Skip to comments.Our Lady of Fatima, ‘counterrevolutionary’ and ‘ecumenical’
Posted on 02/15/2005 6:21:15 PM PST by nickcarraway
In Vietnam and Russia, countries marked by Communist atheism, the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima sustains the hopes of the faithful.
Rome (AsiaNews) The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is live and well in Vietnam and Russia. In both countries there are shrines dedicated to her. And in both countries, the past as well as the present are marked by Communist atheism whose end the Virgin predicted when She appeared to the little young shepherds in Portugal in 1917.
In Vietnam there is a Fatima Centre in Binh Trieu, 30 km from Saigon; in Russia, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is in Saint Petersburg.
The Catholic Church and Vietnamese Catholics have become very devoted to Our Lady of Fatima for two reasons: the similarity of the message of Our Lady of Fatima to that given by the Virgin in La Vang, in the late 18th century during the anti-Christian persecutions of King Canh Minh. Both announced consolation in the middle of persecutions through prayers, especially the Rosary.
With the fall of Saigon in 1975 and the reunification of Vietnam under a Communist regime, Vietnamese Catholics felt very close to Our Lady of Fatimas prophecy about the end of communism. For this reason, the Communist regime in Hanoi has always considered Her counterrevolutionary.
In Bin Trieu about 300 faithful gather every Saturday. Large crowds of pilgrims arrive on the first Saturday and on the 13th of every month to honour the first apparition in Fatima (May 13). In every one of Vietnams 25 dioceses there is at least one church dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.
In Russia the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is found in Saint Petersburg in a place that speaks to Russias Communist past and to the brotherhood between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Consecrated on October 11, 1998, the shrine is not far from the Cathedral of Kazan, an important Orthodox place of worship that under Soviet rule was the Museum of Atheism.
The Catholic shrine is also not too far from another emblematic building: the Winter Palace. It was here that the Bolshevik revolution was launched on November 7, 1917. and it was here that the Virgin appeared in the same year from May till October.
In Her messages, Our Lady foresaw the immense damage that would come from Russia should it move away from the Christian faith and accept Communist atheism.
The Virgin had told the little shepherds of Fatima that if humanity did not accept her demands, Russia would spread its errors around the world causing wars and instigating persecutions against the Church.
The Good shall be martyred, Our Lady said, and the Holy Father shall have to suffer, and many nations shall be destroyed.
The Virgins message ended on a hopeful note though. She said that if my demands are accepted, Russia shall convert and [humanity] shall have peace.
Nice story, but there's a little problem with it. There is very little brotherhood between Orthodox and Catholics in Russia. I am an Orthodox Christian and trust me, the idea of Catholics coming in to try to convert a country that has been Orthodox for over 1000 years is not well-received, and the alleged vision of the Theotokos that told them to convert the Orthodox is even less appreciated. The Communists tried their best, but despite butchering over 20 million bishops, priests, and laypeople, and even creating a "fake" Orthodox church with commies as the priests, they were not able to stamp out the Orthodox Church, which is alive and well in Russia. Talk to some Russian Orthodox Christians sometime, and listen to their stories of being secretly baptized, of being raised in the faith in secret, away from the eyes of the evil Bolsheviks. Hear their tales of generation after generation of Christians in their family, that would not give up their faith, no matter what. There is a notion in the west, esp. among Protestants (and I used to be one, so I know of which I speak) that Russians are a godless people. Not so. The Church is still alive, and still bringing Christians into her embrace. So you can understand the resentment when missionaries who know nothing about Orthodoxy come in with the notion that they will save all these Russian "atheists". Many of these missionaries actually end up converting to Orthodoxy, even, once they've seen the reverence and beauty contained within their awe-inspiring services!
Sorry, I have no axe to grind or anything, I just wanted to set the record straight. We Orthodox love the Mother of God, but we question the Fatima vision, and it doesn't exactly inspire brotherhood, as I'm sure it wouldn't if the shoe was on the other foot.
Thanks for posting the article, though, it was interesting. :)
Oops, and I forgot to mention - if anyone wants to know more about how hard the Russian Church struggled for survival during the Soviet reign, I suggest reading about Father Arseny. His story might even change your life:
Even as those policies and events were on the front pages, Russia's errors still held sway in numerous places from China to Cuba. And today we see "former" communists regaining leading positions in several countries of the former Soviet bloc as well as signs of increasing disorder there and elsewhere. Indeed, if the soviet leviathan has disintegrated, "this disintegration has spread an even more deadly climate of crisis throughout the world.
Perestroika is a refinement of communism. We must consider the ways the errors of Russia have spread and are spreading throughout the world, not just by bloody struggles but also through socialism and a veritable cultural revolution. Please read this book. Catholics should continue to go to confession every first Saturday of the month and continue praying the rosary.
I was surprised that earlier this year, Putin was reported to have gone to an Orthodox church named Our Lady of Lourdes for Christmas. Did you see that?
Yeah, I did. But didn't someone figure out that there was some kind of mistake because all the pictures were so clearly from an Orthodox Church?
The article identified it as an Orthodox church of that name.
I don't either what to make of it either. Maybe we should ask the tens of thousands of witnesses of all walks of life who watched the sun drop out of the sky that day.
I know that you're brighter than to contend to any degree of reason that Russia is even remotely a "Christian country". I apologize sincerely if this it seems hurtful, but it very much does need to be converted, starting with the many Bolsheviks at the highest levels of the Orthodox Russian church.
The insidious leftist ethos is a cancer on Christianity that began as a tumor with Russian philosophers/agitators, and has small-celled its way around the globe. To this day its friends are the deepest enemies of Christianity - from the Mideast to China.
Including their stewardship and construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran that could be in a position to totally annihilate a large portion of the Middle East, including and especially Israel.
Suffice it to say, the Fatima revelations have not yet played out. The Church and the succession of popes who chose to ignore the admonition to consecrate Russia have imperiled the world by their disobedience.
That's an excellent book. I'll second your recommendation.
"I know that you're brighter than to contend to any degree of reason that Russia is even remotely a "Christian country". I apologize sincerely if this it seems hurtful, but it very much does need to be converted, starting with the many Bolsheviks at the highest levels of the Orthodox Russian church."
Sigh. There went any hope of reasonable discussion, if THAT kind of cockamamie nonsense is your MO.
Read about Father Arseny. Read about Jim Forrest, who converted to Orthodoxy during the Soviet regime b/c of the pious examples he saw in the underground Church. Read of the countless martyrs of the Church during the Soviet regime. Read about the things the Russian Church is doing today. The Church was shaken by the commies, but not defeated. She is still struggling to rebuild, but has made great strides, and the nonsense that Bolsheviks are still in charge is laughable. So laughable that I almost didn't respond, thinking you must be a troll to post something that absurd. And perhaps you are, but, what the hey, responding to trolls is usually at least entertaining.
Tell me, how many Russians do you know? And how many lives of Russians are you familiar with apart from what you hear in our lovely media? I would venture to say I know a heckuva lot more of them than you do, and have heard a heckuva lot more firsthand accounts of life as an Orthodox Christian in Russia, than you ever have or will. Surely there's an Orthodox Church somewhere in your vicinity - go to one with a lot of Russian immigrants, and ask some questions. I dare you.
Of course there are atheists in Russia, and alcoholics, and CROOKED POLITICIANS, and hypocrites, and violence, and this and that and the other. Find me a country WITHOUT such problems. I'd like to move there. But you are inferring that Russia has no Christian faith and needs to be converted, as your Lady of Fatima allegedly said. And that is highly offensive, because the Russian Orthodox Church is still alive and well, and with help from Her sister Orthodox Churches, is making great strides in once again bringing Christ to the Russian people. So unless you are arrogant (and ignorant) enough to claim that Orthodox Christians are not really Christians, you really haven't a leg to stand on.