HOLY LEAGUE HISTORY
October 7, 2021 marked the 450th Anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, the formation of the Holy League and the origins of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Christianity was greatly divided and diminished at that time, and the enemies of the Church felt this was their time to “deal the last blow” to Christianity. This was when small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. Pope St. Pius V dubbed them the “Holy League.”
By prayer (especially, Pope St. Pius V’s call for the world to pray the rosary) and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, although greatly outnumbered, the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the Ottoman Turks, saving Christendom and western civilization.
Pope St. Pius V knew this was not possible, if not for the intercession of Our Lady through the Rosary, and so he proclaimed October 7 to be the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, which was later named, Our Lady of the Rosary.
CARDINAL BURKE CALLS FOR A HOLY LEAGUE!
Cardinal Burke believes “this is exactly what is needed in our times.” His Eminence, enthusiastically, agreed to be the Spiritual Head of the Holy League, as he is hopeful this Holy League movement will spread across the planet.
As Cardinal Burke states, “At this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by materialism, relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching.”
The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12).
To combat the forces of evil in today’s society, the Holy League strives to call men back to the supernatural Divine Life in the state of grace and, united with spiritual strong men, to transforming the culture through prayer and inspired action.
The time is NOW to gather the remnant forces, put on our battle armor (sanctifying grace), pick up our spiritual weapons (Eucharist, Rosary) and stand united and strong against the forces of evil devouring the faith of our loved ones!
THE HOLY LEAGUE MISSION:
- Provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates: Eucharistic adoration, prayer, inspiring spiritual reflection, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity;
- Encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Chaste Heart of Joseph;
- Promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church; especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary;
- Creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat;
- Strives to have a regular monthly Holy League Holy Hour available to men in parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Church.
HOLY LEAGUE MONTHLY HOLY HOURS
Where: We recommend picking a regional parish to host these Holy League gatherings. There is strength in numbers, so having these held “regionally” inspires men, as they see “many” other men responding to the call. This also facilitates greater availability of more priests to help with the Sacrament of Confession. You may start with one or two parishes per diocese. Or, possibly, one per vicariate (deanery).
When: We recommend holding these Holy League Holy Hours on First Friday evenings, as this gives the ability to incorporate devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also, for most, this is a time when many do not have to arise for work the next morning. There is something special about evenings. We recommend taking Summer months off, so go from October (after school starts) to April (before Graduations, First Communions, etc.). This time period works well as it reaches men during Advent and Lent, when Catholics tend to be more engaged in their faith.
Consider taking this time for planning and, possibly launching on the First Friday of January, 2022. Or, maybe look forward to launching on the First Friday of October, 2022.
How (this is a sample evening):
6:00pm – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration, Confession is offered, Pray a Rosary Together
7:00pm – Inspirational Speaker (usually 20 minutes). (Repose Blessed Sacrament, temporarily, during talk)
7:20pm – Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
7:30pm – Fraternal Social (In our parish hall, we offer pizza, soda and adult beverages)
Cardinal Burke is the Spiritual Head of the Holy League.