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Poland’s New ‘Blesseds’ and Divine Providence

“Poland, the nation of Mary, the land of saints and blesseds!” 

Thus Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, concluded his homily at the beatification Mass in Warsaw of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka.

The Marian dimension was a dominant theme of the beatification. The Marian date also made the beatification more powerfully symbolic than most. That was evident, too, in the extraordinary reliquaries that were used, as well as in the stories of a remarkable friendship that the beatification emphasized. 

Marian Date With Polish History

September gives us a Marian week — three feasts within an octave: the Nativity of Mary (Sept. 8), the Holy Name of Mary (Sept. 12) and Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept. 15).

Given the intense Marian devotion of the new Blesseds, it was not a surprise that a Marian date was chosen for the beatification. What is less well-known is that the Holy Name of Mary, Sept. 12, has a Polish connection. 

The Battle of Vienna took place Sept. 11-12, 1683. King Jan III Sobieski led the outnumbered Polish troops into battle against the Ottoman Turks; the future of Christian Europe was at stake if Muslim armies conquered Vienna. 

Sobieski prevailed and adapted Julius Caesar to Christian sentiments: Veni, vidi, Christus vincit! (“I came; I saw; Christ conquered!”) The very next year, Pope Innocent XI declared Sept. 12 to be a Marian feast, the Holy Name of Mary, in thanksgiving for the Battle of Vienna. 

Sobieski, revered as one of the great Poles of history, is buried in the crypt of Poland’s holiest cathedral, Wawel in Kraków. St. John Paul II celebrated his first Mass as a priest in 1946 at the altar just steps away from Sobieski’s tomb.

Not only Christians remember, of course. The date for the 9/11 attacks was chosen to avenge the Islamic loss at Vienna in 1683.

Read more at National Catholic Register

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