Pope Francis and Russia
ONE day, after having reread the first part of Our Lady of Fatima’s great “ Secret,” the vision of “ Hell into which poor sinners fall,” Fr. de Nantes wondered:
“Well, where are they, these poor sinners whose souls are going to Hell? They are here amongst us: they are living on this earth, they die and, because there is no one to pray for them, they fall into Hell.”
This is our Catholic Faith, restated and confirmed by Our Lady of Fatima. Yet, “to say the Creed is one thing; to open one’s eyes on the world in the light of it is another,” our Father continued. “I had not dared to think, in our times of liberalism and slackening of moral standards, of identifying today’s horrible criminals amongst us with the same horrible damned souls of tomorrow, raging against and cursing God among the demons! All these multitudes of ‘in’ people: scientists, politicians, cinema artists, business men, killers, fun-lovers, idolatrous, incredulous crowds, fanatical about their false religions or ideologies, are going to Hell because no one prays for them or preaches the Gospel to them.” Yesterday, both the killers and their victims in the Charlie-Hebdo attack were blasphemers of Jesus and Mary. Where are they today?
On July 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin showed the seers these damned souls who burn, who howl, who curse the saints and hate their Creator, these are the same people whose word is law here on earth: these thieves, these assassins, these liars who speculate with the money of the poor, who corrupt multitudes of souls and bodies, treating everything in terms of money.
Since 1960, after the accession of John XXIII who did not want to take any account of this “ Secret ” – he had read its three parts including the then undivulged third part, – until Benedict XVI, who gave it a deceitful “ interpretation” on June 26, 2000, these people are visited by the Pope, and the bishops dialogue with them! Today, terrorists can assassinate blasphemers of Jesus and Mary in the middle of Paris in the name of their “ Prophet. ” Everyone loudly mourns for them without even worrying about the salvation of their souls.
On the other hand, the Blessed Virgin shows concern for them : “ To save them, She reveals, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart ”
DEVOTION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART
What does that mean? The Mother of God continues:
“ If what I am going to say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. ”
Who will be saved? “ Many souls”… Even the despicable journalists of Charlie-Hebdo? Yes! Even there assassins? Indeed! “ There will be peace ” in Ukraine? Yes! In Syria as well! Then quickly… let us do what She demands; we have delayed too long already! In fact, “ the great sign that God is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine, and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father ” dates back to the night from January 25 to 26, 1938, which was “ illuminated with an unknown light. ” Since then war has not ceased and souls fall into Hell as though sucked into a whirlpool.
Yet, the remedy is still the same: “ To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation of the first Saturdays of the month.”
THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION OF THE FIRST SATURDAYS.
On December 26, 1957, Fr. Augustine Fuentes, a Mexican priest who was preparing to take on the role of postulator for the beatification causes of Jacinta and Francisco, spoke at length with Sister Lucy:
“ Let us remember,” she told him, “ that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit His most Holy Mother to be offended and despised. We have the patent testimony of several centuries of the Church’s history which shows us, through terrible examples, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always come to the defence of His Mother’s honour.”
I refuse to describe the insults published at Christmas by Charlie-Hebdo. Everyone is aware of them, yet the chorus of ‘homage’ paid to the victims of the tragedy of January 7, 2015 ignores them. All have become accomplices, when they ought to do penance. Sr. Lucy, however, warned Fr. Fuentes in the same conversation:
“ We should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from the Holy Father, to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to penance to come from our bishops, nor from our superiors. It is necessary for each one of us to begin to reform himself. This is a personal responsibility before God.”
The reparatory devotion of the five First Saturdays of the month offers us the possibility of doing this and the motive speaks to us today with a cogency capable of stirring the most indifferent of souls, in response to the ‘front pages’ of all the media:
On Thursday, May 29, 1930, during her holy hour of adoration of atonement, in the chapel of the convent of Tuy where she was staying at that time, Sister Lucy received the answer to the questions that her confessor, Fr. Gonçalves, had given her in writing, in particular this one:
“Why five Saturdays and not nine, or seven, in honour of the sorrows of Our Lady?”
“ I suddenly felt myself more intimately possessed by the Divine Presence and, if I am not mistaken, this is what was revealed to me:
“ My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five types of offences and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
“1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
“2. Blasphemies against Her Virginity.
“3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognise Her as the Mother of men.
“4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother.
“5. The offences of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.
“ Here, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to ask for this little act of reparation, in consideration of which My mercy was moved to pardon souls who have had the misfortune to offend Her. As for you, always seek by your prayers and sacrifices to move My mercy to pity for these poor souls.”
THE CONSECRATION OF RUSSIA.
On June 13, 1929, at Tuy, Our Lady said to Lucy:
“ The moment has arrived when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls that the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I have come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”
What is this “ salvation ”? The history of “holy Russia” reveals that the Virgin Mary contracted a covenant with this nation and its privileged sons and that “this wonderful and holy people began to deviate when they were affected by the Byzantine schism, which separated them from the fountain head of unity and charity.” (Georges de Nantes, “ Russia before and after 1983 ”, CRC no. 153, December 1982, p. 49). The conversion of Russia will be the remedy for this misfortune the day when the Pope “ deigns ” (sic!) to respond to the repeated demand of Our Lady for its consecration to Her Immaculate Heart:
“The Virgin Mary has been established as Guardian of tortured and exhausted Russia. She will know how to exorcise and deliver Russia through the divine Power, whose Mediatrix She is. It is enough that this possessed one be officially consecrated to Her by the Pope and the bishops of the Free World. Free, but infested by Satan. There is the difficulty the only difficulty on which the future of the world and the salvation of millions of souls depend.” (ibid., p. 21)
After the theophany of Tuy, Our Lord informed the seer that the two requests, the consecration of Russiaand the Communion of Reparation on the five First Saturdays of the monthwere to be addressed jointly to the Holy Father himself.
The picture of the state of the world that Pope Francis drew before the diplomatic corps on January 12 gives this request renewed relevance, with particular urgency. Did the Holy Father not express his concern about “ a true world war fought piecemeal”?
Unlike his predecessors, he began with a Christmas sermon:
“ Today I wish to repeat a word quite dear to us: peace!”
On the lips of Pope Francis, however, it is not only “ a word,” but a reality:
“ It comes to us, he continued, from the angelic hosts who proclaimed it on Christmas night (cf. Lk 2:14) as a precious gift of God, while at the same time as a personal and social responsibility which calls for our commitment and concern.”
In fact, Hell fights against this peace that Jesus brings:
“ Together with peace, the Pope continues, the image of the Christmas creche speaks to us another tragic reality: that of rejection. In some iconographic representations, both in the West and in the East – I think for example of the splendid Nativity icon of Andrej Rublev – the Child Jesus is shown not lying in a manger, but in a tomb. The image, which is meant to connect the two principal Christian feasts of Christmas and Easter, shows that the joyful acceptance of this new birth is inseparable from the entire drama of Jesus’ life, his humiliation and rejection, even to death on the Cross.”
The Pope continues his meditation on this battle between light and darkness, before an impassive diplomatic corps conforming to protocol:
“ The Christmas narratives themselves show us the hardened heart of a humanity which finds it difficult to accept the Child. From the very start, He is cast aside, left out in the cold, forced to be born in a stable since there was no room in the inn (cf. Lk 2:7). If this is how the Son of God was treated, how much more so is it the case with so many of our brothers and sisters!”
Straightway, Pope Francis identifies the Child Jesus with this dear “ neighbour,” the object of the same scorn from our spontaneous egoism:
“ Rejection is an attitude we all share; it makes us see our neighbour not as a brother or sister to be accepted, but as unworthy of our attention, a rival, or someone to be bent to our will. This is the mindset which fosters that “throwaway culture” which spares nothing and no one: nature, human beings, even God Himself.”
These “ throwaways” are consumed by a fire in which all wars ignite, a fire like the one that used to burn in the Valley of Hinnom under the walls of Jerusalem:
“ It gives rise to a humanity filled with pain and constantly torn by tensions and conflicts of every sort.
“ Emblematic of this, in the Gospel infancy narratives, is King Herod. Feeling his authority threatened by the Child Jesus, he orders all the children of Bethlehem to be killed. We think immediately of Pakistan, where a month ago, more than a hundred children were slaughtered with unspeakable brutality. To their families I wish to renew my personal condolences and the assurance of my continued prayers for the many innocents who lost their lives.”
Thus Pope Francis identifies himself with the “ Bishop dressed in White ” of the ‘Secret’: “ Afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way.”
The Pope then turned to the “ multiple forms of enslavement,” the consequence of the oppression of modern “ Herods” who have a “ corrupt heart, a heart incapable of recognising and doing good, of pursuing peace.” The review of the situation in the world, the traditional object of this speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, “ sadly leads us to see the tragic consequences of this mentality of rejection and this ‘culture of enslavement’.” The Pope denounced this mentality in his Message for the 48th World Day of Peace, December 8, 2014.
“ Like a true world war fought piecemeal,” conflicts unremittingly follow one after the other “ beginning with nearby Ukraine, which has become a dramatic theatre of combat.” The Pope called on the opposing parties to end the hostilities in order to embark as quickly as possible “ upon the path of mutual trust and fraternal reconciliation?”
Will this paternal exhortation revive the memory of the admirable Kievian Christendom, the origin of “European Russia,” founded by the great saints Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century? By speaking of “ the splendid Nativity icon of Andrej Rublev,” Pope Francis precisely draws our attention to the cult of icons, imported from Byzantium, that gave an intimate fervour to the spirituality of the population of Kiev converted shortly after “the triumph of Orthodoxy” over Iconoclasm (842.)
Marked by devotion to the holy Apostles Peter, Paul and Andrew, and most of all to the Blessed Virgin, a devotion stamped with an immense respect yet great familiarity, this Church of Kiev remained “Catholic” – which can be translated in Slavonic as “Soborny”– and attached to Rome long after the Greek schism.
In Moscow, where the Metropolitan Peter established his see in 1325, the Cathedral of the Assumption became the primatial Church of all Russia.
“It was then that a holy anchorite, St. Sergius of Radonezh established, not far from Moscow, the monastery of the Holy Trinity under the rule of St. Theodosius of Kiev in 1344. It attracted crowds of people and the spiritual influence of the monastery accompanied the political rise of Moscow, which was made the capital by Prince John I.
“How can one not be reminded of France’s royal abbey of St. Denis not far from Paris? And when on September 8, 1380, Grand Prince Dimitri fought against the Tartars in a battle at Koulikbvo, St. Sergius, who was praying, suddenly stood up, transfigured and told his monks, ‘We have won,’ just as St. Pius V did at Rome on the day and at the very hour of the victory of Lepanto in 1571.” (Georges de Nantes, op. cit., p. 24)
It was the “fatal break” with Rome, consummated at the Council of Moscow (1448) that transformed the sobornost, this unity of spiritual and fraternal communion, into Caesaropapism, so true is it that “all withdrawal from Rome ends in a strengthening of the temporal power” (ibid.)
“There is no exception to this rule” until the accession of Peter I (1682-1725.) Surnamed ‘the Great’ by his courtiers and by Western historians, he was commonly called ‘the Antichrist’ by the Russian people. Fr. de Nantes called him “the German.” “He detested his people and despised his own clergy whom he found ‘ignorant and retrograde.’ From his childhood he only took pleasure in the company of the Lutherans of Moscow’s German quarter.”
Peter I travelled to Prussia, to Hanover, to the Netherlands and to Orangist England (Louis XIV refused to receive him) and adopted the ideas of the “philosophy of the Enlightenment,” which was hostile to his people and to their tradition.
“Catherine II advanced still further along this path of this (supposedly ‘ enlightened ’) despotism, of enslaving an entire immense nation, after the Prussian manner, so contrary to the Slav genius. Let us not forget that this famous ‘Catherine of Russia’ was as little Russian as it is possible to be. This terrible, monstrous incarnation of evil, under the threefold form of despotism, cruelty and debauchery, was Saxon… like Luther!”
Yet, the Roman and French Catholic Counter Reformation of the 17th century came from “Little Russia,” as Peter the Great wished the Ukraine to be called, under the influence of the Catholic universities of Poland.
Today, will the “Enlightenment” finally prevail in Rome, in Paris, on Maidan Square in Kiev and in Moscow, in a world darkened by the Second Vatican Council? The remainder of Pope Francis’ speech make us fear so.
A WORLD “HALF IN RUIN”
“ My thoughts turn above all to the Middle East, beginning with the beloved land of Jesus that I had the joy of visiting last May, and for the peace of which we constantly pray.” The Pope recalls how he let Shimon Peres and Mahmud Abbas share in his prayer with “ a confident hope that negotiations between the two parties will once more resume, for the sake of ending violence and reaching a solution which can enable Palestinians and Israelis alike to live at last in peace.”
One might as well say that the Pope is asking for a miracle. It will be all the more resounding since “ the Middle East is tragically embroiled in other conflicts that have lasted far too long, with chilling repercussions, due also to the spread of fundamentalist terrorism in Syria and in Iraq.”
Here, the Pope defines what he calls “ fundamentalism.” For the first time, the word receives a precise meaning that will perhaps stop our opponents from continually applying this term to us:
“ Religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God Himself, turning Him into a mere ideological pretext.”
It is urgent to point out that this is precisely the case for the jihadists. The Pope refrains from doing this so as not to add fuel to the flames. He, however, calls for a second miracle when he pays homage to the “ fundamental (sic !) role as artisans of peace, reconciliation and development” of the Christian communities of the Middle East. He “ urges the international community not to remain indifferent in the face of this situation.” Who is the “ international community?” I do not know this Lady whom the Pope asks to work a third miracle in favour of the “ the most vulnerable:”
“ I think in particular of Nigeria where acts of violence continue to strike indiscriminately and there is a constant increase in the tragic phenomenon of kidnappings, often of young girls carried off to be made objects of trafficking. This is an abominable trade that must not continue!”
Pope Francis had already expressed outrage at this situation to the new ambassadors accredited to the Holy See on December 12, 2013. Since then, it has “ continued,” despite his entreaties against “ a scourge that needs to be eradicated, since it strikes all of us, from individual families to the entire international community”
Only one Person in the world is able to work the miracle of remedying all the evils that the Pope continues to enumerate: civil wars in Libya, in the Central African Republic, in South Sudan, in the Congo, with their attendant evils including rape, a “ horrendous crime” to which the Pope devotes a heartrending paragraph. A single remedy: an appeal to the mediation of the Virgin Mary.
It is God’s will that every grace of salvation pass through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By opposing this universal mediation, the Second Vatican Council and all the conciliar Popes from John XXIII to Benedict XVI are responsible for this immense ruin of Christianity and the powerlessness of the Church to remedy the ills of humanity.
Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary.