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Remembering Lepanto
National Review Online ^ | 10/7/06 | Michael Novak

Posted on 10/07/2011 7:39:03 AM PDT by marshmallow

A battle not forgotten.

The future author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, served on one of the Christian galleys in what he called the greatest naval sea battle in history and the most important to that time for the safety of Europe. The Turks had been massing an enormous fleet for an invasion of Italy. The preparations began to be reported on many months in advance. It was the year 1571 when that fleet was gathered near a port in Greece, not far from the Gulf of Lepanto.

For over a year, Pope Pius V had tried to alert the great powers of Europe to the coming menace. But England, France, and the regional powers of what later became Germany were preoccupied with the turmoil of the Reformation.

Only Don Juan of Austria, the bastard son of the king of Spain, was stirred by the danger. Despite his youth, despite his modest standing, Don Juan sent out urgent appeals and eventually gathered a sturdy fleet, outfitted with new warfare technologies invented in the West and rapidly mass-produced by the fledgling ship-building and armament firms of what was later to be called “Western capitalism.” He gathered fleets from Venice and Genoa, from Spain, and from the Knights of Malta. In a deliberately preemptive strike, blessed by the pope, this small fleet set sail to catch the Turkish armada before it left the waters of Greece.

The Venetians, on the left flank of the battle line, were especially passionate. Not long before, the Turks had so battered an island port maintained by Venetians (and others) that the Venetian commander, Marcantonio Bragadino appealed for a truce. The Turks promised him and his subjects safe passage — and then took him prisoner, beat him, cut off his nose and ears, put a collar on..............

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Islam; Prayer
Article is an old one but the story never is.

October 7...........Our Lady of the Rosary and anniversary of Lepanto.

1 posted on 10/07/2011 7:39:08 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Thanks for posting this. I would also recommend the Lepanto chapter (titled “Capitalism Kills”) in Victor Davis Hanson’s modern classic Carnage and Culture.

2 posted on 10/07/2011 7:46:20 AM PDT by denydenydeny (The moment you step into a world of facts, you step into a world of limits. --Chesterton)
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To: marshmallow; denydenydeny

The problem with this article is that Novak is avoiding the truth.

It wasn’t a “Turkish fleet”; it was a Mohammedan fleet trying to expand the Caliphate. The relevance of the Turks was only that they were at the top of the Mohammedan “food chain” at the time. Under their leadership the Mohammedans had to be turned away for the gates of Viena twice, defeated at Malta, and thrashed at Lepanto.

It is unfortunate that we lack the courage and will of the men of the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries who drove the Mohammedans out of Europe and kept them out.

3 posted on 10/07/2011 8:04:19 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: marshmallow
Amen we need this kind of miracle today.

Heavenly Father may you continue to bring an overwhelming, crushing defeat on the forces of darkness in our nation, may you smash every crooked deed as they try to hold onto power and may this be so convincing that everyone knows that your hand is in this. Then we may bring the light of your Gospel to the nations as you did this time in history:

4 posted on 10/07/2011 8:07:10 AM PDT by DarthVader (That which supports Barack Hussein Obama must be sterilized and there are NO exceptions!)
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To: marshmallow
With each decade of the Hail Marys they had been taught to reflect upon a different event in the life of Jesus. The beads went through one’s fingers as regularly as the blood through one’s body, as regular as heartbeats and the breathing of the lungs.

Not to denigrate the heroism in that battle, but I had a Catholic friend tell me that one time he was in such a bad spot, he ran through the Rosary so fast he got rope burns.

5 posted on 10/07/2011 8:08:26 AM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: DarthVader

Heavenly Father: you know how little we deserve the name Christian. Help us to turn to You: to love You, to follow You.

Now that the multitude of the Beast is once again rising to plague the world, please grant us victory. And may it be Your victory, not ours.

+ We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Amen +

A trumpet that sayeth Ha!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria is shouting to the ships!

6 posted on 10/07/2011 8:23:14 AM PDT by agere_contra ("Debt is the foundation of destruction" : Sarah Palin.)
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To: marshmallow
A fine example of islamic mercy...

“the Turks had so battered an island port maintained by Venetians (and others) that the Venetian commander, Marcantonio Bragadino appealed for a truce. The Turks promised him and his subjects safe passage — and then took him prisoner, beat him, cut off his nose and ears, put a collar on him, and made him crawl like a dog before the conquering army. In a little cage, he was hoisted up on the mast of the galley so that all in the fleet and on land could see him. Then he was brought down flayed mercilessly, his skin carefully stripped from his body as he died (the skin was later stuffed with straw and sent off to Constantinople as a trophy). Thousands of Venetians and others were slaughtered on the spot, or driven off in captivity for service on Turkish galleys or in Turkish harems.’

7 posted on 10/07/2011 8:26:11 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again.")
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To: DarthVader
Amen -- one of the reasons we don't speak Arabic!!!!

Remembering Lepanto
How Europe Escaped Speaking Arabic
The Battle of Lepanto
Civilization in the Balance: The Battle of Lepanto and Election ‘08

A Call To Prayer: This Lepanto Moment [Repost]
Lepanto, 1571: The Battle That Saved Europe
Celebrating the Battle of Lepanto
Clash of civilizations: Battle of Lepanto revisited
Lepanto, Bertone e Battesimo, Oh My!
Lepanto Sunday
Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval (A Mini-Lepanto in the Philippines)
Swiss Guards at the Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571
Battle of Lepanto
LEPANTO, 7 OCTOBER 1571: The Defense of Europe

Battle of Lepanto
Remember Lepanto!
The Battle of Lepanto
On This Day In History, The Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto
Chesterton's Lepanto
The Miracle At Lepanto...
The Naval Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto

8 posted on 10/07/2011 8:28:05 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: denydenydeny

Great book.

9 posted on 10/07/2011 8:31:31 AM PDT by onedoug (If)
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To: achilles2000

BTTT for the truth. Some of the Lepanto links tell the truth too.

10 posted on 10/07/2011 8:38:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: marshmallow
the greatest naval sea battle in history and the most important to that time for the safety of Europe.

Also, another important battle, the battle of Vienna marked another turning point in the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, the 300-year struggle between the HRE and the Ottoman Empire.This battle tool place on 9-11, 1683

11 posted on 10/07/2011 9:52:39 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: fella; All

there’s lots more examples of islamic mercy.
70 million dead buddhists and hindus (Hindu Kush).
115 million dead africans, from the MUSLIM slave trade.

and yet our OWN politicians praise “The Religion of Peace”.

How Europe Escaped Speaking Arabic

“The Western world has never taken Islam with the full seriousness it has earned. Down through history, once Islamic armies have conquered a land, with very few exceptions, that land has remained Muslim. A Christian will wish in vain that the great circle of Christian lands around the Mediterranean (and on up into Syria, Iraq, Iran, and northwards into Georgia) had not fallen irretrievably into Muslim hands, most of them before 732 A.D. For Christians who think that the future of the world favors movement in their direction, a study of the latent dynamism of Islam is not a little unsettling.”

/// Europe didn’t escape. it simply postponed it.
almost 10 million live in France, living off the jizra of French taxpayers, in virtually independent Muslim colonies.
Warning : France’s Islamic suburbs are becoming ‘separate communities in a divided nation’
VIDEO: Imam Calling for War against France, Muslims March Screaming “Death to the Jews!”
in England, they arrest Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses for “hate crimes”. but never Muslims, even though the Quran actively COMMANDS hate, sedition, and killing.
= the USA, Michigan is NOT even the 2nd largest concentration. TEXAS there are almost 1 million, with Gulen Islamist schools built with taxpayer money. Halal meat plants, with animals throats slit in the name of Allah, and Sharia court (with full address) deferred to in Texas court.
...the government is infiltrated by Muslims (the assistant to the US Sec of State has Muslim Brotherhood ties!)

...and most in the West, still think Islam can be “reformed”.

instead of studying history, as Churchill, Jefferson, and many others have, and learning from Lepanto, and the Polish King leading the Winged Hussars... it’s win, or die.

there is no “peaceful coexistence” with Islam.
we ARE in their “House of War”, whether we admit it or not.

12 posted on 10/07/2011 10:39:04 AM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Elendur

there is no “peaceful coexistence” with Islam.
we ARE in their “House of War”, whether we admit it or not.

/// and that was just one of the many shocking things,
that were confirmed for me, by an Al-Azhar trained Imam,
right outside of Washington DC...

13 posted on 10/07/2011 10:46:36 AM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: denydenydeny

I have read a number of his but not that one. I will have to check it out.

14 posted on 10/07/2011 11:15:49 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: marshmallow

More than any other battle, this one would make for the greatest and most politically incorrect movie.

Maybe Mel can get back to his senses.

15 posted on 10/07/2011 12:23:55 PM PDT by WPaCon
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To: marshmallow

Spaniards are still given a dispensation to eat meat on Fridays during Lent because of this battle; the Spanish center held while the flanks drew back (apparently contradicting this account). The Venetians were not given the dispensation, and it no longer applied to Latin America once they gained their independence from Spain.

16 posted on 10/07/2011 3:12:06 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: denydenydeny

I thik that may be next on my reading list. Thanks!

17 posted on 10/07/2011 4:49:55 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: All

Back in Seminary I remember a Church History instructor warning us not to be “too defensive” of the Church when others point to our shortcomings. He said that the Church is so big and so old, that just about anything you can say probably has some truth to it. He went on to clarify that it didn’t mean that everything said about the Church was necessarily fair or set in proper context to be understood. Neither was it fair that the Church was often singled out. Nevertheless given the billions who have been Catholic over 2000 years, there are plenty of sinners and plenty of saints, lots of glory and lots that was gory. So be careful he said, “Never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish.

Hence when we come to the Crusades, we have a bit of a balancing act. At one level, the usual pointing to this historical period with selective moral outrage, is a tired old attack on the Church, an attack, usually simplistic in its understanding, devoid of historical context, and quite one-sided. That said, there were surely excesses and gravely sinful acts that often come in the fog of any war, religious or not.

With that in mind I’d like to look at excerpts from article recently published over at First Principles, the Article is Entitled: Four Myths About the Crusades. The Author is Paul Crawford. In the excerpts that follow, his text is in bold, black italics. My comments are in red plain text. The full text of his lengthy and excellent article can be read by click the title above.

Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and even a cursory chronological review makes that clear. In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula. Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened?…The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory….Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest….Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus…toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. …[A]ttacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them…..The Byzantines took a long time to gain the strength to fight back. By the mid-ninth century, they mounted a counterattack….Sharp Muslim counterattacks followed…

In 1009, a mentally deranged Muslim ruler destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and mounted major persecutions of Christians and Jews….Pilgrimages became increasingly difficult and dangerous, and western pilgrims began banding together and carrying weapons to protect themselves as they tried to make their way to Christianity’s holiest sites in Palestine.

Desperate, the Byzantines sent appeals for help westward, directing these appeals primarily at the person they saw as the chief western authority: the pope, who, as we have seen, had already been directing Christian resistance to Muslim attacks….finally, in 1095, Pope Urban II realized Pope Gregory VII’s desire, in what turned into the First Crusade.

Far from being unprovoked, then, the crusades actually represent the first great western Christian counterattack against Muslim attacks which had taken place continually from the inception of Islam until the eleventh century, and which continued on thereafter, mostly unabated. Three of Christianity’s five primary episcopal sees (Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria) had been captured in the seventh century; both of the others (Rome and Constantinople) had been attacked in the centuries before the crusades. The latter would be captured in 1453, leaving only one of the five (Rome) in Christian hands by 1500. Rome was again threatened in the sixteenth century. This is not the absence of provocation; rather, it is a deadly and persistent threat, and one which had to be answered by forceful defense if Christendom were to survive.

It is difficult to underestimate the losses suffered by the Church in the waves of Muslim conquest. All of North Africa, once teeming with Christians, was conquered. There were once 500 bishops in North Africa. Now, even to this day, the Christian Church there exists only in ruins buried beneath the sand and with titular but non-residential bishops. All of Asia Minor, so lovingly evangelized by St. Paul, was lost. Much of Southern Europe was almost lost as well. It is hard to imagine any alternative to decisive military action in order to turn back waves of Muslim attack and conquest.

Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.

Again, not true. Few crusaders had sufficient cash both to pay their obligations at home and to support themselves decently on a crusade.” From the very beginning, financial considerations played a major role in crusade planning. The early crusaders sold off so many of their possessions to finance their expeditions that they caused widespread inflation. Although later crusaders took this into account and began saving money long before they set out, the expense was still nearly prohibitive.

One of the chief reasons for the foundering of the Fourth Crusade, and its diversion to Constantinople, was the fact that it ran out of money before it had gotten properly started, and was so indebted to the Venetians that it found itself unable to keep control of its own destiny. Louis IX’s Seventh Crusade in the mid-thirteenth century cost more than six times the annual revenue of the crown.

The popes resorted to ever more desperate ploys to raise money to finance crusades, from instituting the first income tax in the early thirteenth century to making a series of adjustments in the way that indulgences were handled that eventually led to the abuses condemned by Martin Luther.

In short: very few people became rich by crusading, and their numbers were dwarfed by those who were bankrupted. Most medieval people were quite well aware of this, and did not consider crusading a way to improve their financial situations.

Crawford states elsewhere, that plunder was often allowed or overlooked, when Christian armies conquered, in order that some bills could be paid. Sadly, plunder was commonly permitted in ancient times but was not unique to Christians. Here again, we may wish that Christian sentiments would have meant no plunder at all, but war is seldom orderly, and the motive of every individual solider cannot be perfectly controlled.

The bottom line remains, conducting a crusade was a lousy way to get rich or raise any money at all.

Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.

This has been a very popular argument, at least from Voltaire on. It seems credible and even compelling to modern people, steeped as they are in materialist worldviews. And certainly there were cynics and hypocrites in the Middle Ages—medieval people were just as human as we are, and subject to the same failings.

However, like the first two myths, this statement is generally untrue, and demonstrably so. For one thing, the casualty rates on the crusades were usually very high, and many if not most crusaders left expecting not to return. At least one military historian has estimated the casualty rate for the First Crusade at an appalling 75 percent, for example.

But this assertion is also revealed to be false when we consider the way in which the crusades were preached. Crusaders were not drafted. Participation was voluntary, and participants had to be persuaded to go. The primary means of persuasion was the crusade sermon. Crusade sermons were replete with warnings that crusading brought deprivation, suffering, and often death….would disrupt their lives, possibly impoverish and even kill or maim them, and inconvenience their families.

So why did the preaching work? It worked because crusading was appealing precisely because it was a known and significant hardship, and because undertaking a crusade with the right motives was understood as an acceptable penance for sin….valuable for one’s soul. The willing acceptance of difficulty and suffering was viewed as a useful way to purify one’s soul

Related to the concept of penance is the concept of crusading as an act of selfless love, of “laying down one’s life for one’s friends.”

As difficult as it may be for modern people to believe, the evidence strongly suggests that most crusaders were motivated by a desire to please God, expiate their sins, and put their lives at the service of their “neighbors,” understood in the Christian sense.

Yes, and such concepts ARE difficult for modern Westerners to believe. Since we are so secular and cynical, the thought of spiritual motives strike us as implausible. But a great Cartesian divide, with its materialist reductionism,  separates the Modern West from the Middle Ages and Christian antiquity.  Those were days when life in this world was brutal and short, and life here was “a valley of tears” to be endured as a time of purification preparing us to meet God. Spiritual principles held much more sway than today.

Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Muslims had been attacking Christians for more than 450 years before Pope Urban declared the First Crusade. They needed no incentive to continue doing so. But there is a more complicated answer here, as well.

The first Muslim crusade history did not [even] appear until 1899. By that time, the Muslim world was rediscovering the crusades—but it was rediscovering them with a twist learned from Westerners. In the modern period, there were two main European schools of thought about the crusades. One school, epitomized by people like Voltaire, Gibbon, and Sir Walter Scott, and in the twentieth century Sir Steven Runciman, saw the crusaders as crude, greedy, aggressive barbarians who attacked civilized, peace-loving Muslims to improve their own lot. The other school, more romantic, saw the crusades as a glorious episode in a long-standing struggle in which Christian chivalry had driven back Muslim hordes.

So it was not the crusades that taught Islam to attack and hate Christians. …Rather, it was the West which taught Islam to hate the crusades.

Yes, the strange self-loathing tendencies of the dying West do supply our detractors, and would-be destroyers, with ample reason to detest us.

I am interested in your thoughts. I don’t think it is necessary to vehemently defend the Church’s and the Christian West’s series of Crusades. There were many regrettable things that accompany any war. But fair is fair, there is more to the picture than many, with anti-Church agendas of their own, wish to admit.

And for those secularist and atheists who love to tout “how many have died as the result of religious wars and violence,” We do well to recall how many died in the 20th century for secular ideological reasons. Paul Johnson, the English Historian, in his book Modern Times, places the number at 1oo million.

Does this excuse even one person dying as the result of religious war? No. But fair is fair. Violence, war, conquest  and territorial disputes, are human problems not necessarily or only religious ones.

Painting: The Preaching of the Crusades form Wikipedia Commons

This video covers some of the Christian ruins in North Africa, including the See of St Cyprian of Carthage

18 posted on 10/08/2011 2:18:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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