At least 1 million Catholics are expected to form a line and pray the rosary along Poland’s borders on the anniversary of the Christian Fleet saving Europe from the Muslim Ottomans.
Poland’s bishops encourage Catholics to participate in the Oct. 7 mass rosary to pray for Poland’s salvation, according to Aleteia. The rosary will commemorate the end of the Fatima centenary on the Feast of Our Lady of Victory and the anniversary of the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, when the fleet of the Holy League defeated the Ottoman Empire and saved Europe from Islamization, according to the Catholic Herald.
In the spirit of the feast and the day the Christian Fleet altered Europe’s history with their victory, the mass rosary’s organizers say the event can achieve a spiritual victory on a similar scale.
“We believe that if the rosary is prayed by about a million Poles along the borders of the country, it may not only change the course of events, but open hearts of our compatriots to the grace of God,” the organizers say on their website. “Powerful prayer of the Rosary can affect the fate of Poland, Europe, and even the whole world.”
The mass rosary mirrors the history of the Battle of Lepanto, during which Pope Pius V ordered Rome’s churches to remain open day and night for prayer and intercession on behalf of the Holy League’s military forces, that they might stem the Ottoman advance into Europe, according to Word On Fire. Pius V specifically encouraged attendees to pray the rosary to invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The faithful prayed day and night and throughout the Battle of Lepanto, and when victory was won, Pius V declared Oct. 7 a feast day.
The Polish bishops’ conference officially endorsed the upcoming mass rosary, and urged “all the faithful to join in this initiative.” The bishops said that those who cannot travel to the border can pray in their homes, hospitals, or churches.
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