Wednesday, September 12, 2007

At the Gates of Vienna

On September 12, the fifth day within the octave of the Nativity of the Virgin, in 1683, the army of the Turkish Sultan, 300,000 strong, was miraculously defeated at the gates of Vienna after an attempt to sweep across Europe. The King of Poland, Jan Sobieski, had come to the aid of the Habsburg Emperor Leopold, and they attributed the victory to the fact that they had put the name of Mary on their banners, thus invoking the aid of the Mother of God. The triumph, won against overwhelming odds, saved Europe from becoming a Moslem colony, and September 12 became the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.

"Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, as terrible as an army set in array?" Canticle of Canticles 6:9

"And the virgin's name was Mary...." St. Luke 1:27


Anonymous said...


Didn't Hilaire Belloc say that this defeat was the reason the Muslim world would never forget September 11?

If it wasn't Belloc, then it was some other historian who has proven amazingly prophetic. The tragic events and confusion of the past six years are part of a longer story and deeper-rooted tradition than most of the world realises.

Anonymous said...

Lovely story........This is a wonderful day!!

elena maria vidal said...

Marissa, I can't remember if it was Belloc but it sounds like him and he certainly was prophetic.

Yes, SF, it is a wonderful day, especially when one thinks about what the consequences of the defeat would have been.