|King Jan III Sobieski with a gorget of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.|
Before he set out, Sobieski had sent a letter to Innocent XI, in which he wrote: “When the good of the Church and Christianity is concerned I shed my blood to the last drop, together with the whole kingdom. Since my kingdom and I are two bulwarks of Christianity”.
To commemorate Sobieski’s victory Pope Innocent XI announced 12 September the day of glory of the Holy Name of Mary, and to show his admiration for the Poles and their king the Pope accepted the sign of the Crowned Eagle into his papal coat of arms.
It is said that Pope Blessed Innocent XI instituted this feast honoring the holy name of Mary, because the Polish winged hussars, in response to the Turks battle cry of “Allah, Allah!” rushed into battle crying “Maria! Maria!” Indeed, the Mother of God showed Her great power that day for King Sobieski utterly routed the Turkish army.
Would that this heroic and faith-filled attitude of King Sobieski and his famed Polish winged hussars be emulated in the great Cultural War that embroils all of the Christian West. Having put “on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8), and praying to God for the courage of King Sobieski and his men, let us charge into this fray–always legally and peacefully–crying “Maria! Maria!”
|King John III Sobieski Sobieski sending Message of Victory to the Pope, after the Battle of Vienna painted by Jan Matejko|