Today is the 439th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. Many of you probably have no idea what it was, or why it matters in world history, I didn’t either, until recently.
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Spain (including its territories of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Venice, the Papacy, the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and others, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire.
Had it not been for the outcome of the Battle of Lepanto, the course of events throughout the world could have been much different. It is very likely that there would have been no ‘established’ Church, and we would all be kneeling down on prayer rugs facing east every afternoon.
The Holy League credited the victory to the Virgin Mary, whose intercession with God they had implored for victory through the use of the Rosary. Andrea Doria had kept a copy of the miraculous image of our Our Lady of Guadalupe given to him by King Philip II of Spain in his ship’s state room. Pope Pius V instituted a new Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the battle, which is now celebrated by the Catholic Church as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Take a moment today to read the history of the Battle of Lepanto, you might just learn something you didn’t know beforehand.