Today, on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, we remember the 331st anniversary of the Battle of Vienna where Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, led the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to defeat the Ottoman Empire and once again save Europe from darkness. Because Sobieski had entrusted his kingdom and troops to the Blessed Virgin, Pope Innocent IX placed the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary on the General Roman Calendar in 1684. Originally assigned to the Sunday in the Octave of the Nativity of the Mother of God, St. Pius X fittingly transferred the feast to the day the Battle of Vienna was won. During the engagement, the elite Polish troops known as the husaria sang the Bogurodzica, an ancient Polish hymn. The following is an English translation:
Virgin, Mother of God, God-famed Mary!
Ask Thy Son, our Lord, God-named Mary,
To have mercy upon us and hand it over to us!
Son of God, for Thy Baptist’s sake,
Hear the voices, fulfill the pleas we make!
Listen to the prayer we say,
For what we ask, give us today:
Life on earth free of vice;
After life: paradise!