The Catholic Southern Front

Chapter 9/45 – Russia, Friend or Foe?

The birth of the Russian Nation occurred in war. In 1380 at the Battle of Kulikovo (Tula Oblast) Moscow removed the shackles of the Islamic Mongolian tyranny of the Golden Horde. Moscow refused to pay tribute to the Islamic Mamai, in actual fact the Muscovite leader refused to pay the ‘Jizya’ or the ‘humiliation tax,’ as mandated by the Quran, Surah 9: 29. As ally joined forces with ally, Mamai’s force en massed; they crossed the Volga River and reached the River Oka. Under the Muscovite Prince Dmitry Ivanovich, the Russian forces crossed the Oka and on September 8, the eve of the solemnity of the Nativity, they reached the battlefield. Surprisingly, the Genoese merchants aided Mamai and supplied a certain number of infantry. Nevertheless, this battle involving 200,000 warriors who fought for the control of the whole Russian territory, was through the grace of Our Lady a victory wrought for the Russian people. Seven centuries before the formation of the United Soviet Socialist Republics, Russia was born through the aid of the Heavenly Queen.

In 1500, the Grand Duke of Moscow, Ivan III, built the Church of the Annunciation in the Kremlin. In this period when Moscow was referred to by the Moscovites as ‘the third Rome,’ it was severed from Papal Rome. Following the destruction of Constantinople by the Islamic forces, Moscow became the center of its own Christianity. Five centuries following the Russian victory at Kulikovo, a stone church was constructed and dedicated to Our Lady’s Nativity at the Village of Monastyrshina, the place where many Russian heroes of war were buried. A Russian hero named Dmitry Donskoy carried an Icon of the Blessed Virgin in the Battle of Kulikovo, the Icon is referred to as ‘Our Lady of the Don.’ The Donskoy Monastery was built to keep this Icon on the precise spot where a battalion of Russian forces under Boris Godunov were barricaded in a fortress and also where the field church of Sergii Radonezhsky stood. In 1593 the Cathedral of the Donskoy Monastery was constructed and consecrated to Our Lady of the Don. In 1552 Czar John IV laid siege to Kazan and was victorious against his Islamic enemies. The Czar ordered the construction of the Cathedral of ‘Our Lady of the Intercession.’ He commissioned a grand painting depicting the Virgin and Child and Saint Michael and many Russian heroes, portraying especially the capture of Kazan in the background. This painting was placed opposite the Czar’s throne, in the Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady. The victory of Kazan depicts the last battle which freed Russia from the Islamic kingdom. Now, Russia assumed the role of a Christian protector and was truly a liberator as it freed Orthodox states from Islamic rule.

In 1386 Prince Jagiello of Lithuania and Queen Jadwiga of Poland were united in Holy Matrimony. In Lithuania, Queen Jadwiga introduced the devotions to Our Lady. In the fifteenth century it was common to place images of Our Lady above the city gates. In Vilnius the Carmelite Order took custody of a church nearby the ‘Auros Vartai,’ ‘the gate of dawn’ or ‘the sharp gate.’ The Carmelites were in charge of the upkeep of the painting of Our Lady above the Auros Vartai. In 1655 the Russian Army torched Vilnius, the gate and the surrounding houses were burnt, nonetheless, the Image remained intact. In 1706 the same Image survived yet another fire and a chapel was built by the Carmelites to honor ‘Our Lady of the Dawn.’ Many pilgrims visited this Image to recite the Litany of Loreto. The Litany of Loreto includes the phrases of praise; Seat of wisdom, pray for us/ Cause of our joy, pray for us/ Spiritual vessel, pray for us/ Vessel of honor, pray for us/ Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us/ Mystical rose, pray for us/ Tower of David, pray for us/ Tower of ivory, pray for us/ House of gold, pray for us/ Ark of the covenant, pray for us/ Gate of heaven, pray for us/ Morning star, pray for us/ Health of the sick, pray for us/ Refuge of sinner, pray for us/ Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us….

In 1844 the Russians chased the Carmelites from Vilnius, however, they allowed the people to visit the site of Our Lady of the Dawn, otherwise known as ‘Ostra Brama.’ In 1927 the chapel and painting were restored and the Image was crowned solemnly before the Cathedral of Vilnius. Pope Pius XI also named the Image ‘Mater Misericordiae’ or ‘Mother of Mercy.’ During World War Two and the times of communist rule, the Bishops of Vilnius allowed the Faithful to pray before the Image, the ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium’ was especially recited: “We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.”(1)

On May 9, 1896, the Coronation of Czar Nicholas II took place. The Russian Army paraded in the streets of Moscow following the soon proclaimed Russian Imperial Majesty. As the bells of the Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption pealed, nine shots were sounded from the guns of the Tainitskaya Tower. Together with his wife, the Czar left from Petrovsky Palace and was jubilantly greeted by the Moscovites and by the Orthodox priests, who blessed the Czar with their crosses and icons. On the way to the Kremlin, the Czar descended from his carriage and helped his mother and wife descend, before proceeding they were to keep the tradition of paying a visit to ‘Our Lady of Iver.’ The Icon was a replica of the Icon of Iver kept on Mount Athos in Greece. The Royal family later proceeded visiting the Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals.

On May 14, 1896, the Imperial regalia was ceremoniously removed from the Armory, to the Cathedral of the Assumption. Russian royal regalia consisted of; the Chain of the Order of Saint Andrew, the sword of the State, the Banner of the State, the State Seal, the Imperial Crowns and the Purple for the Czar, the Orb and the Scepter. At the entrance of the Cathedral, Palladius the Metropolitan of Saint Petersburg, offered the Royal couple the Holy Cross for them to kiss, the blessing of the Metropolitan of Kiev followed. The Monarchs performed what was referred to as the thrice-repeated worship and kissing of the Holy Icons. They subsequently ascended the dais in the Cathedral and on reaching the top, sat in their Imperial thrones. The Czar made his public confession and read prayers from the Bible. The Metropolitan blessed the Czar saying: “The blessing of the Holy Spirit be with thee. Amen.” The Czar removed his chain and the Metropolitan dressed the Czar with the Purple and with the diamond chain of the Order of Saint Andrew. The Metropolitan laid his hands on the Czar’s head and prayed over him. The Czar then received the Crown from Metropolitan Palladius and placed it upon his head. The crowning went on with prayers for the Russian people, praises to God and other ceremonies, and ended with the Russian Orthodox Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

In 1903 Czar Nicholas II declared the ‘freedom of worship’; this made it easier for the Catholic Church to operate in the region. That same year Lenin’s party was split in two parts, the hard liners of the Marxist teachings referred to as the Bolsheviks and the less stringent, called the Mensheviks. In 1903 the Russian monk Rasputin, who claimed to have received supernatural energy and powers from the Virgin Mary, settled in Saint Petersburg. In 1905 a certain Father Gapon led a peaceful protest of 20,000 Russians in the streets of St Petersburg. The government troops shot onto the crowds and the anger of the people was enkindled. From this point onwards the Revolutionaries, ceaselessly plotted to remove the Czarist government, and now had the Russian people’s support. In 1905 Czar Nicholas II, attempting to calm the situation, re-proclaimed the edict of religious toleration allowing one million Russian Roman Catholics to practice freely their religion. This newly found freedom occurred following thirty years of forced conversion to Orthodoxy. Soon the Orthodox factions expressed their anger against the conversions to Catholicism and the government once again abolished religious freedom. In 1911 the Catholic Bishops were forced to resign. Czar Nicholas II convened the Russian Duma for the first time in 1906.

The First World War weakened Russia to the extent that Lenin and Trotskey (backed by certain international bankers and financiers) were ready poised to take over Russian government through their Bolshevik machinations. On March 2, 1917, Czar Nicholas II abdicated. On the same day, the ‘Enthroned Icon of the Mother of God’ was discovered. Eudokia, an elderly woman received a vision of the Mother of God who urged her to look for an icon in a church. Together with a cleric named Father Nicholas, she searched for the icon in the church cellars at Kolomskoye, on recovering the icon; Father Nicholas celebrated a service of thanksgiving and an Akathist. It was discovered that the icon was sent to Kolomskoye during the Napoleonic wars and belonged to the Ascension Convent in Moscow. The devotion soon spread and many miraculous healings occurred. During Soviet Russian times the promulgated images were confiscated and the devotion fiercely suppressed. The Russian people believed that the meaning for the discovery of the icon on the same day of the Czar’s abdication meant that the Queen of Heaven would henceforth rule Russia, seated on a throne with Her Son.

In 1917 the same year Lenin and Trotsky gained power in Moscow, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the children in Fatima. Her last apparition took place on October 13, 1917, during the Russian ‘October Revolution.’ Through the three peasant children, Francesco, Jacinta and Lucia, Our Lady warned the world that a great evil was emerging from Russia and that its mistakes will be propagated throughout the whole world. At Fatima Our Lady revealed that in the end Russia will be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and converted, peace would be granted. Czar Ivan III built monasteries and churches on Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea. Following an all night vigil at the foot of a hill on the Island of Anzer, a priest named Job received a visitation of the Blessed Virgin. The Queen instructed Job to name the hill ‘Golgotha’ and build a church and monastery dedicated to the Crucifixion, for the Queen of Prophets prophesied that the hill: “…will be whitened by the sufferings of countless multitudes.”(2)

In 1923 the Communist government murdered the Solovetsky monks and transformed the Church of the Crucifixion into a hospital and the monastery into a prison. The Russian citizens who refused to relinquish their Christian Faith, were sent to Solovetsky. There, they were brutally tortured and murdered. The prisoners drew carts as mules would, the weak and dying were terminated in the hospital and their bodies stacked in the vestibule of the Church of the Crucifixion, their bodies later were rolled down Golgotha Hill. In this manner tens of thousands of Christians died at Solovetsky. In 1891, Dostoyevsky said that if an atheistic revolution, similar to the French Revolution, were to come to pass in Czarist Russia it would cost the Country “100 million heads.” In 1990 the newspaper ‘Argumenty I Fakty’ published the statistics of the total number of murders, assassinations, abductions and persecutions which resulted in death, the figure stood at 110.7 million persons. Quoting Larry Abraham in ‘Call It Conspiracy,’ the author asserts that: “The Bolshevik Revolution happened, not because of the downtrodden masses rising up against exploiting bosses as the Communists perpetuate the big lie, but because very powerful men in Europe and the United States sent Lenin in Switzerland and Trotsky in New York to Russia to organize it…. Lenin was sent through Europe-at-war on the famous “sealed train.” With him Lenin took some $5 to $6 million in gold. The whole thing was probably arranged by the German high command and Mr. Max Warburg, through another very wealthy and lifelong socialist by the name of Alexander Helphand, alias “Parvus”…. When Trotsky left New York with an American passport with his entourage of 275 revolutionaries…”(3) The White Russian General, Arsene de Goulevitch, wrote in his book Czarism and the Revolution, quoting General Alexander Nechvolodov who stated that: “In April 1917, Jacob Schiff publicly declared that it was thanks to his financial support that the revolution in Russia had succeeded.”(4) According to Gary Allen in ‘None Dare Call It Conspiracy,’ Mr. Schiff probably sank some $ 20 million for the final triumph of bolshevism in Russia. When the Bolsheviks ascended to power, they immediately abolished the Constituent Assembly of Russia and in February 1918 the Russian Church was denied the ownership of private property and all financial aid granted was interrupted. To summarize in three simple points Karl Marx’s ‘Communist Manifesto,’ the plan was to abolish private property, the family unit and all forms of religion. The world had already seen this before, Diocletan‘s edicts and the ‘Communist Manifesto,’ are both identical in scope and satanically inspired. On March 5, 1918, Moscow became the Capital City of the new Russia. Once again, similarly to the events occurring during the French Revolution, the Kabal of secret societies had succeeded at committing Regicide, and the world watched on. The reason for which the Russian people admire and venerate the Military Saint, George of Lydda, was his stand against Emperor Diocletian. Inspired by this saint the Russian Faithful persevered against the USSR, their Red Dragon.

On February 13, 1917, the Freemason Alexander Kerensky stated at the Russian Duma: “There are people who assert that the Ministers are at fault. Not so. The country now realizes that the Ministers are but fleeting shadows. The country can clearly see who sends them here. To prevent a catastrophe the Tsar himself must be removed, by force if there is no other way.”(5) Following Nicholas II abdication, the Bolsheviks murdered seventeen Romanoffs and two relations, thirty-five Romanoffs escaped. Nicholas II, his wife Alexandria, their 5 children, and 4 servants, were gruesomely murdered in Ekaterinburg on July 16, 1918, by way of Lenin’s direct orders. Their martyrdom fell on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, how appropriate! In his diary Emperor Nicholas II wrote: “How long will our unfortunate Russia be tormented and divided by external and internal enemies? It seems at times that there is no strength to bear it any more, not knowing what to hope for, what to wish for? And yet there is none but God! May His Holy will be done!”(6) His wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna wrote in a letter: “Lord, help those who do not have room for God’s love in their hardened hearts, who see only what is bad and do not try to understand that all this will pass; it cannot be otherwise; the Savior came and showed us an example. He who follows Him on the way of love and suffering, understands all the majesty of the Kingdom of Heaven.”(7)

Evidently these are the words of saintly martyrs and comparable to the early Christian martyrs such as Emperor Galerius’ wife, Queen Empress Prisca Alexandra and her daughter Princess Valeria. The Orthodox Faith has adorned the Romanoffs with the title of ‘sainthood.’ However, during the Russian Revolution the personage of the enigmatic, antichristian monk, Rasputin, was more than once sought by the Empress. This monk was the only mystic who succeeded at arresting the blood flow of her son’s hemophiliac condition. Rasputin claimed of having received supernatural powers from the Virgin Mary, however he was well known of leading an unchaste, filthy life, he was a glutton and a drunk. Such a personage can give but the worst of advice to the Russian Emperor, to whom he suggested to personally lead the army against the Red Revolutionaries. A most severe defeat ensued. A plot of assassination was quickly planned against the ‘friendly monk.’ His assassination indicated ominous powers, Rasputin survived the ingestion of the equivalent dose of poison needed to kill two elephants. The ‘monk’ also survived five gunshot wounds shot at close range. Before showing any signs of weakness, he was beaten with rods, tightly bound in ropes and thrown in an icy cold river. The following morning he was found dead, half of the knots undone and his lungs full of water, signs that he was still alive for quite a long while.

On December 30, 1922, Lenin declared that Russia was now known as ‘The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’ At the beginning of the Russian persecutions, the Patriarch Tikhon voiced his disgust at Lenin’s insight and vision for Russia. The Patriarch referred to Lenin as a ‘madman’ and invited this particular brand of madmen, to come to their senses and stop the bloody persecutions and the satanic acts, which they carried out throughout the country. The Patriarch openly condemned the Soviet Revolutionary and said that Lenin would suffer the fires of hell in the life to come and the curses of God whilst he lived. The religious of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches were imprisoned and executed, church treasures were plundered. Lenin soon experienced incapacitating strokes and indeed the curses of God reached the mighty man, in two years he was dead.

Siberia and the ‘gulag’ camps where the places of choice for the ‘sojourn’ of the political captives. An estimated 30,000,000 people died in the USSR during Stalin’s rule. According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his ‘The Gulag Archipelago,’ frail old Christian women defied their torturers with the praises of Our Lord upon their lips. During these times of confinement in Siberia, many were the Christians who recited the Holy Rosary and placed their hope in Our Lady. In 1931 the Bible was declared illegal to own or publish. Leon Trotsky escaped to Mexico City and called for the removal of Joseph Stalin from power, this initiated another great purge in the USSR. 14,000,000 people were killed. On orders of Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky was murdered in 1940.

The Pokrovsky Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin, was erected in 1552, commemorating the victory over Kazan. This victory occurred on the great Orthodox Feast of the Intercession of Our Lady. Initially, Ivan the Terrible built a small wooden church in the Red Square, later architects Barma and Postnik were appointed to build a stone church to replace the wooden one. The symbolic eight chapels of the Cathedral represent the eight assaults on Islamic Kazan and are dedicated to Orthodox saints upon whose feast days the Russians won victories against Kazan. Saint Basil Cathedral in the Red Square of Moscow, dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Intercession,’ replaced the earlier church. The architects were asked whether they could build a church which was more spectacular than their recent enterprise (St Basil Cathedral). The unsuspecting architects replied in the affirmative, their eyes were pierced and never again did they behold one of their works. In 1812 Napoleon ordered his ‘enlightened’ men to blast the cathedral, the explosives and fuses were set while rain descended in torrents, the fuses were drenched and the imminent explosion was all together extinguished. During the birth of the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks looted the cathedral and shot the senior priest and melted down the bells to create ammunition and guns. During subsequent years plans were made to demolish the cathedral; certain comrades dared to remove the Cathedral of Our Lady once and for all from the Muscovite skyline. The military leader, Lazar Kaganovich, made a model replica of the Red Square and demonstrated to Joseph Stalin that the Cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, limited the military parades at the Red Square. He invited Joseph Stalin to demolish the cathedral and demonstrated his plans by removing the wooden model representing the cathedral. Following a long pause, Joseph Stalin said, “Lazar! Put it back!”(8) Nowhere on Earth has the representation of the enmity and the battle between the Woman and the Dragon be so vividly obvious and manifest as during the centuries of history of the Russian Nation.

On March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin died in his sleep and Nikita Khrushchev and Malenkov ascended to power. Instrumental to the political change in Russia, even though this affirmation is not at large admitted, was the unquestionable influence of the late Polish Pope John Paul II, Roman Pontiff 1978-2005. Influenced early in life by Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort’s book, ‘Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,’ (the saint who opposed the French Revolution) His Holiness Pope John Paul II was a survivor of Nazi and Communist occupied Poland, he totally consecrated himself to ‘Tota Pulchra’ (All Beautiful) the Mother of God. His motto, ‘Totus Tuus’ or ‘All Yours,’ fulfils Saint Louis de Montfort’s prophesy, which postulates that the Christian saints living at the ‘end of days,’ will be ‘sicut sagittae in manu potentis’ or ‘sharp spears in the hand of Mary.’ Saint Montfort prophesied that the apostles of the latter days would outshine the saints of early Christendom for the Woman, the Queen of the Heavens and Earth, shall guide them. Surely this prophesy was fulfilled in the very person of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who illumed mankind’s path by way of the consecration of Russia and the world, to the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Heart in 1984. Due to this Pope’s success, which is the evidence of Our Lady of Fatima’s power, the modern world should seriously consider the invitation of a total consecration to the two Hearts if it so desires to defeat the Dragon. In 1988 on the one-thousandth anniversary of the conversion of Ukraine and Russia to Christianity, Easter services were broadcast over Soviet television. In 1990, following the traditional Communist May Day parade in the Red Square, a Russian Orthodox monk from the monastery of Zagorsk, carried a life size crucifix seven feet tall and on reaching Lenin’s tomb he cried out: “Mikhail Sergeyevich, Christ is risen!”(9)

On August 19-21, 1991, the Communist Party attempted one last time at regaining control of parliament. People gathered before the premises of the Russian Parliament and prevented the coup (organized by the last eight communist comrades) from gaining control of the premises. The helicopters were set to land on the building, however, Father Glebb Yakunin, a survivor of the Siberian communist prison camps and a devotee of Our Lady of Fatima, prayed for rain to prevent the helicopters from landing. The rain came in downpours and the helicopters did not land, the communist military faction called off their coup.

 

“Mikhail Sergeyevich, Christ is risen!”

 

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