Saturday, October 15, 2005

Successfully answered questions on Ecce Homo

That song

More importantly, the rosary question

Deal Matthews puts it excellently, I think:

This is a soft pitch. On 7 October 1571 the fleet of the "Holy League" under the nominal command of Don Juan of Austria defeated a much larger force of Turks in the Gulf of Lepanto. St. Pius V (and just about everybody else) credited the unexpected victory to the direct intercession of the Blessed Virgin, secured as a result of every (non-Muslim) man in the Christian fleet going to confession and saying the rosary. Miguel de Cervantes took part in the battle, was crippled in his hand as a result, but called it the greatest day of his life. Estimates of the number of Turks slain or drowned range from 30,000 to 60,000; Christian casualties were around 5,000. The Sacred Banner of Mecca was captured, and hung in St. Peter's until 1964 when Paul VI returned it to Turkey. Lepanto destroyed Turkish power in the western Med., and was the culmination of the series of defeats that began at Malta in 1565. The Christian losses at the siege of Szigetvar ("the Hungarian Alamo"), 1566, and the siege and massacre at Famagusta (Cyprus), 1571, gave an added incentive to win the battle. St. Pius V was praying during the battle, several hundred miles away, when he suddenly rose and announced a victory, ordering that a Te Deum be sung in all the churches in Rome. Official word of the victory was not received for two weeks.

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