12 Sept 1683: The Battle of Vienna and the Holy Name of Mary

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…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Grant, we pray, almighty God: that your faithful people, who delight in the most holy name and protection of the Virgin Mary; by her loving intercession will be freed from the evils (evil ones?) of earth, and may merit to gain eternal joy in Heaven.

  2. Moro says:

    I wasn’t aware of the link to today’s feast. But I am familiar with the basic story. It is because of the Turk’s retreat that the West was gifted with wonderful Viennesse Coffee House as the turks left it behind. Let’s use this feast to pray for the conversion of all muslims from that false religion, even in its most moderate of forms.

  3. Akita says:

    And the victors enjoyed newly created croissants with their coffee, symbolic that Mohammadism’s crescent would forevermore be vanquished by Christian soldiers. Christ reigns victorious!

  4. There are stations in the Vienna U-bahn where some of the walls can still be seen. Go thank them, and the men who built them, for the role they played in preserving Western Christianity.

  5. Irradiated says:

    Then the Winged Hussars arrived! https://youtu.be/eWkrQQly6xU

  6. jaykay says:

    P. Murray: nice translation! I’d say, though, that “a cunctis malis liberentur in terris”, is “that they may be delivered from all earthly evil(s)”. “Cunctis” = “omnibus”.

  7. jaykay says:

    P. Murray: sorry, should have said – “who delight in”. I really like that as opposed to the rather pedestrian “who rejoice in”. Nice touch!

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    One cannot help but say that King Sobieski need not have bothered. The Ottomans gave no concessions, and have the same goals as they did in that day, but the difference is there is no one of faith and courage to meet them, indeed, they are welcomed with open arms, to take over.

  9. Lynn Diane says:

    Kathleen, you speak of the Ottomans in the present tense but the last Ottoman sultan boarded a British warship and left Istanbul for Malta on Nov. 17, 1922. The Ottoman caliphate ended on Mar. 3, 1924, and the last caliph boarded the Orient Express and was sent to France. The language has been reformed so Turks today don’t even speak Ottoman, and can’t understand the occasional Ottoman descendent who might visit. The current Turkish president is most unlikely to lay siege to Vienna. King Sobieski stopped any further Ottoman conquests of Europe – the Ottoman Empire began to shrink after that as Russia gobbled up more and more of it, and independence movements began in conquered countries.

  10. Nan says:

    Thanks for that. I had no memory of the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary occurring the day my sister died.

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