The Apocalypse Explained

H.M. Feret, O.P.

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Unfortunately, most Catholic studies of the Apocalypse have been aimed at specialists. An exception was this popular treatment by the eminent French theologian H.M. Feret, written in response to rising apocalyptic expectations during World War II, and later widely translated. Now back in print in its English version, it remains the definitive study for ordinary Catholics — equally useful for laymen, clergy, seminarians, and homeschoolers studying Scripture with their children. Highlights and major themes:

  • Common misinterpretations of apocalyptic symbols and prophecies — and why they’re wrong (Fr. Feret cites traditional Church teaching, great theologians, and Scripture itself)
  • The important historical events that prompted St. John to write the Apocalypse (crucial to correct interpretation)
  • Jesus in the Apocalypse: quite different from — and an important complement to — his image in the Gospels
  • Important ways the Apocalypse modifies and enriches doctrines found elsewhere in the New Testament. How it supports Catholic dogmas denied by Protestants
  • The Apocalypse as true prophesy. One major prediction that has already come to pass
  • Major historical eras prophesied in the Apocalypse. Which one is ours?
  • The Christian view of history according to St. John. The role of the Church
  • How Protestants distort St. John’s teachings about the Church, its divine mission, and its final destiny
  • The activity of Satan in history. His two chief weapons against the Church
  • The heavenly Jerusalem, and the End of Time
  • The true meaning of the Millennium
  • How St. John pictures Christ’s spiritual kingdom, triumphant over the nations, as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy
  • How must the faithful cooperate with Christ in His victory over Satan? How St. John assures us that Christ’s cause will triumph

In seven tightly-written chapters, Fr. Feret helps you understand the Apocalypse “in the Faith and under the direction of the holy Church.” Briefly but thoroughly, he explains the book’s historical context, symbols, prophecies and doctrinal implications, while also drawing out its “profound lessons … for the religious soul.”

PLUS, the true significance of these key apocalyptic symbols:The Man on the White Horse * The Two Beasts * The Seven Seals * The Ten Kings * The Good and Evil Angels * The Identity of 666 * The 144,000 * The Seven Golden Candlesticks * The Two-Edged Sword * The Two Witnesses * The Trumpets * The Bowls * The Millennium * The Last Tribulations * The Final Battle with Satan * The Lamb of God * The New Jerusalem * And More

Reviewers of the original 1958 English edition welcomed it as a crystal clear, balanced and Catholic explanation of Scripture’s most difficult book:

“SOUND, USEFUL AND ILLUMINATING … not only explaining the text … but bringing out clearly the religious truths which should guide our thoughts.” – The Clergy Review

“ENLIGHTENING AND SOBERING … Those whom the Apocalypse tends to fill with distrust, alarm, bewilderment and vexation should find this companion to it reassuring, because Fr. Feret displays very convincingly that there is an intelligible message.” – Blackfriars

“PLAINLY AND LUCIDLY expounds the nature of Christian eschatology for the layman.” – Downside Review

“PROFOUND … all readers will share in the consolation and courage that the first readers must have experienced at the assurance of final victory through the King of Kings.” — Theological Studies

“ADMIRABLY ACHIEVES ITS PURPOSE. [Fr. Feret] has selected the key ideas and developed them at some length and at times leisurely made modern applications. Thus the interest of the reader is sustained. At the same time the great figures and symbols are clearly presented and their meaning explained.” – Worship

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H.M. Feret, O.P.