For not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm give them victory; but thy right hand, and thy arm, and the light of thy countenance; for thou didst delight in them. - Ps 44:3
Today is the anniversary of the glorious victory of the Holy League against the Turkish Navy in the Battle of Lepanto. Pope St. Pius V, knowing that the Christian forces were decidely the underdog in this fight, instructed the faithful around the world to pray their rosaries around the clock on the day of battle. The Catholics won a great naval victory that day over the Turks and so St. Pius V declared a feast in honor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary to celebrate the victory (and give credit where it is due).
The little beads of love that are strung on the rosary are bullets of destruction against the enemies of the Catholic Faith and the enemies of one’s salvation. In a simple chaplet, five decades of the rosary, the Holy Name of Jesus is invoked fifty-four times, and the Holy Name of Mary, one hundred and seven times. No Catholic should ever be without the rosary in his possession, night or day. The devil is afraid of these beads as they lie in our pockets or are held in our hands.
In celebration of this glorious victory, today would be an excellent day to pray for our Lady’s intercession that the dark Islamic lie might give way to the light of Christian truth, and that all the Muslim people might see the error of Mohammed’s deception and turn instead to the Catholic faith. Today would also be a great day to read G.K. Chesterton’s stirring epic poem, Lepanto.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us!