Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gorbachev, Russia, and Our Lady of Fatima


I think sometimes we look at the Bible and wonder why God is not so active in apparent clear way in history now as he was then. Let me stress APPARENT as too world events. No doubt he is intervening all the time. However in the old testament one can see it quite directly.

Then I read something like this. Crunchy Con has links to a breaking story involving Mikhail Gorbachev and his Christian Faith. Something that appears that has it roots in things not of just recent vintage. Go see all the links at his entry Mikhail Gorbachev: Christian.

The Corner is chiming in too :

Gorbachev at the Tomb of St. Francis [Peter Robinson]

Whenever Ronald Reagan would mention his suspicion that Mikhail Gorbachev was a secret believer, everyone on the White House staff would scoff, thinking the president naive. When I had the opportunity to speak to Gorbachev a couple of years ago, however, I found myself concluding that Reagan had been onto something after all. Why, I asked, had Gorbachev refrained from putting down the revolution of 1989, just as Khrushchev had put down the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and Brezhnev had put down the Prague Spring of 1968? "Because of something I shared with Ronald Reagan," Gorbachev replied. "Christian morality."
Now the last leader of the Soviet Union has spent half an hour on his knees at the tomb of St. Francis. From the
London Telegraph:

Mikhail Gorbachev...has acknowledged his Christian faith for the first time, paying a surprise visit to pray at the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.

Accompanied by his daughter Irina, Mr Gorbachev spent half an hour on his knees in silent prayer at the tomb.His arrival in Assisi was described as "spiritual perestroika" by La Stampa, the Italian newspaper."St Francis is, for me, the alter Christus, the other Christ," said Mr Gorbachev. "His story fascinates me and has played a fundamental role in my life," he added...."It was through St Francis that I arrived at the Church, so it was important that I came to visit his tomb," said Mr Gorbachev.
"We deem it the central revelation of Western experience," William F. Buckley wrote in 1960, "that man cannot ineradicably stain himself, for the wells of regeneration are infinitely deep....Even out of the depths of despair, we take heart in the knowledge that it cannot matter how deep we fall, for there is always hope."

A fascinating story is developing here. Remember all those people that prayed to Our Lady of Fatima around the world for the conversion of Russia. Maybe some people here reading this entry did that. You too were involved in a direct promise by God through his Mother.

As Rod Says in his entry:
To think what his faithful parents, and his wife's, must see now. This news certainly puts the Fatima prophecies in a certain light. One year after the consecration of Russia was made, a man who might have been a closet Christian at the time became the leader of the Soviet Union. A few years later, on Christmas Day, the Soviet Union expired. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

People forget but Reagan talked about Fatima. He did it in front of the Portugal Parliament in 1985. Something I thought odd for a US President and especially a Protestant one to bring up even in Portugal

Address Before the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal in Lisbon
May 9, 1985

I'm sorry that some of the chairs on the left seem to be uncomfortable. [Laughter]
[The President was referring to a walkout by Communist Party Assembly members prior to his address.]
I'm deeply honored to be with you distinguished ladies and gentlemen here in this assembly that is so rich in history, where the voice of the Portuguese people is heard..........

No one has done more to remind the world of the truth of human dignity, as well as the truth that peace and justice begins with each of us, than the special man who came to Portugal a few years ago after a terrible attempt on his life. He came here to Fatima, the site of your great religious shrine, to fulfill his special devotion to Mary, to plead for forgiveness and compassion among men, to pray for peace and the recognition of human dignity throughout the world.
When I met Pope John Paul II a year ago in Alaska, I thanked him for his life and his apostolate
. And I dared to suggest to him the example of men like himself and in the prayers of simple people everywhere, simple people like the children of Fatima, there resides more power than in all the great armies and statesmen of the world.

Update- The Anchoress reminds us to be careful of the British Press and how they report these things at her entry Gorbachev a Christian; British press confused. She also points out the big OBVIOUS error in the Telegraph article that St Francis was never a Priest. There is a major reputable Catholic paper that seems to be used as a source for some of the info as to the Telegraph article and I hope the Ratzinger Forum has a full translation of that. If they do I shall post it

1 comment:

Sister Spitfire said...

Fascinating tie-in to Reagan. You won't be able to see it directly but I linked this one in that Protestant homeschooling forum that I hang out in.