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The Three Days of Darkness is an eschatological prophecy (based on private revelation) within Roman Catholicism which parallels the Ten Plagues against Egypt in the Book of Exodus. This belief is not endorsed by the Holy See.
Just as God punished the Egyptians with plagues including the "three days of darkness", the theory states that God will chastise the world with darkness at the end of time. The earth will be enveloped by darkness lasting three days and three nights, the only light source that can be seen being blessed candles. Various Catholic visionaries agree that the faithful should stay within their homes during this period as most of the earth's inhabitants shall die.
Look out for signs of the three days of darkness coming. The main sign will be a sudden drop in the temperature, to an unmistakable bitterness.
Those who subscribe to the Three Days of Darkness theory instruct people to hide in their homes immediately after they observe the "bitterly cold winter night." The faithful should lock their doors, and close their shutters. Beeswax candles previously blessed by a Catholic priest should be stored in homes in preparation for the event, as is Holy water for combatting demonic activity. Once the darkness descends, no one should go outside but rather stay indoors and pray fervently.
Many Catholic seers and mystics such as Saints Hildegard of Bingen, Gaspar del Bufalo, Padre Pio (see controversy below), and Blesseds Anna Maria Taigi, Elisabeth Canori Mora, Elena Aiello, Mariam Baouardi (Mary of Jesus Crucified), Rosa-Colomba Asdente, Palma d'Oria, Pere Lamy, Marie Martel, and Marie Julie Jahenny, have prophesied the Three Days of Darkness. However it is not endorsed by the Holy See.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769–1837) is the most known seer of the Three Days of Darkness and describes the event in this way:
There shall come over the whole earth an intense darkness lasting three days and three nights. Nothing can be seen, and the air will be laden with pestilence which will claim mainly, but not only, the enemies of religion. It will be impossible to use any man-made lighting during this darkness, except blessed candles. He, who out of curiosity, opens his window to look out, or leaves his home, will fall dead on the spot. During these three days, people should remain in their homes, pray the Rosary and beg God for mercy. All the enemies of the Church, whether known or unknown, will perish over the whole earth during that universal darkness, with the exception of a few whom God will soon convert. The air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms.
Marie-Julie Jahenny (1850-1941), known as the "Breton Stigmatist", embellished the story of the Three Days of Darkness. This will Days occur on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, when all of Hell will be let loose to strike at those outside their homes and those without a blessed candle lit. The blessed wax candles must be of 100% pure wax without other ingredients. Such impure candles will not light, while even candles will not light in the homes of the impious or blasphemers. A two-day period of darkness will precede the Three Days of Darkness 37 to 40 days before, and the blessed candles will be the only sources of light at night during the two days, but can be put out during the day. The blessed candles must be lit for all three days and must not be put out, and any furniture on which these are placed will not shake during the incessant earthquakes that will occur in those days. The faithful are instructed to pray around a blessed crucifix and an image of the Virgin Mary, and to avoid looking out the windows lest they be struck dead.
Adherents of the Three Days of Darkness are usually traditionalist Catholics or sedevacantists. The latter group hopes that a "true pope" will be miraculously designated by an apparition of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; this tangential belief assumes that the most recent pontiffs of the Church are in fact "antipopes". There is also controversy over whether the twentieth-century saint and stigmatist Saint Pio endorsed and taught on the future Three Days of Darkness as the authenticity of the alleged words of Saint Pio are disputed.