If you took a Gallup Poll in any large city in the United States and asked the question, "Name the most important and significant battle in the history humanity?" you might receive a variety of responses. However, the one battle you may not have ever be told is "The Battle of Lepanto " on October 7th, 1571. You will most likely get the look ,what the heck are you talking about? I ask this question because I was reviewing a common high school history book just the other day titled, "The History of Western Civilization" and guess what? the Battle of Lepanto was not mentioned.
The Battle of Lepanto can be described as the third most significant battle in the history of Christendom behind the battle and defeat of death by Jesus Christ on the cross and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD by the Roman Emporer Constantine I in his defeat of the Dioclesian armies of the Roman Empire and legalizing Christianity. The Battle of Lepanto was the war of wars for the spread of Christianity in Western civilization. The Turks of the Ottoman Empire had overtaken all of Eastern Christendom in the Byzantine Empire and only remaining was Western Europe and now have their sites on Western Europe and the expansion of Christendom in the Americas.
Under the orders of Pope St Pius V, the Holy League was formed ( Spain, The Republic of Venice, Papal States, Republic of Genoa, Duchy of Savoy, and the Knights of Malta ) under the leadership of Don Juan of Austria. This battle was fought in the Bay of Lepanto off the coast of Western Greece. The Turks were headed straight to Western Europe primarily Spain, Rome, and Vatican City the eternal city and capitol of all Christendom. The Catholic Church had other battles going on as well, The Protestant Reformation and the spreading of Christendom and the creation of the Spanish Missions in the New World Americas. Pope Pius V continued the warnings to the reformers but they withdrew any support for the Church in the battle that with a defeat would wipe away Christianity throughout the entire world, not only to Catholics but any Protestants communities. The Moslems would have overtaken all of Europe and the elimination of the spread of Christendom in the New World Americas! Therefore, I would not be writing this blog and you would not be reading it.
The Church was all alone in this conflict except with the greatest battle artillery directly from heaven above; The Ark of the Covenant - the intersessional prayers of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the prayers of the Holy Rosary. Against an over sized and out numbered opponent and a 30 mph wind hitting the Holy League directly in the face, it would require a heavenly miracle to overcome the substantial odds. St Pope Pius V called upon all Christians to gather together throughout the world and begin praying the gospel mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Pope Pius V gathered all of the local Cardinals and Bishops to the basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary; "Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore" in Rome and began to pray the sacred mysteries of Christ in the Holy Rosary. When the battle began the miracle occurred, the 30 mph winds instantly shifted 180 degrees into the faces of the Moslem Turkish army as they underwent an overwhelming defeat from the Holy League army of the Church. This victory meant the protection of the Church and the continued spread of Christendom. This devastating defeat of the Turks has been credited to the intercessional prayers of the Blessed virgin Mary of the most Holy Rosary.
It is documented that later returning to the Vatican, St Pope Pius V whom had no information given to him about the outcome saw a vision of the Virgin Mary as he went across to the window and cried out, "The Christian Fleet is victorious", and shed tears of thanksgiving to God. From this victory, the expansion of Christendom in the New world Americas resumed and Western Civilization as we have it today would maintain the "Great Commission" from our Lord;
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of age." ( Gospel of St Matthew 28:18-20 )
Pope Pius V would later be buried in the Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore due to the location of the prayers of the Holy Rosary in the great battle for all Christendom throughout the world. We owe the Catholic Church great honor for standing up for Christ Jesus and his Church, The Kingdom of Heaven on earth as it is in heaven! Amen