The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, yet there remains in the core of Russia and its federation a vast potential for the development of natural and spiritual resources.
According to Christian tradition, Russia plays an important role inaugurating an era of universal peace.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA, QUEEN OF PEACE
Our Lady of Fátima is an approved Marian apparition*. The Virgin Mary appeared at Fátima, Portugal in 1917 to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia Santos. The Three Secrets of Fatima are the visions and prophecies given by the apparition.
The series of appearances by Mary occurred between May 13 and October 13, 1917.
Sister Lucia stated the Virgin Mary promised the Consecration of Russia would lead to Russia's conversion and an era of peace.
What is the meaning of "consecration"? This is a typical dictionary definition:
1. the act of consecrating; dedication to the service and worship of a deity.
2. the act of giving the sacramental character to the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine, especially in the Roman Catholic Church.
3. ordination to a sacred office, especially to the episcopate.**
The root "consecrate" further clarifies the meaning:
1. to make or declare sacred or holy; sanctify.
2. to dedicate (one's life, time, etc) to a specific purpose.
3. to ordain (a bishop).
4. in Christianity, to sanctify (bread and wine) for the Eucharist to be received as the body and blood of Christ.
5. to cause to be respected or revered; venerate.***
The Consecration of Russia is part of the Second Secret of Fatima. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary would forestall wars, famine, and persecutions of Christians. The Immaculate Heart of Mary refers to her maternal love for her Son, Jesus Christ, and by extension her compassionate love for all people. Mary developed the beauties of her soul through suffering, the subject of this prophecy:
"Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:34, 35).
The essential theme of our age is motherhood.
The spirit of motherhood is a deterrent to war.
The virtues of the Mother are a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of aggressive intellectualism. Among the core beliefs of an ideal Russia is a spirituality that transcends the physical and empirical and realizes the steady emergence of miracles in the personal, familial and national life.
"Mother Russia" and "Motherhood" are subsumed by womanly virtue. The love of the mother is the most powerful earthly force. This power is exemplified by the devotion of the Virgin Mary for her Son, Jesus Christ. Mary withstood the assaults of Satan, the world's foremost adversary, by relying upon her natural womanly intuition and her faith in miracles.
Good angels bore messages to her to inspire her confidence. The mothers of Russia ought to take comfort in the messages of our modern "good angels".
Metaphysics must come into its own again, as the materialism of our day has betrayed any semblance to idealism and proven itself unsatisfying.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has struggled to find a new identity. This struggle is not over.
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 1917
Bolshevik leaders betrayed the democratic aspirations of a moderate, modern Russia. The Russian Revolution is one of the most important results of WWI. Here is a brief contemporary history of this event:
In 1917 the Allied cause received a heavy blow through the collapse of the Russian government. Long before the war there had been parties in Russia which desired to do away with the autocratic government of the Czar and substitute some sort of representative system which would give to the people a voice in the management of their affairs. These reforming parties did not agree among themselves as to the kind of government they wished to set up; their ideas extended from limited monarchy of the English type, all the way to anarchy, which means no government at all. In 1905 the Czar met the wishes of the reformers to the extent of establishing the Duma, a sort of representative assembly or parliament, which should help in making the laws. The Duma, however, was never given any real authority, and as time passed those who believed in Russian democracy became more and more dissatisfied.
During the war the Germans by means of bribery and plotting did all they could to weaken the authority of the Russian government. There existed, moreover, much corruption and disloyalty among high Russian officials. As the war dragged on a shortage of food added to the general discontent. By the early months of 1917, conditions were very bad indeed, and dissatisfied crowds gathered in the streets of Petrograd. Hunger and hardship had made them desperate, and they refused to disperse until the government should do something to relieve the situation. Regiments of soldiers were summoned to fire upon the crowd. They refused to do so and finally joined the mob. Thus began the Russian Revolution.
At a meeting of the revolutionists a group of soldiers and working men was selected to call upon the Duma and ask that body to form a temporary government. Another committee was sent to inform Nicholas II that he was deposed. Messages were sent to the armies to notify the generals that there was no longer a Russian Empire and that they were to take their orders thereafter from the representatives of the Russian people. Within a few days the revolution was complete. On March 15, the Czar signed a paper giving up the throne of Russia. Moderate reformers were placed in charge of the different departments of the government. The new government was recognized by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy. It looked as if the revolution had established a free government for Russia and that thenceforth, as a democratic nation, she would fight better than ever by the side of her allies. In all the Russian provinces, elections were called for choosing delegates to an assembly that should make a new constitution for Russia.
Russia under Kerensky. -- Meanwhile the extreme socialists began at once to make trouble for the new government. These men for the most part owned no property and wanted all wealth equally divided among the entire population. They considered the new government as tyrannical as that of the Czar had been. They also favored an immediate peace. Chief among the moderate leaders during this period was Alexander Kerensky. He saw the necessity of keeping the revolution within bounds. For a while he was strong enough to maintain a moderate government in spite of the opposition of the extreme socialists. The Germans, meanwhile, through spies and secret agents, had been spreading among the Russian soldiers the idea that Germany was really their friend and that it was to their interest to stop fighting and retreat. Kerensky personally visited the battle front in Galicia, and for a time by means of his rousing speeches to the soldiers kept up their fighting spirit. New advances were made, the Germans and Austrians being driven back many miles. Lemberg itself seemed about to fall once more into the hands of the Russians. But this success was only temporary. Owing to the shortage of ammunition and the rapid spread of peace sentiments among the troops, the Russian army became disorganized and retreated from Galicia.
The Bolsheviki. -- Bolsheviki is the name given to the extreme socialistic party in Russia. From the beginning they had opposed the control of affairs by the moderate revolutionists under Kerensky. At last, in the fall of 1917, helped by the depression caused by the German advance and by the strikes and food riots which once more broke out in the capital, they succeeded in winning over to their side the Petrograd garrison and the navy, and drove Kerensky from the city (November 7). Their revolt was led by two of the most extreme members of the party, Lenine and Trotzky, who had at their disposal large sums of money furnished by Germany.
No sooner were the Bolsheviki in control than they announced themselves in favor of an immediate peace. They proclaimed that all the land should at once be divided among the peasants. When the new representative assembly met to make a constitution, it was found to be too moderate to suit the Bolshevik leaders, who dispersed it before it could accomplish. anything The rule of Lenine and Trotzky promised to be even more tyrannical than anything that had preceded it in Russia.
Meanwhile the Bolsheviki had arranged for an armistice with Germany with a view toward immediate negotiations for peace. This arrangement for the cessation of military operations became effective December 7. In spite of its provisions, however, the Germans, who had taken Riga in September, continued their advance into Russian territory. By the close of 1917 peace negotiations were in progress between Russia and her enemies. Russia under Bolshevik control had definitely deserted her allies.****
Historically, the ambitions of Russia have been geographic:
Russia has not been fortunate in her relations with the neighboring states. Her great ambition, the occupation of Constantinople, was repeatedly balked by other countries. In an attempt to obtain an ice-free harbor on the Pacific, Russia brought on the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, in which she was disastrously defeated. In another direction Russia was more successful. She posed as the protector of the Slavic provinces under Turkish rule and saw the day when nearly all of them were free.*****
This statement was penned in 1918 in the wake of World War I.
Constantinople has been occupied by Turks since 1453.
RUSSIA'S CONVERSION FROM ATHEISM
The Consecration of Russia is part of the Second Secret of Fatima, which reads in part:
When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.******
In 1984, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia.
"Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished . . . . Hence any further discussion or request is without basis."** The consecration in question is that performed by Pope John Paul II in 1984, during which for among other points he prayed:
Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.******
The consecration of Russia by Pope John Paul II in 1984 led to the defeat of atheism there, necessitating a change in its form of government that reflects this new reality.
RUSSIA WANTS CONSTANTINOPLE
IMPLICATIONS FOR SYRIA CRISIS
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* The apparitions at Fátima were officially declared "worthy of belief" by the Roman Catholic Church.
**** McKinley, Albert Edward, and Charles Augustin Coulomb, Armand Jacques Gerson. "A School History of the Great War" (1918), p. 120-125.
***** McKinley, p. 25.