Our Lady of the Rosary


With the entire Mediterranean at the mercy of Ottoman fleets, Muslim slave-traders had been ravaging coastal towns in 16th century Europe, and carrying whole villages to the slave markets.  Pope Pius V helped organize a coalition of Christian fleets, notably Spanish, Venetian and that of the Papal States.  The Pope asked the Churches of Catholic Europe to solicit the interposition of Divine Providence by praying the rosary, and that our Lady might intercede on behalf of the Christian navy.

On Oct 7, 1571 a great sea battle took place off the West coast of Greece, at Lepanto.  Though outnumbered, the Christian fleet under the command of Admiral Don John of Austria inflicted a decisive defeat on the Ottoman Empire.  The Turks lost 80 ships sunk and 130 captured by the Allies, and 30,000 men killed (not including 12,000 Christian galley slaves who were freed) while allied losses were 7,500 men and 17 galleys.

In gratitude Pope Pius declared Oct. 7 to be the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which it remains today.

REFLECTION:  By the grace of God all things are possible.  Pray that our Lady may help us in the culture wars of today, and that the Gospel may be restored once again to its rightful place of preeminence in society.


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  • garryowen

    Notre Dame des Victoires, priez pour nous!

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  • Daniel

    In his famous vision of the future victory of the
    Church over her enemies, St. John Bosco saw the Pope tie the church to two
    columns. One had our Lady on top with the word “Lepanto” written underneath. The
    other had the Eucharist oh top. When the Pope accomplished this, the enemy
    boats in the vision were sunk both due to a storm and the ongoing battle. There
    are those who believe that Pope John Paul II was the pope of this vision.
    Although he was “killed,” afterwards, by the intercession of Our Lady of FATIMA
    (n.b. reference to the name of Mohammad’s daughter), the Pope is “resurrected”
    to take up his job anew. If Pope John Paul was in fact the pope of the dream,
    the tying of the Church would have been the year dedicated to Our Lady of the
    Rosary and the other year dedicated to the Eucharist. Without a doubt, since
    then the Muslim “fleet” has descended into chaos and confusion (e.g. the Arab
    spring and the Shiite-Sunni conflict).