The sequence of events as foretold is by no means certain. Public prophecy. ceased with the death of St. John the Apostle. Private prophecy, even if received from God, is not reliable because the prophet is fallible. He can forget, misunderstand or misinterpret. Even when he does not err those who hear him and who transmit the message can err. So when we state here that this seems to be the general sequence of things foretold, it is largely merely a private opinion. 1. Before the Gospel is preached and accepted in all the world, shall come world wars and insidious doctrines accompanied by widespread persecution. 2. This era shall be terminated by the direct interference of God destroying the evil system or persons responsible for the persecution and through the leadership of a great civil ruler and a great spiritual leader a period of peace will came during which the nations will hear and accept the true Faith. 3. A great apostacy will follow. 4. Antichrist will come and reign three and one half years. He will be destroyed by the direc.t intervention of Christ. 5. The Second Coming of Christ will follow but by how long a time is unknown. 6. The trumpet will sound, the dead will arise and be judged. 7. The world will be destroyed by fire. 8. There will be new heavens and a new earth. Prophecy is a word of many meanings but it is commonly understood to mean knowledge of the free future, i.e. how God will act in the future, how man will use his free will in the future, and the events resulting from both. It is in this sense that the word is used in this volume. The free future is known only to God and those to whom He chooses to reveal it. Neither the angels (faithful or fallen), the Saints, nor Our Lady herself, know future events contingent upon God or man's use of free will-unless it is made known to them. Because of its unique quality prophecy has always been linked with miracles as a sign from God that a certain revelation is true. Thus our Blessed Lord has made use of prophecy in two ways to prove His Messianic and Divine claims: He showed that He fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament that had foretold His life in detail, while Himself making prophecies that were fulfilled both in His lifetime and generations later. In the centuries since the canon of Sacred Scripture was determined many saints and mystics have claimed the gift of prophecy. Since all such comes under the heading of private revelation it is never binding upon the faithful to believe. No matter how great the saint we have no guarantee that every word found in his or her writings is infallible, and especially when it comes to prophecy. When the cause of a proposed saint is introduced in Rome and the steps leading to canonization begun, the writings of the person are carefully examined to judge their content of holiness, and to see if there is anything in them contrary to church doctrine. If such writings are approved it simply means that the prophecy has nothing in it contrary to faith or morals. The extreme caution one should use in approaching all private revelation is graphically exemplified by the classic instances in which a Saint has been proven wrong in his predictions. Thus St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) went about preaching the coming of the Antichrist and the end of the world in his own generation! Then there too is the ticklish problem of one saint contradicting another in a revelation. Benedict XIVsaid: "The recipients of prophecy may be angels, devils, men, women, children, heathens, or gentiles; nor is it neccssary that a man should be gifted with any particular disposition in order to receive the light of prophecy provided his intellect and senses be adapted for making manifest the things which God reveals to him. Though moral goodness is most profitable to a prophet, yet it is not necessary in order to obtain the gift of prophecy."
Edward Connor, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1492897876, ISBN 13: 9781492897873