The Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto is one of the greatest naval battle in the world. Where Pope St. Pius V organized the Holy League, a coalition of forces from Spain and smaller Christian Kingdoms to rescue Christian outpost in Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire. The Holy League was disadvantagesagainst the Ottoman Empire, Pope St. Pius V called for all Europe to pray Holy Rosary for Victory until the Holy League won against the Ottoman Empire. Pope St. Pius V instituted the feast of “Our Lady of Victory” in commemoration the victory of Battle of Lepanto where the Blessed Virgin Mary help the Holy League by the Most Holy Rosary. Then in 1573, his successor, Pope Gregory XIII change the name of the feast to “The Feast of the Holy Rosary”.
The Battle of La Naval De Manila (1646)
In the Philippines, the combined Spanish and Filipino forces fought against Protestant Dutch Republic whom are attempting to invade the Country. They ask for the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and pray the rosary repeatedly to win this naval battle which lasted in five battles. Before the second battle began, General Orellana and Admiral Lopez made a public vow to the Blessed Virgin Mary if they come out victorious, they will make a solemn feast in Her honor, and all of them would walk barefoot to Our Lady’s chapel at Santo Domingo church. After their third victory in third battle, General Orellana fullfilled his vow by marching barefoot to Santo Domingo Church together with his troop. And after their victory in their last battle agains the dutch, they once again marched barefoot to the Shrine of our Lady of the Rosary in Santo Domingo Church. On April 4, 1906, Pope St. Pius X approved the image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary — La Naval de Manila by Canonical Coronation.
The EDSA Revolution (1986)
The Blessed Virgin Mary also had another victory in the Philippines. In 1986, the people revolt against the Dictator, President Ferdinand Marcos who use Martial Law to reign the country in 20 years where many people suffered and died during his reign. Instead of a bloody revolt, it became bloodless as Catholic Faithful gather to EDSA without weapons, instead they brought their rosaries, Crucifixes, images of Sto. Nino and the Blessed Virgin Mary, food, flowers and prayed to God with the intercession of the Blessed Mother. President Marcos sent a full army with tanks and armored vehicles. He planned to stop the revolt even if that brings chaos to the people. As the soldiers advanced, they saw up in the sky what appeared to be a cross-like figure but it did not hinder them as they continued to press forward to the crowd but the people still continuous praying the Holy Rosary. Then what happened next change the hearts of the soldiers. While preparing for an assault, they saw a beautiful woman dressed as a nun who became visible in front of the tanks. This beautiful woman dressed in blue with heavenly eyes as she appeared in front of the soldiers and extended her arms outward and spoke in a voice that was clearly audible to everyone:
“Dear soldiers, stop! Do not proceed. Do not harm my children. I am the Queen of this land.”
The Soldiers dropped their weapons and join the people to fight against the Dictator. The television station that covering the event prompted “Mother Mary is with us”. Marcos’ central command gave the order to fire on the people but the soldiers just made excuses like machine malfunctioned and the canons are not working. The people won, the dictator was removed to his position and declared Corazon Aquino as the new president. To commemorate the victory of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Edsa Revolution and to thank God for freeing the Filipino people from the dictator, a shrine was built in EDSA with the large image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is called the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of Edsa).
Truly, the Blessed Virgin Mary is victorious when we have a deep devotion to her and her Immaculate Heart. As her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, always listens to her. Sadly, people are slowly forgotten these events. But still we must not lose hope and continued to pray to God with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin as in the end, her immaculate heart will triumph!