Our Lady of Victory

 

Our Lady of Victory

 

On this momentous day, 444 years ago,  a fleet of Papal, Spanish, Tuscany, Genoan, and Savoyan ships, under the title of the ‘Holy League,’ defeated the invading forces of the Moslems off the coast of Lepanto. The effects of this battle cannot be overemphasised: the victory halted the invasion of the West by Islam and preserved an already fractious Christianity from certain subjugation.

The near-miraculous victory itself was rightly attributed to Our Lady, the Mother of the Incarnate God. Pope Saint Pius V, who had organised the Holy League, spent the morning of the 7th of October praying the Rosary at the Basilica of St Mary Major. Later in the day, he stopped his work, looked to Heaven, and proclaimed that God had granted victory to the Christian forces. Indeed, conservative estimates place the Turkish losses at two-thirds of their 300-strong fleet- something from which the Turks would never recover. Pope Saint Pius V proclaimed the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, upon whom all Christians should call for intercession against the forces of evil. Later, the feast would be rededicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.

Lepanto-Rosary

The Rosary itself was seen as the real weapon behind the victory by both St Pius V and Don John of Austria. Recognising the intercessions of Our Lady to God on our behalf, Catholics have proclaimed the Rosary as one of the greatest weapons against Turk, Pagan, and Modernist. Bl Pius IX, the Southerner’s Pope, said that, were he to have an army praying the Rosary, the Church would “conquer the world.” Pope St Pius X, scourge of modernists,  called the Rosary the “most rich in graces of all prayers.” Father Abram Ryan, Poet-Priest of the South (and undoubtedly a Saint in Heaven), lauds the Rosary as central to life in his hauntingly beautiful “Rosary of My Tears.” The apparitions of Fatima and Akita both called on the world to pray the Rosary in reparation for the grievous sins of the world.

Southerners would do well to remember this day, given us by God through the intercession of Our Lady, and proclaim and pray forever the weapon that routed the Moslems four centuries ago- the Most Holy Rosary.

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