The Battle Continues

Today marks the anniversary of one of the greatest victories in the history of Christendom, the defeat of the Islamic Ottoman Turks on July 22, 1456, fresh from their destruction of Constantinople three years previously, by a ragtag and vastly outnumbered group of mostly unarmed Christian defenders, led by the indomitable Hungarian, John Hunyadi. If the Turks had won, Europe would most likely have been conquered, and we’d all be Muslims. Read the account by Raymond Ibrahim here. It’s why Pope Callixtus III, in commemoration of the victory, ordered the ringing the church bells at noon – or used to (they still do in the town where I live, Deo gratias!). This is distinct from the more ancient custom of reciting the Angelus, but was soon joined thereto.

The Muslims would try again to break through Hungary, as we posted yesterday, with Saint Lawrence of Brindisi exhorting the Christian troops in 1601, and the final miraculous victory led by Jan Sobielski in 1683, after which they never tried again.

Anti-Christian forces are still trying to defeat Hungary, one of the last bastions of what was once Catholic Europe, holding out against more subtle and insidious enemies. Perhaps we need a good military siege – it would at least bring things out into the open. But we must always recall that our battle is a spiritual one, and must be won within each of our own hearts.

May the grace of God hold her, her people, and all of us, strong in the Faith of our fathers. And ring those bells at noon, and recite that Angelus. Pour forth thy grace into our hearts