Mary’s Russia-Ukraine Warning 

Catholicism Pure & Simple

Back in February 1972 — fifty years ago last weekend — the Ukrainian Catholic activist Josyp Terelya, who spent nearly twenty years in the Soviet gulag (prisons) for his faith, was at Vladimir Prison a hundred miles northeast of Moscow when the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to him.

It was the second time he’d been in this maximum-security prison, reserved for those with ten-year sentences (most, life terms), in the branch of the frigid, forbidding place known as Special Corpus Two.


After an investigation of articles he was writing, officials decided, without an official decree of death, to do away with him. For many years the Russians had tortured him — as they tortured many Catholics in Ukraine (killing tens of thousands, creating a famine that caused literally millions to die, and even nailing priests to walls) — and now they placed him in Cell 21, a so-called “freeze cell.”

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