by Donal Anthony Foley
This is the third in the series of articles on the subject of how Freemasonry
and Marxism have undermined the family and impacted modern society,
in the light of Church teaching and the message of Fatima. This article
will look at the rise of Marxism and how it is linked with the Russian
Revolution and Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima

Marxism was the invention of Karl Marx (1818-1883), who
developed a philosophy based on deterministic materialism;
that is, everything is due to material causes and there
is nothing spiritual beyond this. Marx’s atheism led him to proclaim
“religion was the opium of the people.” His most famous work, Das
Kapital, was published in 1867, but it was only after his death that his 
thinking on capitalism and communism was widely adopted.

Marxism, the creed that grew out of his writings, utilized ideas such as scientific progress and evolution, combining
them with a materialistic philosophy to produce a new synthesis. This claimed to give an explanation of all reality, including mankind, and also provided a blueprint for changing society. Revolutionary Marxism sought to do this by offering those oppressed by capitalism and industrialization a chance to liberate themselves, but, as events have shown, the resulting ideology of communism led to a far worse form of slavery. The major flaw in 19th century capitalism was that it produced a large number of people, the proletariat, who were economically dispossessed.
In contrast, the great strength of communism was that it constituted a complete system of thought and action,
and, as such, it represented a grave threat to the social order and to Christianity. The Church’s answer to this
threat came through Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903). His encyclical Rerum Novarum, published in 1891, advocated social measures to undo the harm caused by the prevailing economic liberalism, which had reduced workers to
the level of wage slaves and was the main cause of the class divisions being exploited by socialism.
Rerum Novarum criticized unrestricted capitalism for the way that it had enriched the few
at the expense of the majority, who remained in poverty. Although this analysis was similar to that of socialism,
the latter’s remedies, which included the promotion of class conflict, the abolition of private
property, and a much greater role for the state, were rejected because they would only make matters worse, as actually happened when communism gained power in Russia and elsewhere during the 20th century.
Marxist ideas were present in Russia, but it was only during World War I, when the Russian government was in a state of crisis, the war was dragging on and defeat seeming certain, that they came to fruition. The future Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, (1870-1924), saw this chaotic state in the country as the best chance to introduce Marxist communism. When the revolution began in late 1917, Lenin’s ambitions for communism were unbounded.
In one address, he said, “Any day now we shall see the collapse of European imperialism. The Russian revolution you have made has prepared the way and opened a new epoch. Long live the world socialist
Revolution!” Meanwhile, the reigning Pope, Benedict XV, realizing that the only hope for mankind lay in recourse to God, turned in anguish towards Our Lady. He directed that the invocation “Queen of peace, pray for us,” be added to the litany of Loreto early in May 1917, asking that she intercede for the gift of peace for Europe and the world: “To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth … that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask for be obtained for our agitated world.” In answer to the pope’s prayer for peace, just over a week later, Our Lady appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima.  In contrast to communism’s program of extreme violence and enslavement, the Blessed Virgin brought a message of peace and reiterated the need for prayer and penance if the
evils facing mankind were to be overcome. In particular, in July 1917, she spoke to the children about the need for
the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays, before
going on to say: “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she
Will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. .In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” As we know, mankind in general has not heeded her
Message and Russia has indeed spread its errors throughout the world, initially in the form of communism, and now through the secularism and materialism, which have so damaged modern society, the family and the Church. The future, though, ultimately belongs to Our Lady. The next article will look at the growth of cultural Marxism
And secularism from the early 20th century to our own time.

-Anthony Donal Foley
is the author
of a number of
books on Marian
and maintains
a related
website at www.
uk. His first
article in this
series appears in
the Spring 2018
issue of Soul.