October 7, 2019

The Battle of Lepanto is a Reminder and a Harbinger

Today, October 7th, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, arguably the greatest upset in a naval battle in history, in which the West devastated Islamic forces.

In the 16th century, the Islamic Caliphate – the Ottoman Empire – continued it’s incursion and expansion into Western lands, including the Mediterranean, hoping to conquer all of Europe.

During the Siege of Malta in 1565, 500 Knights of the Hospitallers and approximately 2,000 soldiers held off 40,000 muslim invaders. At the Battle of Famagusta in 1571, muslims were frustrated by another small number of Christian fighters devastating the Islamic forces until less than 400 Christians remained. After promising safe passage for the remaining Christians, the muslims at Famagusta instead beheaded them, skinned their leader alive, stuffed his body with hay, and then hung him from their ship’s mast as a warning to others.

The muslims brutal treatment of those they engaged in battle, like those in Famagusta, energized the Christians’ Holy League fleet.

In September 1571, the Holy League’s fleet assembled at Messina, Sicily with 206 galleys and 6 smaller ships, manned by 40,000 sailors carrying approximately 27,000 soldiers.  The Holy League sailed for Corfu on September 16th with John of Austria (Don Juan) commanding (in the center), Agostino Barbarigo on the left, Italy’s Admiral Giovanni Andrea Doria on the right, and, from Spain, Álvaro de Bazán in reserve.

The Muslim fleet was commanded by Ali Pasha (center), Alexandria’s governor, Mohammed Saulak (right), and the Pasha of Algiers Uluch Ali on the left.  The Turkish fleet flew the green standard with the word “Allah” embroidered over 29,000 times on it.

On the eve of battle – October 6th – Priests on the Holy League’s vessels held Mass, heard confessions, and prayed with the men.  Knowing the Turks had never been defeated on the sea, the men of the Holy League prayed the Rosary and asked Mary, the Mother of God, to pray for them.

Across Europe, people had been praying for months, and the Pope called for all Christians to pray the Rosary for victory.

The tactics of the day were to engage the enemy ship to ship, lash them together, and fight close hand to hand combat, but the West had developed ships with accurate cannons and a low profile unseen before.

On October 7, 1571, the Battle of Lepanto began with the Holy League’s cannons ripping down the masts of Turkish ships and doing great damage before the fleets came in close range.

John of Austria’s Real and Ali Pasha’s Sultana – the flagships for each force – collided together.  Fierce fighting ensued and finally subsided when Ali Pasha was shot dead and the Holy League standard was raised over the Sultana. Even though the Muslim center was collapsing, the battle raged on.

In the end, the Christians were victorious.  The Holy league captured 117 galleys and thousands of men, liberated over 12,000 enslaved Christians, and sank or burned about four dozen enemy galleys.

Across Europe, as news of the victory at Lepanto spread, church bells rang out and celebrations ensued. The Church declared October 7th a Feast Day to celebrate this miraculous victory.

Today, this stands as a reminder of how precious our liberty truly is. Since 622 AD, the armies of Mohammad have devastated many lands, killed millions of people, and enslaved many more in the name of Allah.

The memorial of the Battle of Lepanto should remind every American and liberty-loving human being that Islam’s barbaric system must be rejected and repelled as has been done so many times in history by those still able to discern between good and evil.

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About JG
John Guandolo is a US Naval Academy graduate, served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat. He is the President and Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT).
  1. My wife and i were in Nafpaktos Greece a year ago which is adjacent to the Gulf of Patras. They have a great local museum focused solely on the Battle of Lepanto with the banners, engagement drawings of the event and artist renderings, including reproductions of some great artists. It was part of a wonderful tour conducted by the president of Christendom College in Front Royal VA. The significance of this story and winning encounter is unbelievable. Sadly, although I am over 70 and a Catholic forever, the Pope’s resolve at the time and the miracle that happened to let this event be successful for the European world at that time was never discussed that I can remember! Sad commentary for our faith as historically it keeps coming back again and again and the battle(s) still rages.

  2. Prayer worked then. It works now. Pray unceasingly.

  3. Good G-D…I do know that you are correct. May G-D have mercy on us all! The habits of incest destroys more souls than we want or care to admit. 1 in 5 are girls, and 1 in 7 are boys! It destroys their spirits and souls, and once a person has that leaning towards children. You can not change their orientation, nor could you a leaning The Biblical way. We must stop this type of behaviors before it takes down our society. I agree and do so with much sorrow.

  4. Imploring us to reject the evil of Islam is one thing – for Governments to actually help US to do something about it is another. We are ‘governed’ by Imbeciles; only interested in their own aggrandisement.
    Instead of stemming the tide which is systematically submerging our Judeo/Christian culture, our Governments are straining at the leash to insist that we will be prosecuted even if we simply dare to send out a warning or rejection on the aspirations of Islam and Muslims and also about the threat of terror from Muslims. THEY? They are laughing in our faces.
    In the U.K. There is an army of disabled and mentally retarded children being brought to the UK for treatment by our NHS – free of charge! Incest, and alll that it delivers, is rampant in most Muslim communities – WE foot the bill for their despicable lifestyles, which they are NOT about to change in the foreseeable future – not while WE keep footing the bills.
    Some way or another we need to restrict them to living in their own backward countries and caring for their own retarded offspring – you know it makes sense!

  5. Thanks for sharing ,John. Gos bless you ,sir.

  6. TOTALLY AGREE with the following excerpt: “The memorial of the Battle of Lepanto should remind every American and liberty-loving human being that Islam’s barbaric system must be rejected and repelled as has been done so many times in history by those still able to discern between good and evil.”

    HOWEVER: TODAY’S PROBLEM is that many elected officials, Interfaith clergy and congregations, Muslim apologists, and Liberal Media have been strategically deceived and manipulated into siding with Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to destroy America and Western Civilization from within. Our own government shows complete ignorance about Islam.

    EXAMPLES (from the 9/11 Commission Report and Summary) “Islam is not the enemy. It is not synonymous with terror. Nor does Islam teach terror. America and its friends oppose a perversion of Islam, not the great world faith itself. Lives guided by religious faith, including literal beliefs in holy scriptures, are common to every religion, and represent no threat to us.”
    Page 363 of the 911 Commission Report (Sequential Page 381 of PDF document) https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

    “The enemy is not Islam, the great world faith, but a perversion of Islam.”
    Page 16 of Executive Summary Report (Sequential Page 21 of PDF document) https://9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Exec.pdf

    THE SOLUTION: The President and U.S. Congress MUST IDENTIFY THE ENEMY; ISLAM. And then designate the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a Foreign Terror Organization along with all subsidiary organizations that have ties to the MB.

    THEN, Re-classify Islam as a Quasi-Religious, Totalitarian, Supremacist Enemy Threat Doctrine that is antithetical to the United States Constitution and should NOT be afforded First Amendment “religious” protection. There is enough proof to show examples of Islam’s numerous violations against human rights including imposing cruel and unusual punishment leveled against non-Muslims and mandated against those who wish to leave Islam (apostates).

    THEN: Deal with Islam at all levels; Militarily, Legally, Socially and through Intense Deprogramming of those who sincerely believe that Islam must dominate the entire planet through rule of Sharia law, including forced conversions and exterminating Non-Believers.

    UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, Islam will continue to be the greatest threat to America, Our Freedom and All Western Civilization. Remember, It’s only been at it for over 1,400 years!

  7. Christine Ann Carr, M.Ed. October 7, 2019 at 12:50 pm Reply

    AMAZING JOHN THANK YOU…I CAN’T thank you enough for your service to our country. I am unemployed right now but want to donate asap. I can’t fathom the church then and the church today…I have tried to gather Priests to pray and fast in a spirit of repentance to no avail. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK and SEMPER FI !!!

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