16th April : Our Lady Of Victories Of St. Mark

Our Lady Of Victories Of St. Mark

Country : Austria (Veinna)

Year : 1683

In the year 1683 a formidable army of the Turks invaded Austria and laid siege to Vienna.  The town was on the point of surrendering to the enemy.  The people were filled with fear and anxiety.  Had this happened, the Turks would easily have invaded the rest of Europe, and filled it with blood and strife.

From all parts of the Christian world prayers were offered to the Queen of Heaven, that she would avert this disaster.  Our Lady, consoler of the afflicted did not fail her people.  The pious and valiant King of Poland, John Sobieski, with an inadequate army marched against the enemy.  When he came in sight of the Turkish camp, before beginning battle, he ordered Holy Mass to be celebrated, at which he himself served; then he begged the celebrant to bless the whole army.  Full of confidence in the help of Mary, he threw his forces into the conflict.  The enemy though more numerous, turned and fled, while the king’s army were masters of the field.  The rejoicing of Christians was great at this news, and from all Christendom fervent prayers were offered to the Blessed Mother in thanksgiving for her protection.

Pope Innocent XI, reigning at the time, placed all his trust in Mary.  He had vowed to institute a feast in her honor, if she would liberate the Church from this terrible danger.  In fulfillment of this vow, he extended to the whole Catholic world the solemnity of the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which had up to that time only been observed in particular churches.

The famous image of Our Lady of Victories, is the one which Emperor John Simiarnes and John Commenus carried in a triumphal car after having besieged the enemy.  The statue is now borne in procession at Venice to obtain rain or fine weather, as the need may be.

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