The Commemoration of Our Lady of Victory
The Most Holy Rosary of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
Blessed Virgin Mary
Apart from the signal defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which legend has attributed to the recitation of the Rosary by St. Dominic, it is believed that Heaven has on many occasions rewarded the faith of those who had recourse to this devotion in times of special danger. More particularly, the naval victory of Lepanto gained by Don John of Austria over the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October in 1571 responded wonderfully to the processions made at Rome on that same day by the members of the Rosary confraternity. St. Pius V thereupon ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Order Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary.
In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August, 1716 (the feast of our Lady of the Snows), at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. A set of "proper" lessons in the second nocturn were conceded by Benedict XIII. Leo XIII has since raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class and has added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary". On this feast, in every church in which the Rosary confraternity has been duly erected, a plenary indulgence toties quoties is granted upon certain conditions to all who visit therein the Rosary chapel or statue of Our Lady. This has been called the "Portiuncula" of the Rosary.
The Battle of Muret - September 12, 1213Paternosters and Aves have been prayed from very early times and were commonly prayed by the knights and sergeants of the military religious orders when in battle and on campaign when they could not pray their prescribed office.
Count Simon de Montfort and his knights routed the Albigensians by charging straight into their midst. They gained the Albigensian headquarters and when their leader, the heretic King Peter of Aragon, was slain, the Albigensians fled.
Thus the day was won and the tiny Catholic army triumphed over the huge heretic army. A great victory obtained by the all-powerful rosary of Our Lady.
The Battle of Lepanto - October 7, 1571
To the men of his day this place was called by its Roman name: LEPANTO
How did this extraordinary victory come about? The answer is simple enough: It was obtained - yet again - by the most powerful weapon known to men: the holy rosary- the chaplet of the Blessed Virgin Mary given to St. Dominic in the XIIIth century.
As a result, the feast of Our Lady of Victory (later our Lady of the Rosary) was instituted by the popes to be celebrated on October 7th for an everlasting memory of this great victory.
Let us hear what Abbot Prosper Gueranger OSB of Solesmes writes of that great battle and feast in his great work, The Liturgical Year (the book read to St Therese of Lisieux when she was a child):
"Soliman II, the greatest of the Sultans, taking advantage of the confusion caused in the West by Luther, had filled the 16th century with terror by his exploits. He left to his son, Selim II, the prospect of being able at length to carry out the ambition of his race: to subjugate Rome and Vienna, the Pope and the Emperor, to the power of the crescent. The Turkish fleet had already mastered the greater part of the Mediterranean, and was threatening Italy, when, on 7th October 1571, it came into action, in the Gulf of Lepanto, against the pontifical galleys supported by the fleets of Spain and Venice. It was Sunday; throughout the world the confraternities of the holy rosary were engaged in their work of intercession. Supernaturally enlightened, St Pius V watched from the Vatican the battle undertaken by the leader he had chosen, Don John of Austria, against the 300 vessels of Islam. The illustrious Pontiff, whose life's work was now completed, did not survive to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph; but he perpetuated the memory of it by an annual commemoration of Our Lady of Victory. His successor, Gregory XIII, altered the title to our Lady of the Rosary, and appointed the first Sunday of October for the new feast [now celebrated on 7th October, the actual day of the battle], authorizing its celebration in those churches which possessed an altar under that invocation. A century and a half later, this limited concession was made general. As [now Venerable] Innocent XI, in memory of the deliverance of Vienna by King Jan Sobieski, had extended the feast of the most Holy Name of Mary to the whole Church, so, in 1716, Clement XI inscribed The Feast of The Holy Rosary on the universal calendar, in gratitude for the victory gained by Prince Eugene of Savoy [commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces] at Peterwardein, on 5th August, under the auspices of our Lady of the Snow. This victory was followed by the raising of the siege of Corfu, and completed a year later by the taking of Belgrade."
TRIBUTE TO THE BATTLE OF LEPANTO
The Battle of Vienna - September 12, 1683
One of the most important battles of the 17th century was the battle of Vienna, which was fought on September 12, 1683. The outcome of this battle would have a profound effect on the future of Eastern, if not of all, Europe. The Battle of Vienna was mainly fought by the Turks, with about 15,000 Tatars on their side, against a less numerous combination of Polish, German, and Austrian forces. The Turkish forces were led by the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, an ambitious man, but who wasn't a very good general judging by the number of battles he had lost. The opposing forces were led by Jan Sobieski. On May 21, 1674, Sobieski was elected king as John III by the Diet. This was after the death of King Michael Wisniowiecki the previous year, on November 10th. Sobieski was an intelligent, talented, and brave man. He was also a patriot of Poland and always wanted the best for his country.
Earlier that year on March 31, 1683, King John III had signed the Treaty of Warsaw with the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold. In this treaty, it was agreed to come to one's aid if the Turks attacked either Krakow or Vienna. Following his agreement in the treaty and the appeal of the pope, Sobieski marched to Vienna with an army of about 30,000 men. Sobieski said that his purpose for going to Vienna was "to proceed to the Holy War, and with God's help to give back the old freedom to besieged Vienna, and thereby help wavering Christendom."
husaria, which is Polish heavy cavalry, alongside with the cooperation of the whole army, played an important role in the victory. Sobieski with his husaria charged toward Kara Mustafa's headquarters and seeing this, Mustafa's army fled in panic. Even so, the Turkish army suffered heavy losses. This victory freed Europe from the Ottoman Turks and their invasions and secured Christianity as the main religion in all of Europe.
After the Battle of Vienna, Jan Sobieski entered Vienna in glory. The King and his Polish army had won lots of fame after their victory. Jan III Sobieski was not only looked upon as the savior of Vienna, but as a savior of the whole Europe from the Ottoman Turks.
Such are but a few examples of the many victories obtained through the extraordinary power of the holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Our Lady has so often appeared and asked her children to pray the holy rosary for victory and peace, as she did to St. Bernadette of Lourdes and later to the little shepherds at Fatima in 1917 during the Great War.
The Battle of Lepanto and the Battle of Vienna were great victories for Catholic Europe. However, they did not end the threat of invasion nor completely break the power of the Ottoman Turks. More naval and land battles would follow in the years to come.
The Battle of Vienna 11-Sept, 1683
Christendom and Islam today
Today, the long clash between Christendom and Islam is still evident in the political and ethnic geography of Europe, Africa, Byzantium, and north into Russia. The battle also extends, in varying degrees, throughout the Near and Far East, and the islands of the Pacific.
'Ecumenical inter-faith gatherings' with Moslems, Jews and many others. Some of these Modernists have actually asserted that Christians "worship the same God as do the Jews and the Moslems.…". This is utterly false and blasphemous!
We worship the One True God - The Most Blessed Trinity - the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost! There is but One True God! Christ is the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. Anyone who does not worship the Most Blessed Trinity does not worship the One True God! Jews and Moslems (and others) deny Christ's Divinity and thus they do NOT worship the One True God.
Many Christian knights, soldiers, and sailors have died defending Christendom against the onslaughts of Moslems throughout the centuries. Today, the borders of many European countries, Canada, and the United States are wide open, and the old enemy is invited to come in and make himself at home. Many in the West are preoccupied with materialism and thus forget the true nature of the worldwide threat of Islam.
'islam' does not mean 'peace' as many Moslems would have you believe but rather the word 'islam' means 'submission' or 'surrender'. Moslems believe that the 'infidels' (i.e., all non-Moslems) must submit or surrender to Islam - either willingly or by the force of the sword.
In our times, the threat of Islam is a true and present danger. We must not be complacent but rather we must turn to Our Lady and we must invoke Her intercession and use the powerful weapon which is the holy rosary and through which great victories have been obtained.
Do Jews and Muslims Worship the Same and True God as Catholics? By Father Hesse, Doctorate in Canon Law & Theology
St. James reminds us: "GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD AND GIVETH HIS GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (James IV:6) Likewise St. Paul teaches: "…THE WEAK THINGS OF THE WORLD GOD HATH CHOSEN THAT HE MAY CONFOUND THE STRONG." (I:Cor.I:27)
As Our Lady has promised: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."