The Shrine of Fátima and Russia
Was the apparition of Our Lady of Fátima in 1917 a Political manoeuvre in order to aid the Russian Revolution or divine intervention?
An image of Our Lady of Fatima arrived in Ukraine this Thursday the 17th of March.
Described as a demonstration of faith in times of war, the statue was paraded slowly through the streets to Lviv, where thousands were waiting for it to arrive at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. (Vatican News.)
So who is Our Lady of Fátima?
I first heard of Fátima back in the late 80s when I moved to Portugal. Legend, or rather history, tells us that in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children that were grazing their sheep.
‘It was “on 13 May 1917, the shepherd children, Lúcia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, reported seeing a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun”.
A pretty detailed description there.
“The Russian Revolution”
At the time, there was a lot going on in Russia. During World War I, the people of Russia were starving and their economy was in shambles. Their army was no match for Germany and they suffered enormous casualties. This increased animosity towards the government and a desire for a solution. Sounds familiar.
Rioting erupted in Russia, including what is now called the “February Revolution”. It took place on March 8, 1917, and led to the abdication of Czar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917. Just look at these dates, (Russia at the time used the Julian Calendar) March 8–12 [Feb. 24–28, old style], 1917.
It was the beginning of an even greater movement, as it facilitated Vladimir Lenin‘s rise to power. who was ready to introduce his own version of Marxism in Russia, beginning with a socialist revolution. His version of communism would devastate Russia for decades to come and would spread to many other countries throughout the world.
There were two revolutions in 1917, the first of which, in February (March, New Style), overthrew the imperial government and the second of which, in October (November).
But what does all this have to do with a shrine in Portugal?
There were reportedly 6 independent apparitions of the ‘Blessed Virgin Mary’, throughout the year of 1917, from May to October. These apparitions came with a convenient promise to “end the Great War”.
“Was it all just a political manoeuvre?”
The children revealed a prophecy that prayer would lead to the end of the Great War. They were also told that there would be a miracle to prove that what had been said was true and this miracle was to take place on the 13th October of the same year. On this day the ‘lady’ would reveal her identity and perform a miracle so that all those that witnessed it would believe. They were told to “devote themselves to the Holy Trinity”, and to pray “the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war”.
Would that be enough?
The event made headlines and attracted tourists from all over the globe. Many journalists reported that they didn’t see anything extraordinary on the day of the miracle, but many observers were convinced they did. Maybe it wasn’t visible to all — ye of little faith etc. However, it is said that a crowd of about 70,000 people witnessed a “miraculous solar phenomenon,” in which the Sun appeared to fall toward Earth.
‘The Virgin also told the children that there were four predictions.’
- In the end my immaculate heart will triumph.
- The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me.
- Russia will be converted.
- A period of peace will be given to the world.
Pope John Paul II was a big fan of Fátima. He read about it during his stay in Hospital after the attempt on his life in St Peter’s square on May 13th in 1981. He became convinced “a motherly hand had guided the bullet” saving him from being killed.
He was so sure of this that in 1982 on May 13th, one year to the day after the assassination attempt on his life, he visited the shrine to thank the ‘Virgin’ for saving him and to offer her the bullet that struck him.
Mel Gibson is also a big fan of Fátima and visited Sister Lucy a number of times before his production of The Passion of Christ.
“Are we about to witness another revolution in Russia?”
Currently, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine is said to be a failure and seems to be placing Russia where it was back in 1917. We hear rumours that the economy is collapsing, that their army is no match for the Ukrainian army and that this war has also led to enormous casualties on the Russian side. We are also being told that this has once again increased animosity towards the government and a desire for a solution. A revolution?
Will Our Lady of Fátima be able to save us again?
Maybe not. On March 14, Russian Patriarch Kirill blessed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, splintered the worldwide Orthodox Church and “unleashed an internal rebellion that experts say is unprecedented”. You see, Kirill sees the West as decadent and he shares Putin’s vision of “Russkiy Mir”, or “Russian World”, linking spiritual unity and territorial expansion aimed at parts of the ex-Soviet Union (Reuters).
Let’s face it, the West is pretty decadent and out of control. I don’t need to point any fingers, we all know it is. When I recently heard Putin say “thank God’’ in one of his speeches I wondered if we were going to enter into a holy war; Western Catholics against Orthodox Catholics. One moral code of conduct against another.
So it got my attention when I read the news today about Portugal sending a ‘graven image’ to the Ukraine, in the hope that it will stop this war.
It also made me wonder just how “immaculate” we are in the West after all and if this is just a political / religious manoeuvre, or divine intervention at its best.