We need more victories like these right now.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Henry Edwards says:

    The concluding lines from the sermon I heard at Mass this morning:

    “Every day, brethren, can be your day of victory. I urge you to fall to your knees daily, meditating upon the mysteries of our salvation in the Holy Rosary. You will find your life to be another Lepanto, another victory of the Blessed Mother over evil.
    And we must not forget the very many sons and daughters of our nation engaged in the long fight against the deadly forces of Mohammad in Afghanistan. As these warriors endure so much moving against the enemy there, how can we not keep the Holy Rosary moving through our hands over here? May the Blessed Mother stay close to them, and may the truth of the Holy Catholic Faith and the pure worship of the Holy Mass one day find its place in the hearts and lives of all men.”

    The whole sermon:


  2. annina says:

    Dear Fr. Z (thank you so much for this blog) Could I write in italian because my english is bad? Thank you.
    Il quadro con la Battaglia di Lepanto è stato tolto dal palazzo del governo italiano…per non offendere chissà chi..
    Vedi archiviostorico.corriere.it/…/Camera_via_tela_sulla_battaglia_co_9_070325157.shtml – Simili
    E la storia non la offendiamo? Non è per la guerra, sempre orrenda, ma per le nostre tradizioni, per il nostro sentire, per la nostra religione. Però mi chiedo ogni volta che entro in una chiesa trasformata con altari nuovissimi, calici e candelieri (quando ci sono) con simboli tremendi..il sentire è solo nostro? (dei piccoli?)
    Fr. Z. ma vogliono toglierci davvero tutto? Vedi l’orribile modo di celebrare la Santa Messa di certi sacerdoti? I canti lasciamoli stare che è meglio, le ballerine in tutù, le suore che protestano per una visita (considerate le loro posizioni un bel tacer sarebbe stato meglio). Preghiamo. Annina

  3. Luke says:

    Grazie per la condivisione, Dio vi benedica.

  4. Londiniensis says:

    Henry Edwards, I can’t wholeheartedly endorse Fr Shelton’s sermon, as he draws a parallel between Lepanto and the (I quote) “very many sons and daughters of our nation engaged in the long fight against the deadly forces of Mohammad in Afghanistan”. This betrays an over-simplifying view of the current militant trends in Islam, based on an ignorance of history – it is also dangerous in encouraging polarised attitudes between “the West” (dangerous term) and “Islam” (now how do we begin defining that?).

    Very much curate’s egg – the stink of the bad part overwhelms the rest, which is otherwise excellent.

  5. chironomo says:

    Lepanto was an incredible battle, one of those fascinating reads of military history. I think it would be great if more Catholics could hear about the origins of some of our Feast Days like Our Lady of the Rosary…I’m guessing that most would not guess that it originates from a naval battle!

    In addition to the intercession of the Virgin Mary (no small advantage!)….the Christian forces had a significant advantage in number of ships, and number of forces on board the ships.

    Also, there was the issue of technology…the Christian ships were armed largely with heavy naval cannons and musketeers, whereas the Ottoman forces were still heavily dependent upon compound bowmen and light cannons…formidable in land battles but sadly outranged and outpowered in naval fighting.

    Londiniensis… I totally agree with you that there is little IF ANY comparison between the Ottoman Empire and the current “Islamic fundamentalism” being encountered in Afghanistan and elsewhere. This is a dangerous comparison.

  6. salus says:

    You must be kidding Father, the whole mindset of the church is against the Church militant idea, ecumenism has put into the minds of Catholics and non-Catholics that JESUS can be found in any church. The truth is JESUS founded one church with the seven sacraments being his way to bring people to Heaven. If i founded a church today saying it was the church of JESUS that would be an HISTORICAL LIE as it was when Luther, Calvin etc etc etc made up their own churches. Until the church stops playing games with these frauds the church unique position in the world for salvation will be hidden.

  7. mrteachersir says:

    There is a connection between the Ottomans and today’s Islamic fundementalism: Wahabism. The Ottomans, while incredibly “jihadist” in their military outlook, led Islamic lands into their first ever downward spiral. From that downward spiral, certain Arab imams began to decry the Islam of their oppressors as false and invented. The Ottomans left military conquest for political persuasion and posturing. In many cases, the collapsing Ottoman empire sought advice from the Christian West. The Arab imams used these as signs that the Ottomans had forsaken Allah and his prophet. Thus, Wahabism was born: a movement to return to the practices of the glory-days of Islam, when conquest was the order of the day and shari’a was practiced by one and all.

  8. rogue63 says:

    The school where I teach prayed the Rosary this morning—-the whole school, all 400 kids in the church (good thing!). Not a single mention of Lepanto or the origins of the feast day (very sad). So I took five minutes at the beginning of my 6th grade music class and showed some slides of the battle, the victors, and so on; described the events and how Our Lady interceded for the Christian navy to gain victory, and I ended by firmly declaring that “…if the Blessed Virgin can intercede on behalf of Europe for protection from invasion, She can certainly help you with any of your own problems!” They looked shocked, like no one had ever said anything like that to them. I was glad to teach them a bit about their Faith. Please keep this school and students in your prayers.

  9. irishgirl says:

    I totally agree with the sermon preached by Fr. Shelton-I just read the part that Henry Edwards posted, since I probably can’t download the rest of it.

    Islam is dangerous, and it has always had as its objective the destruction of Christianity. The PC crowd might take issues with that-but I don’t care what they say, anyway!

    Our Lady of Victory, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us, and help us in the battle against the enemies of your Son and His Church!

    Remember Lepanto!

  10. Agellius says:

    “The Last Crusader” by Louis De Wohl is an extremely enjoyable book about the Battle of Lepanto. I can’t vouch for how historically accurate it is, being a historical novel, but it conveys a sense of the struggle that was needed in order to get the Christian forces to go into battle, the anguished prayer of the Pope, the ferocity of the battle, and the glory of the eventual victory. A thrilling read.

  11. Luke says:

    It would seem that the Arabic they throw around as a greeting has a divergent meaning for them than it might have for you and me.

    Salam mayalaycoomb sadiquely: peace be with you, my friend.

    This is not the peace the Psalmist tells us to seek after and pursue (34:14).

    The Lord himself ransoms the souls of his servants,
    the souls who take shelter in Him (34:22).

  12. Luke says:

    Of course I should add that taking shelter in Mary is to seek the same shelter our blessed Lord chose for himself.

    Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

  13. Carolina Geo says:

    We need more victories like these right now.

    Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve victory when so many people don’t even realize that there is a battle going on.

  14. Thomas S says:

    Fr. Z,

    The inscription under the statue in the photo you posted says it is of Pope SIXTUS V, not Pope St. PIUS V.

  15. Thomas S says:

    No, on second look, I can see the “PIO V” through the glare of the sunlight. Pope Sixtus must have been the one who had the statue made.

  16. Richard says:

    Forgive my ignorance but is Our Lady’s intervention a pious tradition or dogma, infallibly declared by the Church?

  17. mfg says:

    Right there with you Irish girl. It is a sad day when a discussion about a 500-year-old sea battle cannot name the players for who they were: Christians vs. Muslim/Turk/Mohammadan/Islamist–take your pick–enemies of the followers of Christ.
    A first principal of the study of history is to critique events in the context of their own time. BTW, Spanish male friends and associates of yours named Jesus can trace their name to the outcome of the Battle of Lepanto as the Spanish promised Our Lady they would name their next son after Our Lord if She gave them victory.

  18. Jack Hughes says:

    Loved Fr Shelton’s sermon but would add only this. Between the sons of Issac and Ishamel there can be no peace, truces yes, possiably individual friendships but a lasting peace? NO.

    As far as I can see those who follow the Word made Flesh can never be at peace with those who follow the false prohpet, to hell with ‘dialouge’.

  19. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I fitting day to pray the Rosary and to ask our heavenly mother for her intercession once again.

    I gave our soon to be deployed to Afghanistan son (Army, Artillery), my Rosary that I received while in Basic Training for the United States Air Force.

    I have spent many hours praying for friends, coworkers, and those that I knew were in danger. Daily I remember, and daily I pray.

  20. Supertradmom says:

    False ecumenism has changed Catholic schools and universities in the United States to the point where one is criticized for bringing up Lepanto. If I dared to bring up any idea about battles or fighting in the Catholic College where I have taught, I would be asked not to create the idea that Catholicism has a right to fight for survival and that the Muslims were merely “defending themselves”. In other words, pacifism is the only way for a Catholic to respond. I have given up discussing these things with my peers, as they cannot understand that the Islamists were aggressively trying to destroy Christianity, and still want to do so.

    Sadly, the type of ecumenical dialogue which we have seen in the past thirty years has muddied the waters by implying that all religions are egual. I think we must address the problem of Assisi in 1986 and have Church leaders stop defending what happened there. I refer to the otherwise excellent Father Schall and others, who have tried to soft-peddle the idea that prayer to any God is the same as prayer to the Triune God. All prayer is not equal. And the prayers of many Muslims is that the entire world follow Allah in Islam. If Americans and Europeans truly believe that Muslims do not want the entire world to be Islamic, they are terribly wrong and deluded.

  21. Fr. John Mary says:

    The Holy Rosary is more relevant than ever.
    Supertradmom: You rock! All religious and prayers are not equal (gasp!).
    We are involved in a spiritual battle from all sides: atheism, relativism, the influx of non-Christian religions (Islam, in particular), and just general hedonism.
    The Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, has called us to repent, pray the Rosary, and to honor Her each First Satuday with particular acts of devotion and reception of the Sacraments.
    We are living in very dangerous times. She offers us the remedy.

  22. irishgirl says:

    Thanks, mfg.

    Supertradmom: I can only echo Fr. John Mary’s ‘You rock!’. It’s too bad that your peers don’t have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand the battle we are in right now. It seems that many so-called academics are so full of ‘intellectual cholesterol’.

    I will take up ‘my weapon’-the Rosary-and pray that Our Lady will give us the victory!

  23. A wonderful book to read is “Empires of the Sea, The siege of Malta, the battle of Lepanto, and the contest for the center of the world” by Roger Crowley. A great history, reads more like a novel but it is spot on and brings the battle and the people to life.

  24. MichaelJ says:

    Is the map posted above in error? By my count, the Catholic fleet had 20 fewer ships. How does that work out to a “significant advantage in number of ships”?

  25. Jane says:

    I have silently said the prayer:

    Mary Help of Christians, pray for us, (and added come to my aid in this situation), while seeing in my mind a picture of Mary Help of Christians in the sky, and below her the sea battle of Lepanto: the famous one in which Mary Help of Christians, helped the Christians gain a great victory, and have found that through this prayer, Mary has speedily sent me help in difficult situations on a number of occasions.

    Advice from St John Bosco

    Call on Mary in all your difficulties with the little prayer, “Mary Help of Christians, Pray for us” and you will never call in vain. “Spread devotion to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are”.

    The history of the Devotion to Mary Help of Christians (associated with the Victory of Lepanto) is here:


    As well as the early part of the devotion in Europe the article explains how Australia became the first country in the world to have Mary Help of Christians as it national patroness and also talks about St John Bosco’s devotion to Mary Help of Christians as well.

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