Monday, September 12, 2011

Some history behind the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary


The Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire were at war.  Vienna had been under siege for months.  On 11 September a coalition of Christian forces, a Holy League blessed by Bl. Pope Innocent XI, arrived with Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, to lift the siege.
When he saw that the Turks were about to breach the walls of the city, Sobieski attacked earlier than he had intended.
On 12 September at 4 am the battle was closed.   Sobieski had called on the protection of Our Lady of Czestochowa before the battle.
He sent his forces of 81,000 against the Turks’ 130,000.  In the afternoon Sobieski led a downhill charge which broke the Turkish line and then seized the abandoned tent of the Ottoman general who had fled.
The Battle of Vienna halted the spread of the Ottoman Empire eastward into the rest of Europe.
Bl. Innocent XI commemorated the victory at Vienna by extending the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which had been observed in Spain and by the Carmelites, to the whole Latin Church.  One of the pair of churches in Rome near the Forum of Trajan is dedicated to the Name of Mary.
Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which in part commemorates the defeat of the Islamist Ottoman Turks by Jan Sobieski at the walls of Vienna.
Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus:
ut fideles tui,
qui sub sanctissimae Virginis Mariae Nomine
et protectione laetantur;
eius pia intercessione
a cunctis malis
liberentur in terris,
et a gaudia aeterna pervenire mereantur in coelis

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