The Antichrist’s Abolition of the Holy Mass (Franciso Suarez, d. 1617)

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church interpret the words of Daniel chapter 12 to mean that the Antichrist will abolish and prohibit the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of Mass for 1,290 days (i.e. 3 1/2 years).

Francisco Suarez (revered scholastic of the 16th-17th century) suggests that after the death of the Antichrist, the world will remain for an additional forty-five days – apparently allowing for a brief vindication and revival of the Catholic Church. He bases this on the following passage in Daniel 12:

11 And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh unto a thousand three hundred thirty-five days.

Suarez notes that the Antichrist reigns in terror for 1,290 days, but that the prophet also adds that the blessed will endure until the 1,335th day of this time – that is, for an additional forty-five days after the the time of trial.

Any thoughts?

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  • Peter Doyle

    Referring to this prophecy Jesus said: “And if that time had not been shortened, no human being would have survived; but shortened it shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen” (Mt 24:22) NJB.

    I take this to mean that God will not permit this period of affliction, which the Church must endure, to continue indefinately and that mercy and grace will follow.

    I would hesitate however to interpret this prophecy of Daniel as the abolition of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It may well be that the apostasy (2 Th 2:4) of which St Paul wrote is of a much more subtle nature and will not be fully understood until after it has taken place.

    As for “times and dates” (1 Th 5:1), I don’t believe it is possible to give a precise interpretation of these two divergent number of days because because their meaning has been “sealed until the time of the End” (Dn 12:4).   

    Taylor, thank you for a very enjoyable and informative blog.

  • Tap

    Taylor it seems to me the passage: “And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up,

    Seems to me to only makes sense in 1st Century Jewish Temple context., because there is no way now that post resurrection sacrifice can cease. it would be impossible to arrest every priest in every country. 
    And even if such a feat were to be achieve, nothing prevents the priest from confecting the Eucharist, if he gets his hands on bread.