Catholicss Learn an Important Historical Victory of the TRADITIONAL Rosary!
Notice: Graphic Owner, Patriarch Jacobus Maria
DeJesus, D.D., has put this graphic
in the Public Domain so that everyone may properly, and freely, use it - but - unchanged.
The Rosary magazine
Let us listen to the Angels of the Rosary. What do they say to us? “Take into your hands on this singular feast the joy-inspiring harp of the Rosary; play upon this harp to your Mother a new canticle; extol her power on earth and in Heaven, and repeat again and again the wonders of your loving helper.” 
But why are the Angels of the Rosary so eager that we should play on the harp of Mary on this particular feast? Because this feast commemorates one of the grandest victories ever given by Heaven to the Church, and emphatically declares that it was achieved by the great Captain of God's armies, Mary the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. We do not intend to give a detailed account of the battle of Lepanto; we shall content ourselves with the bare narration of the main facts that called into existence this glorious feast of the Destroyer of all heresies, Mary the Mother of God.
For about a century before the battle of Lepanto the Turks had been spreading dismay all over Christendom, and the year 1571 seemed to them to be the most opportune time to deal out death to Christianity. At that time most of the Christian nations were divided by conflicting interests and weakened by Protestantism, whose motto was “the Turks in preference to the Papists”. Yes, Protestantism, the greatest curse of modern times, the drag-chain on the wheels of Christian progress, did much to embolden the Turks to menace Christendom with indescribable woes.
Pope St. Pius V, a worthy son of the Order of the Rosary, made a public appeal to Heaven and to earth in behalf of the Church and Society. He called upon all the faithful, but especially upon the members of the various Rosary Confraternities of the world to invoke unceasingly with him the aid of the Virgin of the Rosary. For two years previous to the battle of Lepanto all the faithful, but especially Rosarians, earnestly
pleaded in behalf of the Church with Mary the Mother of Jesus through the prayer which is so dear to her. In the meantime, the Holy Father succeeded in arousing Spain, Genoa, Venice and the Pontifical States to enter into a holy League against the sworn enemy of Christianity. Humanly speaking, from such an insignificant league there could be but little hope of success for the Christians opposed by such fearful odds. But the Pope, whose prayers the Sultan Soliman II feared, as he himself declared, far more than the arms of the Christian forces, trusted entirely in the assistance of the Mother of Mercy.
On the 7th of October, 1571, on the Gulf of Lepanto was raised aloft by the Christian fleet the standard of hope--it was the image of the Blessed Virgin, surmounted by a Cross and a Rosary. The soldiers knelt before it for the purpose of venerating the emblem of our salvation and the Image of Mary, and pledged themselves to fight to death for the cause in which they were engaged, God and holy Church. Then the signal for attack was given by the Christian admiral.
Victory was violently disputed and long remained undecided. But the death of Ali-Pasha, the admiral of the Mussulman fleet, spread terror among his soldiers and became the signal of their defeat. The Turkish losses were immense; two hundred vessels were captured by the Christians or sunk beneath the angry waves of Lepanto; twenty-five thousand soldiers were killed; eighteen thousand prisoners were taken and fifteen thousand Christian slaves were liberated from their ignominious bondage; three hundred and seventy-five pieces of cannon and a great number of Standards and other spoils became the property of the victors.
The triumph of the Cross over the Crescent through the power of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary drove Islamism into Asia, saved forever Christendom from any successful invasion on the part of the Turks, left the seas that had hitherto been infested by Mussulman pirates free, and caused the Christian name to be dreaded by hordes who had until then considered themselves invincible. Michael Cervantes thus writes of the victory: “Ages gone by have seen nothing like unto the battle of Lepanto, nor has our age witnessed anything
to compare with it, and in all probability ages to come will never record a more beautiful or glorious triumph for the Church.”
But what share had the Rosary in this magnificent triumph? For two years before the battle, we have said, all the Rosary Confraternities of the world and the rest of the faithful were at the feet of Mary asking her assistance through the prayer so dear to her and her Son, the Rosary. The battle took place on the 7th of October, which in 1571 was the first Sunday of the month, the very day on which all the Rosary Confraternities of the Church were making their solemn processions and addressing solemn supplications to Heaven in behalf of the Christian cause.
Whilst the battle was raging, St. Pius V was treating with the Cardinals assembled at the Vatican on some grave business matters. All of a sudden he withdraws from the meeting, moves towards a window, remains there for some time, his eyes fixed in the direction of Lepanto, and then exclaimed with the accent and look of inspiration: “Let us kneel; let us cease speaking of business matters and think only of rendering thanks to God for the victory He has just given us.” The happy news was in due time confirmed, and was received everywhere among Christians with transports of delight, and with a conviction the most intense that the victory was due to the all-powerful intervention of our Lady of the Rosary. From Rome this conviction passed to Venice. The Senate of the City, in letters addressed to the States that had taken part in the Crusade, did not hesitate to express itself in these terms filled with faith and piety: “It was not Generals, nor battalions, nor arms that brought us victory; but it was our Lady of the Rosary.” Yes, says a modern historian, the defeat of the Turks was so complete and decisive that the whole Christian world spontaneously attributed it to the Blessed Mother of God, whose Rosary all the faithful were reciting whilst the battle was in progress.
The Holy Pope Pius V in order to perpetuate the memory of so great an event, instituted under the title of Our Lady of Victory a feast which received later on the appellation which
is at present so popular and far more significative, viz. that of Our Lady of the Rosary; and, for the purpose of encouraging the faithful to celebrate it with piety and fruit, he opened in their behalf the treasury of the Church, and drew from it the celebrated indulgence which is at one time called the Toties quoties (a plenary indulgence each time the conditions are complied with), at another time the “Great Pardon of the Rosary” and often the “Dominican Portiuncula.” It was then, too, that he added to the Litany of Loretto the invocation “Help of Christians, pray for us”.
Notwithstanding the complete discomfiture of the Turks, they, still profiting by the divisions created by that monster of modern times, Protestantism, endeavored again and again to crush out the Christian Religion, but the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary showed on every occasion her determination not to allow the infidels to gain the least advantage over the Church. The victories at Corfu, Vienna, Temeswar and Belgrade under the captaincy of Mary were only a prolonged echo of the glorious triumph of the Christians at Lepanto.
But if the Church has nothing now to fear from the Turks, it has other enemies still more powerful, formidable and tyrannical to contend against. Just now the Catholic Religion is much more free along the shores of the Bosphorus than it is on the banks of Seine, Spree or Tiber, where it groans under the oppression of children who have disowned their Mother and have sworn to bring about her destruction. A gigantic anti-Christian conspiracy--its name is Freemasonry--has been formed in the very bosom of the baptized nations. In most of the European countries it has complete control of things, and employs all manner of means to carry out its diabolical ends, sophisms, lies, corruption and violence. Its chief object is to cripple and humiliate the teaching Church, and to eradicate faith and virtue from the souls and hearts of the young. It labors with all its might to have complete control of the schools, so that infidelity and atheism may possess the minds and corrupt the hearts of the rising generation. In countries where Freemasonry has not supreme control, its secret and nefarious influence paralyzes the good will and efforts of those who are in power.
With this view of the present condition of affairs before his mind, the Sentinel of the Vatican utters a cry of alarm to the Virgin of the Rosary. As Pius V, three hundred years ago, looked for help to Mary through her Rosary and obtained it, so today Leo XIII expects from the same source of mercy remedies for the evils of our times, efficacious helps to save the Church and with it the world. It is for us to second by our prayers, zeal and virtues the efforts of the Father of the great Catholic family, and to do violence to Heaven by our fervent and frequent supplications to Mary, and thus deliver our Father at the Vatican, the Church and society from the galling yoke of the most malevolent and implacable enemies.
Here we may be permitted to ask: Is history repeating, or is it about to repeat itself? Leo XIII, the Pope of the Rosary, has gone even further than his saintly predecessor, Pius V, in making the Rosary the common and ordinary prayer of the faithful. He has called upon all the Rosary Confraternities of the world to unite with him in gaining Mary over to his side: he has urged the Dominicans to imitate their glorious Father Dominic in banding the faithful into Confraternities of the Rosary. Through his efforts the October devotions have become universal, and he has commanded them to be observed by all until a change for the better has taken place for the Church and her visible Head. He has expressed a wish that the Rosary be daily recited in all Cathedral churches, and on every Sunday and Holy-day in parochial churches. He has most earnestly entreated the faithful to recite daily one part of the Rosary. He has ordained that the invocation “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us,” which previously to his decree was employed only by the Dominican Order and Rosary Confraternities, should be for the future recited in the Litany of Loretto by all the faithful, and he has proclaimed to the world his own hope of victory for the Church over her present powerful enemies in this sublime panegyric of Mary's favorite prayer: “It is well known that this form of prayer is most pleasing to the Blessed Virgin, most efficacious to obtain for each and for all the succors of Heaven, and most powerful to defend the Church and society.” 
Again the Pope of the Rosary makes known to the faithful his love of the devotion and his unbounded confidence in it when he says: “Now that the month of October, which we have already commanded to be observed in honor of our Lady of the Rosary is approaching, we earnestly exhort the faithful to attend to the exercises of the month with all possible devotion, piety, and assiduity. We know that a refuge is at hand in the maternal tenderness of the Virgin, and we are certain that we do not place in vain our trust in her. If she has on hundreds of occasions, during the trying periods of the Church's history, manifested her power in behalf of Christendom, why should we doubt that she will not renew these examples of her power and affection, if humble and constant prayers are addressed to her from all portions of the Church? Indeed, we believe that her intervention will be the more wonderful the longer she permits us to be engaged in seeking it.”  “The Blessed Virgin alone can save us,” says Leo XIII, “and she will renew the wonders of Lepanto.” 
With what affection and devotion does not the present Pope place Jesus and Mary together in the exercises of October? He does this for the purpose of pointing out the most intimate personal relationship still existing between the Mother and the Son, and the importance of invoking both together. The Holy Father commands that Mary's Rosary and Litany “be recited either during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.”  The Pope points out the propriety of this arrangement. “The necessity of divine assistance is not less today than when St. Dominic introduced Mary’s prayer into the world for the purpose of curing society of the deep wounds with which it was then afflicted. That great Saint well understood, being illumined from on high, that no remedy could be more efficacious against the evils of his time than that which would bring men back to Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, through the frequent remembrance of the mysteries of our Salvation operated by Him, and which
would induce them to take for their Advocate with God the Virgin to whom it has been given to crush out all heresies.”  We may then rest assured that as in the 16th century, during the pontificate of Pius V, the Church was comforted and delivered from her enemies by Mary, so too, it will be in this, the 19th century, by the same all-powerful Advocate. Let us all then be as one with the Father of the faithful in prayer: let us specially sanctify Rosary Sunday and Rosary month. But how? By doing what the Angels of the Rosary and the Noble Sentinel of the Vatican entreat us to do. By reciting often and fervently our Rosary; by playing on the harp that pleases and moves Heaven.
(The Rosary magazine, Rosary Sunday and Month,
Rev. J. A. Rooney, O.P., Vol. II, October, 1892. No. 6. October,
1892, pp. 448-454).
“344. On the death of Pius IV, mainly through the influence of St. Charles Borromeo, the pious Dominican, Cardinal Ghisleri, was chosen, who took the name of Pius V, A. D. 1566-1572. The pontificate of Pius V., though extending over a period of only six years was most advantageous to the Church. With indefatigable zeal he labored in restoring the discipline and enforcing the Canons of reformation promulgated at Trent. He obliged bishops to reside in their sees and enjoined the strictest seclusion both of monks and nuns.”
“345. In France and Germany, Pius V [Pope Saint Pius V, Antonio-Michele Ghislieri (Friday, January 7, 1566 - Monday, May 1, 1572)] upheld, with firmness and wisdom, the cause of the true faith against the innovations of the Reformers. He showed much sympathy for the ill-fated Mary Stuart, and, with every means in his power, the noble-minded Pontiff sought to rescue the hapless princess from the clutches of her blood-thirsty royal cousin [Elizabeth I]. Alarmed at the progress of the Turkish power under Selim II, Pius represented to the Catholic courts the danger that threatened religion and civilization in Europe. By his efforts an alliance was formed between the Holy See, the Venetians, and Philip II, of Spain, and it is to his foresight and energy that Christendom is indebted for one of the most signal victories recorded in history. The gallant Don John of Austria was given command of the Christian armada, and in the celebrated Battle of Lepanto [Thursday, October 7, 1571; Gulf of Patras, Ionian Sea], the power of the Turks was forever broken.”
(Rev. J. A. Birkhaeuser, former professor of Church
History and Canon Law, in the Provincial Seminary of St. Francis De Sales,
near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “History of the Church, From its First Establishment
to Our Own Times”, Designed for the Use of Ecclesiastical Seminaries and
Colleges, Recommendation by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore,
May 18, 1888. Third Period. Modern Church History. From the Beginning
of the Sixteenth Century to the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Or,
from A. D. 1500 to A. D. 1870. First Epoch. From the Beginning of the Sixteenth
Century to the Middle of the Seventeenth. Or, from A. D. 1500 to A. D.
1650. Chapter III, Section xxxi, Other Popes of this Epoch, Pius
IV, Congregatio Concilii Tridentini; Pius V, Battle of Lepanto;
¶¶ 344-345, p. 620; emphasis added.)
[Pope Saint] Pius V had kept his eyes fixed on the east with indescribable anxiety. His thoughts were ever with the Christian fleet, while his hopes far outstripped it. Day and night he recommended it to the protection of the Almighty in fervent prayer. As soon as he had received news of the arrival of Don John at Messina, the Pope redoubled his penances and alms. He had a firm belief in the power of prayer, and especially of the Rosary. At a consistory on August 27th the Pope asked the Cardinals to fast one day in the week, and to give extraordinary alms, as it was only by penance that they could hope to obtain the mercy of God in such a time of anxiety. His Holiness, so the Spanish
ambassador reported on September 26th, 1571, fasts three days a week, and spends many hours every day in prayer; he has also ordered prayers in all the churches. In order to make Rome safe from an unexpected attack by Turkish corsairs, the Pope had ordered, at the beginning of September, that the fortifications of the Borgo should be completed.
It was but rarely that any news was received of the Christian armada, and the Curia all the time remained in painful suspense. It came, therefore, as a relief when they heard at last at the beginning of October of the arrival of the fleet of the league at Corf? When the news came, on October 13th, that the Turkish fleet was at Lepanto, and that that of the league had sailed on September 30th, there could be no doubt that the encounter was at hand. The Pope, although he had the strongest confidence in the victory of the Christian arms, ordered that extraordinary prayer should be made day and night in all the monasteries of Rome, and himself set the example to all by doing so himself. His prayer was at last to be heard. In the night between October 21st and 22nd, there arrived a courier who had been sent by the nuncio in Venice, Facchinetti, who brought to Cardinal Rusticucci, who was in charge of the secretariate of state, a letter from the nuncio containing the news brought to Venice on October 19th by Gioffrè Giustiniani of the great victory that had been
won at Lepanto under the skillful command of Don John. The Cardinal had the Pope woken at once, who broke out into tears of joy, saying the words of the aged Simeon: Nunc dimittis servum tuum in pace. [Now dismiss thy servant in peace.] He at once got up to thank God on his knees, and then returned to bed, but could not sleep from excitement and joy. On the following morning he went to St. Peter’s for renewed prayers of gratitude, and then received the ambassadors and Cardinals, to whom he said that they must now strain every nerve during the coming year to carry on the war against the Turks. On this occasion, in allusion to the name of Don John, he cited the words of Holy Scripture: Fuit homo missus a Deo, cui nomen erat loannes. [There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.]
All Rome shared the jubilation of Pius V. The holy Pope was in a state of exaltation. The Romans were not slow to celebrate the victory with salvos of artillery and fire-works, even though Pius V thought that the expenditure might have been better employed in having Masses said for the Souls of the fallen; instead he granted a special indulgence. On October 23rd a courier from the Venetian government brought detailed reports of the great battle. “The Turks”, Cardinal Mula wrote in jubilation, “will not get
over this blow, and the Christian fleet is mistress of the seas.” On October 28th Pius V celebrated a Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Peter’s. He had intended also to pontificate at a Requiem [Mass] for the fallen on the following day, but was so exhausted that he had to leave it to Cardinal Otto Truchsess.
On October 22nd the Papal chancery had begun to send news to all parts of the world of the great event. The three admirals of the Christian fleet received enthusiastic letters of congratulation, while, by the express command of Pius V, the Catholic powers were urgently implored to profit in every way from “the greatest victory ever won against the infidels”; all must have a share in it. Letters in this sense “were sent to the Emperor, the Kings of Spain, France, and Poland, to the Italian states, and to the ecclesiastical and secular princes of the German Empire”.
(From the German of Ludwig, Fkeiherr von Pastor, later Ludwig von Pastor, Freiherr von Campersfelden, [b. at Aachen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on January 31, 1854 - d. on September 30, 1928]. In 1881, after he had consulted archives throughout Catholic Europe, he then made his first trip to Italy and, because of his great sincerity, he obtained the support of Pope Leo XIII who opened to him the contents of the Vatican Library, which had previously been held unavailable to scholars. All of this resulted in his 40 volume work: “The History of the Popes, from the Close of the Middle Ages”, Drawn from the Secret Archives of the Vatican and Other Original Sources, Edited by Ralph Francis Kerr of the London Oratory, Volume XVIII, Pius V (1566-1572), Chapter X, The Victory of Lepanto and Afterwards. Death of Pius V, London Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, Broadway House: 68- 74 Carter Lane, E.C. 4, St Louis, Mo., B. Herder Book Co., 15 & 17 South Broadway, First published in England, 1929, Reprinted 1952, Printed in Great Britain by Lowe and Brydone Printers Limited, London, N.W. 10, pp. 400-429; emphasis added.)
The Most Holy Rosary
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
O, Queen of The Holy Rosary
The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
Gave the Most Holy Rosary to
Father Saint Dominic Guzman, O.P.
[b Calaroga, Old Castile in 1170 A.D. - d. Bologna, Italy in 1221 A.D.]
How did the Feast of the Holy
of the Blessed Virgin Mary come about?
Our Blessed Mother has given us timeless Spiritual weapons of warfare against Satan and his legions of Devils and their human agents! The Holy Rosary is one such example!
The Most Holy Rosary was given to Father Saint Dominic Guzman, O.P. [b Calaroga, Old Castile in 1170 A.D. - d. Bologna, Italy in 1221 A.D.] by the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.
The Feast Day of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, October 7 (transferred to October 8 when the feast falls on a Sunday), came about as a result of winning both a Spiritual and temporal battle against the human agents of Satan in the 16th Century!
The final and decisive battle is known in history as the Battle of Lepanto.
The Gulf of Lepanto is off the coast of Greece. In 1571 A.D. the followers of Mohammad, a.k.a. Mohammadans/Moslems (Muslims), tried to get revenge for their previous defeats in the West in the preceding centuries, especially their defeats in Portugal and Spain. They decided to attack Western Europe. Lepanto was occupied by the Mohammadan/Moslem Turks in 1498 A.D.
The Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V, Antonio-Michele Ghislieri [Friday, January 7, 1566 - Monday, May 1, 1572] recognized this danger. He realized that this was not simply a struggle between rival nations, but rather a real menace for Catholics in Western Europe. This explains why he worked for both a spiritual and a temporal mobilization of Faithful Catholics to fight off this savage invasion!
He specifically asked that on the First Sunday of October Faithful Catholics pray the Most Holy Rosary and that the members of Rosary Confraternities would walk in processions while praying the Holy Rosary in order to beg the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary for help and victory. He also asked that each combatant for the Western Coalition be provided with a Rosary and that all of them recite the Holy Rosary in order to get protection and victory from the Queen of the Holy Rosary.
The Western Coalition consisted of the combined papal, Spanish, Venetian, and Genoese fleets, under Don Juan of Austria which were totally victorious over the Moslem-Turkish fleet on October 7, 1571 A.D. These 16th Century religious terrorists had 208 galleys and 66 small ships. The Roman Catholic fleet had fewer vessels.
The Roman Catholics lost 17 ships and 7,500 men. The total Mohammadan terrorists losses were 15 infidel ships sunk and 177 infidel ships seized. Plus, between 20,000 to 30,000 Mohammadan terrorists were captured while between 12,000 to 15,000 Catholic slaves were freed. They had been slaves on these infidel galleys and had been forced to be rowers for these ships.
Although this victory did not accomplish everything, because the infidels appeared the next year with a fleet of 250 ships at Modon and Cape Matapan, and battled the Roman Catholics in vain once again, October 7, 1571 A.D. was of great importance since it marked the first great defeat of the blood-thirsty savage pagan Mohammadan terrorists in a sea war.
Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V
The Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V attributed the victory to the Rosary more than to the armed forces and thus he ordered that the invocation “Help of Christians, pray for us”, be added to the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On October 7, the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius V, established the Feast of Our Lady of Victory in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her magnificent victory at Lepanto.
The Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII, Ugo Boncompagni [May 13, 1572 - April 10, 1585], his successor, instituted the actual Feast Day of the Holy Rosary which was to be celebrated every year on October 7.
At first the feast was granted only to churches which had an Altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. But, in 1671 A.D., the Roman Catholic Pope Clement X, Emilio Altieri [Tuesday, April 29, 1670 - Wednesday, July 22, 1676] extended the observance of the feast to the country of Spain.
Another victory over the Mohammadan blood-thirsty savages/terrorists gained at Peterwardein in Hungary by Prince Eugene on the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, Wednesday, August 5, 1716 A.D., led the Roman Catholic Pope Clement XI, Giovanni Francesco Albani [Tuesday, November 23, 1700 - Wednesday, March 19, 1721], to extend the Feast of the Holy Rosary to the entire Roman Catholic Church.
Victory of the
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
Over the Mohammadan Terrorists
Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V
Attributed the Victory at Lepanto
to the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary
For The Catholic Defeat
of the Mohammadan Terrorists
At the Battle of Lepanto
Thursday, October 7, 1571 A.D.
The Gulf of Lepanto is a long arm of the Ionian Sea running from east to west and separating the Peloponnesian peninsula to the South from the Greek mainland to the North.
The Mohammadans were attempting to conquer all of Western Europe by the sword. On that fateful dawn of Thursday, October 7, 1571 A.D., Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V entered the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) in Rome to pray the Rosary and to ask the Queen of the Holy Rosary to intercede with God for a Catholic victory over the Mohammadans. The Roman Catholic Pope was not alone, as a small contingent of Catholic Faithful accompanied him. At the request of the Roman Catholic Pope, the Holy Rosary continued to be prayed throughout Rome that day as the Catholic and Mohammadan fleets battled for control of Western Europe in the Gulf of Lepanto.
A miracle was needed because things had not been going very well. The reality was extremely bleak and victory seemed to be but a dream, a phantasm of the imagination.
Suleiman the Magnificent, a.k.a. Suleyman the Magnificent [b. on Tuesday, November 6, 1494 A.D. - d. on Monday, September 5 or on Tuesday, September 6, 1566 A.D.] was the tenth Osmanli Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and its longest-serving ruler. He reigned from 1520 A.D. to 1566. Under his command, the Ottoman Empire reached its zenith and became a world power.
Suleiman the Magnificent - a Mohammadan - was considered to be one of the principal rulers of Europe during the 16th Century. He was a rival of Emperor Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor [1519 A.D. to 1556 A.D.]; of Francis I of France [1515 A.D. to 1547 A.D.]; of even Henry VIII of England [1509 A.D. to 1547 A.D.]; and, of Sigismund II of Poland [1548 A.D. to 1572 A.D.].
Suleiman the Magnificent had personally led the Ottoman - Mohammadan - armies to reattack Belgrade in 1521 A.D. It was also under his leadership that the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem had been driven from their previous stronghold, the Isle of Rhodes, in 1522 A.D.
Suleiman, a.k.a. Suleyman, and his armies defeated the Hungarians at the Battle of Mohacs, a town on the right bank of the Danube River, 115 miles South of Budapest, in 1526 A.D. (Later, in 1687 A.D., another battle was fought between Muhammad IV [b. Thursday, January 2, 1642 A.D. - d. 1693 A.D.], the then current leader of the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks, and the Catholic armies, composed of Austrian and Hungarian forces commanded by Charles V, Duke of Lorraine - Charles Léopold Nicolas Sixte [b. Friday, April 3, 1643 A.D. - d. Tuesday, April 18, 1690], which soundly defeated the Mohammadans.)
Although Suleiman was not successful in his siege of Vienna in 1529 A.D., he and his armies annexed huge territories of North Africa as far West as Morocco and most of the Middle East. The Ottoman - Mohammadan - armies achieved naval dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The Ottoman - Mohammadan - empire continued to expand for a century after his death.
They had also established a strong foothold on the north coast of the Black Sea which was the proverbial gateway to all of Western Europe itself.
With covetous eyeballs, the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks continued to eye Western Europe. To this end, they had constructed a fleet of 181 ships which carried 30,000 soldiers. This fleet was headed towards the island of Malta in an attempt to plunder and sweep all the ships of Catholic Western Europe from the Mediterranean Sea so that, once they controlled the trade routes and sea lanes in the Mediterranean, they felt certain that all of Western Europe would fall due to their superior naval and economic power.
During the Summer of 1565 A.D., the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, now the Knights of Malta, continuously repulsed the Mohammadan Turkish fleet which had laid siege to the island. Although the Mohammadan Turks were forced to withdraw in defeat, this did not end the threat from the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks.
Over in the Vatican in Rome, Italy, Cardinal Antonio-Michele Ghislieri became Roman Catholic Pope Pius V on Friday, January 7, 1566 A.D. He was a devout, pious, and austere Dominican Monk who was devoted to the Holy Rosary, of which the Dominicans (Order of Preachers) were the propagators from the time of their founder, Father Saint Dominic Guzman, O.P. [b Calaroga, Old Castile in 1170 A.D. - d. Bologna, Italy in 1221 A.D.]. Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V had a solid reputation for piety and austerity. As Cardinal Antonio-Michele Ghislieri, he had been a teacher of Scholastic Philosophy and Thomistic Theology for 16 years. Upon ascending the Papacy, he continued to lead the life of a simple monk, living a real Spiritual Life based upon humility and meekness, contrary to the opulence of many of his predecessors.
As many Roman Catholics were well aware in those days, so also Roman Catholic Pope Pius V was likewise concerned about how to defend Western Catholic Europe from the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks. Just as his Catholic contemporaries, so also the Pope also knew full well that the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks were not just going to dematerialize into their prayer rugs. They wanted to conquer all of Western Catholic Europe as was evidenced by their continued incursions into the Eastern borders of Western Europe. Even the Papal States were a target.
In 1570 A.D., when Cyprus was attacked again, the Pope called upon the “The Holy League” which was composed of the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights of Malta, the Papal States, the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Genoa, and Spain, to address the continued threats from the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks. It was past time for Roman Catholics to take offensive action.
A Catholic naval fleet was assembled under the overall command of Admiral Don Juan of Austria [b. Regensburg (Ratisbon), Bavaria, Germany, on Monday, February 24, 1547 A.D. - d. Sunday, October 1, 1578 A.D.]. Although he was only in his twenties, Admiral Don John was a very capable naval commander.
Admiral Don Álvaro de Bazán
The Spaniards were led by Admiral Don Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz de Mudela [b. at Granada, Spain on Sunday, December 12, 1526 A.D. - d. 1588 A.D.]. He was of an ancient family that originally settled in the valley of Baztan in Navarre, from which they are said to have taken their name.
During the operations which preceded and followed the Battle of Lepanto on Thursday, October 7, 1571 A.D., Bazán was always in favor of the more energetic course. In the battle he commanded the reserve division, and his prompt energy averted a disaster when Uluj Ali, who commanded the left wing of the Turks, outmaneuvered the commander of the Christian right, Giovanni Andrea Doria, and broke the allied line. In 1572 A.D. he accompanied Admiral Don Jon of Austria in the taking of Tunis, freeing it from the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks.
The Genoese were led by Giovanni Andrea Doria or D’Oria [b. at Genoa in 1539 A.D. - d. in 1606 A.D.], second Prince of Melfi, Admiral at the service of the Viceroys of Naples and Sicily. He was the Great-Nephew of Andrea Doria or D’Oria [b. Friday, November 30, 1466 A.D. - d. Friday, November 25, 1560 A.D.] who was a Genoese condottiero (a mercenary leader employed by Italian city-states from the late Middle Ages until the mid-sixteenth century) and Admiral, with whom he is often confused.
The Venetians were commanded by Agostin Barbarigo and Sebastian Venier, a.k.a. Sebastiano Veniero [b. c. 1496 AD. - d. Friday, March 3, 1578 A.D.] who was later the Doge of Venice from 1577 A.D. to 1578 A.D.
Admiral Don Juan,
a.k.a. Admiral Don John
The fleet under Admiral Don John’s very capable command included 300 ships, with over 100 galleys and 30,000 men.
It had been supplied by Philip II of Spain [b. at Valladolid, Spain on Saturday, May 21, 1527 A.D. - d. on Sunday, September 13, 1598 A.D.].
Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V had 12 Papal/Tuscan galleys hired by the Papal States, 3 galleys each from Genoa, Malta, and Savoy, outfitted and supplied.
The Roman Catholic Pope also funded many of the others.
The Venetian contingent included 105 galleys, manned in part by additional Spanish soldiers. In the Venetian fleet were six galleasses (converted merchant galleys).
Heavier, broader, and much slower than conventional galleys, they were nonetheless technologically advanced - the heavy gun platforms and battleships of their day.
There were also a number of several privately-owned galleys, most or all of which joined with the “The Holy League” to put an end to the attempt by the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks to control the profitable Mediterranean Sea trade routes. The total included over 50,000 men who served the fleet as rowers,12,920 sailors, and another 30,000 men who were fighting soldiers. Of this number,10,000 were Spanish regular infantry of excellent quality, 7,000 German and 6,000 Italian mercenary contingents were from the various Habsburg dominions, under Spanish pay, along with 5,000 others, plus many volunteers.
The various Roman Catholic squadrons met Venice's main squadron under Admiral Veniero in July and August at Messina, Sicily in 1571 A.D. This included the galleasses which arrived on July 7, 1571 A.D. Admiral Don John arrived on August 23, 1571 A.D.
The Mohammadan Ottoman Turkish fleet of 240 galleys and 66 small ships was defeated by the combined Catholic fleets. Although the Catholics lost 17 ships and 7,500 men, a total of 15 Mohammadan Ottoman Turkish ships were sunk and the remainder were taken captive. In addition, over 25,000 Mohammadan Ottoman Turks were killed during this battle and over 4,000 of them were taken prisoner. Between 12,000 to 15,000 Catholic rowers, slaves on these Mohammadan Ottoman Turks galleys, were freed.
“The Holy League”, under the command of Admiral Don John of Austria, annihilated the fleet of the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto on Thursday, October 7, 1571 A.D. in one of the most decisive battles in naval history. This great victory dealt the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks a blow from which they never recovered. This battle ended the Mohammadan Ottoman Turks naval threat in the Western Mediterranean and with it the threat to conquer Western Catholic Europe and force conversions to Mohammadanism by the sword as they had done in other places in the past. This period of peace for the West also began a long period of decline for the Mohammadan Ottoman Turkish evil Empire.
Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V's
Vision of the Victory at Lepanto
This explains why the Vatican Archives also records how, later during that same day, Thursday, October 7, 1571 A.D., when Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V was in a meeting with some Cardinals, he suddenly looked up and said:
“A truce to business! Our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Catholic army.”
In thanksgiving to the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary for this miraculous triumph, Roman Catholic Pope Saint Pius V made the first Sunday of October the Feast Day of the Most Holy Rosary. The Feast Day was later changed to the actual day, October 7. He also added the supplication “Help of Christians” to the Litany of Loreto. He was hoping to put an end to the power of Mohammadanism by forming a general alliance of all of the countries of Western Europe and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died.
Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Central Stone Panel
The central stone panel in the lower half of the photograph of an interior wall of the front of the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli contains an inscription which commemorates The Battle of Lepanto.
Translation of the Inscription:
To Jesus Christ author of mankind’s salvation that Pius V, a high minded Supreme Pontiff, having made an alliance with Philip II, King of the Spanish, and with the Venetian Republic, defeated Selyman the Tyrant of the Turks at Lepanto (Islands of Echinadas) in a naval battle greater than any in human memoryIt is interesting to note that there is no reference in the inscription to Admiral Don Juan of Austria. Why? Because Mark Anthony Colonna was the Admiral in command of the Papal fleet, which constituted only a part, and be no means not even the largest part, of the Catholic Holy League. But, because he was the Admiral of the Papal fleet, it is only right that he would have been honored in Rome.
[ * S * P * Q * R * is an anagram which means:]
The Senate and the Roman People
On the return of Mark Anthony Colonna, Admiral of the Pontifical Fleet, in thanksgiving with the support and thanks of every social order, the reception committee decorated this edifice with the golden paneled ceiling and with the standards of the enemy
In the year of salvation 1586
Our Lady of Victory at Lepanto
In the ceiling of the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Ceiling of the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Historically, the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, which has the central stone panel which contains an inscription which commemorates The Battle of Lepanto, was the medieval generalate house for the Franciscan Order.
Santa Maria in Ara Coeli means Saint Mary of the Altar of Heaven. This Catholic Church is built over the shrine of Juno Moneta, who is the pagan patron goddess of Rome.
Tradition has it that Caesar Augustus received the prophecy of the Tiburtine Sibyl concerning the coming of the true Christ.
According to this legend, the Emperor Augustus, disturbed by rumors that the Senate was about to honor him as a god, consulted the Tiburtine Sibyl, who prophesied the descent from the skies of “the King of the ages.”
As she spoke, the Emperor beheld a marvelous vision – the Blessed Virgin Mary standing on an Altar in a dazzling light and holding the baby Jesus in her arms. It was then that the Emperor heard a voice which said:
“This is the Altar of the Son of God.”Of course, the Emperor immediately raised an altar on the site, the Ara Coeli - the Altar of Heaven.
Later that altar became the location for a Catholic Church to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is why it was fitting that, after the victory of Our Blessed Mother at Lepanto, it became a place to honor Mary for her protection of Christendom and the winning of the great battle of Lepanto.
Close-Up of Our Lady of Victory at Lepanto
In the ceiling of the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
Non arma, non vires, non duces,
sed unice Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii fecit nos victores.
Not arms, nor men, nor commanders,
but the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary alone made us victors.
Deo Gratias et Mariae.
Thanks be to God and Mary.
Semper Deo Gratias et Mariae.
Always thanks be to God and Mary.
Thus the Queen of the Holy Rosary
Triumphed over the crescent of Mohammadanism.
So then the first Colonists to the United States in the 16th Century, and especially the 17th Century, who were from Western Europe, were Christian Catholics and Protestants, not Mohammadans.
The same is true for the founding Fathers of the United States of America and why America was founded upon Christian teachings and why the founding Fathers considered the United States to be a Christian nation under God.
Just as the devout, daily recitation of the Most Holy Rosary saved Western Europe from the Mohammadan Islamic Terrorists, so also today, the devout, daily recitation of the Most Holy Rosary can save the United States of America from all Terrorists and enemies of the United States of America - whosoever they may be, whether they are within the United States Government, or currently freely living, and plotting, in many parts of the U.S.A.
NOW is the time for action!
When Communist tanks start rumbling down
YOUR street, it will be too late!
PLEASE JOIN WITH US IN PRAYING
THE HOLY ROSARY EVERY DAY!
TERRIBLE EVILS ARE ABOUT TO BE UNLEASHED!
THESE EVILS WILL COME UPON YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY AND ALL CATHOLICS!
But these evils can be prevented
by following God's Peace Plan
which includes the Daily Rosary!
PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY!
REPENT OF YOUR SINS!
THE SOUL YOU SAVE MUST FIRST BE YOUR OWN!
"Unless you pray and do penance you will perish!"
(Roman Catholic Pope Pius IX,
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti
[Tuesday, June 16, 1846 - Thursday, February 7, 1878]
in answer to what is in the 2 Secrets of LaSalette)
The Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Most Holy Rosary
Thursday, September 5, 1895
To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.
1. The mightiest helper of the Christian people, and the most merciful, is the Virgin Mother of God. How fitting it is to accord her honors ever increasing in splendor, and call upon her aid with a confidence daily growing more ardent. The abundant blessings, infinitely varied and constantly multiplying, which flow from her all over the whole world for the common benefit of mankind, add fresh motives for invoking and honoring her.
2. For such magnanimous favors, Catholics on their part have not failed to return to her the tender devotion of grateful hearts; because, if ever there was a time when love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin were awakened to new life and inflaming every class of society, it is in these days so bitterly anti-religious. The clearest evidence of this fact lies in the sodalities which have everywhere been restored and multiplied under her patronage; in the magnificent temples erected to her august name; in the pilgrimages undertaken by throngs of devout souls to her most venerated shrines; in the congresses whose deliberations are devoted to the increase of her glory; in other things of a like nature which are praiseworthy in themselves and augur well for the future.
3. It is specially deserving of notice, and it gives Us the greatest pleasure to recall, that of all the forms of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, that most excellent method of prayer, Mary's Rosary, is establishing itself most widely in popular esteem and practice. This, We repeat, is a source of great joy to Us. If We have spent so large a share of our activities, in promoting the Rosary devotion, We can easily see with what benevolence the Queen of Heaven has come to Our aid when We prayed to her; and We express the confident conviction that she will continue to stand at Our side to lighten the burdens and the afflictions which the days to come will bring.
4. It is mainly to expand the kingdom of Christ that We look to the Rosary for the most effective help. On many occasions We have declared that the object which at the present time engrosses Our most earnest attention, is the reconciliation to the Church of nations which have become separated from her. We recognize, at the same time, that the realization of Our hopes must be sought chiefly in prayer and supplication addressed to almighty God. This conviction We again affirmed not long ago, when We recommended that special prayers be offered for this intention to the Holy Ghost during the solemnities of Pentecost; a recommendation that was adopted everywhere with the greatest good will.
5. But in view of the importance and the difficulty of such an undertaking, and the necessity of perseverance in the practice of any virtue, it is well to recall the Apostle's apt counsel: "Be instant in prayer"' -counsel all the more to the point because an auspicious beginning of the enterprise will supply the best inducement to perseverance in prayer. Next October, therefore, if you and your people devoutly spend the whole month with Us in praying assiduously to the Virgin Mother of God through her Rosary and the other customary devotions, nothing could do more to further this project or be more pleasing to Us. We have the best reasons for entrusting Our plans and Our aspirations to her protection and the highest hopes of seeing them realized.
6. The mystery of Christ's immense love for us is revealed with dazzling brilliance in the fact that the dying Saviour bequeathed His Mother to His disciple John in the memorable testament: "Behold thy son." Now in John, as the Church has constantly taught, Christ designated the whole human race, and in the first rank are they who are joined with Him by faith. It is in this sense that St. Anselm of Canterbury says: "What dignity, O Virgin, could be more highly prized than to be the Mother of those to whom Christ deigned to be Father and Brother!" With a generous heart Mary undertook and discharged the duties of her high but laborious office, the beginnings of which were consecrated in the Cenacle. With wonderful care she nurtured the first Christians by her holy example, her authoritative counsel, her sweet consolation, her fruitful prayers. She was, in very truth, the Mother of the Church, the Teacher and Queen of the Apostles, to whom, besides, she confided no small part of the divine mysteries which she kept in her heart.
7. It is impossible to measure the power and scope of her offices since the day she was taken up to that height of heavenly glory in the company of her Son, to which the dignity and luster of her merits entitle her. From her heavenly abode she began, by God's decree, to watch over the Church, to assist and befriend us as our Mother; so that she who was so intimately associated with the mystery of human salvation is just as closely associated with the distribution of the graces which for all time will flow from the Redemption.
8. The power thus put into her hands is all but unlimited. How unerringly right, then, are Christian souls when they turn to Mary for help as though impelled by an instinct of nature, confidently sharing with her their future hopes and past achievements, their sorrows and joys, commending themselves like children to the care of a bountiful mother. How rightly, too, has every nation and every liturgy without exception acclaimed her great renown, which has grown greater with the voice of each succeeding century. Among her many other titles we find her hailed as "our Lady, our Mediatrix," "the Reparatrix of the whole world," "the Dispenser of all heavenly gifts."
9. Since faith is the foundation, the source, of the gifts of God by which man is raised above the order of nature and is endowed with the dispositions requisite for life eternal, we are in justice bound to recognize the hidden influence of Mary in obtaining the gift of faith and its salutary cultivation-of Mary who brought the "author of faith" into this world and who, because of her own great faith, was called "blessed.""O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee."
10. It is no exaggeration to say that it is due chiefly to her leadership and help that the wisdom and teachings of the Gospel spread so rapidly to all the nations of the world in spite of the most obstinate difficulties and most cruel persecutions, and brought everywhere in their train a new reign of justice and peace. This it was that stirred the soul of St. Cyril of Alexandria to the following prayerful address to the Blessed Virgin: "Through you the Apostles have preached salvation to the nations. . . through you the priceless Cross is everywhere honored and venerated; through you the demons have been put to rout and mankind has been summoned back to Heaven; through you every misguided creature held in the thrall of idols is led to recognize the truth; through you have the faithful been brought to the laver of holy Baptism and churches been founded among every people."
11. Nay she has even, as this same Doctor claims, upheld and given strength to the "sceptre of the orthodox faith." It has been her unremitting concern to see to it that the Catholic Faith stands firmly lodged in the midst of the people, there to thrive in its fertile and undivided unity. Many and well known are the proofs of her solicitude, manifested from time to time even in a miraculous manner. In the times and places in which, to the Church's grief, faith languished in lethargic indifference or was tormented by the baneful scourge of heresy, our great and gracious Lady in her kindness was ever ready with her aid and comfort.
12. Under her inspiration, strong with her might, great men were raised up-illustrious for their sanctity no less than for their apostolic spirit-to beat off the attacks of wicked adversaries and to lead souls back into the virtuous ways of Christian life, firing them with a consuming love of the things of God. One such man, an army in himself, was Dominic Guzman. Putting all his trust in our Lady's Rosary, he set himself fearlessly to the accomplishment of both these tasks with happy results.
13. No one will fail to remark how much the merits of the venerable Fathers and Doctors of the Church, who spent their lives in the defense and explanation of the Catholic Faith, redound to the Virgin Mother of God. For from her, the Seat of Divine Wisdom, as they themselves gratefully tell us, a strong current of the most sublime wisdom has coursed through their writings. And they were quick to acknowledge that not by themselves but by her have iniquitous errors been overcome. Finally, princes as well as Pontiffs, the guardians and defenders of the faith-the former by waging holy wars, the latter by the solemn decrees which they have issued- have not hesitated to call upon the name of the Mother of our God, and have found her answer powerful and propitious.
14. Hence it is that the Church and the Fathers have given expression to their joy in Mary in words whose beauty equals their truth: "Hail, voice of the Apostles forever eloquent, solid foundation of the faith, unshakable prop of the Church." "Hail, thou through whom we have been enrolled as citizens of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.""Hail, thou fountain springing forth by God's design, whose rivers flowing over in pure and unsullied waves of orthodoxy put to flight the hosts of error." "Rejoice, because thou alone hast destroyed all the heresies in the world."
15. The unexampled part which the Virgin most admirably played and still plays in the progress, the battles, and the triumphs of the Catholic Faith, makes it evident what God has planned for her to do. It should fill the hearts of all good people with a firm hope of obtaining those things which are now the object of our common desire. Trust Mary, implore her aid.
16. That the one self same profession of faith may unite the minds of Christian nations in peace and harmony, that the one and only bond of perfect charity may gather their hearts within its embrace-such is our prayerful hope! And may Mary, by her powerful help, bring this ardently desired gift into our possession! And remembering that her only begotten Son prayed so earnestly to His heavenly Father for the closest union among the nations whom He has called by the one Baptism to the one inheritance of salvation bought for an infinite price, will she not, for that reason, see to it that all in His marvelous light will strive as with one mind for unity? And will it not be her wish to employ her goodness and providence to console the Spouse of Christ, the Church, through her long-sustained efforts in this enterprise, as well as to bring to full perfection the boon of unity among the members of the Christian family, which is the illustrious fruit of her motherhood?
17. A token that the fulfillment of these hopes may soon be a reality is to be seen in the conviction and the confidence which warms the hearts of the devout. Mary will be the happy bond to draw together, with strong yet gentle constraint, all who love Christ, no matter where they may be, to form a nation of brothers yielding obedience to the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff, their common Father.
18. Here our mind, almost of its own accord, looks back through the annals of the Church to the illustrious examples of her ancient unity, and dwells with affectionate regard on the memory of the great Council of Ephesus. The absolute unity of faith, the participation in identical worship, which in those days linked East with West, manifested itself in the Council with a strength unparalleled, and shone beyond it with a radiant beauty when, after the Fathers had emphasized the dogma that the Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God, the news of their procedure-spread abroad from the exultant populace of that most devout of cities-filled all Christendom with transports of universal joy.
19. Every motive which bolsters and increases confidence in the power of our mighty and kindhearted Virgin Mother to obtain the things we ask for, should act as a powerful incentive generating in us that fiery zeal to pray to her-a zeal We would incite in every Catholic heart. Let each one weigh for himself, moreover, how fitting is this practice and how fruitful to himself; and how acceptable and pleasing to the Blessed Virgin it is bound to be. For, possessing as they do unity of faith, Catholics thus make clear not only that they value this precious gift at its true worth, but also that they intend to hold to it with jealous tenacity. No better way is afforded of proving a fraternal feeling toward their separated brethren than to aid them by every means within their power to recover this, the greatest of all gifts.
20. Such brotherly affection, truly Christian and practiced as long as the Church can remember, has traditionally sought a special efficacy from the Mother of God, since she has been the foremost promoter of peace and unity. St. Germain of Constantinople addresses this prayer to her: "Be mindful of Christians who are thy servants; commend the prayers of all; help all to realize their hopes; strengthen the faith; keep the Church in unity."' And to this day the Greeks beseech her in this manner: "O Virgin most pure, whose privilege it is to approach thy Son without fear of rebuff! Beseech Him, O Virgin most holy, to grant peace to the world and to breathe into the churches of Christendom one mind and one heart; and we shall all magnify thee."
21. There is another special reason why Mary will be favorably disposed to grant our united prayers in behalf of the nations cut off from communion with the Church: namely, the prodigious things they have done for her honor in the past, especially in the East. To them is due much of the credit for propagating and increasing devotion to her. From them have come some of the best- remembered heralds and champions of her dignity, who have wielded a mighty influence by their authority or by their writings-eulogists famed for the ardor and the charm of their eloquence;" Empresses well beloved of God," who imitated the Virgin most pure in the example of their lives, and paid honor to her with lavish generosity; temples and basilicas built to her glory with regal splendor.
22. And We may here add a detail not foreign to Our subject and reflecting further glory upon the Mother of God. It is common knowledge that, under the changing fortunes of time, great numbers of venerable images of our Lady have been brought from the East to the West, most of them finding their way to Italy and to Rome.
23. Our forebears received them with deepest respect and venerated them with magnificent honors; and their descendants, emulating their piety, continue to cherish these images as highly sacred treasures. It is a delight for the mind to discover in this fact the approval and the favor of a mother wholly devoted to her children. For it seems to indicate that these images have been left in our midst as witness of the ages when the entire Christian family was held together by ties of absolute unity, and as so many precious pledges of our common inheritance. The very sight of them must needs invite souls, as though the Virgin herself were bidding them, to keep in devout remembrance those whom the Catholic Church calls with loving care back to the peace and the gladness which they formerly enjoyed, within her embrace.
24. And so, in Mary, God has given us the most zealous guardian of Christian unity. There are, of course, more ways than one to win her protection by prayer, but as for Us, We think that the best and most effective way to her favor lies in the Rosary. We have elsewhere brought it to the attention of the devout Christian and not least among the advantages of the Rosary is the ready and easy means it puts in his hands to nurture his faith, and to keep him from ignorance of his religion and the danger of error.
25. The very origin of the Rosary makes that plain. When such faith is exercised by vocally repeating the Our Father and Hail Mary of the Rosary prayers, or better still in the contemplation of the mysteries, it is evident how close we are brought to Mary. For every time we devoutly say the Rosary in supplication before her, we are once more brought face to face with the marvel of our salvation; we watch the mysteries of our Redemption as though they were unfolding before our eyes; and as one follows another, Mary stands revealed at once as God's Mother and our Mother.
26. The sublimity of that double dignity, the fruits of her twofold ministry, appear in vivid light when in devout meditation we think of Mary's share in the joyful, the sorrowful, the glorious mysteries of her Son. The heart is inflamed by these reflections with a feeling of grateful love toward her and, esteeming everything beneath her as so much worthless chaff, strives with manful purpose to prove worthy of such a Mother and the gifts she bestows. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, often repeated in the spirit of faith, cannot help but please her and move her, the fondest of mothers, to show mercy to her children.
27. For that reason We say that the Rosary is by far the best prayer by which to plead before her the cause of our separated brethren. To grant a favorable hearing belongs properly to her office of spiritual Mother. For Mary has not brought forth-nor could she-those who are of Christ except in the one same Faith and in the one same love; for "Can Christ be divided?" All must live the life of Christ in an organic unity in order to "bring forth fruit to God" in the one same body. Every one of the multitudes, therefore, whom the mischief of calamitous events has stolen away from that unity, must be born again to Christ of that same Mother whom God has endowed with a never failing fertility to bring forth a holy people. And this Mary, for her part, longs to do. Adorned by us with garlands of her favorite prayer, she will obtain by her entreaties help in abundance from the Spirit that quickeneth. God grant that they refuse not to comply with the burning desire of their merciful Mother but, on the contrary, give ear, like men of good will, with a proper regard for their eternal salvation, to the voice, gently persuasive, which calls to them: "My little children, of whom I am in labor again, until Christ be formed in you."
28. Knowing what power our Lady's Rosary possesses, not a few of Our Predecessors took special care to spread the devotion throughout the countries of the East-in particular Eugene IV in the Constitution"Advesperascente" issued in 1439, and later Innocent XII and Clement Xl. By their authority, privileges of wide extent were granted to the Order of Preachers in favor of this project. The hoped-for results were forthcoming, thanks to the energetic activity of the brethren of that Order, result to which many a bright record bears witness, although time and adversity have since raised great obstacles in the way of further progress. Yet even today the same zeal for the Rosary devotion which We cited at the beginning of this Letter still fills the hearts of great numbers in those lands-a fact which, We trust, will be as useful in the realization of Our hopes as it was in raising them.
29. Along with this hope, there is the joyful fact, of equal importance to the East and the West, and in keeping with the longing We have expressed: namely the plan, Venerable Brethren, which took form at the celebrated Eucharistic Congress held in Jerusalem, to build a shrine in honor of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary at Patras in Achaia, not far from places where at one time Christianity, under her patronage, shone brilliantly. For, as We have with great pleasure learned from the committee which was organized with Our approval to advance the project and take charge of the work, most of you have already sent in contributions collected for this purpose and have promised to continue your help until the project has been completed.
30. On the strength of this it has been decided to begin work on a scale proportioned to the size of the undertaking, and We have granted permission for the laying of the first stone of the shrine at an early date with solemn ceremonies. The temple will stand as a monument of ever lasting thanksgiving erected in the name of the Christian people to their heavenly Helper and Mother. There she will be invoked unceasingly in the Greek and the Latin rites that, ever more propitious, she will continue to heap new favors upon the ancient blessings.
31. And now, Venerable Brethren, Our exhortation returns to the point from which it began. Well may all, shepherds and flocks alike, fly with fullest confidence to the protection of the great Virgin, especially next month. Let them not fail to call upon her name, with one voice beseeching her as God's Mother, publicly and in private, by praise, by prayer, by the ardor of their desire: "Show thyself our Mother." May her motherly compassion keep her whole family safe from every danger, lead them in the path of genuine prosperity, above all establish them in holy unity. She looks upon Catholics of every nation with a kindly eye. Where the bond of charity joins them together she makes them more ready, more and more determined, to uphold the honor of religion which, at the same time, brings upon the state the greatest blessings. May she look with utmost compassion upon those great and illustrious nations which are cut off from the Church and upon the noble souls who have not forgotten their Christian duty.
32. May she aspire in them most salutary desires, foster their holy aspirations, and bring them to happy completion. In the East, may that widespread devotion to her which the dissident nations profess, as well as the countless glorious acts of their ancestors in her honor, effectively aid them. In the West, may the memory of her beneficent patronage stand its dissidents in good stead; with surpassing kindness she has, through many ages, manifested her approval of, and has rewarded, the admirable devotion shown her among every class.
33. May the peoples of the East and West, and all the others wherever they may be, profit by the suppliant voice of Catholics united in prayer, and by our voice which will cry to Our last breath: Show thyself a Mother.
Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, the fifth day of September, in the eighteenth year of Our Pontificate.
Biographical Data, e.g. Offices, Dates, Places, etc.,
and all English translations, have been added by the Editor.)
3. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux [b. Castle Fontaines, near Dijon, France in 1090 A.D. - d. at Clairvaux, France on Friday, August 21, 1153 A.D.], Abbot of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, Sermon II in Advent.
7. Patriarch Saint Germanus I, [b. at Constantinople in c. 641 A.D. - d. at Constantinople either in 733 A.D. or in 740 A.D.] Patriarch of Constantinople [715 A.D. - 730 A.D.], Oratione 11, in Dormitione B.M.V. (Oration 11, On the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
8. Patriarch Saint Cyril of Alexandria [b. at Alexandria, Egypt in 376 A.D. - d. at Alexandria, Egypt in 444 A.D.], Patriarch of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church, Homily Contra Nestorius (Homily Against Nestorius).
9. Patriarch Saint Cyril of Alexandria [b. at Alexandria, Egypt in 376 A.D. - d. at Alexandria, Egypt in 444 A.D.], Patriarch of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church, Homily Contra Nestorius (Homily Against Nestorius).
11. Father Saint John Damascene, a.k.a. Saint John of Damascus, [b. Damascus, Syria 676 A.D. - c. 770 A.D., the last of the Greek Fathers of the Catholic Church, In Annuntiatione Dei Genitricis, n. 9. (On the Annunciation of the Mother of God).
12. Patriarch Saint Germanus I, [b. at Constantinople in c. 641 A.D. - d. at Constantinople either in 733 A.D. or in 740 A.D.] Patriarch of Constantinople [715 A.D. - 730 A.D.], Oratione in Praesentatione B.M.V. (Oration On the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
15. Mensis, 5 maii, Theotokion. (Theotokion Hymn for May 5). (N.B. A Theotokion is a hymn (troparion or sticheron) to the Theotokos (Deiparae - God-Bearing, a.k.a. Birth-Giver of God, Virgin Mary), which is read or chanted during the Divine Office (Canonical hours which are part of the Divine Office) of the Eastern Rite Orthodox and Eastern Rite Uniate Roman Catholic churches.)
16. Patriarch Saint Cyril of Alexandria [b. at Alexandria, Egypt in 376 A.D. - d. at Alexandria, Egypt in 444 A.D.], Patriarch of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church, De Fide, Ad Pulcheriam (On Faith, To Empress Saint Pulcheria of the Eastern Roman Empire, the eldest daughter of the Emperor Arcadius [b. on Tuesday, January 19, 399 A.D. - d. in 453 A.D.]. Her Feast Day in the Roman Martyrology, and also in the Greek Menaia, is on September 10. In the other Oriental calendars it is on August 7.