Today, happily, we are permitted in the Usus Authenticus of the Roman Rite a celebration of the Victory won by Mary ... and by the Rosary Confraternities of the Latin Church.
It is even more topical this year, when everybody is still so enormously excited and politically correct about Slavery. G K Chesterton reminded us of all the Christian Galley Slaves whose freedom followed the smashing of the Turkish Battle Fleet. So as the Woke pull down the statues of those who had even tenuous links with the Slave Trade, should we not erect new statues to those who, at Lepanto and through the centuries, liberated Christian slaves from the tyrants who had stolen their lives?
Perhaps the piazza in front of Westminster Cathedral should host a massive new baroque statue of our Lady of Victory, surrounded by triumphalist bass-reliefs showing those who collaborated with her in this great Liberation. Probably, the Catholic Bishop of Plymouth should perform the Act of solemn Blessing, in view of all those English people in our south West who were kidnapped for the slave markets by the Barbery corsairs. Naturally, the kings, dictators, and warlords of North African countries would wish to take part in the ceremony and to offer formal Apologies for what their ancestors did.
Writing, as Chesterton did, a poem about a Spanish sea victory is not really the sort of thing that proper Englishmen do; we were brought up on stories about the defeat of the Armada. And we were brainwashed by the notion that 'English Victory' was woven seamlessly into a consistent narrative of our Island Race protected by our Silver Sea (soon to be renamed the Mare Plasticum?) against Philip of Spain and Buonaparte and Hitler, who were all foreigners.
But ... surely ... we Catholics are counter-cultural. Boroid British politicians may preach fatuous sermons about British Values and the importance of brainwashing immigrants to this country with the Values implicit in sexual promiscuity and widespread abortion. But their sick preoccupations serve simply to remind us that the British Values they prose on about are dirty-minded imposters dancing on the graves of the English Catholic martyrs; cavorting and absurd Whig clowns hypocritical in their (doubtless looted) Phrygian caps.
And perhaps we need a gallant band of Christian youth to go on a cutting-out expedition ... today!! ... and to recover the Ottoman flags captured at Lepanto, which poor misguided Montini, S Paul VI, cravenly handed back to Brother Turk. What a wonderful piece of news that would be in tomorrow's headlines!
Chesterton reminds his readers of the Christian slaves labouring deep within the Ottoman galleys, each witless in his quiet room in hell / Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, / And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign. But as we take up the joyful story ...
... Don John of Austria has burst the battle line!
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for the bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!