When Does The Tribulation Begin?

A common opinion in Catholic eschatology divides the tribulation into two parts: a lesser tribulation, followed by a respite from the sufferings, ending with a greater tribulation. The Antichrist and the Return of Jesus Christ occur in the greater (or second part of the) tribulation.

I agree with this general outline for the tribulation. And I consider that the first and second parts of the tribulation (the lesser and the greater) are separated by a few hundred years. So the second part of the tribulation is not for this generation. However, I think that the first part of the tribulation begins soon, within the next several years, and it continues until the Three Days of Darkness in late March of 2040.

I’m not certain when the first part of the tribulation begins. It might begin in 2018, or sometime within the next several years. Originally, I believed that the Warning, Consolation, and Miracle occurred first, and then the first part of the tribulation unfolded with World War 3 as the first Seal and first horseman of the Book of Revelation. But now that seems somewhat uncertain. It still makes more sense to me, if the Warning occurs as the very first event, in anticipation of the War. However, no date in the near future fits my understanding of that timing, and yet events are moving rapidly toward the tribulation.

One sign that the tribulation is near is the approach of the great apostasy. There will be a great departure from the Catholic Faith, and from the Christian Faith more generally, in each part of the tribulation. Current circumstances indicate that the great apostasy of the first part of the tribulation begins with a conservative schism. Thus, when conservative Catholics accuse Pope Francis of heresy, and formally break communion with him, then the first movement toward the great apostasy will be accomplished. And that event would indicate that other events of the tribulation are very near.

Another indication that the tribulation is near is the rise to power of the Islamic extremists. Some prophecies, even from hundreds of years ago, state that the Muslims will invade and conquer Europe. That is also my opinion.

More specifically, I believe that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons (they may have them already), and then Iran will unite with Iraq, led by ISIS. They will make a formal pact, and the other Arab/Muslim nations of the Middle East and northern Africa will unite behind them. Then they will attack the U.S. (specifically New York City) with a nuclear bomb, initiating World War 3.

For now, we are certainly on the threshold of the tribulation. So many Catholics, especially online, speak with great pride. They exalt their own foolish opinions and propose rationalizations for grave sin. They act as if there were no God, or as if God does not judge and punish. When the tribulation begins, they will be struck to their very core. Pride goeth before a fall.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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18 Responses to When Does The Tribulation Begin?

  1. entirelyuseless says:

    If none of this happens, will you agree that you were mistaken? Presumably if (as I suppose will be the case) not one item here has happened by April 2040, you should conclude you were mistaken. Will you come to that conclusion sooner?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I’ve already said that I was mistaken on a number of points pertaining to the start of the tribulation and the dates for the Warning and Miracle. I can’t be mistaken that there will be a tribulation (Mt 24). So you think there will be no tribulation at all from now until 2040? I don’t think I could agree with you. The tribulation will begin for this generation.

  2. Dora says:

    It always gives me a jolt to think about the conservatives leaving first. Based on my experience, my parish and the surrounding parishes, plus coming from a large Catholic clan, I feel if the liberals left the Church first, there would be almost nobody left, and that would count as a true apostasy, fulfilling what Pope Benedict said. Despite there being a number of conservatives out there, and despite living in a so-called conservative city, it seems like it would hardly make a dent if they chose to leave the church. I find myself praying to God the liberals leave first, so I can speak freely at church, and no matter what he has planned, we can get on with it!

    • Ron Conte says:

      Conservatives first, then liberals. Of course, some from each group will remain faithful. But everyone is put to the test. Conservatives are not necessarily more faithful, just by being more conservative. Over the years, many serious errors have taken root among conservatives, so they are just as much in need of correction as liberals — just different errors.

  3. Matt says:

    4.558 – Message of Our Lady Queen of Peace, in Rovereto (TN) / Italy, transmitted on 11/20/2017 – Pedro Regis – Google Translation

    Dear children, I am your Sorrowful Mother and I suffer for what comes to you. Bend your knees in prayer. This is the most difficult time for you. Seek strength in the Eucharist and do not allow the enemy of God to win. Men will act to depart from the truth. The key will be shared and there will be great confusion. Do not let the flame of faith fade within you. Your victory is in the Lord. Trust in Him who sees the hidden and knows you by name. Love and defend the truth. My Jesus needs you. Be obedient to Him and everywhere witness that you are in the world, but you are not of the world. Give me your hands and I will lead you to Him who is your only Way, Truth and Life. The assassins will act and in the Palace there will be weeping and wailing. Do not stray from the path I have pointed out to you. Whatever happens, do not let the flame of truth go out in your lives. Open your hearts and let the Light of God enlighten you and lead you. Forward without fear. This is the message that I am sending you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank You for allowing Me to meet you here one more time. I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace.

    Ron, what do you think it is meant that “The key will be shared and there will be great confusion.” What is meant that “The assassins will act and in the Palace there will be weeping and wailing.”

    • Ron Conte says:

      The key of Saint Peter refers to the papacy. There will be one true Pope and one very prominent antipope. In that sense, the key will seem to be shared. The assassins must refer to some type of violent death for a Pope, a martyrdom perhaps for the next Pope after Francis (as I have long said).

  4. Tom Mazanec says:

    I just read an excellent novel, recommended by both Popes Benedict XVI and Francis, about the anti-Christ:

    • Ron Conte says:

      here’s my non-fiction book about the Antichrist and the events of the second part of the tribulation:

    • Mark P. says:

      Tom, I am reading “Lord of the World” right now (I’m about a third of the way through). But already, I can see where the Holy Father was perhaps a bit influenced in his thinking by this novel, especially in terms of the “ideological colonization” which he frequently condemns.

  5. Mark P. says:

    One thing that I have a hard time reconciling is why we don’t already consider the 11th-century East-West schism and the Protestant Reformation as parts of a continually unfolding apostasy; or do we? In each of those cases, large groups left the Catholic Church but at least maintained some core beliefs in the Trinity and revealed Truth. In our present day, we already appear to be in the midst of a massive apostasy as evidenced by numbers of mass attendance, religious affiliation, etc. I guess the large schisms referenced above served as harbingers of our present day, as in each case the splits became more markedly separated from Catholicism. And I will be honest, I see the present trend of apostasy continuing unless an undeniable supernatural event occurs.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Apostasy is the complete abandonment of the Christian faith. So Orthodox and Protestant Christians are not apostates. The two schisms that I predict, one conservative and the other liberal, eventually lead to apostasy. Once separated from the true Church, the schismatics fall into one heresy after another, disagree among themselves about what to believe, and, when tested by the sufferings of the tribulation, fall away from the Faith altogether.

  6. Yes, I meant none of this will happen, including any tribulation by 2040.

    Consider the fact that making these sorts of prediction has been a common practice since immediately after the time of Christ, when early Christians often predicted the imminent second coming. Every single one of those predictions was wrong up till now. I think yours will be as well, as will all other similar predictions.

    If this blog is still here in 2040 I will return to post a comment noting that nothing has happened.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I correctly predicted that the Pope after John Paul II would take the name Benedict. I predicted a schism, which is currently unfolding.

      You won’t have to wait until 2040 to comment that nothing has happened, or to admit that some things did happen. I am predicting a number of events for the near future. Maybe I should do a new post with a few numbered clear predictions that can be said to have come true or not very clearly.

    • Josh says:

      The tribulation has already began like birth pains. It didn’t go all pop like we think. Look at the increase in earth quake activity, then volcanoes, turbulent weather, then middle east problems, Philippines confrontation with Islam, American own unrest and bearing false witness against trump with daily nonsense from msm. Spain Catalonia, Africa, come back to middle east, north korea and not to forget many countries like Australia have said yes to ssm which means no to God’s laws; even some rogue priests have said no to sexual purity (and yes to sexual impurity), and Christ is all about love so he would never want it this way. Our generation will 100% witness the tribulation but what is uncertain is whether we will witness the antichrist and Christ’s return.

  7. Josh says:


    Do you think the mark of the beast is figurative or is literal. I take it if it is literal Christians will have to go without a job and live in hiding. But also if some do take it to save their family who love Jesus and despise satan why would they be damned and forever separated from God? what is the catholic teaching on this? Why would God want to loose souls for this kind of choice or he would never put the faint hearted to such a test in the first place?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The mark of the beast and the Antichrist are in the distant future. I think the mark includes false worship and the commission of grave sins, so it is not merely accepting a mark in order to get food and necessities. This is explained in my book, The Second Part of the Tribulation.

  8. Sure, if you make enough predictions, some of them will come true by chance, like the Pope choosing the name Benedict. But most of what you predicted will not happen. That includes the schism (except for things that are already pretty much schism like SSPX). No Catholic bishop will declare Pope Francis a heretic and try to start his own church.

    The numbered list would be helpful for seeing what proportion, if any, of your predictions comes true.

    • Josh says:

      I am 100% confident you will witness Gods warning. But I do not know whether you will have the courage to accept something so marvelous as the creator rather than entirely pointless reasoning :). I fear for those souls who will let their ego come in the way and use their reasoning to constrain the creator and refute something on the scale of the old testament. It will happen lets see if you are then humble enough to just accept God.

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