Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker and Victims of Communism Day.
Today we recall the two champions who led the charge that led to the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union: President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. It is either an odd coincidence or the Hand of God, that these two men came to power at precisely the time when the edifice of Communism began to crack. Most people viewed Communism as a permanent geopolitical feature in the world. Neither Reagan nor the Pope shared that view. Reagan assumed that the spirit of freedom would ultimately triumph and that Communism, sooner rather than later, would end up on the ash heap of History. John Paul II was certain that Christianity would triumph over Communism. John Paul II’s election as Pope, proof that God had not forgotten Poland was the inspiration for Solidarity, which Reagan vigorously supported. Reagan embarked on an arms build up that the Soviet Union could not match, pushing their tottering economy over the brink. John Paul II spoke out against Liberation Theology in the Third World, reminding Catholics that Marxism and Christianity were antithetical. Together, Pope and President gave hope to all those who struggled, ultimately successfully, to overthrow their Communist regimes, which happened one after another in the Year of Miracles of 1989.
Hundreds of millions of people took part in the fight against Communism, many known only to God, their bodies lying in unmarked mass graves. However, at the head of that list of honor two names appear: Ronald W. Reagan and Saint Pope John Paul II.