In celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Pope Francis recalled the Virgin Mary’s role in the “Miracle of the Vistula” 100 years ago. And as he was firmly devoted to the Blessed Virgin and her miraculous works, the Pope has asked for Mama Mary’s intercession to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“May the Mother of God today help humanity to defeat the coronavirus,” Pope Francis said during his General Audience on Wednesday, August 12. (Read: Four fun facts that prove Pope Francis’ love for Mama Mary)
The Pope also expressed his spiritual support for hundreds of Catholics taking part in a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Black Madonna OF Czestochowa. (Read: Holy Travels: Fatima, Portugal)
“May this pilgrimage, undertaken with care due to the pandemic, be for all a moment of reflection, prayer, and fraternity in faith and love,” he prayed.
Here are three events in history that are said to have happened with Mama Mary’s intercession.
Battle of Warsaw
On August 15, 1920, the Polish Army won a decisive victory over the Soviet forces at the Battle of Warsaw. This was attributed to Mary’s intercession. (Read: The miraculous intercessions of saints that will turn even the most stubborn of skeptics into believers)
The battle, that raged from August 12 to 25 is considered a major milestone in Polish history as it saved Poland’s newly regained independence. It is also considered as one of the most important battles in history against the Soviets since it stopped the spread of communism in Europe.
Battle of Lepanto
In the 16th century, an aggressive Muslim force was about to conquer Europe with the goal of wiping out Christianity. In response, Pope Pius V encouraged the faithful across Europe to invoke the rosary. (READ: Prayers of the Rosary)
Rosary Confraternities in Rome held processions. The faithful of Europe were fervently praying at the same time with the same purpose: to save Christianity. Every Christian soldier and sailor aboard the Christian vessels prayed the rosary on the eve of battle and had received the Eucharist before the voyage. On October 7, the Christians won against the Turk despite the latter’s edge in numbers. The Turks had lost 20,000 men and 200 ships while the Christian fleet lost less than 8,000 men. Today, the battle is commemorated through celebrating the feast day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
Battle of La Naval de Manila
In 1646, Holland sent an armada of 18 ships to try to invade Manila. During that time, the Philippines only had two trading ships, the Encarnacion and the Rosario—both ships didn’t even have artillery and the crew consists of Spaniards and natives.
Historians say that only a miracle could save the islands from certain armed invasion. Governor general Diego Fajardo Chacon vowed to march barefoot to Santo Domingo, which was in Intramuros back then, if the Spanish fleet emerged victorious. Dominicans began praying the rosary nonstop as Encarnacion and Rosario went into battle. By some miracle, the two ships were unscathed and the Spanish and Filipino forces drove off the Dutch armada. The victory is attributed to the Our Lady of La Naval de Manila, which is now housed in Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.