I promise that the following will astonish you. Keep in mind that World War I was raging throughout this time.
1917 March: The Russian monarchy was overthrown* by a moderate, democratically-oriented regime. At this point, the Bolsheviks were minor players in Russian politics, with no more than twenty thousand members, out of a population of one hundred and forty million. They had taken an insignificant part in the revolution, had made many enemies as the most radical wing of the socialists, and their leader, Vladimir Lenin, was in exile.
1917 April: Eager to avoid a democratic, western-allied Russia, German High Command secretly escorted Lenin back into Russia during the holiest week in the Judaeo-Christian calendar.
April 2, 1917: Top secret German communique – “We must covertly do everything we can to deepen the differences between the moderate and the extreme parties, since it is definitely in our interest that the latter should win the upper hand; then another upheaval will be inevitable and will take forms which will shake the Russian state to its foundations.”
April 6, 1917 (Good Friday, Roman Triduum): Passover began at sundown and the United States officially declared war on Germany.
April 9, 1917 (Monday, Roman Easter Week): Lenin began his journey out of exile.
April 13, 1917 (Final day of Passover; Holy Friday, Orthodox Triduum): Lenin arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, where he met with leading Socialists and arranged with a representative of German High Command for financing of Bolshevik activities in Russia. The Germans would ultimately invest the rough equivalent to $100 million in today’s dollars in building up Bolshevik newspapers and membership throughout Russia.
April 15, 1917 (Orthodox Easter Sunday): Lenin and his group crossed into Russian territory at midnight, just as Easter was beginning.
1917 May to October: With German money and Lenin’s leadership, the Bolshevik movement grew rapidly. Meanwhile, the Blessed Mother appeared to three illiterate peasant children in Fátima, Portugal. Below are abbreviated forms of her messages to the children interspersed with key events in the rise of Lenin to power.
May 13: “I want you to return here on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months, and at the very same hour. Later I shall tell you who I am, and what it is that I most desire.”
June 13: “Jesus wishes you to make me known and loved on earth. He wishes also for you to establish devotion in the world to my Immaculate Heart.”
July 13: “If my wishes are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, then Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, bringing new wars and persecution of the Church; the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; certain nations will be annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and the world will enjoy a period of peace.” N.b., The Blessed Mother’s message made no sense at this time, because Russia was still a devoutly Christian nation and had been for 1,000 years.
Mid-July: Lenin’s revolutionary program met with its first serious reverses when the Provisional Government put down a premature Bolshevik insurrection and word began to leak out about German funding of Bolshevik activities. Lenin was forced to run back to Finland.
August 13: Anti-Catholics took the three Fátima children hostage, keeping them locked up and threatening them repeatedly with torture and death if they did not renounce their story about a heavenly visitor. They refused and finally, on the August 15 (the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven), they were returned to Fátima and deposited on the steps of the rectory. Our Lady appeared to the children on Sunday, August 19. “Come again to the Cova da Iria on the thirteenth of next month, my child, and continue to say the Rosary every day. In the last month I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
September 13: “Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. … In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
September 12: An attempted coup by the Russian military ended with its leader’s suicide. The Provisional Government had depended on the support it received from the military to keep the Bolsheviks at bay. With that support gone, the Bolsheviks began to win the upper hand.
October 13 (Saturday, The Miracle of the Sun): “I am the Lady of the Rosary. … People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!” The Miracle of the Sun was seen by tens of thousands, a great crowd that had come to the Cova but also people from far away. The event was recorded as fact even in an anti-Catholic newspaper.
October 12: Lenin returned to Petrograd from Finland. He then went underground, dating his letters as if he were still in Finland.
1917 November: The Bolsheviks led by Lenin seized power* and established an officially godless state that would aggressively spread its intolerant creed around the globe.
*The two Russian revolutions occurred in March and November on the Gregorian calendar. They are often spoken of as the February and October revolutions, because Russia at that time was still using the Julian calendar which was thirteen days behind the Gregorian calendar.
Lenin, Fátima and Holy Week By James J. Foley