AUTHOR'S PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION
THIS BOOK REPRESENTS A LAYMAN'S ATFEMPT to understand what Pope John Paul II has sought to accomplish for God and the Church by effecting the consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart in March 1984, in fulfillment of the request of Our Lady of Fatima. It has been written to answer the question I have been asking myself, and which people have been asking me: may we now believe that the astonishing events which have taken place in the former Soviet Union are attributable to the intervention of the hand of God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, following the Holy Father's consecration? And are they the beginning of the fulfillment of her promise at Fatima, to deliver Russia from atheism once her requests had been complied with?
What has happened in Central and Eastern Europe has profound implications for the Church as it stands on the verge of the third millennium. If what we have been witnessing is truly the work of God, then it is important for the future that we should understand what God is saying to us through these momentous events. I have confined myself to presenting some of the most significant signs, events and testimonies of a supernatural character which, taken as a whole, clearly justify an affirmative response to the above questions. It is my sincere hope that readers who have not yet come to this belief will find the evidence in these pages convincing.
I am most grateful to the authorities in the Sanctuary of Fatima for approving the original text prior to publication, and for permitting the book to be sold in the Sanctuary Bookshop.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all our kind friends who have given me their valuable assistance and encouragement in writing this work, as well as to those who have generously given me permission to reproduce their own material, which I acknowledge where cited in the text. I particularly wish to thank Fr. Frederick L. Miller STD, for the two citations that are used with permission from Soul magazine, published by World Apostolate of Fatima, Washington, New Jersey, copyright 1991.
The first American edition of this book was published in September 1992. Events were moving so rapidly that even so soon after the collapse of the USSR less than a year previously, I realized that a Postscript was required to explain the subsequent evolution of events, but owing to my personal situation at that time I was quite unable to undertake it. However, that delay was providential; for I am now able to offer the reader a much more valuable Postscript, covering the ongoing events in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe from December 1991 to June 1994. For this I am indebted to the translator of the recently-published Polish version of my book, Dr. Wincenty Laszewski.
When I presented a copy of my own first British edition to Fr. Villanova for the archives of the Sanctuary at Fatima, in May 1992, the first person I met as we came out of his office was a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. He liked the book so much that at his suggestion I sent a copy of the subsequent enlarged first American edition to the editor of the Marian Fathers' publishing house in Warsaw. The Polish version of the present work appeared in February 1994. It has proved a considerable success (some 34,000 copies are now in print), and in May 1994 I met the translator, Dr. Laszewski, at a conference where we both spoke, held at the national shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Zakopane, Poland, near the Tatra mountains.
The Polish edition contained a Postscript written by Dr. Laszewski, and when he explained to me what he had done, I asked him to revise and update his text for inclusion in the second American edition.
Dr. Laszewski's Postscript, for which he gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Marian Fathers in Warsaw, has been carefully researched from documentary evidence, the Polish Catholic Information Agency (KAI), and the personal witnesses of priests working in countries that previously formed part of the USSR. He surveys the general direction in which Russia is moving, discusses the future of democracy, and asks whether Communism is still in existence and whether it is in fact making a comeback. He cites the views of Archbishop Kondrusiewicz of Moscow on the state of the Catholic Church in Russia, and the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church. He explains the significance of John Paul II's pilgrimage of September 4-10, 1993 to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and finally he reveals the Pope's remarkable linking of the Message of Fatima with the Divine Mercy as revealed to Blessed Faustina Kowaiska.
To this valuable contribution, and with Dr. Laszewski's agreement, I have added some new material briefly outlined as follows:
1. Extracts from two important interviews, the first with the Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Paskai, in 30 Days (issue No. 6 of 1994), and the second with John Paul II in La Stampa in November 1993 by the Polish journalist, Jas Gawronski. The interviewers asked both the Holy Father and the Cardinal to explain the return to power of Communists in countries such as Lithuania, Poland and (in May 1994) Hungary. Cardinal Paskai maintained that none of the different political parties in the May 1994 elections in Hungary held anti-Catholic views, and that "Communism is a definitive failure . . . the democratic process is irreversible." The Pope said that "it is not so much a return of the Communists as such, but rather a reaction to the inefficiency of the new governments . . . this passage from one system to another is very difficult."
2. The Pope's remarkable vision of the future, as expressed in No. 86 of Redemptoris Missio: "As the Third Millennium of the Redemption draws near, God is preparing a great springtime for Christianity, and we can already see its first signs."
3. Several extracts from Fatima in Lucia's Own Words, which show the numerous words of Divine Mercy that were uttered by Our Lady at Fatima.
4. A selection of extracts from John Paul II's great encyclical of November 1980 on the Mercy of God, Dives in Misericordia, the central theme of which is also found at the heart of the Pope's teaching on Fatima, in the homily he delivered on his first visit to the shrine on May 13, 1982.
5. Four paragraphs from the Pope's recent book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, in which John Paul II explains Mary's role in his pastoral ministry in Poland, and how later, as Pope, he came to have the conviction that: "If victory comes, it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church's victories now and in the future to be linked to her."
6. An excerpt from an interview granted by Cardinal Ratzinger during his visit to Fatima in October 1996, and a brief account of the arrival of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Russia for a journey that will last from November 1996 to July 1997.
The Postscript does not pretend to be comprehensive. But it does attempt to provide a fair and balanced overview of the most important events and trends that have emerged in the period following the collapse of the USSR in December 1991, up to the summer of 1994, with a few important additions from later events. The evidence adduced will, I believe, be seen to validate the principal conclusions of my book.
I wish to thank the Marian Fathers of Warsaw for their encouragement and support, and to repeat my sincere gratitude to Wincenty Laszewski for his goodwill and generous co-operation. He has become a close personal friend in this work for Our Lady.
Finally, I should state that this edition comprises the original and unaltered text of the first American edition, updated with the addition of the new Postscript.
I dedicate this work to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and pray that all who come to read it may be led to find in their own lives the consoling reality of Our Lady's words to Lucia in June 1917: "Do not lose heart, I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
Author's Preface ix
Introduction by Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP xv
1 The Attempt on the Life of Pope John Paul II 1
Bishop Hnilica reveals the Pope's thoughts on
Fatima while in the hospital, which led him to
make the consecration of Russia.
2 The Consecration of Russia by Pope John Paul II 18
The consecration of May 13, 1982-The consecration of
March 25, 1984-The 1984 consecration was "in union
with all the bishops," and included Russia.
3 The Advent of Mikhail Gorbachev 42
Perestroika and Glasnost-The meeting between
President Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II on
December 1, 1989-The new Soviet law on religion,
September-October 1990-The Eastern bloc pilgrimages
to Fatima in 1990, led by Cardinal Meisner
of Cologne and Cardinal Paskai of Hungary-Honzily
of Cardinal Korec of Slovakia at Fatima, May 10, 1992-
Religious changes inside Russia.
4 The Passing of the USSR 79
Pope John Paul II returns to Fatima in May 1991
-Mary's presence in the events of August 19-22,
1991-The aftermath of the coup and the dissolution
of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991-Mikhail
Gorbachev publicly acknowledges the Pope's role-
The Pope's reply to Mr. Gorbachev's remarks.
5 The First Russian Pilgrimage to Fatima 113
The pilgrimage to Fatima in October 1991 of Arch
bishop Kondrusiewicz, Apostolic Administrator of
the Republic of Russia-The Archbishop's sermon
and Bishop Trindade's homily - The icon of Our Lady
of Kazan-The Soviet Ambassador to Lisbon at Fatima -
Interview with José Correa-A message to Russia by
Fr. Werenfried van Straaten.
6 The Testimony of Bishop Hnilica 137
Bishop Hnilica and the Message of Fatima-
His homily at Marienfried-His ordination in
secret-Participates in the Consecration of
Russia inside the Kremlin-encourages sacri
ficesfor the conversion of Russia.
7 Pope John Paul II's Teaching on Fatima 171
The Message of Fatima is a call to repent and
believe in the Gospel-Sin and the denial of God-
The universality of Mary's message-Mary's appeal
is from generation to generation-The Pope explains
the significance of Fatima for the Church.
Appendix I: 231
Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary by Pope Pius XII, October 31, 1942.
Appendix II: 234
Extracts from the Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius XII to the
Peoples of Russia, Sacro Vergente An no, July 7, 1952.
Appendix III: 238
Homily of Pope John Paul II at Fatima, May 13, 1982.
Appendix IV: 253
Act of Consecration of Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's
Basilica, March 25, 1984.
Appendix V: 257
Pope John Paul II's Act of Entrustment to the Mother of God
at Fatima on May 13, 1991.
The above reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers
Copyright © Mark Alder and Timothy Tindal-Robertson 1992, 1998 and 2001
This version: 6th February 2008