12 Sept 1683: The Battle of Vienna continues

The Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire were at war.  Vienna had been under siege for months.  On 11 September a coalition of Christian forces, a Holy League blessed by Bl. Pope Innocent XI, arrived with Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, to lift the siege.

When he saw that the Turks were about to breach the walls of the city, Sobieski attacked earlier than he had intended.

On 12 September at 4 am the battle was closed.   Sobieski had called on the protection of Our Lady of Czestochowa before the battle.

He sent his forces of 81,000 against the Turks’ 130,000.  In the afternoon Sobieski led a downhill charge which broke the Turkish line and then seized the abandoned tent of the Ottoman general who had fled.

The Battle of Vienna halted the spread of the Ottoman Empire into the rest of Europe.

Bl. Innocent XI commemorated the victory at Vienna by extending the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which had been observed in Spain and by the Carmelites, to the whole Latin Church.  One of the pair of churches in Rome near the Forum of Trajan is dedicated to the Name of Mary.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which in part commemorates the defeat of the Islamist Ottoman Turks by Jan Sobieski at the walls of Vienna.

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut fideles tui, qui sub sanctissimae Virginis Mariae Nomine et protectione laetantur; eius pia intercessione a cunctis malis liberentur in terris, et ad gaudia aeterna pervenire mereantur in coelis.

Perhaps you readers can offer your accurate yet smooth versions.

Holy Mary, Mother of God…

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia…

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20 Responses to 12 Sept 1683: The Battle of Vienna continues

  1. Jim says:

    Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

    If you would like to hear an wonderful account of the Battle of Vienna, here is one on Audio Sancto.
    Why Can the Muslims Take Over Europe?

    It is super very good and I must have heard it atleast 10 times over the years.

  2. The collect quoted in this post is from the 1962 EF missal, which doesn’t have a secret or postcommunion prayer proper to this feast.

    The memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary was omitted from the 1970 OF missal, but was reinstated by Pope John Paul II in 2002. The new Roman Missal 3/e includes a complete Mass for today, with entrance and communion antiphons, collect, prayer over the offerings, and postcommunion prayer, readings and psalm all proper to the Most Holy Name of Mary.

    At the OF Mass celebrated this morning by Fr. John A. Orr at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville, we were privileged to hear these proper prayers and also an older name-of-Mary collect as the collect following the prayers of the faithful, as well a proper Marian preface, together with an excellent homily about this particular memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Thus we were spared a generic Mass of Thursday of the 23rd week in ordinary time with “only” the proper prayers for the 23rd Sunday repeated for perhaps the fifth time this week (as typically listed in the usual throwaway pew missalettes) and maybe a common rather than proper preface. I wonder how many Catholics typically hear “only” a generic ordinary-time Mass on weekday memorials like this, and thus are deprived of the daily reinforcement of Catholic identity that taking full advantage of the riches of the Roman Missal can afford–especially in its third edition and faithful new English translation.

  3. Jim says:

    The hymn (the oldest Polish hymn and national anthem) that was chanted by Jan Sobieski’s Polish winged Hussars as they, along with the Holy Roman Empire’s cavalary charged Kara Mustafa Pasha’s Islamic forces, in what was the largest cavalry charge in history:

    Mother of God, Virgin, by God glorified Mary,
    From your son, our Lord, chosen mother, Mary!
    Win over for us, send to us.
    Kyrie eleison.

    Son of God, for the sake of your Baptist,
    Hear our voices, fulfill man’s intentions.
    Hearken to the prayer that we offer,
    And deign to give us what we ask for:
    On earth, a pious sojourn,
    After life, heavenly residence.
    Kyrie eleison.

    And the collect from the “Votive Mass Against the Heathen” or the “Mass for the Defense of the Church”:
    Almighty, everlasting God
    in whose hand are the power and the government of every nation,
    look to the help of the Christian people,
    that the heathen nations, who trust in their own fierceness,
    may be crushed by the power of Thy right arm.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    I love this feast and had a note on it yesterday. Sadly, the Carmelite Church I went to celebrated a Blessed follower of St. Teresa of Avila. So I shall have to have my own little celebration.

    This day is special to me as my Great Grandparents were married on this day on my mom’s side, my Grandparents on my dad’s side as well, and this was my day as well, however, not with the same results.

    September 12th, of course, is the reason why 9-11 happened on that date, and when the FBI asked people for information shortly afterwards, I wrote them a note on all the days the either the Crusaders in the Middle East or the nations of Europe had trounced the aggressors of Islam. The FBI person wrote back a thank you note as, of course, duh, they did not realize the connections.

    The Muslims would want to bring us to heel on the very days of Christendom’s greatest triumphs.

    Mary saved us at Lepanto as well. She is our Great Guardian against this false and violent “religion”. Sobieski should be canonized for listening both to the Pope and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sadly, we do not seem to have Catholic leadership anymore either in Europe or in America of the stature of the men who fought at Vienna and at Lepanto.

    Mary has lost her troops on the ground.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    “Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that Thy faithful, who rejoice under the Name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary, may by her pious intercession be freed from all evils on Earth, and merit to attain to eternal joys in Heaven.”

  6. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    Have you seen, Father, the Mass vestments made out of the abandoned tent of the Ottoman general you mentioned? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chasuble_sewn_with_Turkish_tents_captured_by_Polish_Army_in_Vienna_1683.JPG

    [I wonder if it would be possible to have a set made like that.]

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  8. pberginjr says:

    When I was going to weekday Masses last summer at a nearby parish I noticed they never used anything other than the Sunday propers (unless a rather major feast was on the calendar). I was particularly disappointed because earlier in the summer I attended at a different parish, before the priest was transferred. This parish offered morning prayer before Mass (priest leading the parishioners) and the priest regularly offered votive Masses (S. Joseph, Virgin Mary, Holy Cross, etc.) which did much to reinforce awareness of the depths of Holy Mother Church.

    Dcn. Nathan, thanks for sharing that picture and info, I hadn’t heard of this before.

  9. Bob B. says:

    I always liked to bring the background of this feast day up with my middle school students – they had no idea, of course, because their religion textbooks sought not “to offend.” They were also interested to discover that the Church has had warrior popes, too. I always found teaching Church history also allowed for going in different directions if you start from the beginning.
    I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a call to not celebrate this feast day by the media. I guess they don’t know about the Battle for Vienna or they would complain how “mean” the Church is.

  10. RJ Sciurus says:

    “Venimus, Vidimus, Deus vicit.” Jan III Sobieski

  11. AndyCap says:

    Great post!

    Bogurodzica dziewica, Bogiem s?awiena Maryja,
    U twego syna Gospodzina Matko zwolena, Maryja!
    Zyszczy nam, spu?ci nam.

    Twego dziela Krzciciela, bo?ycze,
    Us?ysz g?osy, nape?? my?li cz?owiecze.
    S?ysz modlitw?, j?? nosimy,
    A da? raczy, jego? prosimy:
    A na ?wiecie zbo?ny pobyt,
    Po ?ywocie rajski przebyt.

    Deigenitix illibata, Dei dicata Maria,
    Apud tuum es electa, Maria,
    Lucreris, veniam et miserere.

    Tui Domini Baptisam pareens Dei,
    Audi vota, reple vota mentes hominum,
    Audi preces, quas ferimus,
    Refunde, Redde hoc, quod quesumus: Da in hoc esse celi esse,
    Domine, Miserere.

  12. AndyCap says:

    oh, sorry, didn’t notice that Polish letters don’t show up, here is a link to the hymn.


  13. Mike says:

    This is what I came up with:

    “Grant, we beg, almighty God, that Thy faithful who rejoice under the Name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary might be freed by her devoted intercession from all evils on Earth and may merit to reach toward the eternal joys in Heaven.”

    All in all, exceedingly similar to the translation posted by Legisperitus. Having “…we beseech Thee” for “quaesumus” does sound legitimately better and more reverent than “we beg”, but I left out the “Thee” simply because “te” is not present in the Latin. Either way, I would say Legisperitus’ translation is nicer to read.

  14. germangreek says:

    Because of this momentous event, the Mystic Monks have coffee to vend.

  15. eremitaosppe says:

    About the chasubles, I have seen a few in our general house… Jasna Góra in the city of C?stochowa, where the king laid his sword upon the altar of the BVM before riding off to battle at Vienna…

    And to quote the good king himself: “Venimus, vidimus, Deus vinci.”

  16. eremitaosppe says:

    About the chasubles, I have seen a few in our general house… Jasna Góra in the city of C?stochowa, where the king laid his sword upon the altar of the BVM before riding off to battle at Vienna…

    And to quote the good king himself: “Venimus, vidimus, Deus vinci.”

  17. thoscole says:

    Excellent post! Is there a chance, perhaps, that the terrorist attackers of 11 September 2001 were thinking of the Battle of Zenta, fought on 11 September 1697, more than Vienna in 1683?

  18. Denis Crnkovic says:

    And, as the rest of the story goes, the Polish spy, Jan Kolczitsky, was rewarded for providing invaluable information to the Sobieski by being granted his wish to collect all of the “bags of bitter beans” left behind by the fleeing Turkish army. Kolczitsky, no fool and seeing an opportunity, took the beans into town, cooked them in hot water, added cream and sugar and opened the first coffee shop in Vienna. As you take a moment to ponder this -perhaps apocryphal story – pour yourself a cup of Mystic Monk [etc.]…

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Supertradmum’s comment above made me think of another Feast, pre-Great Schism, but which seems not to have made it immediately to the West:


    (and follow the OCA link there)

    Her observation, ” Sadly, we do not seem to have Catholic leadership anymore either in Europe or in America of the stature of the men who fought at Vienna and at Lepanto”, also reminded me of a whole history of Popes struggling to try to get rulers to take such matters seriously down the ages. The example that springs most clearly to mind is Hadrian VI (probably because I read a book about him – printed in Europe during the Nazi occupation, with some interesting invitations to ‘reading between the lines’!).

  20. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Could one in translating accent the juxtaposition of “Mariae Nomine” in a seemly fashion by “under the Name and protection of Mary, Virgin Most Holy”? (Presumably it is no accident that “Mariae” comes in the center of the “qui” clause, preceded and followed by four words?)