Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Don Juan of Austria, Prince of Memes

October 7, 1571
The Battle of Lepanto

That's a Game of Thrones reference. Heaven help me...
Juan was a Spanish Hapsburg, born a bastard much like his mopey counterpart in Game of Thrones, Jon Snow (of House Stark). 

However, unlike Master Snow, Juan didn't battle frozen zombie creatures, but rather, the invading Muslim threat of the galleys of the Ottoman Empire. The battle was fought on the sea in the Gulf of Corinth at the closest point of Italy's "boot" to the Turkish-controlled continent. Though outnumbered, Don Juan's fleet had a few galasses (galleys mounted with artillery), which helped weaken the enemy fleet. Notwithstanding how cool hipster Don Juan looks in his black and gold armor, remember it was through the intercession of Our Lady via the rosary that gave the Catholic West victory 443 years ago today. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is now celebrated every October 7 ever since Pope Saint Pius V declared there be an annual day of thanksgiving for the victory.

So, tell the beads, raise your steins, and read G.K. Chesterton's poem "Lepanto" with me! 

«Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse 
     Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips, 
     Trumpet that sayeth ha! 
         Domino gloria! 
     Don John of Austria 
     Is shouting to the ships.

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