AN OLD woman sat near the window of the train traveling from Tbilisi (Georgia) to Moscow. Beside an old suitcase, she carried a cardboard box containing chocolate cake.
When another passenger asked where she was going, the Georgian peasant-looking woman joyfully replied, “I am going to visit my son, Josef -- a former seminarian -- and give him his favorite cake.”
After leaving the seminary in the European Georgia, the ex-seminarian started as editor of a budding newspaper, Pravda. He later joined Lenin’s Bolshevik party and through shakedowns, robberies, kidnappings and even murdering opponents to consolidate power the ambitious radical rose to the rank of chairman-dictator of the Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik Communist Party of Russia. His name Josef Vissaronovich Stalin.
The man who once aspired to the priesthood, later in life suppressed religion, closing monasteries, convents and churches. He also was greatly responsible for sending millions in exile to the Gulag Archipelago where approximately 12 million died of hunger, the bitter Siberian cold or inhuman torture.
In the 1945 historic meeting at Yalta where the victorious world leaders plotted the destiny of nations defeated during WW II, England’s Winston Churchill reportedly whispered to Stalin that the Pope would like a just and equitable solution to the European problem. To which Stalin sarcastically said, “And how many military divisions does the Pope have?”
Despite the evil in the much-hated dictator, a mother who once bore and took care of her son for years retained so much love only a good mother can have by making that long train -- journey to give a cake to her son: a man responsible for the growth and triumph of world Communism, one millions loathed and feared: Josef Vissaronovich Stalin.