By Thomas King
Whilst many people remember Sept. 11 2001 for the Islamic terrorist attack on the USA and also the Western world by extension, few people are aware of another significant battle that saved Western Christendom for many generations that also occurred on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 1683: The Battle of Vienna. It was this very battle that we in the West have reaped the benefits of and taken for granted but few know or bother to know the details. It will be my sincere attempt to not simply bring out the details of the Battle but rather, to seek to bring to the attention of the reader, some important spiritual and moral lessons for us in the West today.
It is not in vain that the Islamic terrorists responsible for the World Trade Centre attack in 2001 picked such a date to perform their attack. It is because of the significance of this battle meant both the victory of Christendom and the defeat of the Islamic crescent in 1683. In their attempt to try and reverse this historical victory, the Islamic terrorists have only brought further disdain to themselves and their vile religion of the Antichrist and have now caused Christendom to awake from her slumber.
Sept. 11 + 12 1683 spelt the victory of Western Christendom at the gates of Vienna against an overwhelming Islamic Ottoman Empire. It pitted the seemingly outnumbered Holy Roman Empire in Western Europe against a monolithic Islamic Ottoman Empire. It pitted the Islamic nemesis led by Kara Mustafa, the Vizier of Sultan Mehmet IV, and the Ottoman forces consisting of Jannisaires and Tartars totalling 120,000, including some traitorous Protestant and Calvinistic allies from Europe, against the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire led by Count Ernst Rudiger Von Staremberg of Austria along with Charles V (Duke of Lorraine) and Leopold I (Holy Roman Emperor) and with Polish king, Jan Sobieski III, spearheading the final attack. The Holy Roman Forces consisted altogether of 57,000, which included 20,000 Winged Hussars and 16,000 Polish Infantry along with 8,500 Austrian soldiers combined with 28,000 Alliance soldiers. This was a battle between David and Goliath indeed.
Prior to the date, Kara Mustafa had already stormed across Europe with his Islamic Ottoman forces and was gaining a lot of success. Vienna was in sight not simply because it was the stronghold of the Hapsburgs, but more importantly, it was the gate to Rome itself. Muhammad, the devilish false prophet of Islam, had actually made it clear in Hadiths that Rome was on the agenda to conquer for Allah (See this Islamic website with all the Hadiths in relation to this: http://www.discoveringislam.org/roman_invasions.htm) .
Hence, first the Eastern Roman Empire was to be destroyed (Constantinople) and now the Western Roman Empire was next. Kara Mustafa in fact made it clear to Count Staremberg and the people of Vienna, that should they convert to Islam, the religion of Antichrist, their city would be left unharmed and other promises. Thankfully, Count Staremberg and the people refused to accept this proposal and war was thus declared. It was a siege that lasted for many days, with the Ottomans attempting to break through the walls of Vienna’s defences by building trenches and constant shelling of cannons. The armies of Vienna fought back bravely. There were barricades put up and constant daily skirimishes between Austrian soldiers and Jannisaires and Tartars. Resistance was strong but food was running out and disease was breaking out.
In the meantime, Jan Sobieski III of Poland, was gathering as many allied forces as possible combined with the forces in Saxony as time was running out to return to Vienna and save the city. Thankfully, Sobieski was able to arrive back in time and lead an attack on the Ottomans strategically on 2 sides. There was a 2 pronged attack on the Ottoman forces. The first attack was led by Charles V on one wing of the Ottoman forces that caused panic amongst the Turks. The second attack was led finally by Sobieski himself with the Winged Hussars that finished the job. Despite the vast numbers, the Ottomans faced heavy losses and were scattered badly by the Winged Hussar force led by Sobieski. Kara Mustafa was forced to give up his planned all out attack on Vienna and beat a retreat, thus spelling defeat for the Ottomans and therefore, defeat for Islam too.
The significant results following the battle of Vienna were the following:
Kara Mustafa was executed by strangulation for his failure. Prior to that, Kara Mustafa had executed one of the Sultan’s relatives for his failure earlier in the battle, thus further sealing his own doom.
The people of Vienna from high to low, hailed Sobieski as their saviour and wanted to kiss his hand. Even the Pope that commissioned Sobieski to save Vienna, Innocent XI, hailed him as “the Saviour of Western civilization and Christendom”.
Amongst the goods that were acquired, there were coffee beans and stringed instruments, which not only became significant in the life of Vienna, but the rest of Europe. In addition, a significant number of prisoners and slaves from Christian lands were released and freed. [Interesting note: the birth of “cappuccino” was attributed to St. Marco d’Aviano in this period. It was said that during this time when they found the coffee beans and started to learn what to do with them, they initially found the taste so bitter. St. Marco then proposed that honey be added along with some milk to this bitter mixture, which not only sweetened the bitterness, but ended up creating a new drinking sensation for Europe. More on St. Marco d’Aviano later]
Out of gratitude for the defeat initiated by Sobieski against the Ottomans, both Viennese and Polish Jewish bakers created what we know today as the croissant and the bagel. The former was to represent the defeat of the Ottomans (the crescent) and was popularised a lot later by the French through Marie Antoinette only to be called “croissants” and the latter was to represent the stirrups on the horse of Sobieski.
Pope Innocent XI issued further prayer of the Rosary in gratitude to God for the victory and thus on Sept. 12, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary was extended to the whole Catholic Church.
Most significantly, the Ottoman Empire never attempted to attack Europe again since that battle and the decline of the Ottoman Empire had now begun.
SOME KEY LESSONS TO BE LEARNT FROM ALL THIS:
1.A solid faith in Christ made it possible for the people of Vienna and Poland as well as Europe made it possible to combat Islam-Not only was the Catholic Church strong in morality and influence in Europe, but also the Winged Hussars were known men of faith too. Before commencing battle, they sung a hymn to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. What also needs to be mentioned is the importance of St. Marco d’Aviano. He was a Capuchin Friar from Venice that was commissioned by Pope Innocent XI to not only act as advisor to Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor, but also to help resolve the disputes between Austria, Poland and others in the Holy Roman League. He was not only known to be an itinerant preacher but also a man of prayer and stirred many to victory against Islam. In addition, St. Marco brought courage to not only the soldiers, but the people throughout Vienna to trust in Christ our God and to engage in all efforts to defeat the enemy. He was attributed to have performed miracles in his lifetime but he never made a show of it, unlike some hicksters today. In addition, Pope Innocent XI, in this time of trouble, urged the whole Church to pray the Rosary and to repent before God. Prayer, repentance and being active is the key. (II Chronicles 7:14)
2.Beware of dhimmis or willing subjects to Islamic rule- In the battle, the most willing allies in aiding the Ottomans to destroy Catholic Europe was none other than followers of Lutheranism and Calvinism. These traitors hated Catholic rule more than they hated Islam. Amongst the traitors was none other than Imre Thokoly, a Unitarian Prince from Hungary, who sought the defeat of Catholicism. Today, we have such willing dhimmis in all the churches whether Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. Lord have mercy. They are the ones that did even more damage than the Ottoman enemy. Notice today that the countries with a high Islamic immigrant problem were ones that either succumbed to the Reformation heresies or were ones that had either abandoned Catholicism and Orthodoxy, or willingly embraced secularism and French Revolution anarchy along with Enlightenment heresies.
3. Strengthening the Judeo-Christian foundations of the West is the best weapon against Islamic onslaught-Just as there was a strong faith in the Scriptural foundations of the West, which thus resulted in a crushing defeat for the Ottomans, so too it is needed even more so today. The moment the West decided to abandon the God of Scripture for French Revolution and Enlightenment heresies, the decline of the West also began too. Today, as noted before, the nations that were quick to accept such doctrines of devils have the biggest problems with Islamic immigrants. Not only this, but by destroying the Judeo-Christian foundations of the West, we have also opened the door to moral decline, as is evidenced by the promotion of sodomy, abortions, all manner of sexual deviancy, destruction of marriage and the family unit, and so on. This is the perfect environment for the Islamic enemy to attack and destroy the West. To use the words of the late Father Seraphim Rose (1934-1982) in his book on Nihilism, he stated: “Let us be Christians once again!” Konstantin I. Pobedonostsev, former advisor to both Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II, noted that Western secularism that promotes “separation of church and state”, will not only lead to disaster but also is a repeat of the situation with the children of Israel when they made the golden calf and stated: “These be thy gods, O Israel, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4).
In fact, he notes all these inconsistencies within England and America and highlights them in his book, Reflections of a Russian Statesman. Strongly recommended reading for all Christians!!! Another good friend of mine, Ann Barnhardt, made a very good point in highlighting that all the failures and blessings seen occurring to Israel as a people is very much the story of humanity. Israel as a people whilst disobedient now, shall be restored to the fullness of truth. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the same problems that Israel had as a people in terms of morality and enemies from within and without, are very much the same problems for the West today. After all, the Church has not only got the Apostles as part of the foundation, but also the Jewish prophets and patriarchs too, with Christ being the Chief Cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:20).
4.Strong organisation combined with unity of purpose will defeat the Islamic enemy-One advantage that the Catholic West had over the Orthodox East was a strong unity of purpose guided in the person of the Pope, thus securing a stronger sense of organisation against the Islamic enemy. Although I speak as an Orthodox, I cannot help but notice that we foolishly stated: “Better the turban rather than the tiara” and thus suffered worst for it in 1453, all because of being petty minded and refusal to cooperate with the Western Church since the Great Schism 1054. Sadly, we also have foolish hierarchs that want to cooperate with Islam too. Is it no wonder that we are being defeated from within? When the West had the strong unity of purpose under the Catholic Church, she produced Charles Martel, Charlemagne, John Sobieski III and others. The Eastern Church needs to learn from her Western separated brethren better in this regards. However, in the Eastern Church, we also have had our fair share of strong warriors too such as Tsar Lazar II of Serbia but sadly, they pale in comparison to the aforementioned. Let us have a strong Church organisation and the unity of purpose of defeating all the enemies of Christ along with leading many out of darkness into the light of Christ. Amen.
The Battle of Vienna is not merely a historical event but a wakeup call to Christians in the West, regardless of denomination, to be Christians once again, not only in name, but in action and convictions. We should not be afraid to resist Satan and his minions, since not only are we promised victory as Christ is the Victor, but also we are commanded to resist Satan. (James 4:7). Let us learn from this Sept. 11 event in 1683 to be warriors for Christ and to not only pray and read the Scriptures, but also to live the reality of them and seek lives of repentance, holiness and justice. (Micah 6:8). We should not be afraid to fight evil and in fact, the moment one chose to follow Christ, one enlisted into the battleground, not the playground. To hell with the modern day notion of “we should just love sinners to Christ” and not resist evil. Not resisting evil is not love, but hatred for the souls of mankind. Christ is love but also Christ used the whip. Christ also is the One Who will return with the sword to defeat the Antichrist and to cast Satan and his followers into the Lake of Fire. Christ came to destroy the works of Satan. (I John 3:8). As followers of Christ, do we seek to do the same or are we going to happily abet the satanic attack on the nations and our Church? Choose this day whom ye will serve! (Joshua 24:15). Christus Vincit! Deus Vult! God bless.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be from now and unto all eternity. World without end and unto the ages upon ages. Amen.