of believers visit him for blessing. Today the day was dedicated to him and all found in his house to worship.”

Earlier this week, I reported the accounts of an Icon of St. Michael the Archangel located in Rhodes that is weeping tears.  On the Greek Orthodox calendar followed in Rhodes, yesterday was the feast of the Synaxis of the Archangels, or more precisely, their celebration of the feast for St. Michael.  Ever since I heard that story, the question has been nagging me:  why Rhodes?  Why this little village?

Procession of weeping icon

According to a Greek Orthodox page that relates the significance they place on the feast, this important reminder “The name Michael means ‘Who is like God?’”  I think that is a good starting point, considering we are talking about a city that, in historical times, had built a giant bronze god.  I also think the Kontakion for that feast, which is much like the Secret from the 1962 and prior form of Latin Mass (i.e. in the era before ICEL destroyed meaning of the words used in the Mass), can give us some clue about this event.  The Kontakion focuses the purpose of a feast in a few phrases.  It says:

Chief Commanders of God; ministers of divine glory; guides for men and leadership of the Incorporeal; as Chief Commanders of the Incorporeal, plead for our welfare and for great mercy.

The concept is complete:  guides for men and ministers of God’s glory.  What are they to do for us?  “plead for our welfare and great mercy.”  What then could it mean that an icon representing one of these Chiefs who plead for our welfare and great mercy would weep?  I have to admit that my mind goes right to the thought that pleading is over, if the angel could not obtain further results, how would it convey that idea?  Might tears from an icon of him be a hint?

On a second glance, though, it would seem more likely that this is a cry for more requests from the people – more prayers for mercy.  That seems more like God’s style:  signs like this would be intended to announce a last chance to obtain God’s mercy.  Think, for instance, of Jonah:  repent or it’s going to get bad.  Fortunately, the Ninevites repented.  Given that this icon began to weep just prior to a feast reminding the people that St. Michael, among other things, is meant to guide the people and obtain great mercy for them and for their welfare, then it would seem to be clear that this sign was meant to impress the people with a deeper fervor for repentance that they could get mercy.

That such a message would appear from a heavenly power should be no surprise today.  But is there more to the story?  What of this connection between Rhodes and America?  Yesterday, the website from which the videos and follow-up report I posted came posted an article exclaiming how surprised and grateful they were that their reports had been picked up worldwide and translated into many other languages.  (for them, I post “Eυχαριστώ Πάρα πολύ!“).  It’s not clear if the icon is still weeping today, though.

But where is the link?  What message of St. Michael would be for the whole world?  Is there a clue somewhere from St. Michael himself?

St. Michael at Fatima brought a Prayer that helps interpret

I was taught by my mom to say the following prayer at the end of each mystery of the rosary:

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell!  Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy!

I know may people forgo this prayer, but for me it is second nature by decades of habit now.  It’s adoption is typical of Catholic practice as there is always some dispute over to most properly add the prayer.  The best have differences over whether it ought to be said after the first Glory be.  One camp says not after the first glory be, but after the mysteries themselves.  The other camp says this prayer after any Glory be.  I say it after the mysteries themselves.  Over these practices, there is no real controversy – but, that it is a prayer given from the Blessed Mother to the children and that it has been adopted for the past 96 years worldwide is credit enough for us to look at it for some meaning today.

In this prayer we see a direct link between mercy and relief from fire.  St. Michael himself gave this prayer to the children at Fatima, prior to the Blessed Mother’s addition to the Rosary:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

The angel tells us for what we are to give reparation “outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences.”  The Blessed Mother adds what will happen if not repented: the fires of Hell.  The third secret of Fatima, and the open message at Akita, tells us how:  Fire will fall from Heaven.

As a side note, I believe the angel with the flaming sword was not St. Michael, but yet the unnamed Angel of the Lord, as in Our Lord’s personal guardian angel.  I realize this could be a point of great debate, but I make the point here because it highlights how I see St. Michael’s role:  he intercedes and teaches us (as the Kontakion charges him as a “guide for men”) how to obtain mercy sufficient to prevent the arrival of this other angel.

Only a few short months later, the children would be given a vision of secrets pertaining to fire falling from Heaven.  As I mentioned in an article earlier this year, this message was repeated by Our Lady at Akita:  Fire will fall from Heaven.  Our Lady’s remedy at Akita is no different than what she said at Fatima:  pray and repent.  St. Michael, as he was at Fatima, appears to have the same concerns:  pray for mercy so that you may be spared from the fires of hell.

It should be a little clearer now what the message of his icon weeping might mean.  Given the message of Fatima and Akita, I decided to look a little more at recent news to see if anything caught my eye.  Thus, when it was apparent that the weeping icon was taken to a cathedral of Our Lady, the Dormition (Assumption) cathedral, naturally I was thinking of this chain of messages together.

Putin agrees to the invitation of Pope Francis to Meet

On November 7, the Russian State News Agency (RIAN) released that Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin will meet on November 25.  It is important to note that Pope Francis requested the meeting.  Putin is responding to the invitation to meet.  RIAN reported it this way, “In September, the pontiff wrote a letter to Putin, […] appealing to him to prevent possible military action in Syria and find a peaceful solution to the civil war there.”

Says RIAN, “it will be the first meeting between Putin and Pope Francis, although the Russian leader previously met the pope’s predecessors Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II.”

November 25 is the feast of Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr, on the Roman calendar, the end (leavetaking) of Presentation on the Byzantine calendar, and St. John the Merciful, patriarch of Alexandria, on the Russian calendar.

Icon, "The Merciful"

Icon, “The Merciful”

It is also, by the way, a feast on the Russian calendar to commemorate a wonder-working icon of the Blessed Mother named “the Merciful.”  This icon is one of the five purported to have been painted by St. Luke the evangelist (Czestochowa and Vladimir icons are among the others).  This icon came to live on the island of Cyprus (the freedom from which was the cause of the building of the Colossus), and upon her arrival at the monastery there, it is reported people came rushing to the “Mother of God the Merciful there throngs from every side afflicted by every sort of infirmity, and they receive healing through faith. In the miraculous power of the holy icon believe not only Christians, but also those of other faith who hearken to it in misfortune and illness. Inexhaustible is the mercy of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mediatrix for all the suffering, and Her image accurately bears the name, the “Merciful”.  This icon is yet another one wear Our Lady bears a crown.  Just a side note to see if there’s any trivia to be found in the feasts of the day when Pope Francis and Putin will meet.

The curious connection to Alexandria in the western and Russian commemorations might be a key that Alexandria is one of the seats of the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church.

Syria and the destruction of Christians there

I reported last year on the efforts of Sr. Agnes Miriam, a Melkite nun, on the atrocities in Syria.  While some efforts have been made in the U.S. news to make people aware of these atrocities, it would appear that the US news thinks this is some sort of religious vendetta between Islam and Catholics, but that’s not true according to the reports of Melkites and Maronities living in Syria.  It seems to be the work of paid mercenaries who came from abroad.  Whatever their cause, these outrages and atrocities cry out to Heaven.

So what’s the message?

I don’t know if there’s anything to be gleaned from all the loose connections, but they are interesting.  There is the straightforward, immediate thought of the Russia, Fatima, reparation connection as well as the odd connection between the Colossus and the Statue of Liberty.  There’s always the threat of the punishment mentioned at Fatima and Akita looming in the background, however.  On account of fire falling from Heaven, it is interesting to note that accounts of fireballs seen in the sky have been on the rise.


About a month before the icon of St. Michael was weeping, on September 28, yours truly saw a comet fireball trace across the Alabama sky.  I reported it on twitter, together with others and I had a small moment of fame as it got retweeted.  Just two weeks prior, others had seen a fireball, too.

Let’s not forget the fireball in Chelyabinsk earlier this year in February.  We still owe it to God’s mercy that the meteor there did not impact the earth, as bad as the damage was without it, because that area is where Russia’s high tech radioactive and weapons systems are made.  It’s not the rural fields that our news seemed to imply, but an area in which the detonation could have caused worldwide concern probably greater than that of Fukushima. Even without striking the earth, the damage was incredible.

There’s comet fireball reports happening all over the place, though, and in increasing frequency this year.  A glance at the American meteor society shows this is happening a lot and in many, many places.  While there is a notation on their site that the number of reports is affected by the increasing awareness of people to their website, there is a rising trend in reports.

Could it be that the fireballs are warning us that fire is coming?  Would tears coming from St. Michael’s icon be a hint that there’s a connection?

I’m not sure myself – rather, I am just teasing out the idea.  I do know however of a priest of blessed memory, who told me 15 years ago that we’d see an increase of comet activity and fire from the heavens in the near future…  The basis of his predictions were on science, though.  I’ll report that in the near future.

For now, what do you think?

Is Putin meeting with Pope Francis tied to any of this?

Oh, as a tease…  Russian scientists reported this week that they are tracking upwards of twenty million, that’s 20,000,000, objects traveling towards earth in the sweep of an approaching comet.

This article, Fire From Heaven and St. Michael’s Tears is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • there is a follow-up that I put in the comments to the original report. It appears that the connections in this post aren’t so outlandish considering what the natives said upon seeing this icon weep:

    Said the priest at the Church home to the icon: “it is a message for all of us that we must be always ready with a pure soul because never know the counsels of the Almighty Who obviously wants to remind us that we exist to strengthen the faith of all and awaken us to the need for humility, prayer, and the cultivation of our [holiness], something the world has begun to neglect in recent years. Blessed be His will!”

    The Aegean News has a reporter who quoted an old woman on the street at the pilgrimage, she a resident of the Isle of Ialyssos, saying — In her life, the icon wept twice, and that was not a good message. The first time the Second World War started after a few days, while the second was at the beginning of the great earthquake in 1956.

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