Happy Feast of Mary Victrix

Lepanto New

The Feast of the Holy Rosary is a feast of prayer and recourse to the Blessed Mother. It is also a feast of the action of brave men who were men of prayer. That is why it is also the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.  On this day we pray for the Spirit of Lepanto.

In the current postcommunion oration for the Mass we find the closest thing in the current formulary to reference to Our Lady of Victory:

May we be helped we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers of Thy most holy Mother, whose Rosary we celebrate; that we may draw strength from the Mysteries which we commemorate, and likewise obtain the fruit of the Sacraments which we have received: Who livest and reignest with the God Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.  Amen.

We are to draw strength from the paschal mystery, the mystery of the sacrificial love of Christ for all men.  The mysteries of which the oration speaks are the death and resurrection of the Lord.  But the feast integrates into these mysteries the mystery of Our Lady’s victorious mediation, and the “strength” which we draw from our participation in the Mysteries of Christ through Her mediation.

On this occasion I have returned to vlogging my series Standing Fast which you will be able find each week in the side bar on the right.  (It should be up momentarily.) Well I guess the widget won’t fly yet, so here is the video:

Here is the link to The Soul of the Apostolate that I mention in the video. And a Google Books version here.

You will also be able to find it on AirMaria as a regular post in a larger format.  I have delayed my post today due to the learning curve with some new video software.  My apologies for not posting sooner on Our Lady’s feast day.

The above painting was created by Tony Stafki and is available in various kinds of prints.  Tony sent my some information about the painting:

  • The battle formation of the ships just before the main clash.
  • The Catholic ships form a cross and the Muslim ships form a cresent.
  • The standard of the Holy Cross which was blessed by Pope Pius V can be seen on Don Juan of Austria’s ship which is leading the charge
  • Papal ships (St. Peter’s keys)
  • The miracle of the wind: just before the armies met the wind completely switched in favor of the Catholic ships.
  • Devils can be seen amongst the Muslim ships (they were summoned from hell by the Muslim leader).  The devils have peacock feathers as swords, a manifestation of their pride.
  • Our Lady of Victory with a sword in one hand ready to crush the devils and the other hand outstretched to the Muslim souls.
  • St. Michael leading the Angels
  • There are small white lights by the oars on the Muslim ships representing the souls of the Catholic prisoners.

The image of Our Lady with the sword reminds me of this:

The King looked up, and what he saw
Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

One instant in a still light
He saw Our Lady then,
Her dress was soft as western sky,
And she was a queen most womanly—
But she was a queen of men.

Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand,
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart—
But one was in her hand.

I have always been a little put off that the image of Our Lady of Victory does not have a sword:

OLVictoryPrint

Nor images of our Lady at Lepanto, such as this:

Maria-Rosa-Lepanto

Hats off to Tony.

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Our Lady of the Rosary, Victrix at Lepanto

Today is the principle feast of the Knights of Lepanto and MaryVictix.com, so happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Victories to one and all.

I have been doing a lot of reading of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe’s writings lately.  These writings are the basis of our order’s spirituality and of the work we do.  I have been reflecting a great deal on the original inspiration for my own vocation and on the essential characteristics of our work.

When the Knights of Lepanto was founded, I remember being concerned about the absence of men from the life of the Church in general and from the MIM specifically, and I wanted to do something about it.  A masculine approach to spirituality, that is, prayer translated into action, seemed to be the order of the day.  And indeed it was. Continue reading