The recent passage in the House of Representatives of the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" introduced by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and decisively passed 254 to 172 gives hope that there will be a victory for the pro-life side. This week is very much like Respect Life Week, which began with the traditional "Respect Life Sunday," held the first Sunday of every October. It continued with yesterday's selection by the voters of Judie Brown, founder of the American Life League, as the 49th TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY and Godincidentally today's selection of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla as the 48th TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY and later on this week Father Paul Marx, O.S.B. who is coming up soon on the list. He is the founder of Human Life International. These people are noted for their strong, loyal Catholic ideals of upholding the truths of the Church regarding the Sanctity of Life. Victory has been few and far between during the time that William Jefferson Clinton has occupied the White House. He has been satan's chief ally in promoting the culture of death, trying to wipe out millions of unborn lives through his political expediency. The forces of the culture of death with the like of Clinton, Planned Parenthood and "Catholics" for a Free Choice remind us of the Saracens whose strength and size looked overwhelming in the face of the small Christian fleet commandeered by Don Juan of Austria as they came within range for the great sea battle at Lepanto. Against overwhelming odds, the good guys won. We can only hope and pray the same outcome holds true for those upholding life regarding legislation.
"Victory" is such a defining word. Derived from the Latin victus which is the pluperfect of vincere "to conquer." Of course the greatest conquest was by Jesus who conquered sin through the Cross and His Resurrection. In all other conquests weapons have been the key ingredient in achieving the goal whether it were clubs and stones in ancient times or high-tech military artillery in our present age. With all the controversy over gun laws and the NRA here in America and the debate about licensing "Saturday night specials," there is a weapon we don't need a licence for and which we can carry at all times. It is one guaranteed to stun and derail our enemy...to achieve victory. There's no waiting period, no shakedown, no fears when we use this special weapon. We're referring, of course, to the Holy Rosary.
Thursday is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, dating back to 1571 in honor of the great Victory of Lepanto which saved Europe from Islamism through the recitation of the Rosary given to Saint Dominic by the Blessed Mother in 1208. Pope Saint Pius V declared tomorrow the feast of Our Lady of Victory and that was changed later to the universal Church as Our Lady of the Rosary. Lepanto was one of the last great naval battles waged in the Gulf of Corinth between the heavily favored and feared Ottoman Turks who espoused the Moslim belief and a gutty band of forces provided by King Philip II of Spain, termed the Holy League and commandeered by Don Juan of Austria who was, in truth, the illegitimate brother of Philip. Casualties were great on both sides for 7,500 Christians lost their lives, but the Turks lost 30,000 and that staggering amount for a sea battle ended their domination forever as a power on the Mediterranean. Right out of David and Goliath the undermanned, but determined Christian fleet managed to outmaneuver and overthrow the superior Turkish armada not because of their skills or ability, but chiefly because God heard His Mother's pleas for help and, because millions had turned to Our Lady through the Rosary at Pius' request, victory was achieved for the good guys. Pius died the following Spring and every pontiff since his successor Pope Gregory XIII has emphasized the devotion to the Rosary, but few have given the Rosary more emphasis than Pope John Paul II. Totally dedicated to the Mother of God, he reiterates over and over the need to pray the Rosary.
Today, less than three months away from the new millennium, there is a need for Our Lady's intercession like never before in history. The time is now to truly commit to her special devotion. Here in the USA, the "culture of death" demoralizes our society from the White House and Wall Street on down as well as in our own Holy Church where heresy, apostasy and schism infiltrate, ravaging our sanctuaries. Never has the Rosary taken on a more urgent need. Our Lady, in her countless messages, has said the Rosary "is our strongest weapon against the forces of evil" and that it will be "the links of the Rosary chain that will bind satan." There can be no greater finite victory than the ultimate defeat of the evil one which will mark the great Triumph of the Immaculate Heart which Mary first promised at Fatima and ever after that. This glorious victory will usher in the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the New Pentecost, the Age of the Holy Spirit, the Third Reign of the Third Millenium. Whatever you call it, while the ultimate conquest will be being reunited with God in Heaven, this triumph to come will be a victory above all victories on this feeble earth. As we all know, October is dedicated to Our Lady and "Respect Life." It is an ideal time to begin if one has not already committed to praying the Rosary daily. For those who have committed to this cause, don't stop! Please! The only way to end abortion, to rid the senate of pro-abortion senators so a bill like the Fetal Protection Bill can gain enough votes to thwart Clinton's veto is through prayer not physical confrontation.
The recipients of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY honor the past two days and later in the week believe strongly in the power of the Rosary, not in confrontation in the manner of Operation Rescue which, over the years, while doing good, has angered many and ignited the other side because of the "in your face" attitude. That is not God's way and both Judie Brown and Father Paul Marx understand that. Blessed Gianna knows it from above. Our Lady has promised that if we pray the Rosary from our hearts, our prayers will be answered! Only through Mary's intercession will we weather the storms ahead. From Lepanto to the present, one thing is abundantly clear: any significant successes for Christian nations and cultures throughout history have occurred when Our Lady has been invoked. Each time she brings us to her Divine Son Jesus Who, through His Holy Spirit as the Sanctifier leads us to God the Father. That is the only way to victory! We don't conquer our enemies through force but through the gentle, but lethal weapon of the Rosary, killing them with our love, the love God showed us by dying on the Cross for our sins. That was the ultimate victory and He wants us to share in it with Him. History has proven that nothing is insurmountable with God on our side! That is what "victory" is all about! And the victory can be ours if we take up the Rosary and pray!