Uncanonically Elected? St. Francis of Assisi’s Quips Raise Eyebrows

Optical Illusions can be fun because they show us how our own perception can be tricked or misdirected at times. The best part about them is that frequently we can see the illusion in front of us, we can tell that we see one thing or another thing, but we will usually pick the side we want. Designers refer to this concept as gestalt, and you can see many examples of it in Escher or others, but the simplest is the two faces or vase (sometimes credited to Rubin, but it was around before Rubin). See it here:

Image demonstrating gestalt or illusion - showing black profiles facing each other or a white vase in the middle.
Two faces facing each other, or a white vase? you tell me…

This happens a lot with prophecies or predictions. Often times, the context in which they are sent can cause us to not see one aspect because we are looking for the portion that fills context. Every once in a while, I stumble onto something I may have seen before but I did not “register” or “click” what I was reading and I saw one aspect, but not another. That’s how that works — it was there, I may have remembered the image above of a vase and never really attached the faces until I look again.

So it is with the third part of the Fatima secret, in which Sr. Lucy wrote “we saw a bishop in white…we had the impression it was the Holy Father.” I had never focused on this aspect: 1) that she was telling us what she thought of what she saw, even though the Blessed Mother said to only write what you saw, not what you know it to mean; and, 2) that she was describing seeing two of them (as when men pass in front of a mirror). These aspects have been sitting right in front of me but it never clicked — saw the vase and moved on. And so it is with this little St. Francis tidbits.

Often enough over the years, St. Francis of Assisi’s prophecies are coded in terms of the anti-christ. Many articles discussing this for as long as I remember. The titles are usually “St. Francis on the end times” or “how to spot the anti-christ” etc. Sort of like asking the reader to see if they see a vase in the image above… yes, I see the vase. …but I may not take time to see the faces because I saw what you pointed out and moved on. Also, I note that going back for some time, there are many who have used these quotes to speak on Pope Francis, but I had not run across those posts until looking at this here. So, I’m not first to see this, and I’m not necessarily agreeing with the other posts on this topic… but I put this here, sort of like the image above — it does appear that there are two (or more) things moving around in this quote:

“There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great Schism, there will be diverse thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders to doubt, yea, even agree with those heretics which will cause my Order to divide, then will there be such universal dissension and persecutions that if those days were not shortened even the elect would be lost.”

St. Francis of Assisi, quoted by Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp 248-

That’s interesting… I never really paid attention to that. But there’s more:

The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase. The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity.  At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death.


And, sounding like the warnings of Akita which your author propounds upon regularly, St. Francis describes more of the situation:

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

Those who preserve their fervor and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth, but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, Christ, these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.


That sounds like Akita’s secret to a tee. And I am pretty sure you, dear reader, can see in those passages reflections of our situation today. Need I go on a parade of issues? No, but I will in the comments if you ask me to.

Finally, there is this tidbit:

Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.


Wow. You tell me, Dear Reader, do you see two faces in the picture, or the vase?

This article, Uncanonically Elected? St. Francis of Assisi’s Quips Raise Eyebrows 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.
  • David Krause says:

    That’s an interesting observation regarding the “mirror” aspect of the Fatima prophesy. I think you’re on to something there, and I’m going to reread and ponder…. Good article, John, as always.

    • John B. Manos says:

      Thanks be to God. The mirror thing really puts a whole different angle on what we got. And it’s strange that Fatima focuses on the Holy Father while Akita is focused on the rest.

  • Martial says:

    Laudetur Jesus Christus! So what becomes of an uncanonically elected pope?

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