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Patron Saint - Our Lady of Victories
Battle of Lepanto
  • The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7th October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Spain, Venice, the Papal states and others, under the overall command of Don John of Austria, an illegitimate son of the late Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. The five-hour battle was fought at the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece. The Empire lost all but 30 of its ships and as many as 30,000 men, and some Western historians have held it to be the most decisive naval battle anywhere on the globe since the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.
  • The loss of so many of its experienced sailors at Lepanto sapped the fighting effectiveness of the Ottoman navy, a fact emphasized by their avoidance of major confrontations with Christian navies in the years following the battle. Historians note that the Turkish defeat stopped Turkey's expansion into the Mediterranean, thus maintaining Western dominance, and confidence grew in the West that Turks, previously unstoppable, could now be beaten.
  • After the battle of Lepanto, Pope Pius V, instituted "Our Lady of Victory" as an annual feast to commemorate the victory. The Pope had previously called upon Catholics to invoke Mary's assistance so that the Turkish threat may be averted.  Immediately afterwards the Pope inserted the title "Help of Christians" into the Litany of Our Lady as it was believed that the threat of invasion had been averted through Mary's intercession as a rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter's Square in Rome for the success of the mission.
  • So the name “Our Lady of Victory(ies)” has a certain synchronicity with the title of Australia’s Patron “Our Lady Help of Christians.”
BASILICA OF OUR LADY OF VICTORIES | 548 Burke Road, Camberwell VIC 3124 | Phone: 9816 9291 | Email: camberwell@cam.org.au