I first knew about Fr. Luigi Orione from Giorgio Sernani Panopoulos, a friend and mentor in the faith. Giorgio was one of the great Marian scholars. I had the privilege to meet him personally for the first time in 2012 after exchanging letters with him over many years. He was very knowledgeable of the history of the faith in Argentina.
A brief history of Argentina
Some readers may be familiar with some aspects of Argentine history I have commented in various posts over the years. A brief history of the country: Argentina was the southernmost Spanish dominion until 1810 when the May Revolution —a masonic-inspired revolt against the King of Spain— took advantage of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in Europe to cut the ties to the colonial power.
The revolution was followed by a declaration of independence and a fruitless Constitution in 1816. A period of anarchy ensued that lasted about four decades during which strongmen called “caudillos” ruled the various regions of the country warrying frequently among themselves. Finally one of those caudillos managed to impose enough order in the area to sanction a new Constitution in 1853.
A long period of relative peace followed during which the country enjoyed the great economic boom of the second part of the 19th century. After the Great War in Europe, Argentina began to favor socialistic ideas coming from across the Atlantic. The Radical Party (now a member of the International Socialist) won the elections of 1916 and —almost imperceptibly at first— the long cultural and economic decline of Argentina began. During that era, the European immigration (mainly Italians and Spaniards) began in earnest. The Catholic Church sent many Italian priests to serve the immigrants. Among them were Fr. John Bosco, and Fr. Luigi Orione who, inspired by the work of St. Cottolengo applied himself to create orphanages, schools, and hospitals around the country to serve the poor.
Argentina had its first military coup d’état in 1930. That was followed by fifteen years of ‘revolutions’ and ‘elections’ as serious political corruption grew and the country’s economic status continued to decline. With the election of Juan Perón in 1946 the country had a short period of prosperity followed by a decline that continues to this day. Argentina descended from being among the top ten economies in the world to struggling among the bottom list. The application of leftist methods to production, education, and social organization also caused a steep decline of the culture in general.
It was in 1934 when the International Eucharistic Congress took place in Buenos Aires. Until recently, the IEC of 1934 was the largest assembly of human beings ever recorded. Millions of people gathered in the capital to hear Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (who later became Pius XII). Conversions were counted by the thousands among them the conversion of President Justo who resigned the secret sect to become a faithful Catholic. The devil was not going to let Argentina get away with that. The years that followed saw the growth of a rabid anticatholic sentiment that pervaded the whole culture. Even the Church was affected by that. It is sad to compare the Argentine Catholicism of 1934 with what remains of the faith.
Young Fr. Orione saw prophetically the seeds of today’s disaster. God gave him several visions showing the suffering of the years to come, the final supernatural triumph, and the renewal of the country’s spirit in the End Times. Only God knows when exactly those events will take place but it is refreshing to hear that Argentina will return to her Christian roots. The story of Argentina will be a lesson to the nations of the world one day. One can only hope that so much suffering and pain will eventually be useful so others can see how a country can be destroyed by its own delusional inhabitants.
The Prophecy of the Gray Man (“el Hombre Gris”)
“The Gray Man will not know that he is the chosen one, he will be a totally apolitical man, but in a chaotic moment in the country, an angel of God will appear to him, telling him that he has to take charge of the country, because he was chosen by God to do so , but he will not want and will not accept, so because of his refusal, an angel will cause the death of 400,000 people, who will collapse, lifeless, in the streets.
Then there will be a civil armed uprising, the people full of anger, will take to the streets, searching and killing every politician, official, police, military, priest and any other person, who having had the power to improve Argentina, did not do it, and that right there, where they find them, they will kill them; there will be as many crucified, as from Rosario to Buenos Aires, in groups of three, a politician or official, a policeman or military man and a priest, that is: one of each; one, one and one; and so on.
At the same time, a president will be hanged in the Plaza de Mayo. At that time, there will be several men, who will be awarded the title of Gray Man and will want to enter the Presidential Palace, through the entrance of Balcarce 50, but God will put an angel there, who will be guarding that entrance and will not allow entry of any other who is not the real Gray Man, striking down on the spot any impostor who dares trying go past the door.
Finally, the one chosen will accept, everyone will see him and know that it is him, he will enter through the door of Balcarce 50 [the address of the Presidential Palace] and will govern Argentina, from Congress for 50 years until his death, hand in hand with the children, without ever leaving the country, there will be peace and prosperity.”
In separate occasions, Don Orione mentioned that millions will come seeking refuge in Argentina “from a northern hemisphere devastated by a great war.” They will help rebuild the country ruined by a century of destructive, knavish, incompetent administrations.
Don Orione said that no one will know who the Gray Man is, not even his parents, not even the Catholic Church (to which Fr. Orione obviously belonged!), because if the church [obviously, the apostate ‘church’ of the End Times] knew, “they would have him killed him before he was born…”
Here we must remind the reader that Fr. Orione, like Padre Pio and other contemporary visionaries seldom committed his revelations to paper. Those were pronounced in homilies, conversations with other religious or with the faithful in general. Of course those who had the great grace to hear them wrote them down as soon as they could. That was the case with a certain lady in Buenos Aires whose name I ignore. She was invited to a dinner given by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on the night of the first anniversary of the International Eucharistic Congress. Dinner was almost over and a few friends remained at the table with Fr. Orione when the priest began talking about the future of Argentina. As soon as the lady realized that she was hearing actual prophecies she grabbed a piece of paper and began to write frantically trying not to miss anything.
That piece of paper was a religious card depicting the last moments of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Through the years, the card changed hands a few times. It ended in possession of Jorge ‘Giorgio’ Sernani who allowed me to photocopy it almost eight decades after it was originally written. The image of that photocopy is included below.
You have read the prophecy of the Gray Man above and now you will read about other prophetic utterances in the next few lines. You must know that the corpus of Fr. Orione’s prophecies is composed by a number of snippets like these. Some are better documented than others. Some are better known than others. Over the years, I have compiled a collection of these testimonies. Before ending this long post, I will try to put together the “story” they tell. I believe in those prophecies mainly because of the overall consistency of the various parts. Additionally, some of the predictions mention details that coincide with ancient prophecies from biblical sources and also from saints of various eras of the Church.
Prophetic notes from an after dinner chat in 1935
[See footnotes for translation of text in image]
How the story comes together
Don Orione had a prophetic gift but he also had the ability to read the signs and trends of the times and see beyond them deep into the future. Here are two of his non-prophetic messages:
“As long as there are tears and slaves on earth, Christ returns, he will always return; he will once again give full freedom to his Church. He will return triumphantly, in the arms of the people, on a throne of hearts. When it seems that the people have been definitively snatched from God, then they will wake up as a strong man does, and will understand that only Christ is their life and their happiness, and with a powerful and anguished voice they will invoke their Lord, the God of mercy (…) It is impossible to live in the midst of hatred, and Jesus is preparing a great change. The time is drawing near: everything is being announced. The final victory will always belong to God; and the triumph of God —as the Savior and Father that He is— will be a great moment of universal mercy.” (Messaggi di Don Orione, by Sergio Giustozzi)
“Christ comes bringing the Church in his heart, and in his hands the tears and blood of the poor: the cause of the afflicted, the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the humble, the marginalized. And behind him new heavens are opening: it is the dawn of the triumph of God. They are new peoples, new conquests; it is a triumph never seen before of great and universal charity, since the final victory belongs to him, to Christ, and Christ wins in charity and mercy. The future belongs to Him, to Christ, invincible King; Divine Word that regenerates life, the way to all moral greatness, a living source of love, progress, freedom and peace.” (Messaggi di Don Orione, by Sergio Giustozzi)
The most important detail in that prophecy is often overlooked because we focus on the mystery of the Gray Man. Argentina will be a guiding example that is: something to be imitated or followed. Fr. Orione and other prophets mention a sort of civil war, an uprising against the political order in general, people tired of being abused by the insatiable politicians that steal without any compunction leaving poverty and suffering in their wake.
The death of many will be the trigger for that bloody rebellion. It may come in the form of a government mistake that will cause an artificial epidemic. Many will pay for that mistake with their lives but those who temporarily survive, believing they are condemned to a sure death and —having nothing to lose— will revolt in a formless, brutal revolution that will respect no one. Then, the rest of the world will follow their example. Those politicians complotting to kill everyone, will be terminated worldwide. Christ will side with the just and may enter the fight in person. Please see Revelation 19:
And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid-heaven, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and their riders—flesh of all, both free and slave, both small and great.’ Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. And the rest were killed by the sword of the rider on the horse, the sword that came from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:14-21)
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8
My personal belief is that the process will begin here, in the peripheries of the world. The “lawless man” and his followers will be ended by the sword, the breath of Christ the King. Like the small electric charge emerges from the earth and calls the discharge of lighting from the clouds above, in the same manner, the rebellion of the just against the oppressors of mankind will call justice from above. Christ himself compared his parousia to lightning in Matthew 24:27.
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
The connection with Revelation 19 is self evident, in my opinion. I believe this is getting more and more clear as we approach the time of fulfillment. The Gray Man will thus be unwittingly the catalyzer of a process that will change the whole world and bring about an era of peace after the wicked are wiped out worldwide.
St. Luigi Orione sees several distinct local events leading to the End of Times.
There is a dramatic persecution of the Church. The profanation and destruction of the temples in [Buenos Aires] occur after the death of the Archbishop, priests, nuns, and religious are assassinated. Then the people’s rebellion follows: “One day the blood will run, [it will be] a tragic day for the whole country.” The false “mud idols” of politics that the people used to worship will fall. Desperate to impose order at any cost, a president with Communist tendencies will raise a red flag over the Presidential Palace perhaps trying to find favor with a foreign superpower but it will be too late and the furious populace will invade the seat of government and hang the whole executive cabinet. At the height of that chaos, “salvation will come like a flash from the center of the Argentine Republic.” That is the hour of the Gray Man.