HOW MARY SAVED EUROPE FROM COMMUNISM ON AUGUST 15, 1920
Did you know that all of Europe could have gone Communist in 1920 and Mary played a major part in saving a continent? This is a chapter of Polish history which was eliminated from school textbooks during the years under Communism (1945 – 1989). Let me tell you why.
During the thick of World War I, the Germans sent Vladimir Lenin and other exiled revolutionaries to their native Russia to destabilize the country and knock it out of the war. On October 25, 1917 just 12 days after the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, the Bolsheviks fomented the Communist Revolution and seized control of Russia. On March 3, 1918 they exited World War I eight months before the actual end by accepting the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Communists consolidated power and annexed neighboring countries to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR).
After World War I finally ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and the rest of Europe were devastated by the war and were weak both militarily and economically with considerable unemployment, hyperinflation, and unrest. Communism advocated world revolution with dreams of eventually making the entire earth Communist. Having had time to rearm, the Soviets saw opportunities for a Communist revolution in much of Europe.
Europe was ripe for a Communist takeover in 1920. Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and other Communist leaders of Russia aspired to occupy Rome, Berlin, Paris, and all of Europe together with the workers and Communists of each country who they expected to revolt (the “Communist Revolution of the Proletariat”). Under Béla Kun, the Communists had previously taken over Hungary on March 21, 1919 with a reign of terror which my father and Uncle Geza resisted as students until the “Lenin Boys” were driven out five months later. The Communists called religion the opiate of the masses which was met with the retort: “Communism is the opiate of the asses”.
Poland was granted its independence in late 1918 by the victorious Allies after having been divided up and absorbed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria for 125 years. Because it did not exist as a nation, Poland was not on the map. However, it was the Church and the love of Mary that provided a common bond which united the people to maintain their national and ethnic identity during those dark years.
Newly independent Poland was trying to find its way as a nation with its new government in 1920. Poland stood in the way of a Bolshevik onslaught across Europe and would provide avenues to the west (Berlin and Paris) and southwest (Rome). A force of over 100,000 Soviet troops filled with revolutionary zeal under the command of General Mikhail Tukhachevsky advanced and were poised to conquer Warsaw. Things looked very bleak for the outnumbered, weak, and under-equipped Polish forces.
General Władysław Sikorski with the staff of the Polish 5th Army during the Battle of Warsaw
In the meantime, the people of Warsaw were mobilized to defend the city and its survival as a nation was at stake. Even women and boy scouts were used. People were also mobilized to pray and the rosary was a big part of it. Ethnic Poles all over the world prayed.
Images of the Battle of Warsaw. In the top left photo the Polish infantry is advancing. The bottom left photo shows Polish soldiers marching to the front.
Twenty veteran American pilots volunteered to fight for Poland as part of the Kościuszko Squadron. Breaking the Soviet code, Polish forces under the command of General Józef Piłsudski were able to intercept Soviet communications and discover their strategy and positions. Thus Piłsudski devised a counter strategy where he withdrew his best troops defending Warsaw and attacked from the rear, almost surrounding the Soviet forces.
Polish troops during a lull in the Battle of Warsaw
For much greater battle detail, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Warsaw_(1920), https://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/how-the-poles-saved-civilization-part-i, and http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/how-the-poles-saved-civilization-part-ii. Two fascinating videos include https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SSaQbQiW9s, a documentary analysis of the battle and a 2 hour full length movie on the Battle of Warsaw in Polish can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksf7fmTGuUc. For a shorter 38 minute version of the same movie in Polish with English subtitles, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4I61EkSdgg.
It is said by Polish sources that a large image of Mary appeared over the Polish troops, as shown in the above painting, apparently aiding the Polish army. Since most of the Soviet soldiers were raised in the Orthodox religion which ardently reveres Mary, this image caused great fear among them and many panicked……..surrendering or fleeing. Some Soviet soldiers admitted the veracity of this account.
Again because of the intercession of Mary, Poland saved European civilization and established its borders as an independent nation until the beginning of World War II in 1939 when Germany occupied western Poland and the Soviets occupied eastern Poland. Today the Polish people call this the “Cud nad Wisła” or the “Miracle of the Vistula” that occurred on August 15, 1920, the Feast of the Assumption…….reminiscent of the many times that God came to the rescue of the Israelites with miraculous victories.
Unlike King Sobieski (“I came, I saw, and God won”........see https://paulrsebastianphd.blogspot.com/2019/09/232-why-osama-bin-laden-chose-911-to.html) in the victory that repelled the invasion of Islamic Turkey and saved Europe in the Battle of Vienna on September 12, 1683…….General Józef Piłsudski and other secularist leaders attributed the astonishing victory not to God, but to their own skill and genius. Sadly, the Communists attacked again 27 years later after World War II and took over Poland until 1989.
Lenin called it an enormous defeat…..some 20,000 dead, 33,000 wounded, and 66,000 captured compared to Polish losses of some 4,500 killed, 22,000 wounded, and 10,000 missing. Thus he was resigned to develop socialism mainly in Russia and gradually in the rest of the world, fomenting its errors as Mary prophesized in Fatima in 1917.
The British diplomat Edgar Vincent, 1st Viscount D'Abernon regards this event as one of the most important battles in history on his expanded list of most decisive battles, because the Polish victory over the Soviets stopped the spread of Communism in Europe in 1920.
The main altar of the Black Madonna at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa or Jasna Góra. Notice the crown she is wearing as Queen of Poland. It is said that St. Luke painted it. See “Everything you always wanted to know about Poland’s Black Madonna” at https://aleteia.org/2017/09/06/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-polands-black-madonna/.
No wonder Our Lady, the Virgin Mary was proclaimed the Queen of Poland (Najświętsza Maryja Panna Królowa Polski) by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 at the request of Polish bishops, although so recognized by the people since 1652. Due to Mary's many battles over the centuries with Satan and the forces of evil, Bishop Robert Barron in his homily today in the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore referred to the Queen Mother of Christ the King as the "Warrior Queen".