Mary and the Moslems
By Barbara Kralis
©Barbara Kralis 2004
The history you are about to read is a miraculous event authenticated and recorded at the Vatican over 400 years ago. Sacred archives recall the miracle with the title, ‘The Battle of Lepanto." Firstly, its historical background must be told.
The Ottoman Empire was a Turkish state in the Middle East from the 14th to 20th centuries. As their ‘Jihads’ or aggressions increased, it became one of the world’s most powerful entities during the 16th century. The Empire then became commonly known as the ‘Khalifah,’ or ‘Islamic State.’
On May 29,1453, the Islamic State conquered the holy Christian lands of St. Constantine, the city of Constantinople, once the Christian capital of the Roman Empire. After the Christians’ defeat, the city became known in Turkish as ‘Istanbul.’
During the middle of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire was weakened by a series of battle defeats by the heroic victories of the Knights of St. John. The Knights had shown Christendom that the Turks were capable of being defeated. Moving to Malta, the Knights of Malta successfully fought off the Islamic invasion at Valetta.
At that time, Christendom was under the care of the humble and holy Pope Pius V, a Dominican monk. Throughout his pontificate, two threatening evils were ever before his eyes – the spread of Protestantism and the inroads of the Islamic State.
Pius completed Catechism of the Council of Trent and translated it into all foreign tongues. Among the Pope’s most important works were his restoration of the Roman Missal to the ancient rite usage in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and promotion of St. Dominic’s devotion to the Rosary with the pious recitation of the fifteen mysteries.
After seeing many Christian nations fall into the hands of the Islamic States, Pius V worked to stop further invasion of Eastern Europe. He created the anti-Ottoman alliance known as the Holy League and was elected chief of the league. 
Pope Pius V, seeing Europe in great danger of a Turkish attack, called for a Holy Crusade to save Christendom. Many Christians, having fallen to Protestantism and lukewarmness during the period of Renaissance, refused to help the Pope in his holy war.
Still, the saintly Pope persevered. He organized a fleet of 300 ships of various sizes, and placed them under the heavenly protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.
Pius V sent the seamen and soldiers off to battle with a mystical promise of certain victory, which he had seen in a heavenly vision. The Pope offered Holy Mass, the Rosary, and Benediction for the soldiers and seamen.
Furthermore, in order to obtain this certain victory, the Pope ordered the admirals and generals to disband 1) all soldiers and seamen who were interested in fighting not for preservation of Christendom but only for plunder; 2) all scandalizing and rioting men who might bring indignation down from heaven by their misdeeds.
The Pope ordered public prayers and fasting throughout all of Christendom. Rosary processions were conducted at all towns, villages and cities, pouring forth solemn pleas for a Christian victory at the hour of battle.
It is recorded that 300 naval vessels, 30,000 soldiers, and 50,000 oarsmen of the Holy League sailed from Corfu. They reached the harbor of Lepanto, inside the Gulf of Corinth on October 7, 1571.
The Moslem fleet consisting of 330 vessels and 75,000 soldiers, 50,000 slave Christian oarsmen was sighted in the harbor.
Before beginning battle, the Holy League soldiers knelt before a crucifix and prayed the Rosary as requested by their chief, Pope Pius V. Then the Christians entered the fray against the much larger Turkish navy in one of the world’s greatest maritime battles every recorded.
Miraculously, the wind that was calm before battle became stronger as the fight began. So strongly did the wind blow that it enabled the Christians’ smoke and fire from their artillery to be carried through the air into the enemy’s faces, blinding them in battle.
As the Christians came under attack, the tide turned against the Moslems for no apparent reason. Amazingly, over 25,000 Moslems were killed, 5,000 taken prisoners, 117 Moslem vessels were captured and 113 vessels sunk. Most importantly, 15,000 beaten and chained Christian oarsmen slaves were freed from the Turkish galleys.
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