Islam, Terrorism & The Battle of Lepanto – 7 October: Feast of the Holy Rosary…editor
That light-hearted response to the threat to conquer Rome contrasts with the reaction here
The following extracts are taken from How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe…
For those who know little history, today’s battle with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.
In a.d. 622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms. Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain. All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople…
Even today, in the eyes of political Islamists, the expansion of Islam is far from finished. The dynamic obligation at the heart of their Islam is to conquer the world for Allah, and to incorporate it all into the great Islamic Umma. Only then will the world be at peace. Submission to Allah is the reason the world was created…
The Greatest Sea Battle in History: Lepanto, October 1571
For more than three years, Pope Pius V had labored mightily to sound alarms about the deadly Muslim buildup in the shipyards of Istanbul. The sultan had been stung by the surprising defeat of his overwhelming invasion force in Malta in 1565. The savagery of Muslim attacks on the coastal villages of Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece was ratcheted upwards. Three or four Muslim galleys would offload hundreds of marines, who would sweep through a village, tie all its healthy men together for shipment out to become galley slaves, march away many of its women and young boys and girls for shipment to Eastern harems, and then gather all the elderly into the village church, where the helpless victims would be beheaded, and sometimes cut up into little pieces, to strike terror into other villages. The Muslims believed that future victims would lose heart and swiftly surrender when Muslim raiders arrived. Over three centuries, the number of European captives kidnapped from villages and beaches by these pirates climbed into the hundreds of thousands.
The reason for this kidnapping was that the naval appetite for fresh backs and muscles was insatiable. Most galley slaves lived little more than five years. They were chained to hard benches in the burning Mediterranean sun, slippery in their own excrement, urine, and intermittent vomiting, often never lying down to sleep. The dark vision that troubled the pope during the late 1560s was of even more horrible calamities to befall the whole Christian world, bit by bit. But unity in Europe was hard to find, and even more scarce was the will to fight for survival.
There is no point here in giving the whole narrative of the battle. Suffice it to say that in the center, the volleys from the galleasses out in front destroyed one Muslim vessel after another. ..
As news of the great victory of October 7 reached shore, church bells rang all over the cities and countryside of Europe. For months, Pius V had urged Catholics to say the daily rosary on behalf of the morale and good fortune of the Christian forces and, above all, for a successful outcome to the highly risky preemptive strike against the Turkish fleets. Thereafter, he declared that October 7 would be celebrated as the Feast of “Mary, Queen of Victory.” A later Pope added the title “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary” in honor of the laity’s favorite form of prayer. All over the Italian peninsula, great paintings were commissioned — whole galleries were dedicated — to honor the classic scenes of that epic battle. The air of Europe that October tasted of liberties preserved. The record of the celebrations lives on in glorious paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and many others. Click here to read How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe
It is a well established fact that Our Lady won the Battle of Lepanto for the Christian armies, and so maybe it’s time to redouble our prayers, take Our Lady at her word and trust totally in the power of the Rosary to defeat heresies, and time, too, for us to remember the words of the Fatima seer, Sister Lucia, that there is no problem, whether temporal or spiritual that cannot be overcome by the power of the Rosary. That’s quite a promise.
So we learn plenty about the power of the rosary; Is there anything else to learn from the Battle of Lepanto in the context of the contemporary threat from Islamist terrorism? Are we, for example, praying sufficiently for the conversion of Muslims?