Divini Redemtoris

Sunday, May 1, AD 2011

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat; ‘Men have forgotten God; That’s why all this happened.'”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955  as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.  Today is also the beatification of John Paul II.  (I will have much more on Blessed John Paul II tomorrow.)  Today is also the Victims of Communism Day.  Hattip to Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy who began the campaign to make this day a day to remember the some one hundred million men, women and children murdered by Communist regimes and movements.

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9 Responses to Divini Redemtoris

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  • I had completely forgotten about Commie Holy Day until I took a walk earlier this afternoon and noticed some people with SEIU and AFSME jackets and T-shirts on and “Recall Scott Walker” buttons heading down to the Milwaukee lakefront. There was a stage set up but the size of the crowd was really pitiful. In fairness, I was down there at 3 p.m. and so I might have missed the main festivities. Still, I got the idea from the cars parked along Lincoln Memorial Drive – most of them festooned with numerous leftist bumper stickers – that these were the hard-core believers. Not an impressive turn-out at all.

    Then I started to wonder: when did it become acceptable for AMERICAN union members to celebrate May Day? I grew up in a blue collar, unionized neighborhood and certainly none of the union folks I knew as a child – staunch patriots, church-going Catholics and strong anti-Communists (many of them had relatives behind the Iron Curtain, like my family did) – would have dreamt of celebrating May 1. Maybe that was acceptable behavior among the far-left unionists of Western Europe, but certainly not in the States.

    Obviously, at some point after Nov. 1989, that attitude changed. I wonder if it is because unionists are now so much further left than they were 40 years ago that they are unfazed by the association of May 1 with Communism or if many of them are just ignorant. To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

  • To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

    Let me add to my own post: most of the union folks I saw headed toward May Day celebrations were at least my age if not older. Therefore, they are certainly of an age to recall the Cold War. So I’m leaning toward my first thesis – that union true believers have moved so far left that they are no longer embarrassed to be associated with Communism.

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any Che T-shirts.

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  • Since we already have a Labor Day in September, I’m all for having a Victims of Communism Day on May 1. I’d forgotten the association until Raymond Arroyo brought it up during the beatification ceremony. But once he said it, all the associations came back. How could I forget? Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was an eye-opening, absorbing work.

  • Yes, we should promote the Victims of Communism Day. Many have never known or forgotten what Communism is. I say is because it is still quite alive in many faculty lounges, union halls and even a few clerics’ hearts.

    We must work to see that Communism is scorned as National Socialism is.

  • I tip my hat to you. Great! Yesterday the Bishop read a letter before the end of Mass with the usual “the machinery of of Capitalism is oiled with the blood of the workers” tripe. The prayer intentions were full of “may politicians see the folly of free markets”, “may the rich nations see their errors and stop the exploitation of the 3rd world”, etc. Nice to see this for a change.

  • Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955 as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.

    Just for the record, May Day as a labor holiday originated not with the Communist Third International, but the social-democratic Second International. Both the Catholic Church and the Commies followed the social-democratic lead and used the same date to honor labor. While the USA and Canada observe Labor Day in September, most of the rest of the world does so on May 1st, enacted as a public holiday by Christian Democratic and Social Democratic governments across the globe.

    However, I am all for including a commemoration of the victims of Communism as part of the holiday.

  • It’s happening right here, right now in our own country.