September 12 marks the feast of The Most Holy Name of Mary, a celebration of the power her name holds and the great things her intercession can accomplish. Over the centuries, so many people have turned to the Blessed Mother when they need God most and she has granted their request for grace and strength to face difficulty.
While the feast day originated in Spain in the 16th century, it was extended to an international feast of the Church in 1683 after victory at the Battle of Vienna was led by Polish King John III Sobieski. For centuries, the Ottoman Turks had been pressing Christian Europe, gaining ground and making Janissaries out of kidnapped Christians. Throughout their war with the Muslim forces, the Christians prayed to Mary for her powerful intercession in these conflicts. And before the battle outside Vienna, King Sobieski entrusted himself to the Virgin Mary.
On the morning of September 11, as the Europeans were deploying their troops to the battlefield from Vienna, the Ottomans attacked but were beaten back. Counterattacks led to the Europeans taking village after village. These places operated as bases for their cavalry and allowed them to push back and flank the Ottomans. By around 9 in the evening, following a Polish cavalry charge, the Christians had all but obliterated the Ottoman army and they had saved Vienna. Upon returning to the city in celebration, Sobieski said, “Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit,” or, “We came, we saw, God conquered.”
This battle marked the beginning of the Great Turkish War. After undergoing the siege leading up to the Battle of Vienna, the Christians went on the offensive and under King Leopold I, took back all of Hungary.
Turning to Our Lady can be a turning point in our own lives as well. We have no need to fear the obstacles that will crop up in our lives if we have God and His Blessed Mother on our side. The first part of the Memorare reads, “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.”
This feast is an important recognition of the power of the Mother of God to intercede in our lives. Just as God appreciates when we go to Him with our petitions, joys, and sorrows, Our Mother wants us to go to her when we need her. To her, we will always be children and we will always need her help. We have only to ask for it.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.