Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.We all hoped, of course, that Russia had turned a corner, that Communism — all but swept from that part of the world (once so famously known as the “evil empire”) — was finished. And so it has seemed: a period of peace, as projected by Mary at Fatima, has prevailed between super-powers since the miraculous fall of the Berlin Wall, which came soon after Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to her Immaculate Heart. Our Lady of Fatima had also foreseen the conversion of atheist Russia if a consecration was made and Russian people have indeed swarmed back to Christianity (in the way of the Russian Orthodox Church) and even Russian leaders like Vladimir Putin have been photographed not just attending church but lighting candles and kissing icons of the Virgin. There is new openness to Rome.

But what to think now, with what increasingly appears to be a brutal grasp on that nation by the same Vladimir Putin, again in the news because one of his staunchest critics was assassinated last week. Did his government, his agents, do it, or someone trying to make it look like Putin?

Or perhaps a tangled personal relationship that led to the killing?

Stay tuned. There have been other suspect killings and Putin was known at one time to have been in the darkest corners of the KGB. Are those methods now resurrecting? And could Communism — or at least totalitarianism (a dictatorship) — make a return to the world stage?

As regards the Fatima prophecies and consecration of Russia, what would a return of totalitarianism mean? Has a “period of peace” promised following such a consecration now played out (Sister Lucia dos Santos, the famous last seer at Fatima, had said in chats with visiting cardinals and bishops in the early 1990s that a consecration as conducted by John Paul II had been “accepted by Heaven” and that a period of peace was thus given to the world — “period,” not “era,” as widely misinterpreted) or would it imply that a more complete, direct consecration explicitly naming Russia should be made (as some have long argued, to the dismay of Sister Lucia)?

The recent developments in formerly Soviet Russia also draw attention to the alleged prophecies of the great Ukrainian Catholic activist Josyp Terelya, who during stints in the gulag (twenty years behind bars) not only claimed apparitions of the Blessed Mother but also visions of the future that included flames across the Ukrainian landscape (see the book Witness).

His experiences were never formally studied or sanctioned by the Church, although they also were not rejected (and he met several times with John Paul II).

All food for thought — and prayer. “We are at war now,” says Yevgenia Albats, the editor of New Times magazine. “Those who are believers in democracy, those who for some reason, back in the late 1980s, got on board this train, and had all these hopes and aspirations, they are at war today.”

Finally, in the wake of recent events in Venezuela, we likewise recall the words of mystic Maria Esperanza, who hailed from that nation and once said cryptically, “It will start here.”

Such times! It makes our planned trip to Fatima next September all the more interesting, affording an opportunity (as we will report back to you) to explore what may be behind the headlines. And again: to pray.

There is a general sense of continually heightened tension — or perhaps better put, an unraveling. The order of man is feeling rumblings. We see this with ISIS. There are signs of great unevenness. When we stray from God, our order and even the natural order gyrates; it grows into disorder. Hot turns to cold turns to hot. Quiet turns to loud. There are rumblings — real and figuratively.

Much is out of whack.

Much is to come.

— Michael H. Brown (2/2/15)



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