Today begins the 9 day novena to Our Lady of Victory. Liturgically, it’s fascinating to note that this particular novena begins on Michaelmas, the Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels. It’s beautifully appropriate that we begin the novena to Our Lady of Victory on Michaelmas for two reasons: 1) Our Lady is the Queen of all angels, and St. Michael is the Prince of the Heavenly Host, and 2) St. Michael won the very first victory in Heaven by expelling Lucifer and the rebellious angels.
The last day of the novena is October 7, which is the anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Lepanto. Fr. Alban Butler gives us the following account of what happened:
The holy pope, from the beginning of the expedition, had ordered public prayers and fasts, and had not ceased to solicit heaven, with uplifted hands, like Moses on the mountain, besides afflicting his body by watching and fasting. At the hour of the battle, the procession of the Rosary in the church at the Minerva was pouring forth solemn prayers for the victory. The pope was then conversing with some cardinals on business; but, on a sudden, left them abruptly, opened the window, stood some time with his eyes fixed on the heavens, and then shutting the casement, said, “It is not now a time to talk any more upon business; but to give thanks to God for the victory he has granted to the arms of the Christians.” This fact was carefully attested, and authentically recorded both at that time and again in the process of the saint’s canonization.
The threat facing Christendom at the time of the Battle of Lepanto was three-fold: Heresy, Protestantism, and Islam. Those very same three threats face the Church today, most especially as the second part of the Synod on the Family takes place during the month of the Rosary. In Switzerland, the bishops’ conference said that the Church should come to a “recognition and appreciation of relationships which do not any more correspond to the old-fashioned ideal which comes from another period of time, for example remarried divorcees or same-sex partnerships.” In Germany, the bishops are threatening a new protestant revolt centered on divorce and re-marriage and the recognition of same-sex “marriage.” The bishops in Germany are even rebelling against the Church’s position on contraception.
Our Holy Mother Church is under attack, and it is our responsibility to rush to Her defense. And there is no better defense than a stout offense.
The Holy Rosary is a weapon. In fact, it is THE weapon against heresy!
Please join us as we pray the Novena to Our Lady of Victory for the crushing defeat of heresy and rebellion that is sure to be brought to the Synod next month.
Our Lady of Victory, Pray for Us!