The 7th of October 1571 stands among Christians as a day of victory, the day on which the blessed Mother stood atop the sea serpent as it struck out against the city at the center of Christendom, Rome itself, ancient diocese of Saint Peter and headquarters of the Church Militant. A victory by the infidel Turks on this day would have renewed the catastrophic loss of Jerusalem to the followers of the false prophet Mohammad, and overshadowed the conquest by the same of Catholic Spain in the first millennium.
The forces assembled with the blessings of a nervous Pope Saint Pius V, under the command of Don Juan of Austria, and with an army of fervent Catholics on their knees meditating upon the mysteries of our salvation with the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin. This was no usual navy. This was her navy, a force of martyrs prepared to lay down their lives in defense of the baptized soil of Christian Europe. Indeed, some 7,000 brave Catholic men would perish on that day, but some 14,000 Christians enslaved beneath the decks of the enemy ships, ore power for the Turks, were to find their freedom that day. Never again would the forces of the Turks threaten seizure of Rome, for this day, placed under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, was her day of victory.
Every day, brethren, can be your day of victory. I urge you to fall to your knees daily, meditating upon the mysteries of our salvation in the Holy Rosary. You will find your life to be another Lepanto, another victory of the Blessed Mother over evil.
And we must not forget the very many sons and daughters of our nation engaged in the long fight against the deadly forces of Mohammad in Afghanistan. As these warriors endure so much moving against the enemy there, how can we not keep the Holy Rosary moving through our hands over here?
May the Blessed Mother stay close to them, and may the truth of the Holy Catholic Faith and the pure worship of the Holy Mass one day find its place in the hearts and lives of all men.
I have placed a copy of G.K. Chesterton's Lepanto in the Adoration Chapel, and I encourage you all to read it. You can also click the title above for a copy.