Thursday, October 22, 2015

America Needs Fatima delivers more than 14,000 roses

Beautiful, isn't it?
One rose from each Public Square Rosary Rally Captain.

Another 68,000 ask Pope Francis for a “clarifying word”

PRESS RELEASE Rome, 22nd October 2015 – After delivering 790,150 signatures to the Vatican Secretariat of State on the 29th September, the Filial Appeal Association has just handed in a further 68,052 signatures requesting Pope Francis for a “clarifying word” as the “the only way to resolve the growing confusion amongst the faithful”—in regards to allowing divorced and civilly remarried couples to receive Holy Communion, as well as in regards to homosexual unions—in the certainty that these words would “never separate pastoral practice from the teaching of Jesus Christ”.
The timeliness of the request has been made evident during the course of this Synod now approaching its end.
According to a recent editorial column of an American magazine well-known to be “innovating”: “Midway through the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, confusion, if not chaos, reigns, to paraphrase a synod father. And in that confusion is fear, fear of uncertainty and the unknown.”
This is not surprising. Under the guise of employing very inclusive pastoral language, leading figures of the Synod strike at the root of fundamental concepts of Catholic morality such as “indissolubility” of marriage, the “intrinsically disordered nature of homosexual relations”, the classification of “adultery” for civil marriages after a divorce and even the aphorism that “one must love the sinner, but hate the sin”.
Even greater confusion comes from the proposal that pastoral practice towards the divorced and civilly remarried, as well towards homosexual unions, be decentralised—something that will inevitably lead to divergence and divisions.
The coordinators of the Filial Appeal deem it to be of the utmost importance that, as has happened many times in the past, Pope Francis himself—as supreme judge of the Faith and utilising his power as successor of St. Peter—definitively decide all these matters of Faith and Morals that have come up during the Synod; and that he do so in a clear, solemn and irrevocable manner: Roma locuta, causa finita.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Victory Through the Rosary - Our Lady's Action in History and Today

“You will be granted all you ask of me by recitation of the rosary.”

Our Lady’s Action in History and Today
Since the time of Saint Dominic, the Most Holy Rosary has been the weapon by which Our Lady has brought about the greatest victories for the Church. On many occasions when all seemed lost humanly speaking, this act of trust in Our Lady has transformed what appears to be certain failure into glorious triumph. The heroic conviction displayed by Catholics of generations past and present shows Our Lady’s power and certain intercession in overcoming the greatest obstacles.
Will Our Lady grant a victory to Catholics in the twenty-first century as she has in the past? As Catholics of previous generations have testified, trusting in the certain victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the rosary can defeat the forces of evil and change the course of history.

The Rosary and Saint Dominic Defeat Heresy
The rosary—as a spiritual weapon against evil—has a very long and precious history.
In twelfth and thirteenth century France, a group of heretics known as the Albigensians was destroying the minds of the Catholic laity with its erroneous ideas. The Albigensians’ teachings encouraged suicide, many times by self-induced starvation, because they believed that the body was an intrinsic evil and that the soul must be liberated from matter at all costs. However, as history often shows, Providence raises up great saints in times of dire crises. This time it was no different. Saint Dominic, born of noble lineage, received the Most Holy Rosary from the hands of Our Lady. She gave Saint Dominic the rosary as a weapon to combat the awful Albigensian heresy.
Pope Innocent III proclaimed a crusade to rid France of the horrible influence of the Albigensian heretics. In September of 1213, Raymond of Toulouse was joined by Pedro II of Aragon to do battle against the crusading force which was vastly outnumbered. The two sides were camped outside of the garrison of Muret in the south of France. The crusaders, a mere 800 men led by Simon de Montfort, spent the night praying the rosary for victory under the direction of Saint Dominic, and in the morning all went to confession and Holy Communion. The opposing armies, numbering over 20,000, indulged in a night of drunkenness and debauchery. The next morning, Simon de Montfort divided his cavalry into three and rushed on the disorganized bands of heretics. The rout was completed in less than twenty minutes, and thousands of the heretical sympathizers met their end on the battlefield. The Battle of Muret marked a decisive victory and ended the territorial expansion of Albigensianism. With the preaching of the rosary, this dangerous scourge on the Church was soon wiped out.
English Dominican Nicholas Trivet later wrote, “St. Dominic warred by prayer, De Montfort by arms. Simon de Montfort built the first chapel dedicated to the Rosary as an act of thanksgiving for the victory at Muret.”

The Battle of Lepanto—the Rosary Saves Christendom
The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was a crucial conflict between the defending Christians and the invading Ottoman Turks, one of the greatest naval battles of all time.
The Christian lands around Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean were constantly getting sacked by Muslim pirates, and Ottoman warships were capturing Christian ships and enslaving vast numbers of sailors. Pope Saint Pius V called on the Catholic powers of Europe to unite in a crusade against the enemy threatening Christendom. After raising a crusade, he asked every non-combatant across the whole Christian world to pray the rosary.
Even after this call to arms, the Christian fleet at Lepanto was greatly outnumbered by the Ottoman Turks. As the battle ensued, the Muslims were yelling, screaming, and banging anything that would make noise.
In contrast, the Christians kept an ominous silence, weapons in one hand, and rosaries in the other. Soon after, the Christians and the Muslims were immersed in a bloody battle. Don Juan of Austria valiantly led the Christians from the bridge of his flagship. The Muslims took aim at the large crucifix on the main deck of his vessel, but as the cannonball approached, the body of Our Lord miraculously turned to avoid the collision.
Muslim chroniclers of the battle also reported seeing in the sky a lady dressed in armor holding a child, and with a terrible gaze.
Terrified at the sight, the Turks began to lose control of the fleet, and the Christians pressed the attack. Thus it was that on October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet was blessed with a miraculous victory.
Pope Pius V was blessed with a vision of the victory at Lepanto, and ordered public processions in thanksgiving. When messengers arrived in Rome a week later to report the victory of the Christian fleet, they were quite surprised to find everyone already knew the outcome, the Holy Pontiff ordering all the bells in the city rung to announce the news. He immediately credited the victory to Our Lady, establishing October 7th as the feast of the Most Holy Rosary.

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The Siege of La Rochelle—the Rosary Saves France from a Protestant Rebellion
In the seventeenth century, France was torn apart by a series of religious wars between ruling Catholics and Protestant Huguenots attempting to seize power.
The Huguenots entered into formal rebellion in the western city of La Rochelle against the rule of the Catholic King Louis XIII in the year 1628. The Protestants made an alliance with England. King Louis, unwilling to see his kingdom torn apart, made putting down this uprising his first priority.
Public rosaries and processions were held nightly in Catholic churches all over France during the eight-month duration of the siege. Dominican friars accompanied the king to the battlefield and preached to the armies of the French the necessity of praying the rosary daily for victory. The priests distributed more than 15,000 rosaries among the troops, with the soldiers praying together at set times during the day.
On October 28, 1628, the Huguenots unconditionally surrendered to the armies of King Louis XIII when the English were unable to come to their aid. The victorious French entered the city on November 1st, feast of All Saints, led by the Dominicans chanting the Litany of Loreto and carrying a large banner emblazoned with the image of Our Lady of the Rosary. The friars remained for three weeks and distributed more than 1,500 rosaries to those in La Rochelle who were reconciled to the Church.
King Louis XIII returned to Paris and financed construction of the shrine of Notre Dame des Victoires (Our Lady of Victories) in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s intercession for the victory at La Rochelle.

La Naval de Manila—Our Lady Saves the Philippines from a Dutch Invasion
The war between the Spanish and the Dutch in Europe during the sixteenth century soon found its way to the other side of the globe. Through piracy and brute force, the Protestant Dutch had captured all Portuguese possessions in Southeast Asia by the year 1600. Their next objective was conquering the Philippines, the most distant outpost of the Spanish Empire.
The situation in the Philippines at the time was grim—volcanic eruptions in the 1630s led to food shortages which crippled Manila, an earthquake struck the city in 1645 which destroyed 150 structures, and numerous wrecks had diminished the naval strength of the islands.
The Spanish-Filipino fleet was left with only two aging vessels facing an armada of eighteen Dutch warships.
In 1646, Governor Fajardo in Manila ordered the two vessels deployed to confront the Dutch ships. Four Dominican priests were assigned as chaplains of the two ships, and all aboard went to confession and Holy Communion before departing.
The soldiers made a vow to Our Lady of the Rosary to make a pilgrimage to her shrine in Manila should she grant them victory. Over the next six months, the men on both vessels recited the rosary daily on their knees, begging the Queen of Heaven for aid against overwhelming odds.
Through a series of five battles over a period of six months, the Spanish-Filipino fleet was able to put the Dutch to flight on each occasion. In their second encounter, the Protestant Dutch had the flagship of the Spanish surrounded.
However, the Catholic soldiers remained undaunted, and later reported their cannons and muskets firing with smooth and uncanny accuracy. One cannoneer attested that he fired nineteen cannon shots in succession without fail, rosary in one hand and torch in the other, while proclaiming loudly, “Viva La Virgen!”
Toward the end of the year, the retreating Dutch had suffered the loss of two vessels with three others severely damaged, and an estimated 500 soldiers killed during the engagements. The invaders withdrew to their base in Indonesia, never to threaten the Philippines again. The victorious Spanish and Filipinos returned to Manila with only fifteen casualties. The soldiers fulfilled their vows and made a pilgrimage barefooted to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manila as a solemn act of thanksgiving.
Every year for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a procession is held in thanksgiving for the miraculous victory given through the rosary by Our Lady of La Naval.

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The Battle of Peterwardein—Putting an End to the Muslim Menace
After the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Turks continued to provoke Europe.
Prince Eugene of Savoy was given the mission of putting an end to the Muslim threat and restoring Hungarian lands occupied by the Turks for more than a century. Recalling the successes of his predecessors, Pope Clement XI renewed the call for all Catholics to pray the rosary for a decisive victory over the Turks.
The year 1716 marked a new Islamic offensive into the hinterlands of the Holy Roman Empire. The fortress of Peterwardein was in danger of falling to the hands of the enemy. Prince Eugene descended on the city with a force of 60,000, only to find an opposing army more than twice that size led by the Turkish Grand Vizier. Prince Eugene, using quick thinking and sound strategy, was able to rout the invading armies, putting them to flight.
The decisive victory resulted in a loss of 3,000 Christian troops, while the Muslims lost several times that number, including the Grand Vizier who was their commander. This battle marked a turning point, and put an end to the attempted large-scale Islamic invasions of continental Europe.
Pope Clement sent Prince Eugene a ceremonial sword encrusted with gems in thanksgiving for his bold defense of Christendom.
In thanksgiving for this victory granted by Our Lady, the Holy Father ordered the Feast of the Holy Rosary, until then only celebrated in certain countries, to be added to the Church’s universal calendar, so Catholics everywhere could pay honor to the Queen of Heaven for her many victories granted through the rosary.

 Communists Expelled by the Rosary
After World War II, Austria was divided between four countries: America, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia, which was still communist. The section of Austria controlled by the communists was the richest, and included the city of Vienna. The Viennese were subject to all the atrocities and tyrannies of communism.
With all of his country’s problems weighing heavily on his heart, Capuchin Fr. Petrus Pavlicek made a pilgrimage to Mariazell, the principle Marian shrine in Austria. While deep in prayer before the miraculous image of Our Lady above the shrine’s high altar, he was told by an interior voice:
“Do as I say and there will be peace.”
To obey this inspiration of Our Lady, Fr. Pavlicek founded the Holy Rosary Crusade of Reparation in 1947. This crusade consisted of the Viennese faithful coming out of their homes in order to participate in a public rosary procession in the streets of the city.
The intentions of the rosary were for the end of communism in their country and in the world. Father travelled throughout Austria with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima promoting the Rosary Crusade. At first, the processions were miniscule, but in time they grew to staggering proportions.
The Prime Minister and other members of the Austrian government soon joined the ranks, along with all of the nation’s bishops.
In 1955, after eight years spreading the word about the Crusade throughout Austria, the Rosary processions would reach sizes of half a million people, about one-tenth of the Austrian population.
Finally, through the help of Our Lady, the Soviet forces pulled out of Austria in October of 1955, leaving the country for good.
Each year on September 12th, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, thousands gather in Vienna to thank the Mother of God for her intercession in freeing their country from communist domination.

Rosary Saves Man’s Life on September 11, 2001
A man from New York who had fallen away from the Catholic Church and not gone to confession in years was met at a TFP Fatima presentation given by America Needs Fatima custodian Mr. Jose Ferraz.
After the visit, the New Yorker took home a rosary and rosary guide and started praying it and going to the sacraments again. Months later, on September 11, 2001, he was in the World Trade Center at the very moment when the terrorist attack took place.
Seeing the fireball and smoke from the crash, the man fled his office and tried running down the stairs to safety. However, he met a big obstacle. The fire doors had locked and he was trapped in the stairwell, listening to the screams of burning people who were still inside the building, unable to escape death. It was awful—horrific. Any attempt to pry open the fire doors with bare hands would be futile.
With Our Lady’s help, instead of panicking, he felt calm. He grabbed his rosary and started praying to the Blessed Mother for help. And within minutes, firemen reached his floor, broke down the fire doors and set him free. He ran downstairs to safety, his prayers answered thanks to the power of the Most Holy Rosary.

Public Square Rosary Rallies—Bringing About Our Lady’s Victory Today
In 2007 America Needs Fatima launched the Public Rosary Rallies Campaign. That year, there were 2,107 rallies nationwide. Since then, Catholics from all parts of the United States have been gathering in public places to pray the Rosary for the urgent conversion of America.
Again, from humble beginnings, Our Lady has granted the grace of impressive growth to this movement. In 2014 there were 12, 629 Rosary Rallies in all 50 states!
This year, 2015, on October 10th, we are shooting for 14,000 Rallies. And in 2016, the 10th anniversary of ANF Public Square Rosary Rallies, we hope for 15,000!

What will be the outcome of this effort? Can Catholics in America today be certain Our Lady will hear their supplications? Will she send the graces needed to lead this growing army to victory?
Trusting in the Blessed Mother’s promises throughout history to those who are faithful to the rosary, the conversion of America so urgently needed is guaranteed by the graces Our Lady will most certainly send.
The more desperate the situation becomes, the more pronounced the moral crisis, the more hopeless the circumstances, the greater confidence Catholics can have that the glorious Queen of the Most Holy Rosary will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
This path to the conversion of our nation will not be easy, and Catholics today will need to fight for Our Lady even more valiantly than our forebears in ages past. But as the Blessed Mother has shown time and time again, this most powerful weapon she gave to Saint Dominic will save her children in every generation, and if we are faithful and persevere with these heavenly arms, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is inevitable.
With the Catholics of ages past, let us not be afraid to publicly beseech the holy Mother of God for heavenly solutions to our nation’s problems, both spiritual and temporal, through fervent recitation of the Holy Rosary.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, because She defeated the Turks at Lepanto

The Turkish fleet came on imposing and terrible, all sails set, impelled by a fair wind, and it was only half a mile from the line of galliasses and another mile from the line of the Christian ships.
D. John waited no longer; he humbly crossed himself, and ordered that the cannon of challenge should be fired on the “Real,” and the blue flag of the League should be hoisted at the stern, which unfurled itself like a piece of the sky on which stood out an image of the Crucified. A moment later the galley of Ali replied, accepting the challenge by firing another cannon, and hoisting at the stern the standard of the Prophet, guarded in Mecca, white and of large size, with a wide green “cenefa,” and in the center verses from the Koran embroidered in gold.
Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Don Juan of Austria and cardinals. Fresco in Ain Karim, Israel at the Franciscan church of the Visitation Photo by Abraham
At the same moment a strange thing happened, a very simple one at any other time, but for good reason then considered a miracle: the wind fell suddenly to a calm, and then began to blow favorably for the Christians and against the Turks. It seemed as if the Voice had said to the sea, “Be calm,” and to the wind, “Be still.” The silence was profound, and nothing was heard but the waves breaking on the prows of the galleys, and the noise of the chains of the Christian galley slaves as they rowed.
Fr. Miguel Servia blessed from the quarter-deck all those of the fleet, and gave them absolution in the hour of death. It was then a quarter to twelve.
The Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571 by Pieter Brünniche
The first shot was fired by the galleass “Capitana,” commanded by Francisco Duodo, and it smashed the biggest of the five lanterns which crowned the stern of Ali Pasha’s galley; the second injured the castle of a neighboring galley; and the third sunk a small vessel which was hurrying to transmit orders. Then there was a retrograde movement through the Turkish fleet, which the bravery of Ali Pasha at once checked. He rushed to the tiller and made the “Sultana” pass between the galliasses with the rapidity of an arrow, without firing a shot; all the fleet followed him, their line already broken, but prepared to form up again when they had passed the obstacle, as the water of a river reunites after it has passed the posts of a bridge which has impeded and divided it. The left Christian wing and the Turkish right one were the first to engage. Mahomet Scirocco attacked with such force in front, and with such tumult of shouts and savage cries, according to the Turkish custom when fighting, that all attention was drawn to one point; meanwhile some of his light galleys slipped past on the land side and attacked the stern of Barbarigo’s flagship, who saw himself sorely pressed as the crew of Mahomet Scirocco’s galley had boarded his by the prow, and the Turks were already up to the mizzen mast.
Agostino Barbarigo Photo by Bob Swain
The Christians defended themselves like wild beasts, gathered in the stern, and Barbarigo himself was directing them and cheering them on from the castle. He had lifted the visor of his helmet, and was using his shield against the storm of arrows that flew through the air. To give an order, he uncovered himself for a moment, and an arrow entered by the right eye and pierced his brain. He died the next day. Then there was grave risk of the Turks overcoming the Venetian flagship, destroying the left wing, and then attacking the center division on the flank and from the rear, making victory easy. Barbarigo’s nephew Marino Contarini overcame the danger. He boarded his uncle’s ship on the larboard side with all his people, and fought on board perhaps the fiercest combat of all on that memorable day. All was madness, fury, carnage and terror, until Mahomet Scirocco was expelled from the Venetian flagship and penned, in his turn, in his own ship, where he at last succumbed to his wounds. Clinging to the side, they beheaded him there and threw him into the water. Terror then spread among the Turks, and the few galleys at liberty turned their prows towards the shore. There they ran aground, the decimated crews saving themselves by swimming.
Battle of Lepanto by Tomasz Dolabella
D. John had no time to reflect either on this danger, or that catastrophe, or that victory, for he was also hard pressed. Five minutes after Mahomet Scirocco had fallen on Barbarigo, Ali Pasha fell on him with all the weight of his hatred, fury and desire for glory. He could be seen proudly standing on the castle of the stern, a magnificent scimitar in his hand, dressed in a caftan of white brocade woven with silk and silver, with a helmet of dark steel under his turban, with inscriptions in gold and precious stones, turquoises, rubies, and diamonds, which flashed in the sunlight. Slowly the two divisions came on, unheeding what happened on the right or left, and in the midst were the galleys of the two Generalissimos, not firing a shot, and only moving forward silently.
Müezzinzade Ali Paşa, Turkish commander at the Battle of Lepanto
When the length of half a galley separated the two ships, the “Sultana” of Ali Pasha suddenly fired three guns; the first destroyed some of the ironwork of the “Real” and killed several rowers; the second traversed the boat; and the third passed over the cook’s galley without harming anyone. The “Real” replied by sweeping with her shots the stern and gangway of the “Sultana,” and a thick, black smoke at once enveloped Turks and Christians, ships and combatants. From this black cloud, which appeared to be vomited from Hell, could be heard a dreadful grinding noise, and horrible cries, and through the smoke of the powder could be seen splinters of wood and iron, broken oars, weapons, human limbs and dead bodies flying through the air and falling in the bloodstained sea. It was the galley of Ali which had struck that of D. John by the prow with such a tremendous shock that the peak of the “Sultana” entered the “Real” as far as the fourth bench of rowers; the violence of the shock had naturally made each ship recoil; but they could not draw apart.
Flag of the Ottoman Navy
The yards and rigging had become entangled, and they heaved first to one side and then to the other with dreadful grinding and movement, striving to get free without succeeding, like two gladiators, whose bodies are separated, who grasp each other tightly, and then seize each other by the hair. From the captain’s place where he was, at the foot of the standard of the League, D. John ordered grappling-irons to be thrown from the prow, holding the ships close together, and making them into one field of battle. Like lions the Christians flung themselves on board the ship, destroying all in their path, and twice they reached the mainmast of the “Sultana,” and as often had to retire, foot by foot and inch by inch, fighting over these frail boards, from which there was neither escape, nor help, nor hope of compassion, nor other outlet than death.
Battle of Lepanto by Tomasz Dolabella
The “Sultana” was reinforced with reserves from the galleys, and to encourage them, Ali, in his turn, threw himself on board the ship. The “Sultana” rode higher out of the water than the “Real,” and the men poured down into her like a cataract from on high; the shock was so tremendous that the Field-Marshals Figueroa and Moncada fell back with their men, and the Turks succeeded in reaching the foremast. All the men at the prow hastened there, and D. John jumped from the captain’s post, sword in hand, fighting like a soldier to make them retire. This was the critical moment of the battle. There was neither line, nor formation, nor right, nor left, nor center; only could be seen, as far as the eye could reach, fire, smoke and groups of galleys in the midst, fighting with each other, vomiting fire and death, with masts and hulls bristling with arrows, like an enormous porcupine, who puts out its quills to defend itself and to fight; wounding, killing, capturing, cheering, burning were seen and heard on all sides, and dead bodies and bodies of the living falling into the water, and spars, yards, rigging, torn-off heads, turbans, quivers, shields, swords, scimitars, arquebuses, cannon, arms, everything that was then within the grasp of barbarism or civilization for dealing death and destruction.
Naval battle of Lepanto by Andrea Micheli
At this critical moment, by a superhuman effort, a galley freed itself from that chaos of horrors, and threw itself, like a missile from a catapult, hurled by Titans, against the stern of Ali’s galley, forcing the peak as far as the third bench of rowers.
Don John of Austria, Marc Antonio Colonna & Sebastiano Venier. Admirals of the allied Spanish and papal fleets against the Turks.
It was Marco Antonio Colonna who had come to the assistance of D. John of Austria; at the same time the Marqués de Santa Cruz executed a similar maneuver on one of the flanks. The help was great and opportune; still, the Turks succeeded in retiring in good order to their galley; but here, pressed hardly by the followers of Colonna and Santa Cruz, they tumbled over the sides, dead and living, into the water, Turks and Christians fighting to the last with nails and teeth, and destroying each other until engulfed in the gory waves.
Among this mass of desperate people Ali perished beside the tiller; some say that he cut his throat and threw himself into the sea; others that his head was cut off and put on a pike. Then D. John ordered the standard of the Prophet to be lowered, and amidst shouts of victory, the flag of the League was hoisted in its place.
Marcantonio Colonna, Duke of Tagliacozzo & Paliano
D. John had been wounded in the leg, but without limping at all he mounted the castle of the vanquished galley to survey from there the state of the battle. On the left wing the few galleys left to Mahomet Scirocco were flying towards the land, and could be seen running violently aground in the bays, the crews throwing themselves into the water to swim ashore.
Alvaro de Bazan, first Marquis de Santa Cruz, commander of the reserve squadron of the Holy League.
But, unluckily, the same was not happening on the right. Doria, deceived by the tactics of Aluch Ali, had followed him out to sea, making a wide space between the right wing and the center division; D. John’s orders to him to come back did not arrive in time. Meanwhile, Aluch Ali contented himself by watching Doria’s maneuvers, keeping up with him, but not attacking; until suddenly, judging no doubt, that the space was wide enough, he veered to the right with marvelous rapidity, and sent all his fleet through the dangerous breach, literally annihilating the two ends which remained uncovered; the disaster was terrible and the carnage awful; on the flagship of Malta only three men remained alive, the Prior of Messina, Fr. Pietro Giustiniani, pierced by five arrows, a Spanish gentleman with both legs broken, and an Italian with an arm cut off by a blow from an axe. In the flagship of Sicily D. Juan de Cardona lay wounded, and of his 500 men only fifty remained. The “Fierenza,” the Pope’s “San Giovanni,” and the “Piamontesa” of Savoy succumbed without yielding; ten galleys had gone to the bottom; one was on fire, and twelve drifted like buoys, without masts, full of corpses, waiting until the conqueror, Aluch Ali, should take them in tow as trophies and spoils of war. Doria, horrified at the disaster, in all haste returned to the scene of the catastrophe, but D. John was already there before him. Without waiting a moment, the Generalissimo ordered that the towing ropes which already attached twelve galleys to their conquerors should be cut, and although wounded, and without taking any rest after his own struggle, he flew to the assistance of those who were being overcome. “Ah! Brave Generalissimo,” exclaims Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, in his valuable study of the battle of Lepanto, “to him the armada owed its victory, to him the right wing its preservation.” The Marqués de Santa Cruz followed with his whole reserve, and seeing this help, the already victorious Aluch Ali understood that the prey would be torn from his claws.
The Battle of Lepanto, painting by Andries van Eertvelt
The cunning renegade then thought only of saving his life, which he did by a means that no one else would have employed; he placed his son in a galley, and followed by thirteen other ones, passed like a vapor in front of the prows of the enemy, before they could surround him, and fled incontinently to Santa Maura, all sails set, he at the tiller, the unfortunate rowers with a scimitar at their throats, so that they should not flag or draw breath for a second, and should die rather than give in.
The first moment of astonishment over, the Marqués de Santa Cruz and D. John of Austria hastened in pursuit; but the advantage Aluch Ali had obtained increased each minute, night began to fall, and the storm which had threatened since two o’clock began to blow, and the first claps of thunder were heard. So the famous renegade escaped on the wings of the storm, as if the wrath of God were protecting him and preserving him to be the scourge of other people.
This was the last act of the battle of Lepanto, the greatest day that the ages have seen
It was five o’clock on the evening of the 7th of October, 1571.
Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), pp. 265-271.
Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 218

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Also of interest:
Statue of the Blessed Virgin present at the battle of Lepanto has been found
D. John’s calm assessment as the Turkish Armada is sighted: “There’s no time for anything but fighting”
The martial and pious death of Don John of Austria: “A man sent by God”
Tunis was lost because Don John could not reach it in time
Don John called his lion Austria
Don John is offered the kingdoms of Albania and Morea
Fatima Cadem, daughter of Ali Pasha, asks Don John to release her captured brothers
Pope Saint Pius V has a vision announcing the victory of Lepanto
Don John of Austria used an ivory crucifix to inspire his men before Lepanto
Don John of Austria’s calm self-command seeing the power of the Turkish armada
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1915)

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run,
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold.
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world.
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain – hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, ‘Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces – four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.’
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still – hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.
St Michael’s on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed –
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives, sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign –
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade…
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)