In the alleged revelations on the life of Jesus to Utah mystic Cora Evans -- currently under initial consideration for possible future sainthood -- is the fascinating account of how, according to these visions, Jesus gave His mother a glimpse of future apparitions and their purpose just before His death on the Cross. The entry in Evans' journals was called "The Last Hour" and describes what she quotes the Lord as calling "important future events."
We warn as always that mystical interpretations of Jesus' life should be taken just as that: an interpretation, capturing the feeling, essence, and holiness, perhaps, but not necessarily details that can always be taken literally. Discrepancies have been indicated in the revelations of various mystics who have "seen" the birth, life, and death of Our Lord.
But the book, Refugee from Heaven, is undeniably vivid, often intense, and we take particular note here of the surprisingly accurate portrayals by Evans -- who died in 1957 -- of what was to become a great outbreak in the Blessed Mother's appearance in the last part of the twentieth century, when claims of apparitions came from all corners of the world, starting in a special way in Spain just four years after Evans' death and attaining international attention with the reports in 1981 from Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Hundreds of similar claims soon erupted on all habitable continents (for our discernment).
"There will be many great ages of faith as well as ages of great coldness to Me as I repose on the altars of time," the Lord supposedly told Mary in the weeks preceding His Crucifixion. "In the generations of little faith you may participate as an active mother of the people by your personal appearance in apparitions, through which you may warn them of their neglect of Me in the tabernacle.
"However, before you take this active part I must have your consent. That is as necessary now as when you gave your will that allowed Me to be born into the world. To many people you will truly be the Gate of Heaven, for you will point the way, through apparitions, to the altar where I will live in silence and be imprisoned until the end of time.
"Rather than allow some people the risk of being lost without some warning that they should make haste and return to My Love, it will be necessary for you to appear through the mystery of visions and reproach them for their little faith. The fear of the supernatural will always stir the human heart, whereas tradition and the written word may find its truths on the shelves of myth [our italics]."
Evans, a stigmatic, wrote down what she said were the details of Jesus' life after ecstasies that in some cases lasted hours.
While Christ talked with Mary, He supposedly allowed His mother the immediate gift of vision through which she could see all her future appearances around the globe, according to the mystic.
"One after another they unfolded before her eyes, as if time were but a fleeting moment," wrote Evans. "Then like a huge scroll coming to an end, Mother Mary gasped for breath as she watched the greatest apparition of all. Its magnitude and beauty were beyond human understanding and wisdom. The whole world seemed to be swallowed in the light of a golden vapor, which in no way bore any resemblance to the glow of the earthly sun. It resembled in its mystery of light a huge monstrance tipped over the earth to such a degree that the Host could be seen by everyone in the world [our italics]."
This calls to mind other reputed revelations, especially those given to Saint Faustina of Poland.
Intriguingly, the mystic/housewife added, "The center of the imaginary monstrance appeared to be above the nations of China and India. Thin vapors, like bead-like fire, rained upon the earth from the center of the golden light.
"Millions of people saw that apparition, yet none were harmed or frightened."
That apparition -- which obviously has not yet come to pass -- would represent, she claimed, a "glorious age" of faith and peace, one that would last "several hundred years." This is in line with latter revelations of a period or era of peace.
The Golden Age also would see its end, however, as "satanic powers of hell" would possess people and "through them cause diabolical miracles to appear as God-given," she said she was shown. "Wars and terrible persecutions will take place all over the world," and priests would be hunted down until the very last one. "During the last hour, the atheistic soldiers will delight in their search for the one last priest," Evans prophesied, quoting Jesus. "Through the latest scientific inventions, the complete world of people will know the minute details in regard to this search. When his death is announced, a worldwide celebration, long planned, will supposedly begin with such hilarity and joy that history, even if it had the time, could not boast its equal."
At the last hour, said Cora -- in writing currently under Church review in California, where she later moved and died -- the last priest would be found celebrating Mass in a cave with a few faithful. "The Master stopped speaking; sorrow had overcome Him," she wrote. Our Lord instead sat quietly beside His mother, who whispered, "Blessed are the worshippers in any age of time who are not afraid to die for You."
"Mother Mary bowed before Jesus and kissed His Feet, whispering her willing consent to appear in future apparitions according to His Will for the good of the human race," claimed Evans, who added that He then showed Mary a "pearl that had fallen from John's lips."
[see previous story and also: Interview with custodian for writings of U.S. mystic]