Monday, October 24, 2016

(178) A Son of Immigrants Remembers the Hungarian Revolution 60 Years Ago

AMDG 

The flag always had in its center the crown presented by Pope Sylvester to St. Stephen, who Christianized Hungary over 1000 years ago.  However, the Communists in 1949 replaced the crown with the symbol of Communism, the hammer and sickle.  The freedom fighters cut out the hammer and sickle from the flag, which became the symbol of the Hungarian Revolution.


























        Over and over again my father told us kids stories about our Hungarian heritage and made us proud of it.  We only picked up a few words of Hungarian because Mom and Dad spoke to us and each other in English……..Hungarian only when they did not want us to understand.  Among friends and relatives, it was all Hungarian.  I wish now that they had talked to us in Hungarian.  We would have picked up English in school and on the street.  We loved our Hungarian dishes and pastries as well as the Christmas and Easter customs.
 
        We learned about the Magyar tribes, St. Stephen establishing Christianity in the 10th Century, the conquest by Islamic Turkey in the 16th Century, the struggle against Austria for Hungarian independence under Kossuth, the crushing of that Revolution by the Russian Czar in 1848, the compromise establishment of the dual monarchy where Franz Josef held the title of Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary in 1867.  This was the Austria-Hungary empire that fought with Germany in World War I.  Under the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary was left with a fraction of its former 1000 year old territories.  My father, as other Hungarians at home and abroad, was bitter about it. 

        In 1919 my father was a university student caught in the chaos of a Communist takeover for six months under Bela Kuhn.  My uncle Geza Foley was beat up by the so called Lenin Boys.  My father almost was caught, but flushed counterrevolutionary pamphlets down the toilet before they could accuse him.  He described it as a reign of terror.  Thus he was vehemently anti-communist.  Admiral Horthy took leadership and was able to overcome the Communist regime.
 
World War II. Horthy was labeled a Fascist.  Hungary was caught in the middle between the two evils, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.  Since Hitler promised to restore the lost territories, Hungary sided with Germany in the war.  A Hungarian soldier, Laci Fugedy, a friend of the family, told us how the Russians would send one wave after another of soldiers to be mowed down by machine gun fire as the bodies piled up.  Rather than be conquered by the Russians, he and many others went over to the Americans.  Laci ended up as a driver for the U.S. Army.  Once the war ended he immigrated to the United States as a displaced person (DP).  My father, a research chemist and chemical engineer and adjunct professor at West Virginia University helped him to get into the university.  Laci became a Civil Engineer who worked for the National Park Service in Philadelphia.

According to the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, Russia was designated to occupy Hungary.  Russia then established a puppet Communist government in Hungary, a de facto conquest for Communism with Stalinist suppression of basic human rights and persecution of the Church.  Cardinal Josef Mindzenty, the primate of Hungary resisted Communism and was put in jail after a mock trial in 1949. Until the day he died in 1979, my father was bitter at Franklin Roosevelt for being duped by Stalin and handing over Hungary to the Soviets.

With this backdrop I was electrified upon reading the news of the Hungarian revolt against the Communist regime that began on October 23, 1956.  Everyone who loves freedom, especially those of Hungarian descent, were excited.  The people were so desperate that they would risk everything for freedom.

      As a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University I would go up to the library every day to to read the latest news on the revolt before preparing for my classes the next day. 


One picture is worth a thousand words, according to the old saying.  The following link to Life Magazine gives a collection of pictures that tell the story……..the heroism of the Hungarian people in their yearning to be free, but falling into revenge for eight years of tyranny under the yoke of Communism and Soviet occupation.  The few days of exhilarating freedom were wiped out by the brutal invasion by reinforcements from Soviet Russia and the revolution was crushed.  The Hungarians desperately appealed to the United States and NATO for help, but they were preoccupied with the 1956 war between Israel and Egypt and feared Soviet retaliation.  My father thought that refusal was cowardice. Although very risky, freedom for the other satellite countries could have followed.  See 


The following link shows the spirit of the Hungarian people.  When all hope of American help was lost, 200,000 people, most of them young, traveled on another avenue of freedom across the border into free Austria.  From there the refugees were resettled in the United States and all over the world.  There spirit of hard work and intelligence added to the economies of wherever they went. They found opportunity and did well as mechanics, engineers, entrepreneurs, etc.  I dated one of the girls who fought as a freedom fighter and then escaped.  She was sponsored by one of the families of a church. 
A Hungarian Stamp issued to commemorate the 60th Anniversary














      The first link below gives a fascinating BBC timeline beginning with the liberation by the Soviets from Nazi occupation in 1944 until June 16, 1991 when Soviet troops finally left and Hungary was free.  Today Hungary is a democracy with similar fights as we have in America between the left and the right.  The second link gives more detail.


Artist Mihály Zichy's painting of the famous Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi
reciting the National Poem for freedom to a crowd on March 15, 1848.   
My father showed us his book and translated part of it.


























                Actually, history repeated itself in 1956.  In 1848 the Hungarians had revolted and temporarily obtained their independence from the Austrian Empire under the leadership of Lajos Kossuth.  However, Emperor Franz Josef obtained the help of Czarist Russia to crush the revolution since the Czar feared a similar uprising in his country.  Kossuth, an admirer of democracy, toured the United States in the 1850s and appealed for American support for Hungarian independence to no avail.  When Austria-Hungary was defeated in World War I, the Allies broke up the empire and made Hungary an independent country.  See https://www.hungaryfoundation.org/us-1848-hungarian-revolution/
https://www.britannica.com/event/Hungarian-Revolution-1848-1849
  
I will continue writing this article with photos over the next few weeks. 



Thursday, October 13, 2016

(177) The Consecration to the Immaculate Heart and the Course of World History

AMDG

                                     The Pilgrim Statue of the Immaculate Heart visits St. Louis Church in Gallipolis, Ohio.
      October 13, 2016 begins the 100th year since the final
apparition of Mary at Fatima (1917) which ended with the
spectacular Miracle of the Sun (see my Blogs #95 & 96).  In 1929
she asked through Sr. Lucia that the Pope, in union with the
Bishops of the world, consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart,
promising its eventual conversion and the hindering of its errors if
this is done.  On Saturday October 15 we commemorated that event
with a Public Square Biblical Rosary Rally for peace in the
Gallipolis (Ohio) City Park (See my Blog #143). 

    This year (2016) our Bishop Jeffrey Monforton
reconsecrated the Diocese of Steubenville to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary and a specially commissioned statue of her is traveling
to every parish in the diocese.  The statue spent a week with us
from August 26 to September 2.  The Knights of Columbus will
consecrate our Council 3335 to her Immaculate Heart at the 10 am
Mass on October 30, the Fifth Sunday Knights of Columbus Mass.
Furthermore, each knight is invited to begin the 33 Day individual
consecration to Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort, whose
statue is at the main entrance of our church.  For a copy click on
http://www.quies.org/True-Consecration-33-Day.pdf.
The two biggest scourges of the 20th century, the most violent century of all time, were Nazism and Communism, two godless tyrannies of the extreme right and the extreme left.  Both fomented wars, persecuted religion, trampled upon basic human rights.  While World War I was going on in 1917, Mary said that war would soon end, but warned:  “But if people do not cease offending God... another and more terrible war will begin. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign that God gives that the chastisement of the world for its many transgressions is at hand through war, famine, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father."  There was in indeed an unknown light, an aurora borealis was seen from Budapest to Gibraltar, according to the London Times on January 27, 1938 (see my Blogs # 95 & 96). 
        World War II. People ignored Mary and the world suffered through World War II.  Adolph Hitler rose up, appealing to German nationalism and harping about the unjust and humiliating Versailles Treaty after World War I.  He promised to recover territories taken away from Germany.  People followed even though it was atheistic.  Italy under Mussolini and Japan under Hirohito also had similar nationalistic movements and were allied with Germany.  It started on September 1, 1939 after Hitler and Stalin of Russia (although hating each other) agreed to divide up Poland between themselves as Prussia (Germany), Austria, and Russia did for 125 years until 1917 under the Partition.  During those years Poland did not exist as a country.  The Church was instrumental in maintaining national identity.  The United States got into the war after the surprise attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.  Prior to that the country was isolationist, but the attack united the country as never before in fighting the axis powers.  

       As a little boy I don’t remember much, but I do recall the air raid drills with sirens at noon.  I followed Superman and Batman fighting for America through the comic books.  We cheered for the troops listening to the radio, watching newsreels in the movies; there was no television.  My Mom would send me to the store with money and ration stamps to prevent hoarding of goods in short supply.  The schools had us bring in flattened tin cans for scrap iron in the steel industry.  The local steel mills were booming, manned by older men exempt from the draft and women too along with Rosy the Riveter on the assembly lines making military vehicles and tanks.  In a fit of paranoia, the U.S. government confined Japanese Americans to internment camps. 
Ten million American men fought in that war and 405,399 lost their lives compared to 116,516 in World War I, not to mention the many more wounded, the millions dead from all sides, the grieving families, and the systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazis..  Anxious and prayerful American families would put small banners with a star on their front door or window for each son in the war.  Our next door neighbor had a four star banner.  Many sons never did come home.  Every town would have a billboard with the names of its sons in the war and every Church had a plaque with the names of its parishioners in the war as the people prayed for them.  Soldiers would bring home as trophies enemy swords, guns, etc.  I had a collection of military badges that veterans gave to me.
Stan Belback, the son of a Polish-American family, was part of the Normandy Invasion in liberating France.  Soldiers were being mowed down all around him in charging the German bunkers on the top of the hill.  His wife prayed hard; Stanley was hit in the chest; however, the bullet glazed off of a bead of the rosary around his neck; Mary saved his life.  He and his wife showed us the rosary.
I remember air shows at the Allegheny County Airport (Pittsburgh principle airport at the time) and seeing tanks being hauled on railroad cars. People were encouraged to have victory gardens to assure enough for the troops.  People were encouraged to have victory gardens to assure enough for the troops.  It was truly the Great Generation.  German cities were leveled by incessant bombings.  The war mercifully came to an end after the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in 1945.  Millions of people suffered on all sides in the war.  God does not have to punish us; sin creates its own punishments with evil consequences.  He actually makes good come out of it as people come back to Him in prayer with trust and repentance.   























Hiroshima after the atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945.  Some 80,000 people died immediately and another 60,000 slowly died from the radioactive fallout.  About the same number of people died on the second attack on Nagasaki on August 9.  Was this carnage necessary?  Could surrender have been achieved by a demonstration or complete isolation after destroying Japan’s capability for carrying on the war.
Before the October 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia when nobody in the West knew what Communism was, Mary warned the world:  "To prevent this, I shall come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and Communions of reparation on the first Saturdays. If my requests are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, fomenting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will suffer martyrdom; the Holy Father will suffer much; different nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and some time of peace will be granted to humanity.

        In 1920 following World War I, the countries of Western Europe were weak, depleted, exhausted from the war, and in economic ruin.  The Bolsheviks (Russian Communists) saw an opportunity to establish Communism in Europe; they were poised to advance to the English Channel.  However, miraculously Polish troops, although outnumbered, stopped them in the Battle of Warsaw.  It is often referred to as the “Miracle on the Vistula River” or “Cud nad Wisła” in Polish.

        Mexico. The repressive government of Mexico under Communist influence violently persecuted the Church, executed priests, and many of the faithful.  Catholics revolted, demanding religious freedom in the Cristero War from 1926 – 1929 (See Blogs #42, 120, & 132).
In 1929 in a private revelation to Sr. Lucia, the only surviving seer of Fatima, Mary promised that Russia would be converted if the Pope in union with the bishops of the world would consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.  See the Appendix for the text of Sr. Lucia's letter to Pope Pius XII.

    In the 1930s and 1940s the Communist Party of the United States was quite significant since their founding in 1919, peaking at 80,000 members in 1944.  The Communists had some success in infiltrating certain labor unions before being expelled in 1950 (see https://www.britannica.com/topic/Communist-Party-of-the-United-States-of-America).  Russia even had spies who stole American military secrets…….first the atomic bomb by the late l940s and then the hydrogen bomb within the next decade.  Alger Hiss and Julius Rosenberg were the most notorious.

    Spain.  In the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939 Communist Russia greatly influenced and helped the Republicans on the left while Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy aided the Nationalists on the right.  The Republicans persecuted and killed many Catholics, priests, and nuns.   Ernest Hemingway and leftist American youth fought with the Republicans.  The Nationalists under General Franco prevailed and religious freedom was preserved.  See  https://www.britannica.com/event/Spanish-Civil-War.  At least half a million people died.  It was a prelude to World War II.       

      Russia was an unreliable ally during World War II despite receiving considerable help from the United States for the Eastern Front in Europe.  Towards the end of the war, Franklin Roosevelt (followed by Harry Truman) had conferences with Winston Churchill of Britain, and Josef Stalin of Russia and made agreements at Yalta and Potsdam on occupying Germany and the countries of eastern Europe involved in the war.  Russia occupied Eastern Europe and East Germany.  Stalin simply treated those countries as conqueo Stalin.  Russia entered the Pacific Theater of the War toward its very end, occupsts and set up Communist governments in each one of them.  My father and other ethnic Hungarians were bitter, calling it a betrayal and a handover tying Manchuria, which became part of China as another Communist country.    
Russia continued to spread its errors after World War II…….suppress basic human rights and freedoms in the countries under its control.  It aggressively persecuted the Church, jailed and executed priests, closed churches, Catholic schools, newspapers, and institutions.  It controlled the Press, jailed and executed people who spoke out against the regime, etc.  In subsequent years Russia annexed Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan under the name of “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”.  By 1948 it established puppet Communist governments in the countries it occupied after World War II…….Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, and East Germany.  It threatened to take over Greece, Italy, Austria, and Turkey, but the United States finally stood firm.  It helped the Chinese Communists to take over China and equipped North Korea to attack South Korea in a three year war.

    In the United States the Soviet Union had a spy network.  Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were the most notorious.  They were successful in stealing American secrets for the Atomic Bomb and the Hydrogen Bomb.  The Communist Party was active and made inroads in infiltrating labor unions.
Saul Alinsky (1909 – 1972), is considered to be the father of community organizing and had a Marxist influenced methodology.  He has been able to influence liberals of today (including President Obama who started out as a community organizer and is an admirer of Alinsky) with secularist goals divorced from God.  They don’t call it Marxism, Communism, or even Socialism, but rather using the terms: liberal, progressive, and democratic.  Alinsky’s philosophy included the Machiavellian “The end justifies the means” including violence and deceit to achieve their goals even if they violate Christian morality, religious freedom, and human rights.  “You do what you can and then you clothe it in moral garments, pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”. 

Alinsky had a diabolican influence on many liberals of his time and today.  He even had considerable success in influencing Catholic leaders, intellectuals, and even Bishops of the Church.  That’s one of the reasons that Vatican II was corrupted under the guise of “The Spirit of Vatican II” and people believed them without ever having read what is in the Vatican II documents.  Shocking are some of the quotes from his book “Rules for Radicals” and interview with Playboy Magazine a few weeks before he died as saying that if there is an afterlife, he would choose hell because his kind of people are there and he would organize them.  For more detail watch the EWTN documentary by clicking on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vny6OXXBSfM.
The Korean War. In 1950 Communist North Korea with the help of Russia invaded free South Korea.  American troops intervened and fought until an Armistice in 1953; 36,516 died  Technically, the two countries are still at war.  Tensions continue between the two countries today and a resumption of the war is still a real possibility.  Communist North Korea is developing nuclear weapons.  By this time Russia developed atomic weapons.  A nuclear war was very much a possibility.  People talked about building bomb shelters and in some schools kids were taught to crawl under their desks in case of an attack.  As a kid in elementary school, I remember being afraid, especially at night.
The Hungarian Revolution.  In 1956 the Hungarian people revolted against their puppet Communist government and the occupation by Soviet troops.  It was a popular uprising for freedom.  For a few days, it appeared that the Hungarians freedom fighters were victorious as the Soviet Army retreated from Budapest.  The Soviets lured their new premier, Imre Nagy to negotiate at the military headquarters.  Masters of deceit, they captured him and a larger Soviet army crushed the rebellion……killing 3000 people in a blood bath.  Once order was restored, they executed many of the freedom fighters and their leaders, including Imre Nagy.
The Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1958 the Communists took over Cuba in a revolution led by Fidel Castro.  Communism took root 90 miles from the United States.  In April 1961 the United States helped a band of Cuban refugees in a failed attempt to overthrow the Castro government with the Bay of Pigs invasion.  The failure was a major blow to American prestige.  In retaliation Castro invited Russia to station missiles with nuclear warheads that threatened the United States.  Washington was within range.  In October 1962 the United States blockaded Russian ships from entering Cuba.  This resulted in a gigantic game of chicken that put the world on the brink of nuclear war.  A miscalculation by either superpower or a mistake by one of the opposing commanders could have sparked a nuclear war.  People were deathly afraid.  Russia apparently gave in by withdrawing its missiles, but secretly the United States agreed to remove its missiles from Turkey close to the border with the Soviet Union.   
The Berlin Wall.  In 1961 refugees from the Communist countries were streaming through Berlin to freedom in the West.  Berlin was in the center of Communist East Germany.  However, West Berlin was controlled by West Germany according to a previous treaty.  Previously in 1948 Russia had tried to force the allies out of Berlin, but the allies kept their occupied West Berlin supplied through around the clock flights called the Berlin Airlift.  To stop this flow of refugees, Nikita Khrushchev, the dictator of the Soviet Union, ordered the construction of a wall topped by barbed wire on August 13, 1961.  See my blogs #60 and 160.  The United States retaliated with a buildup.  My active duty as a young lieutenant was extended a year and I was sent to Orleans, France as part of a buildup in Europe.  By the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis my tour of duty was over.  
Vietnam. In 1965 Communist North Vietnam with the help of Russia invaded South Vietnam.  We were bogged down in that war until 1973 when a treaty was negotiated.  American troops were withdrawn and North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam in violation of the treaty; 58,209 American soldiers lost their lives.  This was the only war that the United States ever lost.  However, it probably stopped the Communist advance into other Asia countries.            
St. Pope John Paul II. Karol Wojtiła clandestinely studied for the priesthood during the Nazi occupation of Poland inside the residence of the Archbishop of Krakow.  As bishop and later Archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Wojtiła resisted Communism.  To everyone’s surprise and shock to the Soviets, he was elected Pope John Paul II in 1978.  He triumphantly visited Poland and quietly supported the Solidarity Movement for free unions.  
Perceiving the future saint as a threat, the Soviets put out a contract on his life and was shot point blank on May 13, 1981, the anniversary of Mary’s first appearance to the shepherd children in Fatima.  That wound to his abdomen should have been fatal, but miraculously the bullet zigzagged through his body without hitting any artery or vital organ.  During his agony, he called out to Maria for help and he attributed his life to her.  Later the Pope visited Fatima and had the bullet placed in the crown of Our Lady’s statue.  When he recovered St. John Paul II met with his attacker, Mehmet Ali Ağca, in jail and forgave him.  We later learned that the Third Secret of Fatima prophesized that there would be an attempt on the life of the Pope.





















                               The agony of St. Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981.

St. John Paul II had a great devotion to Mary and even had a reference to her on his coat of arms:  “totus tuus”, meaning “all yours”, in consecrating himself to her Immaculate Heart.  As a boy he came closer to Mary, our spiritual mother, after his earthly mother died.  As Pope, he served as the Lord’s instrument in the collapse of European Communism.  He inspired those in the Solidarity Movement in Poland.  He collaborated with President Ronald Reagan and Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA, by giving them information that the Vatican had.  Furthermore, the Pope facilitated the transfer of money to the Solidarity Movement.  Thus St. Pope John Paul II is credited with a significant role in the eventual fall of Communism in Europe.  
During the Cold War, people prayed and St. Pope John Paul II did consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 in union with the bishops of the world.   By 1991 European communism and the Iron Curtain collapsed as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.  Russia has come a long way, but conversion is still a long way off.  A nationalistic Russia has taken territory from the Ukraine, is a threat to its neighbors, and has sided with the Syrian dictator. 
 
      The Berlin Wall comes tumbling down like the Walls of Jericho.


Below is the chronology of satisfying Mary’s request to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The key dates are underlined.  It was not until March 25, 1984 that St. Pope John Paul II satisfied the conditions for the consecration that Mary laid out.  Note below that after that date there was a series of events that led to the collapse of European Communism and the Iron Curtain as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.  Freedom to Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, etc.; and the disintegration of the Soviet Union which was really a Russian Communist empire.  Nobody expected this sequence of events.  St. Pope John Paul II had an important role.  We know that prayer did it.


Since 1991 when the Soviet Union disintegrated, there has been a modest revival in Russia.  The number of churches have increased from 400 to over 30,000; the number of monasteries from 22 to over 800; Theological Schools from 0 to 100.  Civil laws is beginning to reflect God’s moral law and Christianity is growing in importance despite President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive posture.  Of course, the Christianization of Russia still has a long way to go.  


                 Time Line of the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
and Related Events

July 13, 1917    Our Lady promises  to come and ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

June 13, 1929  Our Lady fulfills her promise, asking through Lucy "for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promising its conversion through this means and the hindering of the propagation of its errors."

date unknown   Pius XI (1922-1939) is informed of this request.

1938            Portuguese Bishops ask Pius XI for the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart. It is said they were  influenced to do this by the spiritual director of Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (1904-1955).

June 1940       A request is made to Pius XII through the Bishop of Macau, and a little later  through Father Gonzaga de Fonseca. Mention is made of Our Lady asking for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

Dec.  1940       Sr. Lucia writes a letter to Pius XII, saying that Our Lord Himself requests that the Pope "consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia, and order that all the Bishops of the world do the same in union with His  Holiness."

Oct. 31, 1942    Pope Pius XII consecrates the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

July 7, 1952      Pope Pius XII consecrates the Russian people to the Immaculate Heart.

Nov. 21, 1964   Pope Paul VI renews, in the presence of the Fathers of the Vatican Council, but without their   participation, the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.

May 13, 1982  Pope John Paul II invites the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating the  world and with it Russia to the Immaculate Heart. Many do not receive the  invitation in time for the Pope's trip to Fatima, where he accomplishes the consecration.  Sr. Lucia later said it did not fulfill the conditions.

October 1983    Pope John Paul II, at the Synod of Bishops, renews the 1982 Consecration.

March 25,1984 Pope John Paul II, "united with all the pastors of the Church in a particular bond whereby we constitute a body and a college," consecrates "the whole world,  especially the peoples for which by reason of their situation you have particular  love and solicitude." Apparently it was imprudent to mention Russia by name.  Both the Pope and Sr. Lucia initially seemed uncertain that the consecration had been fulfilled, but shortly thereafter Sr. Lucia tells the papal nuncio to Portugal that   the Consecration is fulfilled.

May 13, 1984   One of the largest crowds in Fatima history gathers at the shrine to pray the Rosary for peace.

May 13, 1984   An explosion at the Soviets’ Severomorsk Naval Base destroys two-thirds of all the missiles  stockpiled for the Soviets’ Northern Fleet. The blast also destroys workshops needed to  maintain the missiles as well as hundreds of scientists and  technicians. Western military    experts called it the worst naval disaster the Soviet Navy has suffered since WWII.

Dec. 1984       The Soviet Defense Minister, mastermind of the invasion plans for Western Europe, suddenly      and mysteriously dies.

March 10, 1985 Soviet Chairman Konstantin Chernenko dies.

March 11, 1985 Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev is elected.

April 26, 1986  The Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown accident spews a radioactive cloud over the Ukraine.                                                                                     
May 12, 1988   An explosion wrecked the only factory that made the rocket motors for the Soviets’ deadly SS 24 long-range missiles, which carry ten nuclear bombs each.

Aug. 29, 1989  Sr. Lucia affirms in correspondence that the consecration "has been accomplished" and that "God will keep His word."

Nov. 9, 1989    The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain go down, reminiscent of the Walls of Jericho.  Nobody expected it.                               

Nov-Dec 1989   Peaceful revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania drive out Communism.                                                                     
1990                  East and West Germany are unified.......only a dream since the end of World War II in 1945.
Dec. 25, 1991  The Communist government in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disintegrates  and  collapses after subjugating millions, persecuting the Church, and being a threat  to civilization since the Russian Revolution of October 1917. 
      The 21st Century began with hope, but the forces of evil continued to work and the people drifted away from God.  Since the 1970s, Secularism or secular humanism (ignoring God…….the rejection of religious influence or morality in civil affairs, public education, and social discourse) took over more and more of European and American society, culture, public education, and government.  When the European Union was organized, the framers refused to acknowledge any Christian contribution to European civilization and culture.  
With contraception and abortion, the population of Europe (about 1.6 children per woman when population maintenance requires about 2.3) became stagnant with a preponderance of older people.  With a shortage of young people to work and feed the older people, guest workers were welcomed from Islamic countries.  They multiply and mosques began to crop up all over Europe.  According to one projection, by 2050 Europe will have an Islamic majority.  This gave rise to a fringe group of radical Islamists such as Al Qaida and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) that achieve their objectives through terrorism both from within and from without.  They aspire to take over countries and establish Sharia Law.  That is the scourge of the 21st Century.

The War on Terror is nothing new; it’s really a 1300 year old war, a threat to Western Civilization since the 8th Century, when they took over the Middle East and North Africa.  In the 12th Century the Crusades defended and tried to recover the Holy Land from its Muslim conquerors.  The Moors took over much of Spain and Portugal in the 15th Century and the Ottoman Turks conquered Hungary in the 17th Century.  All of Europe was threatened and the people went to Mary as a recourse.  With Mary’s intercession the advance of radical Islam was stopped at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456, the Battle of Le Panto in 1571, and the Battle of Vienna on September 11, 1683.  See my Blog #125. 

            Radical Islam was dormant for the next 300 years.  It was revived by Palestinian protesters against the Israeli occupation.  The suicide bombers believed that they would obtain salvation by being martyrs to Jihad or holy war in “killing the infidels”.  In 1997 a terrorist bomb was set off in the basement of one of the Twin Towers.       





























                   The second plane hits the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001
                    as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge.

        The grim reality of Radical Islam hit home on September 11, 2001 which was chosen by Osama Bin Laden because it was the anniversary of the victory by King Sobieski of Poland over the Ottoman Turks in 1683.  They attacked New York and Washington with four hijacked airliners that crashed into major buildings.  American then took the War on Terror to Iraq and Afghanistan which was controlled by the Taliban and Al Qaida.  ISIS threatens to take over Syria and Iraq with aspirations to fly their black flag over St. Peter’s in Rome.  
 
The desperate trapped human faces in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.     In all 2606 human beings, created according to the image and likeness of God, perished in these senseless brutal attacks in New York.  This is man’s inhumanity to man on a massive scale.  All over the country people were scared and returned to God as shown by the increase in church attendance.  After a few weeks we again drifted away from God.  Will we ever learn that turning to God and living the Gospel is the only road to peace and salvation?  For more haunting photos of this tragedy, see: http://www.businessinsider.com/20-haunting-photos-from-the-september-11th-attacks-that-americans-will-always-remember-2015-9/#the-twin-towers-of-the-world-trade-center-were-a-familiar-sight-to-new-yorkers-for-decades-you-looked-up-and-they-were-there-it-was-a-reassuring-sight-i-visited-the-towers-many-times-and-gazed-upon-them-many-more-1

 Terrorists attacks have occurred numerous times since then in Europe and the United States.  Now people realize that terrorism can occur at any time, anywhere.



Now again we appeal to Mary.  The world of Islam admires Mary as the most perfect woman that God created as stated in the Quran.  The town of Fatima was named after Mohammed’s favorite daughter after the Moors conquered Portugal.  Mary chose to appear in Fatima, Portugal for a reason.  Perhaps Mary is the path to reconciliation between Islam and Christianity.  See my Blog #4.  
The entire history of man has been marked by one war after another, but the 20th Century was the bloodiest of all.  Since 1914, the start of World War I, the world has had to endure almost constant war somewhere in the world, millions of human beings killed and millions more wounded, persecution of Jews, of Christians, and other minorities, racism,  terrorism, untold suffering.  We have seen so much of it in real life, on television, and in the movies that we are desensitized to violence.  We have devalued life, especially the unborn. 
We have become insensitive to statistics of the dead.  Let us remember……the millions of dead are not statistics; they are not simply abstract numbers; they are people crying out that they are created according to the image and likeness of God……thus with tremendous dignity.  What has the world gained from all the needless violence and death?  True, suffering often does bring out heroic virtue and God raises saints to carry us through it.  Evil seems to be winning; the word devil comes from division.  We must turn the tide.  We can never do it alone.  Let us turn back to God and pray for His help and trust Him.  Mary, pray for us. 
Mary will again be victorious if we come back to God and pray the rosary daily for peace that Mary herself asks us to do (For meditations, see my Blogs #50, 73, 78, & 84).  Her almost 2000 year mission has been to bring people back to her Son.  Mary thirsts for sinners the same as her Son does.  Thus we consecrate our Country, our diocese, our Knights of Columbus Council, and ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In the end the Immaculate Heart will triumph.  May each one of us do our part by praying the rosary daily for peace as Mary requested at Fatima.

Appendix

1940 Letter of Sr. Lucia to Pope Pius XII Requesting the Consecration of the World and Russia to the Immaculate Heart

Most Holy Father,

Humbly prostrated at your feet, I come as the last sheep of the fold entrusted to you to open my heart, by order of my spiritual director.

I am the only survivor of the children to whom our Lady appeared in Fátima (Portugal) from the 13th of May to the 13th of October 1917. The Blessed Virgin has granted me many graces, the greatest of all being my admission to the Institute of Saint Dorothy. (To here this is copy of the sketch the Bishop sent me.)

I come, Most Holy Father, to renew a request that has already been brought to you several times. The request, Most Holy Father, is from our Lord and our good Mother in Heaven.

In 1917, in the portion of the apparitions that we have designated "the secret," the Blessed Virgin revealed the end of the war that was then afflicting Europe, and predicted another forthcoming, saying that to prevent it She would come and ask the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart as well as the Communion of reparation on the first Saturday. She promised peace and the conversion of that nation if Her request was attended to. She announced that otherwise this nation would spread her errors throughout the world, and there would be wars, persecutions of the Holy Church, martyrdom of many Christians, several persecutions and sufferings reserved for Your Holiness, and the annihilation of several nations.

Most Holy Father, this remained a secret until 1926 according to the express will of our Lady. Then, in a revelation She asked that the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays of five consecutive months be propagated throughout the world, with its conditions of doing the following with the same purpose; going to confession, meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary and saying the Rosary with the aim of making reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifferences committed against Her Immaculate Heart. Our good Heavenly Mother promises to assist the persons who practise this devotion, in the hour of their death, with all the necessary graces for their salvation. I exposed the request of our Lady to my confessor, who tried to have it fulfilled, but only on the 13th of September 1939 did His Excellency the Bishop of Leiria make public in Fatima this request of our Lady.

I take this opportunity, Most Holy Father, to ask you to bless and extend this devotion to the whole world. In 1929, through another apparition, our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, promising its conversion through this means and the hindering of the propagation of its errors.

Sometime afterwards I told my confessor of the request of our Lady. He tried to fulfill it by making it known to Pius XI.

In several intimate communications our Lord has not stopped insisting on this request, promising lately, to shorten the days of tribulation which He has determined to punish the nations for their crimes, through war, famine and several persecutions of the Holy Church and Your Holiness, if you will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention for Russia, and order that all the Bishops of the world do the same in union with Your Holiness. I truly feel your sufferings, Most Holy Father! And, at much as I can through my humble prayers and sacrifices, I try to lessen them, close to our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Most Holy Father, if in the union of my soul with God I have not been deceived, our Lord promises a special protection to our country in this war, due to the consecration of the nation by the Portuguese Prelates, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; as proof of the graces that would have been granted to other nations, had they also consecrated themselves to Her.

Now, Most Holy Father, allow me to make one more request, which is but an ardent wish of my humble heart; that the feast in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be extended throughout the whole world as one of the main feasts of the Holy Church.

With the deepest respect and reverence I ask for the Apostolic Blessing. May God protect Your Holiness.

Tuy, Spain, 2nd of December of 1940. 
Maria Lucia de Jesus
From Novos Documentos de Fátima, Fr. Anthony Mario Martins, SJ (Oporto: 1984). English edition:


                               http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/consecration3-5.htm

                               http://www.rosary-center.org/fatimams.htm

                              https://americaneedsfatima.org/for a detailed history of the Fatima apparitions and message.

THE REQUESTS OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY OF FATIMA
  1. THE DAILY ROSARY FOR PEACE:
    "Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it." (Our Lady, July 13, 1917)
    "God has placed peace in her hands, and it is from the Immaculate Heart that men must ask it." (Jacinta, shortly before her death)
    "When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to      Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.' " (June 13, 1917)
(Every Rosary increases Mary's power to crush the head of the Serpent and to destroy his evil power in the world.)

  1. DEVOTION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY:
    "Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it." (June 13, 1917)

3.      FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTIONS, which include:
      • reception of Holy Communion, and Confession (within 8 days before or after)
      • pray five decades of the Rosary
      • spend 15 minutes in meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary.
(All the above to be offered up in reparation for sins and ingratitude against the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady.)
    1. OFFERING IN REPARATION - THE SACRIFICES, TRIALS AND CROSSES OF LIFE, especially those sacrifices involved in keeping God's Commandments, and in fulfilling the duties of one's state in life - offering them through the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation to the Divine Majesty so offended by sin, and for the conversion of sinners.
      "Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice: 'O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.' " (Our Lady, July 13, 1917)
      "Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them." (Our Lady, August 19, 1917)
CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. Any formula may be used which expresses a sincere confiding of oneself without reserve.
  


 Now again we appeal to Mary.  The world of Islam admires Mary as the most perfect woman that God created as stated in the Quran.  The town of Fatima was named after Mohammed’s favorite daughter after the Moors conquered Portugal.  Mary chose to appear in Fatima, Portugal for a reason.  Perhaps Mary is the path to reconciliation between Islam and Christianity.  See my Blog #4.