The Help of Christians
Here you can read about The Battle of Lepanto, and how by means of the Holy Rosary and Mary's intercession, the Christian fleet won their first victory against the Muslims, saving all of Europe.
To me the most amazing thing in the whole article is not the miraculous victory, the blessings of the Rosary, or the miraculous vision of victory given to Pope Pius V, but this. Before the Christian fleet left ...
The Pope ordered the admirals and generals to disband 1) all soldiers and seamen who were interested in fighting not for preservation of Christendom but only for plunder; 2) all scandalizing and rioting men who might bring indignation down from heaven by their misdeeds.
"But ... but ... but ... we might not win!"
And Archbishop Sheen writes ...
This brings us to our second point, namely, why the Blessed Mother, in this twentieth century (1950), should have revealed herself in the insignificant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as "Our Lady of Fatima."
Nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details. I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.
Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima.
A catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.
The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception that the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Moslems attended the Catholic services in honor of Our Lady; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems, who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.On Sunday, this same Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be part of a procession in Rome, where Pope Francis will consecrate the entire world - including those of us who have been preparing for this since the Feast of St. Genesisus - to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Let us pray about the help we get from heaven, for the asking; and the deep and profound faith that would inspire the pope to purify even the ranks of the military, so as to ensure the proper intention even at the risk of suffering defeat. May we imitate Pope St. Pius V and purify even our own intentions, risking the worldly consequences that may follow, all for the sake of Our Lord and Our Lady.
Let us pray ...
To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves – our hearts, minds, wills and lives and all those works we undertake so they may be for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy, give to our hearts the dimensions of yours and form us in the image of your beloved Son.