In the life of faith, we don’t always see the tangible fruits of our prayers, and that is as it should be. Faith requires trust, and trust means you sometimes have to believe without seeing the full picture. Only in heaven will our seeing “indistinctly, as in a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12) turn into perfect sight.
But sometimes we do see the results of prayer. As a current example, I believe the Blessed Virgin Mary answered the March 25th consecration of Russia and Ukraine in a very tangible and visible way: by giving us the reversal of the most genocidal judicial act in human history. The Marian consecration is what really overturned Roe v. Wade (with a little help from the US Supreme Court, of course.)
But how could the consecration of a foreign nation have such an effect on America’s social/political situation? A bit of history is in order.
The Historical Perspective
First, it’s important to remember what Our Lady of Fatima had originally wanted when she asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She was trying to prevent the Second World War, which of course occurred because her instructions were not followed.
In July of 1917 she granted the children a horrific vision of hell and followed it with some commentary about the coming war:
The [First World] war is going to end, but if people do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI…[God] is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, (emphasis mine) I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and for Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church, the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.
The way I read that last line is that the Blessed Virgin knew her wishes would not be carried out, so she added that – “in the end” – she herself would bring about the victory. The main point is that she was trying to prevent the unleashing of a demonic force that would have catastrophic consequences on the entire world. History shows us that it did.
Her preemptive solution was two-fold. For the average person, it was through tangible devotional practices like the daily Rosary and the First Saturdays. For the Church as a whole, it was the consecration of Russia. Nothing else. Simple, right?
But there are consecrations, and then there are consecrations. I’m aware of the vast amount of controversy that surrounds the history of papal responses to Our Lady of Fatima’s request. I’m also aware of the words of Sr. Lucia about Our Lady’s alleged acceptance of the consecration of Pope John Paul II in 1984.
If the mother of our Divine Savior asks you to do something and you don’t do it when she asks and in the way she asks, how can religious people – pope or peasant – claim to be obedient to the divine will?
The papal responses to Our Lady’s wishes, in particular, have been less than impressive. They always seem to have fallen into one of two categories:
- Either a haughty dismissal of the expressed intent of the Virgin (as in Pope John XXIII’s dreaded “This does not apply to my papacy” comment); or
- A half-hearted, “too little too late” reaction, like asking for the consecration of Russia and getting a consecration of “the human race” – seventy years after the fact.
I’m sure Our Lady doesn’t roll her eyes like I do when she hears things like this, but what could have been so hard about making Russia the explicit object of a papal consecration at any point throughout all those decades?
Truly, Our Lady understood that the human response was never going to be sufficient to get the task done as she had asked. She knew that even popes would disappoint her, so she added that “in the end” she herself would act.
The Other Side of the Coin
Our Lady made it clear that “if they heed my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace.” We’re still waiting on that conversion of Russia, but Our Lady acts with a supernaturally patient love for her wayward children. I’m sure she’s biding her time to bring that about.
The second part of what she said, however, flipped the coin and addressed what would actually happen if the consecration were not performed:
If not, (emphasis mine) [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church.
We’re not waiting on that part. The “errors of Russia” have rained down on our world like the harmful radiation of a hundred suns for over a century now.
Has anyone noticed an increase in catastrophic wars and heinous persecutions of Christians since the time Our Lady uttered those words? Has anyone been paying attention to the monumental degradation of human culture, family life, faith, and Christian values and civilization since 1917?
I could explain how the specific errors of Communism have poisoned our world (especially Western civilization) since Vladimir Lenin’s day, but the details are too horrible and lengthy to go into in a short article.
It’s easier, however, to focus on one particular error that makes all the other evils of Communism pale in comparison: induced abortion.
Vladimir Lenin and Jane Roe
According to the 1997 study called The Black Book of Communism, systematic, atheistic Communism is responsible for a minimum of 100 million deaths worldwide since Lenin and his evil cabal launched the Russian Revolution. This number, however, doesn’t take into account the genocidal program of infant deaths initiated in 1920 when the Soviet Union became the first nation in history to legalize surgical abortion.
Like a metastasizing cancer, the revolution propelled abortion into the whole Communist bloc in 1956 and then exported it to the western nations beginning with the UK’s legalization of abortion in 1967. From there, all western nations ran like wild horses over the abortion precipice into the abyss of infant genocide.
In the wake of what our English cousins did, the cancer spread to the United States in the late sixties when a few states like Colorado, New York, and North Carolina legalized abortion under certain restrictions.
Then Roe came down like a sledgehammer in 1973 (with its companion decision Doe v. Bolton), which in effect “legalized” abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever, creating the most radical abortion situation in history. Roe’s nullification of all abortion-restrictive state laws was worse than any law that could have been passed by a state legislature, not only because of its sweeping nature, but because it couldn’t be overturned by a vote of the people.
Roe thus became an abortion fortress protecting the satanic mass killing of innocents that was undoubtedly the most pernicious of all the “errors of Russia” about which Our Lady warned the world.
Then, since the seventies, the United States and every western government got into the abortion export business. A plethora of international non-governmental organizations, the European Union, the UN, and other radical feminist and allegedly humanitarian “aid” organizations joined them in the vast left-wing conspiracy to export abortion to the rest of the world, especially to the poorest countries of the southern hemisphere.
The numbers on abortion make the deaths from Communism seem like child’s play. The Guttmacher Institute, statisticians for the abortion export business, claims that there are 73 million abortions per year worldwide. It’s Genocide, Inc. thanks to the refusal to heed Our Lady’s warnings which could have prevented all of this killing before it started.
Whatever your opinion about Pope Francis, on March 25th of this year, he alone of all the popes in over a hundred years consecrated Russia by name to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. I repeat what I said earlier: What, exactly, was so hard about that?
He did it in response to the plea of the Ukrainian bishops suffering through a terrible war (perpetrated by Russia). Furthermore, he performed the consecration with the collaboration of all (or at least a good part of) the bishops of the world on the day we often refer to as the feast day of the Unborn Child: the Annunciation, when Christ Himself, “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
In that singular act, we saw a glimpse of the triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart that she predicted at Fatima. Three months later, on the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the legalized genocide of Roe. And it is not insignificant that it happened on the feast of the one who announced the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in utero.
The reversal of Roe was a sledgehammer of another sort. It had all the marks of a clear and resounding Marian answer:
- The timing: for the first time in American history, the Supreme Court has a majority Catholic presence;
- The biblical metaphor: if you wanted to be technical about it, Roe’s end came in year forty-nine, which is the perfect number multiplied by itself, 7 x 7, and the biblical sign of a “jubilee” year of relief from oppression;
- The context: the decision was announced in the month of the Sacred Heart;
- The spiritual significance: of all the days it could have been issued, the decision came down on the actual feast day of the Sacred Heart (which was the traditional feast day of John the Baptist this year);
- The clear association: the Lord’s feast is conjoined every year, like twins in the womb, with the feast of the Immaculate Heart on the following day.
Our Lady asked for the consecration or Russia to her Immaculate Heart. And true to her word, she brought it about in the glow of her own feast day – with a little cooperation on our part.
The Ongoing Errors of Russia
Abortion was the first “error” that Russia spread to the world, not because it was Communism’s first atrocity, but because it was the wicked fruit that accompanied the spread of Communism throughout the world. It remained behind like a blood stain on the fabric of nations even when Communism as a system fell.
To infiltrate the western democratic nations, all it needed was a mentality that would embrace the same communistic errors and apply them to new circumstances: the denial of the sanctity of life, the replacement of the family by the state, and the perverse concepts of freedom and “rights”, etc.
In a certain sense, opposition to these errors is a perennial battle. They must be fought in every age and in every society in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines of culture and in the halls of power. But people have to be willing to fight them. And in this we must acknowledge the debt we owe to the valiant pioneers as well as the current warriors of the pro-life movement who have sacrificially fought those battles for decades on our behalf.
Forward in Faith
The full triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart has yet to be fulfilled, but I believe we witnessed part of the victory on June 24th in the pope’s consecration and its fruit.
We have been praying and working for nearly fifty years to reverse a genocidal Supreme Court decision, but in one fell swoop, Our Lady responded. Just look at the results of one simple act of unified prayer by the universal Church!
It is probably futile to lament what could have been if our Church had just listened to Our Lady back in 1917, but the more important attitude is one of hope-filled faith. The Virgin Mary’s plan for the total victory of her Immaculate Heart is still in the works: it just needs the full cooperation of her children.