Our Lady of the Rosary (Our Lady of Victory)


Van Dyck, the Madonna of the Rosary

History buffs (especially military history buffs) know that there are certain battles which are turning points that shape the course of a nation’s history, or even the world’s.  For example, some historians consider the Battle of Stalingrad or the Battle of Dunkirk the turning point of World War II.

It is much the same for the presence of Christianity in the world, in a centuries-long tug of war between Christian nations and their enemies, including at many times some of the Muslim empires.  

One battle that was decisive in the history of Christendom took place in the late 16th century, when the Ottoman Empire and their seemingly unstoppable Navy sought to advance into Europe.  The Battle of Lepanto in which that effort was stymied is one of the most important military events shaping the Christian faith — so much so that Pope St. Pius V declared the date of this battle a feast day for the universal Church.

On the millitary side, it was one of the largest naval battles in history.  On the spiritual side, the Church recognizes how critical the role of Our Lady and her Rosary have been — as the Pope ordered civilians and Navy Men alike to pray though her intercession for their protection.

As a result, the feast day (October 7th) has alternately been known as Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Victory.

The link above from Wikipedia gives great background reading about that battle. 

Veronese, the Battle of Lepanto

Scroll to Top