Laudetur Iesus Christus! It is with triumphant joy that we wish our readers a blessed feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary! While many Masses were canceled this week, we in Charlotte have a special High Mass tonight at 7pm at St. Thomas Aquinas parish on one of the most important Marian feast days.
October 7, 2021: 450th Anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto
It was on this day, four hundred and fifty years ago, October 7, 1571, that the Catholic armada, organized thanks to the tireless efforts of Pope Saint Pius V, and under the leadership of the great Don Juan of Austria met the menacing fleet of the Mohammedans who were poised for a massive invasion of Europe. The two fleets met in the Gulf of Lepanto with the Catholic flotilla, vastly outnumbered by their Turkish adversary. However, at that same time, when all seemed dark, when all seemed lost, with the Dominican Pope and laity across Europe praying the Rosary, Our Lady intervened at a decisive moment, giving Catholics, led by Don Juan, a glorious victory over the great foe of Christendom – marking a turning point in the history of Islam’s long decline.
One of the wounded survivors of the fighting, was Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes of Don Quixote, who reportedly described the battle as:
“The highest moment that the centuries ever witnessed”.
The victory demonstrates the power of praying the Rosary, and the importance of Our Lady’s intercession especially in dark times. There are many great essays and articles on this important turning point in history and but we include just a few, starting with Rorate Caeli’s post of Pope Benedict XV’s reflection on Lepanto:
- 450 Years of Lepanto – The Highest Moment the Centuries Ever Witnessed: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2021/10/450-years-of-lepanto-highest-moment.html
- G.K. Chesterton’s Poem on Lepanto: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47917/lepanto
- The Month of October (The Holy Rosary), Pope Leo XIII, September 22, 1891: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-month-of-october-month-of-most-holy.html#more
- Dom Prosper Gueranger’s entry for October 7: https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/october/october-7-feast-of-the-most-holy-rosary/
“Now the Rosary honors all this series of mysteries; today’s Feast is a glance back upon the Cycle as it draws to its close. From these mysteries, from this view of them, we must draw the conclusion formulated by our Lady herself in this passage from Proverbs, which the Church applies to her: “Now therefore, my children, consider my ways; imitate me, that you may find happiness.” Blessed is he that watcheth at her gate! Let us pray to her, rosary in hand, considering her at the same time, meditating on her life and her greatness, and watching, were it but for a quarter of an hour, at the entrance of the palace of this incomparable Queen. The more faithful we are, the more assured will be our salvation and our progress in true life.” – Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year
Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Victory pray for us!