Fatima and Geopolitics
The week before Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, Alexander Solzhenitsyn passed away. It is doubtful that this anti-Communist icon would have shared reflexive Western comparisons with Hitler's annexation of Austria and the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. For the great man, 1989 was a new dawn.
He was as critical of Yeltsin for encouraging regional separatism and the collapse of the Russian state as he was of the "cynical and selfish" West for drawing ex-Soviet republics into NATO. He fiercely opposed the conflation of "Soviet" (alien/demonic) and "Russian" (historic/nationalistic) yet viewed the diabolic Putin in a sympathetic light: "he was not a KGB investigator, nor was he the head of a camp in the gulag," he insisted last year.
Certainly, Solzhenitsyn was a brave and deeply religious soul and not one to kowtow to a scripted version of history written by the victors. Yet his view of the 'new' Russia, like that of the liberal Western media he despised, was superficial. State gangsterism - the brutality and corruption embodied by Putin, his oligarch cronies and their Russian mafia associates - is not about nationalism. Nor is the Georgian invasion essentially about Russian bellicosity versus Serbian-bombing US/European hypocrites. In fact, whether post-1917 or post-1989, Fatima alone reveals the truth about Russia.
To political pundits the very idea is laughable. To the God -fearing, on the contrary, it makes perfect sense to heed the words of Our Lady of Fatima, who not only prophesied the astonishing rise of impoverished Russia as a menacing world power but in order to confirm the veracity of her message performed a stupendous miracle at a specified time and place on 13 October 1917. Lasting fully ten minutes, it was seen by 70,000 people and attested to by believers, non-believers and enemies of the Church alike.
Clearly, the Blessed Virgin could never promise anything she could not deliver through her Son. And so it will be when the consecration to effect Russia's conversion is fully enacted.
During the apparition of 13 July 1917, Our Lady warned the three little seers that if people did not stop offending God, He would punish the world "by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father," using Russia as His chosen instrument of chastisement. She told the children that "to prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart" and promised that, by this single public act, Russia would be converted and peace would be given to the world.
As recounted in God's Endorsement of Fatima (2001):
True to Her word, Our Lady reappeared to Sister Lucy on June 13, 1929 at Tuy, Spain, when in a great and sublime vision representing the Blessed Trinity, she announced that "the moment has come for God to ask the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. By this means, He promises to save Russia."
When God sent Our Lady to convey His command that Russia be consecrated, it seems clear that He expected swift obedience from the Pope and bishops. The pastors of the Church, however, chose to delay and, on August 19, 1931, Our Lord Himself appeared to Sister Lucy in Rianjo, Spain and expressed His displeasure, saying "make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution My command, they will follow him also into misfortune."
Our Lord's warning is a grave one indeed, referring as it does to His command, through St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, to the King of France that he consecrate his nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The King chose to ignore the command and thus condemned his dynasty and throne to the horrors of revolution, chaos and the guillotine.
The Blessed Virgin's request for the Consecration of Russia remains one of the most controversial aspects of the entire Fatima Message. While several popes have undertaken consecrations of the world since the request was made public (including Pope John Paul II in 1982 and 1984), sadly, none of these have fulfilled the specific requirements of Our Lord and Our Lady's requests. In repeated visits to Sister Lucy, Heaven's King and Queen have insisted that it is Russia (and Russia only) that is to be the object of this public act of obedience and prayer. In addition, Our Lord and Our Lady have indicated that the Holy Father is to be joined in the act of consecration by all the Catholic bishops of the world on the same day and at the same time in their respective dioceses.
Interestingly, only Pope Pius XII's consecration of the world in 1942 included substantial involvement of the bishops. Sister Lucy has written that this imperfect act of obedience, while not fulfilling Our Lady's Fatima request, nevertheless hastened the end of the Second World War, thus sparing the lives of millions of souls.
In 1989, the flawed 1984 consecration produced a similar response: merciful but limited. When Sister Lucy queried why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father consecrating that nation to His Mother's Immaculate Heart, Our Lord replied:
"Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may extend its cult later and put the devotion of the Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart."
Despite its incontestable credentials - prophetic and miraculous - worldlings and episcopal hirelings continue to mock the Fatima blueprint for peace. Deaf, dumb and blind, we can leave them to their own self-destructive devices. For our part, it is enough to know the primary spiritual role afforded us by Our Lady and Our Lord via Sister Lucy: prayer, penance (i.e. the dutiful undertaking of our particular state in life), the daily Rosary and the devotional practise of the Five First Saturdays [CO, June/July 2008].
Our Lady cautioned that if Her requests were not granted, "Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various nations will be annihilated." But She also promised: "If people attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace."
Therein lies the supernatural truth: the cause, effect and remedy of Russian geopolitics - old and 'new'.