Nota in Brevis: Lepanto, Language and Hurricanes


  • Today, the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, marks the 444th anniversary of one of the most decisive battles not only in naval history, but in all of history, and I refer of course to the Battle of Lepanto, fought by a Christian fleet, led by Don Juan of Austria, son of the Emperor Charles V, in the waters of the Adriatic against an apparently superior Islamic Turkish fleet, vowing to turn Saint Peter’s into a mosque.


  • Father Rutler has an outstanding piece today in Crisis, recounting details of the battle that bring that day vividly to life. It was the saintly Pope of the time, Pius V, who attributed the victory to the intercession of Our Lady, by means of her Rosary. As the good priest more or less rightly predicts, in an a posteriori sense (which is to some degree fallible), if we had lost that battle, there would be no Europe, no civilization to speak of.  For not all cultures are equal, and given the mess of modern Islamic states ,what would ‘Europe’ be like after 444 years of Muslim rule?  One need not look far to wonder…


  • On another note, I too have an article published today in Crisis, humbly side-by-side with the far greater Father Rutler, on the abuse of language to mold and shape the minds of people into the agnostic and hedonistic image of the secular State. Perhaps by the time I am seventy, I will write with as much aplomb and facility with facts as he..


  • We are also reminded today of the uncontrollable power of Nature, which really means God, as hurricane Matthew pounds the coast of Florida, after devastating Haiti and other Caribbean countries. Of course, this will be attributed to ‘climate change’, but like King Canute, we should have the humility to declare that even the greatest of potentates has no power over the sea, whose courses are in the hands of the Almighty.  The winds of Matthew, reaching about 120 miles per hour, destructive enough, are not much compared to the winds of our planetary neighbour Venus, which are rather consistently twice that.  Perhaps God is telling us something?


  • I am not sure what the future and putative Vice Presidents were telling us in their recent debate. (Well, only one will gain that title). I did not watch it, only read reports, but it does not seem to have far transcended the bathos of the Presidential version.  However, the Protestant Pence did admit to being ‘100%’ pro-life, while the ‘Catholic’ Kaine waffled, and this on the death penalty (more politically correct than abortion, and, unlike abortion, not intrinsically evil). His prevarication is much of a piece with so many who profess the faith of Rome. Alas. I will have more to write on this in the context of that most fundamental  and misunderstood of virtues, faith, and its close cousin, humility.


Our Lady of the Rosary, ora pro nobis!