In 1571, Muslims of the Ottoman Empire were making their definitive assault on the Christian world in a seabattle at Lepanto. The outnumbered Catholic forces pooled their naval resources from several different countries, but didn’t have much of a chance to resist the Islamic conquest.
After a vision of Our Blessed Mother, and realizing that there was little hope for Christian Europe if the Muslim invaders succeeded, Pope St. Pius V rallied all Catholics to pray the Rosary for Our Lady’s intercession in the battle. Catholics all over Europe joined in prayer, and the Catholic defenders were victorious.
It is now evident that if the Muslim invaders had succeeded, Catholic Europe would have been conquered. Many Catholics believe that their forces should have been defeated and that Mary’s intercession was what turned the tide.
Our Lady has always been there to assist us in our hour of need. She saw to it at the Battle of Lepanto that Europe would remain Catholic. We Catholics would do well to remember the lesson of Lepanto: We need to ask for Our Lady’s intercession as we endeavor to bring Christ to the Muslim peoples.
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