May 4

Monday, May 4th

Good morning, Good morning,

Seventy-five years ago, today, the Iron Curtain went up in Poland.  This letter is dedicated to Mrs. Gislinda Pelletier, parishioner of St. Francis De Sales.  Her family fled to Germany from the region known as Silesia.  Silesia was divided up between Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany.  They left just in time, before Soviets initiated their announcement to enact a “just” punishment on 16 Polish Peace Negotiators.  The negotiators themselves were trying to establish a transition from a war economy to one of peace and prosperity in Poland upon the German surrender.

There would be no peace for the Polish Negotiators for on this day they were charged for the death of 200 Russian officers during World War II.  They would be the first martyrs of the Iron Wall diplomacy of the rising Soviet Empire.

Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov

In the announcement from Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (creator or the Molotov Cocktail in World War II) to the Western World Russia was setting up their brave new world.  This was not lost on Winston Churchill and  Harry Truman, trying extricate themselves from a devastating war,  They found absolute betrayal from their comrades to the East.  The Russians, seeking reparations from the Germans, were also setting up posts that would mark an Eastern Europe as essential to their expanding empire.  How much darker the world had become following the war to end all wars.

Molotov, was a master political figure who once stood in the shadow of Vladimir Lenin and later Joseph Stalin.  He was never corrupt in his political ventures but was the loyal personification of the Bolshevik revolution, evil from the start.  In the 1950’s Molotov would fall from grace with the rise of Nikita Khrushchev and his reorganization of a milder revolution.  Molotov would survive seven heart attacks and live to the age of ninety-six.  He was the final survivor of the 1917 rebellion.

In the Soviet Empire three religious images were tolerated by the government in the treatment of the Church.  The image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, thought to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist; St. Therese of the Little Flower, and the Divine Mercy from the Polish Sister St. Faustina.   They became the pillars for Faith and Devotion in a world of Soviet repression.

I leave them to your review:

Our lady of Czestochowa…

St. Therese of the Little Flower…

St. Faustina and Divine Mercy….

Sidney Reilly, Ace of Spies

The topic of this letter completely changed when I read the story of the people of Silesia.  A fascinating history with a greater heritage.  They were probably one of the Jewels of Eastern Europe and not recognized for their virtue and great Faith.  It would have been interesting to see how they would have progressed had there never been a Communist Revolution or Nazi manifesto.

And now the moment outside the box.  The Scotland Yard and later British Foreign Ministry in the early 20th century was fully aware for the rising threat of a Bolshevik revolution.  Lenin, after all was living in London in his early days and writing to his Russian friends.  There was no secret of his intentions.

Enter, Reilly, the Ace of Spies.  Sidney Reilly was the master spy of his time and served no less than four masters:  England, Germany, Russia, and Japan.  There are books upon books with his exploits.   My favorite deals with Russia.  Prior to the Russian Revolution there were three characters at the table of leadership.  Vladimir Lenin, Maxim Gorky, and Reilly, the British Spy.

Lenin wanted to destroy religion as the opioid of the people.  Gorky wanted to supplant it and Reilly is never quoted.   Lenin took the lead and directed a bloody revolution.  But, what if Gorky had taken the leadership?  Russia/Soviet Union today might have had a bloodless revolution and might appear very similar to our current United States.  And if Reilly had won?… God only knows.  Perhaps a parliamentary government modelled after the empire on which the sun never set.

Before long Reilly was discovered.  A revolutionary tribunal called for his death.  In 1925 he was caught visiting friends in Russia and a supposed death soon followed.  “Supposed?”  There is thought the master spy turned once again in Russia.  Reilly may have directed the Russian spies in England known as the Cambridge Five.  They and their counterparts at Oxford were known as “Moles,” with a deep penetration.  They carried on the tradecraft of Russian agents from the 1930’s up to the mid 1960’s.

The spy network of the Soviets never rested.  They even sought out the Catholic Church.  More on that tomorrow.

God bless.  Let us pray for one another.


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