Apologetics 101: Our Lady of Victory!
On Wednesday, October 7th, the Church celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. Learn how the story behind this can help you in your life today!
· On October 7th, 1571, Western Christianity was on the verge of being destroyed and Europe overtaken by the Ottoman Turkish Empire.
· Though severely outnumbered, a group of Christian states known as the “Holy League” banded together to try to repel the Ottomans.
· They met in a decisive naval encounter off the coast of Greece called the Battle of Lepanto.
· Pope Pius V (later Saint Pius V) ordered the churches of Rome opened day and night and begged Catholics to pray the rosary to ask the Blessed Mother’s intercession for the Holy League. All over Europe, Christians prayed the rosary for victory in the battle.
· All morning the wind was against the Christians but just before the Ottoman ships reached their lines, the winds changed. The result was a shocking victory by the Holy League.
o Encyclopedia Britannica states “the battle was remarkable as the last and greatest engagement with oar-propelled vessels and the first great victory over a Turkish fleet.”
o Military historian John F. Guilmartin, Jr. said “Turkish victory at Lepanto would have been a catastrophe of the first magnitude for Christendom and Europe would have followed a historical trajectory strikingly different from that which obtained.”
· When the Pope heard of the victory, he declared October 7th the memorial of Our Lady of Victory in honor of the Blessed Mother’s miraculous intercession. It has since been renamed Our Lady o