"A story-line that tackles the most meaningful, religious and political subjects in the world. It is an impressive work... Move over Dan Brown, I was blown away!"
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Long before Russia became a “thing” in the United States and before mainstream media began to tar and feather Vladimir Putin and demonize all things Russian, I began writing a book about the mysterious rise of Christianity in Russia in 2O12. I also sensed how the increasing hostility towards religion in the “West” could lead to a perilous ideological divide between Russia and the United States with unknown consequences including the possibility of an apocalyptic military confrontation between the two nuclear powers
In my book, the political thriller The Madonna Files, I make the case that rising tensions between Russia and the United States, dubbed “Cold War 2.O” by many, is becoming one of the great ironies of modern times.
On Christmas day 1991, God-fearing patriots of United States saw the atheist state of the USSR take down its iconic red flag and replace it with a banner made up of red, white and blue stripes. Fast forward to today and now we see secular elites in 2O19 ridiculing a wide swath of Americans for “clinging” to their religion while the Orthodox Church in Russia experiences an extraordinary renaissance.
Putin today defends Christian culture while ridiculing the United States for rejecting its own heritage: “We see in the United States, that they are taking the path where they deny their own roots, including their Christian roots which form the basis of Western Civilization. Faith in God is equal to faith in Satan.”
Furthermore, Putin sees the hostility towards faith in the West as a dangerous development for the world. He says: “You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.”
The Madonna Files begins at Hotel Bellagio on the banks of Lake Como, Italy where Cardinal Endellicotta and business tycoon, Carl Beckett, discuss the dying pope, a stolen letter rumored to contain hidden secrets of the Virgin Mary, and Beckett's Russian tramp freighter carrying WMD's that has disappeared in the Persian Gulf on its way to Iran. The missing cargo ship is the lynchpin to Carl Beckett's elaborate false flag scheme designed to pull the United States into a large-scale military conflict with Iran and Russia…
"A powerful book of adventure and faith" - FRANK SCHAEFFER New York Times best selling author
"A fast-paced, tightly-plotted political thriller with genuine spirituality at its core." RANDALL SULLIVAN - ROLLING STONE Contributing Editor, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of "Miracle Detectives"
“With an air of National Treasure, or Pier Paul Read’s Death of a Pope, the reader plunges into political controversy, chase scenes, a coded message, and an exposition on Marian apparitions.”- Anne Marie Hauge, CatholicFiction.net
"I found it to be a great book; a fascinating, fast-paced thriller, written in a strong voice, filled with rich dialogue, complex and colorful characters, a story-line that tackles the most meaningful, religious and political subjects in the world. It is an impressive work...Move over Dan Brown, I was blown away!" - Br. DANIEL KLIMEK
Stephen Ryan is the author of the contemporary political thriller, The Madonna Files and runs the Catholic online news magazine MysticPost.com. He is a member of the International Thrillers Writers, an honorary literary society.
Book Review from Goodreads:
I could not put this book down. It’s written in a style, with short chapters, that begs you to read “just a little more!” If you have ever read any of Joel Rosenberg’s novels, you MIGHT enjoy this book. I say “might” because this is end times from a Catholic perspective: just as Joel Rosenberg writes from an evangelical perspective that forces me to gloss over some descriptions, “The Madonna Files” has a Catholic perspective
that many evangelicals will find offensive.
Yet, it’s these very things that might be offensive that must be
One thing the book does is tied together Marian apparitions around the world, where Mary pleaded with people to pray and do penance to return to God, or there would be chastisements. Going from the genocide in Rwanda (where Mary had appeared 10 years earlier with warnings about rivers of blood) to Fatima in 1917 (where Mary warned if we did not repent and pray another, more devastating war would break out) to the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where an image “painted by God”,gave a direction and hope for both the Spanish colonizers and the natives.
In the image of Guadalupe, we see a mestizo woman, one who is both Spanish and Mexican. It showed that these two groups should join together in peace. This peace lasted for almost 300 years, in Central and South America, until the Freemasons came to power in the region. In the lands of Protestant America, though, such a message was rejected as “Mariolatry”. Slavery was embraced and the Native American populations were wiped out. Ultimately, this Protestant rejection of respecting other races came to a head when Texas, having been settled by Protestants, rebelled against the Catholic government of Mexico in 1836 in order to allow the settlers to keep their slaves. A case is made in the book that this ultimately sparked the Civil War as a chastisement against the USA.
“The Madonna Files” are a collection of documents (including a letter stolen from the Pope’s apartment) that many in the hierarchy of the Church believe hold the key to the future of the Church — something so important that one faction decides it’s worth killing for. Father Dan Baronowski has been tasked by representatives of the Pope to find these documents and return them to Rome. Helped by his friend and former fiancee Rene Esterbrook (a history professor at Georgetown University) they decode the last of the clues, but not before they are on the run, pursued by a Russian hit man. The contents of the Files may provide the information needed to prevent a war breaking out with Russia, if they can survive and get the Madonna Files to the right people in time.
This has as many historical clues as a Dan Brown novel, with the advantage that Stephen Ryan took the time to verify his history instead of just making it up. It is action-packed, thrilling, and one that will provoke a lot of debate and
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