A former confidante of the Pope John Paul II has claimed that the late pontiff had a prophetic vision that Europe will be invaded by Islamists.
Monsignor Mauro Longhi, who often accompanied the John Paul II on hiking trips before his ordination, told a large group at the hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul this past October that the former pope was a mystic who had prophetic visions and "dialogued" with the Virgin Mary.
During his lecture at the hermitage, Longhi recounted a conversation he had with the John Paul II in March 1993, in which the pope warned him about a disturbing vision he had about the future of Europe.
"The Pope told me: 'Tell this to those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a mortal wound. More profound, more painful than those of this millennium,' referring to Communism and Nazi totalitarianism. 'It is called Islamism. They will invade Europe. I have seen the hordes come from the West to the East,' and then told to me each country one by one: from Morocco to Libya to Egypt, and so on till the East," Longhi recalled, as reported by The Catholic Herald.
"The Holy Father added: 'They will invade Europe, Europe will be like a basement, old relics, shadows, cobwebs. Family heirlooms. You, the Church of the third millennium, must contain the invasion. Not with armies, armies will not be enough, but with your faith, lived with integrity," the priest added.
Longhi, who was ordained in 1995, told the audience at the hermitage that the late pontiff used to sneak out of Rome in a modest car and stay at an Opus Dei home in the mountains in Abruzzo.
The priest recalled that Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, one of John Paul II's closest friends, had revealed to him that the pontiff had the "gift of visions."
At night, the pope could be found kneeling before the Tabernacle in the chapel of the house and he heard conversing with God or the Virgin Mary, according to the Longhi.
The former pope's visions apparently began during his first Mass on Nov. 2, 1946 in the crypt of St. Leonard in Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, Poland.
In the same lecture, Longhi also recounted the time when the pope castigated former U.S. President George W. Bush for sacrificing "all human dignity" for security after he deployed military forces to Afghanistan sometime after 9/11.
John Paul II, who was born Karol Wojtyla, had been known for promoting inter-faith dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, and he was the first known pope to have set foot inside a mosque in 2001.
The late pontiff had drawn criticism from traditionalists after he was seen in photos kissing the Koran. However, in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia in Europa, the pope appeared to "beseech" Christians to be trained in "an objective knowledge of Islam." He stressed that Christians should also take into account the "notable gap" between European culture, which he says is rooted in Christianity, and Muslim thought.