Simon son of John, do you love me? (John 21: 16)
March 24, 2017
The bond between the Message of Fatima and the Papacy is iron clad. On July 13, 1917 Our Lady told Lucia that she would come day to ask something of the Pope, something befitting his high office, and how he responded would determine the subsequent history of the papacy, the Church, and the world.
It is important to remember that the Lady of the Rosary did not request anything of the Holy Father in 1917, she merely said that she would come later to make this request. Perhaps this was because God did not desire the ten year old Lucia to go marching from the hill country of Portugal straight into the Apostolic Palace in the middle of a world war to make known Heaven’s demands, or perhaps it was another reason. The actual request would come later and I will deal with that in another post.
I should make it clear here that Our Lady did not make her request only of the Holy Father. There was something there for all of us to do as well. And she made a declaration of what would happen if her requests were heeded, and what would happen if they were not. Here again is what she said:
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. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.
She asked the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart AND she asked us to make the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturday of each month. Presumably these things did not happen since the state of the world since 1917 could in no way be called ‘peace.’
She said the Holy Father would have much to suffer. What does this mean? In truth by the time 1917 rolled around the Holy Father had been suffering for quite a while. One could make the argument that the Holy Father had been suffering quite a bit for the previous 175 years or so since the rise of the secret societies during the early part of the 18th century. The suppression of the Jesuits followed by the terrible revolution conspiracy of 1789 that destroyed the Catholic foundations of the European political order followed by the growing indifference to religion and morality as the nineteenth century progressed. Fanatical nationalism replaced the Catholic religion as the primary driver in the lives of many Europeans and in all of their political elite. This led to the unification of Germany and Italy: in the latter case the temporal Papal kingdom was destroyed and the Holy Father, whose predecessors had once upon a time helped to bring these very nations into existence, was now reduced by them to being a ‘prisoner in the Vatican.’ The other consequence of this rise in fanatical nationalism was the World War that was in the process of destroying what was left of Catholic civilization in Europe when the morning of July 13, 1917 dawned.
So how would the Holy Father suffer more than he already had been suffering? To understand better we may want to look at the errors of Russia
1) Russia will spread her errors throughout the world
On July 13, 1917 Russia was a mess. She had been fighting and losing World War I for three years, and three months earlier the Romanov dynasty that had ruled the country for three hundred years had been removed from power by a revolution. That summer Russia was in the throes of chaos. A so called ‘liberal democratic’ regime that followed the ideology of 1789 had taken power from the Czars but was tottering. Four months after this apparition the Bolshevik revolution brought the first completely atheistic government in the known history of our world. Not even the vague ‘Supreme Being’ of the French revolutionary governments would be allowed.
God did not find fault with Russia for having a centrally planned economy or a bloated bureaucracy or even a government that was run by murderous terrorists. These things were not new in the world in 1917. Contrary to what we are taught in history class they are as old as the hills: the only thing that perhaps was new was the accelerant poured on to all of this mayhem by the industrial revolution of the previous two centuries. The only new thing was the atheism. For the first time in history a nation was to banish God entirely from its borders. This was the error of Russia.
And the Bolsheviks were not content with destroying the idea of God just in Russia. This was about world revolution. In truth the Communist takeover of Russia in 1917 was just the vanguard of a global revolution that sought to remove God from the life of the human race, with all the tragic consequences that flow from that. Russia in 1917 was just a convenient starting place.
Our Lady promised that this error would spread throughout the world, and it has. The atheism of 2017 is not the militant atheism enforced by the barrel of a gun like in 1917. Rather it is a soft atheism enforced by cultural norms and peer pressure and the threat of ridicule, but it is atheism nonetheless. And since this is a soft and easy atheism it has infiltrated everywhere, even into the highest ranks of the Church. All of us have been the victims of it at some point in our lives I can imagine. We don’t deny God outright, we just forget about Him. We do not make our Creator and our Redeemer the prime focus of our existence. Rather we go to Mass on Sunday, try to stay awake through the priest’s homily, ignore everything else, walk up to grab that strange tastless bread they are passing out and then walk out the door still chewing to get to the head of the line for brunch or get the beer in the fridge quick enough to get it cold by the time your buddies show up to watch football. This is atheism. Of course that is only the case for the extremely small percentage of Catholics who bother for reasons they know not why to even show up anymore. The other 95 percent of the population is just completely oblivious if not downright hostile to even the idea of God much less any notion of Him taking on a human nature, founding a Church his Mystical Body, and establishing Sacraments that are necessary for each and every human being to achieve their destiny: to become, as Saint Peter tells us, partakers in the Divine Nature.
Russia spread her errors well, but of course she had a lot of help. This is the source of the Holy Father’s terrible suffering during the twentieth and twenty first centuries. This man is charged by the God-Man to preach the Gospel in some way shape or form to the whole world and to baptize the nations with the saving waters of the Sacrament. And now even the baptized scoff at the very notion of God and his laws. Even the ordained scoff at his Sacraments and his laws. Even the bishops scoff at his Sacraments and his laws. Even the cardinals scoff at his Sacraments and his laws. From all sides the Mystical body of Christ is beset with wounds and with the gravest wound of all: treason.
We do not know where this will lead. But stay with God. Stay with Our Lady. Stay with the Church. Stay with Pope Francis, whatever people say about him. He is the only Pope we have. Pray for him, sacrifice for him. If you stay with God He will stay with you and will deliver you in the day of evil.
Pray the Rosary every day.