Our Lady Help of Christians, Pray for Us

Juan Luna

October 7th in our Liturgical Calendar is the day we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary.  This day commemorates the victory of the armies of Christendom over the armies of Islam.  G.K. Chesterton wrote a famous poem, entitled Lepanto, about the battle itself.  It is quite long, but here is the first stanza:
Lepanto: by G.K. Chesterton

WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun, 
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run; 
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, 
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard; 
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;         5
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships. 
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, 
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, 
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, 
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.  10
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass; 
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass; 
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun, 
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Lepanto is the most complete victory ever won over the Ottoman Empire.  We Catholics know that the battle was won through the intercession of Our Lady.  The Pope at that time, Pius V, urged everyone to pray the Rosary.  The Rosary is a powerful prayer.  It is a contemplative, vocal, mental prayer that asks Mary's intercession to give us God's blessings.  In thanksgiving for the victory, Pius V instituted the feast day of Our Lady of Victory.  It started to be commemorated by the invocation "Help of Christians," inserted in the Litany of Loretto.

Other victories are attributed to the praying of the Rosary.  At Belgrade the Turks were defeated on the Feast of Our Lady ad Nives in 1716.   A second victory gained that year on the Octave of the Assumption determined Pope Clement XI to command the Feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. Leo XIII added the invocation "Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us," to the Litany of Loretto. The Feast is in reality a great festival of thanksgiving for the signal and countless benefits bestowed on Christendom through the Rosary.

You can be confident that your trust in Mary will help you confront any problems that you may be facing.


Faith said…
Another victory for Our Lady

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