Launching the second video in our Thinking Through Catholic Truth series…
Launching the second video in our Thinking Through Catholic Truth series…
That light-hearted response to the threat to conquer Rome contrasts with the reaction here
The following extracts are taken from How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe…
For those who know little history, today’s battle with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.
In a.d. 622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms. Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain. All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople…
Even today, in the eyes of political Islamists, the expansion of Islam is far from finished. The dynamic obligation at the heart of their Islam is to conquer the world for Allah, and to incorporate it all into the great Islamic Umma. Only then will the world be at peace. Submission to Allah is the reason the world was created…
The Greatest Sea Battle in History: Lepanto, October 1571
For more than three years, Pope Pius V had labored mightily to sound alarms about the deadly Muslim buildup in the shipyards of Istanbul. The sultan had been stung by the surprising defeat of his overwhelming invasion force in Malta in 1565. The savagery of Muslim attacks on the coastal villages of Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece was ratcheted upwards. Three or four Muslim galleys would offload hundreds of marines, who would sweep through a village, tie all its healthy men together for shipment out to become galley slaves, march away many of its women and young boys and girls for shipment to Eastern harems, and then gather all the elderly into the village church, where the helpless victims would be beheaded, and sometimes cut up into little pieces, to strike terror into other villages. The Muslims believed that future victims would lose heart and swiftly surrender when Muslim raiders arrived. Over three centuries, the number of European captives kidnapped from villages and beaches by these pirates climbed into the hundreds of thousands.
The reason for this kidnapping was that the naval appetite for fresh backs and muscles was insatiable. Most galley slaves lived little more than five years. They were chained to hard benches in the burning Mediterranean sun, slippery in their own excrement, urine, and intermittent vomiting, often never lying down to sleep. The dark vision that troubled the pope during the late 1560s was of even more horrible calamities to befall the whole Christian world, bit by bit. But unity in Europe was hard to find, and even more scarce was the will to fight for survival.
There is no point here in giving the whole narrative of the battle. Suffice it to say that in the center, the volleys from the galleasses out in front destroyed one Muslim vessel after another. ..
As news of the great victory of October 7 reached shore, church bells rang all over the cities and countryside of Europe. For months, Pius V had urged Catholics to say the daily rosary on behalf of the morale and good fortune of the Christian forces and, above all, for a successful outcome to the highly risky preemptive strike against the Turkish fleets. Thereafter, he declared that October 7 would be celebrated as the Feast of “Mary, Queen of Victory.” A later Pope added the title “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary” in honor of the laity’s favorite form of prayer. All over the Italian peninsula, great paintings were commissioned — whole galleries were dedicated — to honor the classic scenes of that epic battle. The air of Europe that October tasted of liberties preserved. The record of the celebrations lives on in glorious paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and many others. Click here to read How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe
It is a well established fact that Our Lady won the Battle of Lepanto for the Christian armies, and so maybe it’s time to redouble our prayers, take Our Lady at her word and trust totally in the power of the Rosary to defeat heresies, and time, too, for us to remember the words of the Fatima seer, Sister Lucia, that there is no problem, whether temporal or spiritual that cannot be overcome by the power of the Rosary. That’s quite a promise.
So we learn plenty about the power of the rosary; Is there anything else to learn from the Battle of Lepanto in the context of the contemporary threat from Islamist terrorism? Are we, for example, praying sufficiently for the conversion of Muslims?
Wishing all our bloggers and readers a very happy Feast of the Assumption. Feel free to share your favourite prayers, hymns, stories – even your favourite jokes, of the good clean fun variety – to celebrate the Feast. But first, click here to read Munificentissimus Deus – the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII defining the dogma of the Assumption in 1950.
The Lady told Lucia: …Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, and for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’“
As Our Lady spoke these last words (Lucia said) she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.”
The Explanation of the Vision
Our Lady said to us, so kindly and so sadly: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God, that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”
Our Lady then taught the children a prayer to add to the end of each mystery of the Rosary: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, Take all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.
Believe it or not, there are actually Catholics who disapprove of Our Lady showing the children the vision of Hell. Why on EARTH would anyone think or say such a thing?
There is no shortage of warnings about Hell in Sacred Scripture, and saints down the centuries have had visions of the torments awaiting souls in Hell: “I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.” St. Catherine of Siena.
So, rather than be shocked at the children of Fatima being shown the vision of Hell, the truly Catholic response is one of gratitude; it is, surely, a great grace to have had the dogma of Hell affirmed by Our Lady herself at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was to come under enormous attack. Or perhaps you would have preferred a vision of Heaven? Share your thoughts…
If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.
However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.
Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here. OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there. Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic. If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.
Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever. Enjoy!
To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.
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As the Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady brings the Month of Mary to a close, feel free to share your own personal devotions to Our Lady on this thread, along with your favourite Marian hymns, prayers, poems and stories. Enjoy!
Dear St. Joseph, pure and gentle,
Guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading with the virgin mother,
Egypt’s deserts rough and wild.
Hail, St. Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, oh, teach us how to die.
He who rested on thy bosom
Is by countless saints adored;
Prostrate angels in His presence
Sing hosannas to their Lord.
Now to thee no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
Give to us a father’s care.
Dear St. Joseph, kind and loving,
Stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through life’s toils and sorrows
Safely to the distant land.
Happy Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, to whom we pray for all those seeking employment or who are unhappy or suffering injustice at work. Saint Joseph The Worker, pray for them.
We pray, too, for a glorious Month of Mary, and that Our Lady will bring great graces to our Conference, marking her Fatima Feast: Our Lady, Mother & Queen, we love you – please pray for us!
As always, this thread, whilst essentially devotional, may be used to discuss issues of interest and importance, relating, in this case, to St Joseph and/or Our Lady. Post your favourite hymns, prayers and poems; share any special answers to prayers you have received and any stories you have to tell us about the intercession of this great saint and our heavenly mother. Education and Edification is our aim – enjoy!