One hundred years ago this November 7 the so-called “October Revolution” took place in St Petersburg (“October Revolution” because Russia only adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1918. In the Julian calendar they still followed the date of Lenin’s Bolshevik coup which was October 25.) The centenary celebrations of the event – described by the Minister of Culture as a “national tragedy” –will at best be muted in Russia. It was an event meant to usher in a communist paradise on earth; all it ushered in was seventy years of indescribable suffering for Russia and the many countries around the world which she infected with Marxism.
But this centenary is not only a commemoration of probably the most tragic event of the twentieth century; it is also a lesson in hope. The Marxist paradise never even made it to a hundred; it didn’t even make it to the average span of a man’s life. This event testifies to the wisdom of psalm 37:
Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers;
for they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.
In the July 1917 apparition, Our Lady of Fatima spoke of an unconverted Russia spreading her errors throughout the world, and with those errors wars and persecutions of the Church, and even the annihilation of various nations. Most importantly, however, these dire warnings ended with the reassurance: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
We should remember the words of Mary, and of the psalm 37, when faced with the ideologies which have rushed into the vacuum left by the fall of communism; they too, after their time in the sun, will “fade like the grass”. That is not to say we should be passive before them. All men of good will have to fight tooth and nail against ideologies which seek to destroy such treasures of our civilisation as the right to life, the engendered nature of man and woman, natural marriage, and freedom of speech. But we must do so without fretting, with the “good cheer” Christ spoke of on Holy Thursday: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (Jn.16:33).