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THE CHURCH MILITANT - BELEAGUERED BY BERGOGLIANISM

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Our Lady of Victories

October 7, 2017

What a telling title: Our Lady of Victories. So very Western Catholic; so Counter-Reformation ; so baroque; so redolent of the triumphalist Anglo-Catholicism of the 1920s and 1930s. When I was an undergraduate, the Church of St Paul up Walton Street was still a church and had a splendiferous statue of our Lady of Victories. You couldn't possibly imagine, could you, Byzantine Christians giving the Theotokos a title like that ...

Well, of course, they did. One of those Greeks did write a hymn to Mary as the hypermachos strategos with an aprosmakheton kratos (the Protecting General with an irresistible power). If the Orthodox had ‘Hymns Ancient and Modern’, you would probably find in it a paraphrase of the Hymnos Akathistos beginning: ”Stand up, stand up, for Mary.” [The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem or chant, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary (Theotokos).] Or, taking my fantasy even further, imagine some Orthodox Sabine Baring Gould writing “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war; with the Robe of Mary, going on before…”

East and West may wear different clothes, but their realities are often so uncannily similar. Because, of course, the title Our Lady of Victories, just like the Akathist hymn, does have its military associations. That great Pontiff, St Pius V, established the Feast of our Lady of Victories to celebrate the triumph of Christian arms at the battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, a victory won by the countless rosaries which clanked through the hands of the Rosary Confraternities of Western Europe. They begged God for the safety of Christendom against the invading Turk.

Gregory XIII pusillanimously renamed the feast as 'of the Rosary', and popped it onto the first Sunday of October (a mere stone's throw from the Feast of the Protecting Robe of the Mother of God in some Byzantine calendars) where it stayed until the reforms of St Pius X.

But no homilist could be forbidden to preach tomorrow on our Lady of Victories, could he? After all, her Immaculate Heart will prevail!

And from a modern Pontiff who seems to be remembered only for his quixotic efforts to end World War I, an encyclical about St. Dominic that places the battle of Lepanto in the right context…

Lepanto: ‘The highest moment that the centuries
have ever witnessed’’ (Cervantes)



We cannot but recall that four great Roman Pontiffs came from the Dominican ranks. Of these, the last, St. Pius V, won undying gratitude from Christianity and civil society. He joined together, after unceasing efforts, the arms of the Catholic princes, and under the patronage of the Virgin Mother of God, whom, therefore, he ordered to be saluted in future as Help to Christians, destroyed forever at Lepanto the power of the Turks.

In this is amply shown the third quality We have noted in Dominican preaching: a most zealous piety towards the Mother of God. It is said that the Pontiff knew by Divine revelation of the victory of Lepanto achieved at that very moment when through the Catholic world the pious sodalities of the Holy Rosary implored the aid of Mary in that formula initiated by the Founder of the Friar Preachers and diffused far and wide by his followers.

Loving the Blessed Virgin as a Mother, confiding chiefly in her patronage, Dominic started his battle for the Faith. The Albigenses, among other dogmas, attacked both the Divine maternity and the virginity of Mary. He, attacked by them with every insult, defending to the utmost of his strength the sanctity of these dogmas, he invoked the help of the Virgin Mother herself, frequently using these words: “Make me worthy to praise thee, Sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies.”

How pleased was the Heavenly Queen with her pious servant may be easily gathered from this, that she used his ministry to teach the Most Holy Rosary to the Church, the Spouse of her Son; that prayer which, being both vocal and mental, in the contemplation especially of the mysteries of religion, while the Lord’s Prayer is fifteen times repeated together with as many decades of the Hail Mary, is most adapted to fostering widely piety and every virtue.

Rightly, then, did Dominic order his followers, in preaching to the people, to inculcate frequently this manner of prayer, the utility of which he had experienced. He knew, on the one hand, Mary’s authority with her Son to be such that whatever graces he confers on men she has their distribution and apportionment.

On the other hand, he knew that she is of a nature so kind and merciful that, seeing that it is her custom to succor the miserable of her own accord, it is impossible she should refuse the petitions of those who pray to her. Accordingly the Church, which is wont to salute her “the Mother of Grace and the Mother of Mercy,” has so found her always, but especially in answer to the Rosary.

Fausto appetente die
Benedict XV

June 29, 1921



The Catholics of Poland demonstrated their faith in a most extraordinary way on the Feast of Our Lady of Victories (Our Lady of the Rosary). Here is the New York Times account of an event that I believe is quite unprecedented in our time – and perhaps ever…




Polish Catholics gather at borders
for vast Rosary prayer event

By JOANNA BERENDT and MEGAN SPECIA

OCT. 7, 2017

WARSAW, Poland — Polish Catholics clutching rosary beads gathered at locations along the country’s 2,000-mile border on Saturday for a mass demonstration during which they prayed for salvation for Poland and the world.

Many participants described it as demonstration against what they see as the secularization of the country and the spread of Islam’s influence in Europe.

The event, “Rosary at the Borders,” was sponsored in part by several state-owned companies and was timed to coincide with the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It also commemorated the 1571 naval Battle of Lepanto between Christian fighters, under orders from the Pope, and the Ottoman Empire.

Organizers noted that in the battle, “the Catholic fleet defeated the much larger Muslim fleet, saving Europe from Islam.”

“Rosary at the Borders” took place in 320 churches near Poland’s border and 4,000 so-called prayer zones, including the biggest international airport in Poland, a nation moving increasingly to the right. [Typically ultra-liberal code to express disdain for anyone who chooses to keep long-standing traditions which have proved their value over time! Use of it in this case is an unwarranted editorial comment. ]

The daylong event began with a morning Mass, with the rosary prayer then starting at 2 p.m. and ending about two hours later.

The event was planned by a lay organization called the Solo Dios Basta Foundation, or God Alone Suffices, but was supported by the clergy. The group, which said on its website that “the rosary is a mighty weapon against evil,” anticipated that about a million people in Poland and around the world would take part.

Rev. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference, said it was the second-largest prayer event in Europe after the 2016 World Youth Day, though it was too soon to provide exact numbers.

“During the prayer, I was at the Chopin airport in Warsaw, and there were so many people that they were pouring out of the chapel,” Father Rytel-Andrianik said. “This was an initiative started by lay people, which makes it even more extraordinary. Millions of people prayed the rosary together. This exceeded the boldest expectations of the organizers.”

More than 90 percent of Poland’s 38 million citizens are Roman Catholic.

Marek Jedraszewski, the archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland, said during his sermon on Saturday morning that people should pray for “Europe to remain Europe.”

“Let’s pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe,” Archbishop Jedraszewski said.

“It’s a really serious thing for us,” Basia Sibinska told The Associated Press. “We want to pray for peace, we want to pray for our safety. Of course, everyone comes here with a different motivation. But the most important thing is to create something like a circle of a prayer alongside the entire border, intense and passionate.”
In the northern city of Gdansk, Krzysztof Januszewski told The A.P. that he worried Europe was being threatened by Islamic extremists.

“In the past, there were raids by sultans and Turks and people of other faiths against us Christians,” said Mr. Januszewski. “Today, Islam is flooding us, and we are afraid of this, too. We are afraid of terrorist threats and we are afraid of people departing from the faith.”

The demonstration was endorsed by many Polish celebrities, athletes and several politicians from the ruling conservative Law and Justice party. But others criticized the demonstration.

Krzysztof Luft, a former member of the country’s largest opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform, wrote on Twitter, “A ridicule of Christianity on a massive scale. They treat religion as a tool for maintaining backwardness in the Polish backwater.”
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 10/8/2017 9:25 PM]
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