It is the Mother of God who defends the Church, helps in persecutions and makes herself the enemy of her enemies.
Newsroom (13/09/2022 5:15 PM, Gaudium Press) Defeated at the Gulf of Lepanto, the minions of Mohammed continued to harass Christendom on the ground. But Our Lady did not abandon her own, and She raised up in defense of the Cross a man full of fire, courage and piety: Blessed Marco d’Aviano.
An upright and resolute Capuchin, Brother Mark had even been a counsellor to Emperor Leopold I when the Ottoman troops besieged Vienna.
The sovereign was good-natured and religious, but of indecisive character; with his firm hand and supernatural wisdom, the friar served as the King’s spiritual guide and assistant in matters of government.
In Rome, Blessed Innocent XI, a Pope of manly and indomitable temperament, captained the ship of St. Peter. However, his attempts to open the eyes of the European nations to the atrocities practiced by the half-moon henchmen had no impact on the Christians, who were led by princes divided among themselves and little interested in the glory of God.
In order to move Heaven on behalf of an indolent Europe and to urge the princes to unite against the Turkish threat, the Pontiff promoted the coronation of the image of the Mother of Good Counsel of Genazzano.
This gesture of praise and piety was the spark that could ignite the fire of grace that would melt away selfishness and foster the establishment of the Catholic coalition. Thanks to the pontifical negotiations, whose immediate protagonist was Blessed d’Aviano, on 8 September 1683, the troops of the Holy League, led by the indefatigable fighter John Sobieski, King of Poland, were assembled on Mount Kahlenberg, near Vienna. Charles of Lorraine was at the head of the imperial forces and was second in command.
Before the battle, the Holy Sacrifice was celebrated in the presence of thirty-two blood princes, numerous nobles and a multitude of soldiers. Sobieski himself hosted the Mass. At the end of the celebration, the Capuchin friar gave the blessing saying:
“In the name of the Holy Father, I tell you that if you have confidence in God, victory is yours!”
On 12 September, the Catholic troops marched down the hill, surprising the enemy camp from behind. Despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Turks, the ranks of the Virgin cleft the adversary’s hosts and, after arduous fighting, saved Vienna.
In thanksgiving for the victory, Innocent XI extended the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary to the Universal Church. Through providential men, encouraged by the most pure and combative breath of Our Lady, Christendom had been saved from the shipwreck of the Faith.
Compiled by Sandra Chisholm