Today’s saint was born in northern Italy and entered the Dominican Order when he was fourteen. After becoming Pope he implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent and helped form an alliance that led to the defeat of the Turkish navy, which was in control of the Mediterranean Sea, at the Battle of Lepanto. He attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory, now celebrated as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. As we pray the following prayer to Mary, let us lift up Pope Benedict, his monthly intentions, the entire Church, and the world.
Virgin most powerful, loving helper of the Christian people, how great thanks do we not owe you for the assistance you gave our ancestors, who, when they were threatened by the Turkish navy, invoked your maternal help by the devout recitation of your Rosary! From heaven you saw their deadly peril. You heard their voices imploring your compassion and their humble prayers, enjoined by the great Pope, St. Pius V, were acceptable to you. You came quickly to deliver them. Grant, dear Mother, that in like manner the prolonged sighs of the holy Bride of Christ in these our days may come to your throne and engage your pity. Be moved once again to compassion for her, rise once again to deliver her from the many foes who encompass her on every side. Even now from the four quarters of the earth there arises to your throne that loved prayer, to win your mercy in these troublesome times even as of old. Unhappily, our sins hinder, or at least, retard its effect. Wherefore, dear Mother, obtain for us true sorrow for our sins and a firm resolution to face death itself rather than return to our former iniquities. We are sore distressed that, through our fault, your help, of which we stand in such extreme need, should be denied or come too late. Rise, then, O Mary, incline yourself to hear the prayers of the whole Catholic world. Let it be seen once more that when you arise to protect the Church, her victory is sure. Amen.