To the Venerable Old Man of Lazio

Dry up thy tears old man! Dry up thy tears old man; I bless thee! And to you O Rome! What shall befall you, ungrateful, effeminate, proud Rome? You have reached a point when you seek and admire nought in your sovereign but luxury, forgetting that both your glory and his lies on Golgotha. Now he is old, frail, defenseless, and dispossessed. Nevertheless, though captive, his words cause the whole world to tremble. Rome! Four times shall I come to you! The first time I shall smite your regions and its people. The second time I shall bring slaughter and destruction to your very gates. Should not that make you open your eyes? A third time shall I come, and I will demolish your defenses and defenders. At My Father's command, terror, dismay, and desolation will reign. "My wise followers flee, but My law is still trod underfoot.Therefore, I shall come a fourth time.Woe to you if My law again shall go unheeded. There shall be defections among both learned and ignorant. Your blood and that of your children shall wipe out your transgressions. "War, plague, and famine are the scourges to smite human pride and malice. Where are your magnificent villas and palaces, you people of wealth? They have become the litter of squares and streets!"And you priests, why are you not prostrate between the vestibule and the altar, weeping and praying that the scourge may cease? Why do you not take up the shield of faith and preach My Word from the rooftops, in the houses, streets, and squares, and even in inaccessible places? Do you not know that this is the terrible two-edged sword which smites My enemies and placates the wrath of God and man? "These things shall inexorably come to pass, all in succession. "Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is in his hands there his strength is hid. He scatters His enemies as a cloud. The Venerable Old Man of Lazio attires himself in all his ancient garments. ~ St John Bosco


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