Fr Steve Grunow gives an excellent outline here of the history of today’s feast.
It’s all rooted in the great Battle of Lepanto in 1571 when the course of world history was changed. He hints at one of the facts that I related to the children at our school Mass today–the fact that if the Sultan and the forces of Islam had overrun Europe they would also have gained access to Gibraltar and the gateway to the Atlantic and therefore to the Americas.
If the crescent and not the cross had conquered then the Western hemisphere may today have been Islamic and not Christian.
What interests me about the history of Lepanto is that we are facing a similar crisis today. The forces of Islam do not relent. Once again they are invading Europe, intent on swamping Christendom with the sword of Islam.
We are so embarrassed now to think that Pope St Pius V was so warlike, but what if he had not rallied the Holy League and defended the West?
Even worse, what if we do not rally to defend the West?
Don’t get me wrong, it is not my place to call Christian warriors to embark on a holy war in the name of Christ, but when the crisis comes–and it surely must, what will we do?
The first thing we must do is pray the rosary.
I am working on a new book, Praying the Rosary for Spiritual Warfare. If the rosary was the factor which changed the course of history and helped to attain victory at Lepanto then what are we waiting for?
Take up the weapon 0f the holy rosary, and Onward Christian Soldiers!
Go here to read Fr Steve’s summary.