Thursday, October 7, 2010
On this day in 1571 the combined Christian forces of Spain, Venice, Genoa, Savoy, the Holy See and the Knights of Malta defeated the Ottoman Turkish fleet at Lepanto. The victory was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom the Christian sailors had appealed by praying the rosary. Pope Pius V declared the day the Feast of Our Lady of Victory (later changed to Our Lady of the Rosary).
This feast of interest to me for two reasons. First, Our Lady of the Rosary is the patroness of our parish here in College Station, St. Mary's. Second, when the University of Dallas was founded by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, the junior college they ran in Ft. Worth - Our Lady of Victory College - was rolled into the new school. (Incidentally, I think Madonna Hall should be renamed Our Lady of Victory Hall, in honor of this history.)
Today is also the ninth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Since that October day in 2001, the Taliban has been toppled from power, but not defeated. Over 1,200 Americans have been killed, along with another 800 or so coalition forces and more than 6,000 members of the Afghan security forces. Countless civilians have lost their lives.
US Special Forces riding with the Northern Alliance early in the conflict. Photo courtesy of of The Virtuous Republic.