Who is the Restrainer?

A recent message from the Canadian seer, Fr. Michel Rodrigue, was widely distributed in a letter that we also received from him (Click here to read it at the bottom of this article). He claims to have had a prophetic dream in which it was revealed that St. Joseph is the “restrainer” of 2 Thessalonians 2 who is holding back the Antichrist, and that this restrainer will be removed at the end of the Year of St. Joseph on December 8th, 2021.

The identity of this “restrainer” was known in St. Paul’s time, but was not recorded in his letter to the Thessalonians. Here is what many voices in the Church, including the Church Fathers, have said about this passage over the centuries…


Who is the Restrainer?

In 2 Thessalonians 2, St. Paul speaks of something “restraining” the Antichrist or “lawless one.” He writes:

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed… (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

St. Paul and his readers knew who or what was restraining the mystery of lawlessness that would culminate in the “lawless one” — but we are not told. Ever since, Church Fathers, theologians and saints have speculated on what St. Paul’s community knew…


Of St. Michael the Archangel

To be certain, St. Michael the Archangel, the “protector and patron” of the People of God, is a key figure that precedes the manifestation of the Antichrist. The prophet Daniel writes of that period of Antichrist’s reign (Dan 12:11):

At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since the nation began until that time… (Dan 12:1)

And we see that, immediately prior to the manifestation of the Antichrist, Michael and Heaven’s angels do battle with the dragon and his fallen cohort:

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon…. the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it… Then I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads… To it the dragon gave its own power and throne, along with great authority. (cf. Rev 12:7-13:2)

According to legend — and accounts vary in detail — Pope Leo XIII was celebrating Mass one day when suddenly he had a vision during or after the liturgy. 

Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). —Father Domenico Pechenino, eyewitness; Ephemerides Liturgicae, reported in 1995, p. 58-59

Afterward, the Holy Father penned a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. A short version was to be said after all the Low Masses around the world. But in the longer version, Pope Leo wrote of that “dragon” in Revelation Chapter 12:

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage… This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men… In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered…. —from the Roman Raccolta of July 23, 1898, and a supplement approved July 31, 1902; romancatholicman.com

He then invokes St. Michael:

Arise then, O invincible Prince… as their protector and patron; in Thee Holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to Thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet… and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, do Thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen. —from the Roman Raccolta of July 23, 1898, and a supplement approved July 31, 1902; romancatholicman.com

Two things of note… Pope Leo envisioned a time when a future pope would be “struck” and the sheep scattered. Since this is the fruit of an “iniquitous design” that Pope Leo XIII himself would attribute to the Freemasons,[1]cf. Humanum Genus is this a reference to the pope being killed or exiled — or perhaps losing complete moral authority, thus, throwing the flock into confusion and paving the way for that Wolf, the “Son of Perdition”? Second, the Pontiff sees St. Michael as some kind of divine force beating back the dragon. 


Of the Roman Empire and the West

A more authoritative viewpoint is that “he” who restrains is the Emperor of Rome, as representative of the law and order enforced by the Roman Empire. St. Paul teaches that the Day of the Lord is preceded first by an apostasy or rebellion, a revolt, a revolution against the faith (perhaps embodied in Christian civilization), which culminates in the appearance of the Antichrist or “lawless one.”

This revolt or falling off is generally understood, by the ancient Fathers, of a revolt from the Roman empire, which was first to be destroyed, before the coming of Antichrist. It may, perhaps, be understood also of a revolt of many nations from the Catholic Church which has, in part, happened already, by the means of Mahomet, Luther, etc. and it may be supposed, will be more general in the days of the Antichrist. —footnote on 2 Thess 2:3, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible, Baronius Press Limited, 2003; p. 235

Writes St. John Henry Newman:

Now this restraining power [is] generally admitted to be the Roman empire… I do not grant that the Roman empire is gone. Far from it: the Roman empire remains even to this day. —St. Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), Advent Sermons on Antichrist, Sermon I

It is noteworthy that the esteemed Cardinal Robert Sarah stressed that the present spiritual and religious collapse of the West, which is a remnant of the Roman Empire, is the “source” of our fall into a new kind hell on earth:

The spiritual crisis involves the entire world. But its source is in Europe. People in the West are guilty of rejecting God… The spiritual collapse thus has a very Western character…. Because [Western man] refuses to acknowledge himself as an heir [of spiritual and cultural patrimony], man is condemned to the hell of liberal globalization in which individual interests confront one another without any law to govern them besides profit at any price… The West refuses to receive, and will accept only what it constructs for itself. Transhumanism is the ultimate avatar of this movement. Because it is a gift from God, human nature itself becomes unbearable for western man. This revolt is spiritual at root. —Catholic Herald, April 5th, 2019

Given all the signs of our times over the past century or more, the Fourth Industrial Revolution that we are now entering is a solid candidate for this ultimate rebellion against the Divine — a transhumanist movement that rejects God’s plan of creation and seeks to fulfill the temptation in the Garden of Eden through “enlightenment” and technology: “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

It’s a fusion of our physical, our digital, and our biological identities. —Prof. Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and coordinator of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. From The Rise of the Antichurch, 20:11, rumble.com

It is immensely significant that the United Nations, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and several Western leaders, not the least President Joe Biden, have signed onto the WEF’s “Great Reset”, often invoking its terminology “Build Back Better”. You cannot “reset” unless you start over; you cannot “build back better” unless you tear down what is there. Arguably, as we watch global supply chains crumble and vaccine mandates eliminate key strongholds in Western countries, such as the wide-scale firing of policemen, firemen, and health care workers — we are arguably witnessing a deliberate destruction of the West, if not the entire global infrastructure. 

…that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view—namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism. —POPE LEO XIII, Humanum GenusEncyclical on Freemasonry, n.10, Apri 20th, 1884


Of the “rock” Peter

On the other hand, the “rock” upon which the Church is built — and which became tightly integrated with Western civilization — is the Holy Father himself. Benedict XVI views Peter’s successor as a type of restrainer against evil:

Abraham, the father of faith, is by his faith the rock that holds back chaos, the onrushing primordial flood of destruction, and thus sustains creation. Simon, the first to confess Jesus as the Christ… now becomes by virtue of his Abrahamic faith, which is renewed in Christ, the rock that stands against the impure tide of unbelief and its destruction of man. —POPE BENEDICT XVI (Cardinal Ratzinger), Called to Communion, Understanding the Church Today, Adrian Walker, Tr., p. 55-56)

Intricately tied to the Holy Father is the entire Body of Christ — holy men and women — or lack thereof. When Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the hastening of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, he later elucidated:

…the power of evil is restrained again and again, [and] again and again the power of God himself is shown in the Mother’s power and keeps it alive. The Church is always called upon to do what God asked of Abraham, which is to see to it that there are enough righteous men to repress evil and destruction. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Light of the World, A Conversation With Peter Seewald (Ignatius Press); p. 166

In our time, more than ever before, the greatest asset of the evilly disposed is the cowardice and weakness of good men, and all the vigor of Satan’s reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics. —POPE ST. PIUS X, Publication of the Decree of the Heroic Virtues of St. Joan of Arc, etc., December 13th, 1908; vatican.va

In a message to St. Faustina, we hear of the restraining power of sacrifice:

Then I heard a voice coming from the brilliance: “Put the sword back in its place; the sacrifice is greater.” —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 394

The Navarre Bible Commentary states:

Although it is not altogether clear what St. Paul means here (commentators ancient and modern have offered all kinds of interpretations), the general thrust of his remarks seems clear enough: he is exhorting people to persevere in doing good, because that is the best way to avoid doing evil (evil being the “mystery of lawlessness”). However, it is difficult to say precisely what this mystery of lawlessness consists in or who is restraining it. Some commentators think that the mystery of lawlessness is the activity of the man of lawlessness, which is being restrained by the rigid laws enforced by the Roman Empire. Others suggest that St. Michael is the one who is holding lawlessness back (cf. Rev 12:1; Rev 12:7-9; 20:1-3, 7)… which show him combating Satan, restraining him or letting him free… others think that the curb on the man of lawlessness is the active presence of Christians in the world, who through word and example bring Christ’s teaching and grace to many. If Christians let their zeal grow cold (this interpretation says), then the curb on evil will cease to apply and the rebellion will ensue. —Thessalonians and Pastoral Epistles, p. 69-70


Of the Holy Eucharist

Or could that which is restraining even be Jesus Himself in the Holy Eucharist — eventually “removed” from the sanctuaries of our churches to make way for the “abomination”?

…the public sacrifice [of the Mass] shall completely cease… —St. Robert Bellarmine, Tomus Primus, Liber Tertius, p. 431

Out of one of them came a little horn [Antichrist] which grew and grew toward the south, the east, and the glorious land. It grew even to the host of heaven, so that it cast down to earth some of the host and some of the stars and trampled on them (cf. When the Stars Fall). It grew even to the Prince of the host [the Pope?], from whom the daily sacrifice was removed, and whose sanctuary was cast down [the Vatican?]. The host was given over together with the daily sacrifice in the course of transgression. It cast truth to the ground, and was succeeding in its undertaking… From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the desolating abomination is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 8:9-12, 12:11)

When you see the desolating abomination spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains… (Matt 24:25-16)

The significance of the Mass as a restrainer of sorts was underscored by two great Saints in the Church:

Without the Holy Mass, what would become of us? All here below would perish, because that alone can hold back God’s arm. —St. Teresa of Avila, Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love, by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, FI; p. 15 

It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass. —St. Pio, Ibid.


Has the restrainer already lifted?

The following is a personal experience, which was pivotal in my ministry for understanding the hour into which we are now entering. I was asked by a Canadian Catholic bishop to write this experience down and make it known, which I’ll do again here. [2]cf. Removing the Restrainer 

In 2005, I was driving alone in British Columbia, Canada on a concert tour making my way to my next venue, enjoying the scenery, drifting in thought… when suddenly I heard within my heart the words:

I have lifted the restrainer.

I felt something in my spirit that is hard to explain. It was as if a shock wave traversed the earth—as if something in the spiritual realm had been released. That night in my motel room, I asked the Lord if what I heard was in the Scriptures, since the word “restrainer” was unfamiliar to me. I grabbed my Bible which opened straight to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, which you have just read above. To say the least, I was shocked to read the word “restrainer” in black and white.

What followed later that year was the beginning of the redefinition of the natural law in Canada, in this case marriage — which then spread rapidly through other countries. This was followed by “gender ideology” and the right to create out of thin air one’s gender. And of course, the deliberate negation of the personhood of the unborn has continued a global infanticide the likes of which the world has never seen.  

…our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function… Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk… In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Address to the Roman Curia, December 20th, 2010

In a word, we have been witnessing true “lawlessness,” which continues to this very moment as the laws of science have been all but discarded in order to drive Western civilization into the ground beneath the two pillars of the Great Reset: “COVID-19” and “climate change.”[3]The Great Reset and Isaiah’s Prophecy of Global Communism

The post-Covid pseudo-medical order has not only destroyed the medical paradigm I faithfully practised as a medical doctor last year… it has inverted it. I do not recognize the government apocalypse in my medical reality. The breath-taking speed and ruthless efficiency with which the media-industrial complex have co-opted our medical wisdom, democracy and government to usher in this new medical order is a revolutionary act. —an anonymous U.K. physician known as “The Covid Physician”

Hence, we seem to be fulfilling at warp speed the prescient words of Church Father, Lactantius:

All justice will be confounded, and the laws will be destroyed… That will be the time in which righteousness shall be cast out, and innocence be hated; in which the wicked shall prey upon the good as enemies; neither law, nor order, nor military discipline shall be preserved… all things shall be confounded and mixed together against right, and against the laws of nature. Thus the earth shall be laid waste, as though by one common robbery (cf. Isaiah’s Prophecy of Global Communism). When these things shall so happen, then the righteous and the followers of truth shall separate themselves from the wicked, and flee into solitudes. —Church Father, Lactantius (c. 250 -c. 325), Fathers of the Church: The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Chapter 15, 17

At that period when Antichrist shall be born, there will be many wars and right order shall be destroyed on earth. Heresy will be rampant and the heretics will preach their errors openly without restraint. Even among Christians doubt and skepticism will be entertained concerning the beliefs of Catholicism. —St. Hildegard, Details concering the Antichrist, According to Holy Scriptures, Tradition and Private Revelation, Prof. Franz Spirago

This is all to say that there have been factually many things holding back the Antichrist which, arguably, are no longer doing so. And with that, we feel this advice could not be more relevant than at this hour:

The Church now charges you before the Living God; she declares to you the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive. Whether they will happen in your time we know not, or whether they will happen after you we know not; but it is well that, knowing these things, you should make yourself secure beforehand. —St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386) Doctor of the Church, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture XV, n.9


—Mark Mallett is the author of The Final Confrontation and The Now Word, and a cofounder of Countdown to the Kingdom


For further discernment…

Archangel St. Gabriel to Fr. Michel Rodrigue on the night of March 17th, (early morning of March 18), 2021:

On the night of March 17, 2021, the Angel of the Lord (later, I understood that it was Saint Gabriel the Archangel) came around 2:30 in the night to tell me about the holy and great discretion[4]discretion: the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate. of Saint Joseph with the Holy Family and his role at the end of bad times. I say “end of bad times” to express a period different from that of Christ’s glorious return at the end of time.

This experience, which I am going to relate… I call it a prophetic dream. Gabriel first presented himself as a splendid, radiant light. Gradually, I made out the form of a being of light with what looked like wings of light. There emanated from his being a luminosity that brought both joy and very deep peace in God. It was like stepping into a part of the sky, looking at it. Then his voice was heard:

I come to reveal the discretion of Saint Joseph from the time I spoke to him until the day he was to leave the earth. His role as protector and guardian of the Holy Family was one of great serenity and great confidence in God, the Eternal Father. To him, as to the Most Holy Virgin Mary, was given the first, most holy knowledge of the mystery of the Trinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The free acceptance of taking the Virgin Mary as his bride gave him the joy of an infused knowledge imbued with a living and fatherly relationship with Jesus, his Creator, his King, and his Love—this knowledge Joseph received from the love he had for Mary, his bride, and from the will of the Almighty Father. From that moment, Joseph took Mary, his wife, to his home, and actualized the ministry of his love for Mary and the Child.

The drama that occurred at the time of the Savior’s birth heightens the consideration of his great authority, which made it possible to preserve the Child-God and His Mother from any omen that could have put the identity of the Child at risk—thusly, the devil and his henchmen could have harmed Jesus and His Mother. His strength and his love kept the devil and his acolytes at bay. Until the day of the birth of the Child King, even Herod and his entourage knew nothing about it. Yet the sign was in heaven; the Magi were already walking to meet the Child-God, and the shepherds, the smallest of the people, were instructed by the voice of the angels!

At the moment when Herod wanted to kill the Child-God, I warned Joseph in a dream, through the will of the Eternal Father, to take the Child and His Mother and flee to Egypt. He remained there until the death of the tyrant. Back in Nazareth, the Holy Family remained during all the years of Jesus’ growth. No one suspected who Jesus and His Mother were. Joseph’s discretion was perfect so as not to attract the eyes of the Evil One and thus hinder the plan of God, Our Father. Joseph’s putative fatherhood sheltered the Child and His Mother in a way so great that no one can express or approach. Joseph’s paternal tenderness was like the cave of the Rock, protecting the Child and His Mother from the untimely moods of this world. This discretion continued in silence and prayer, in daily work, and even in times of rest, so as to avoid suspicion of the existence of the Messiah of God. Joseph’s obedience in doing the will of the Eternal Father with a humble and pure heart made him the greatest representative male figure on earth, at the center of the Holy Family. His fatherhood and his masculinity were similar to that desired by God from the beginning of everything. So, as Saint Joseph protected the Child and His Mother, he protects the Church in its historical growth in an even more solemn way in these times of yours.

The present times require the lifting of the veil of God’s gift of discretion for Saint Joseph in his role for the Church of Christ. Now is the time to reveal the words of the second letter to the Thessalonians, hidden from the beginning of the Church. Indeed, the mysterious figure that holds back or prevents the manifestation of the antichrist and his present domination must now be unveiled to enable all the righteous to understand the events which are taking place. You must stand ready and keep your lamps on for the manifestation of the Son of Man. Here is the sacred text of Saint Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2 (1-13):

We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand. Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god—do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming, the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie, and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved.

Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.

But we ought to give thanks to God for you always, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in truth.

Indeed, “the mystery of iniquity is already at work”; let it suffice that “the one who restrains” it now be discarded. Today, I say to you: The one who holds it back is Saint Joseph! Through his prayer and his intercession, Saint Joseph assists believers in a spiritual struggle for the defense of the faith of the Militant Church, with the prayers of the saints and souls in purgatory. That is to say, the Triumphant Church and the Suffering Church, the assistance of Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary, constitute a shield of faith that has been holding back the antichrist until now.

Hear my words well. The cup of iniquity is overflowing, and soon a time will come for the Church when the persecution of the righteous will take place. It is by the will of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that this year, 2021, has been proclaimed by Pope Francis the year of Saint Joseph. A great blessing of protection has been offered to you. During this year, you will be forced to make a choice. What presents itself as a vaccine-savior is just an illusion. Soon, the Mark of the Beast will be imposed on you in order to buy, to eat, or to travel. The year 2021 is a year of discernment for those who want to be faithful to Christ. To all those who wish to follow Christ, Saint Joseph will assist you. But he must withdraw discreetly on December 8.

By that time, and it has already started, all those who reject Christ will find themselves entering into a force of delusion that will make them believe a lie—a social and planetary lie organized and prepared by the acolytes of the antichrist. They are forming a false Church, which is indeed the social body of the antichrist. They are the ones who rule by fear, domination, by communist and socialist ideologies. They are molding a false, universal brotherhood. They have infiltrated the Church of Christ with a view to disfiguring it and desecrating its sacraments. Everything is falling into place. Leading to December 8, these evil acolytes are organizing themselves through the media and creating a climate of suspicion, fear, and denunciation.

They must prepare for the coming of the Unholy One by organizing a world order where division and confusion will reign to the detriment of the Truth of the teaching of the Church. Scandals and accusations will hit the Church everywhere. Movements that deny men and women will become the new judges of this social lie. Conflicts will arise in families arguing the need for vaccines and the Mark of the Beast. Conflicts between nations will come to such a point that everything will seem hopeless. Hearts will cool, consciences will be bound and darkened by the sin that has pervaded everywhere.

Even though the antichrist’s weeds seem to suffocate the righteous and the saints, giving the impression of the death of God and the end of the Catholic Church, all of this is only an appearance. When Saint Joseph retires, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will initiate the beginnings of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart for her children and for the Church. The Church will go through the pains of a purification through which the Virgin Mary will accompany her as Mother of Sorrows. Some of her children will be martyrs; they will wear the palm of the Victory of Christ on the day of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the time when the antichrist will appear, the time of the refuges prepared by the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the very pure heart of Saint Joseph will sound. The refuges are the work of the three and a half years announced in the Book of Revelation. They are the work of God.

Small herd, do not be afraid. Look with the eyes of faith, hope, and love. The shelters are under the special protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is how her Immaculate Heart wanted it. Can you not now see the work of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph? Everything you need to know has been said. Live in confidence to accomplish the Divine Will, and repeat this prayer often: Jesus, I trust in you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



1 cf. Humanum Genus
2 cf. Removing the Restrainer
3 The Great Reset and Isaiah’s Prophecy of Global Communism
4 discretion: the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.
Posted in Messages.