Our Lady of Victory
Pope Pius V established a Special Devotion for Our Lady of Victory in 1571. Pope Pius V codified this Tridentine rite of the Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary in thanksgiving after the defeat of Muslim forces during the naval battle off Lepanto, Italy. Two years later, Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of this Special Devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, and set the date for its celebration as the first Sunday in October.
Pope Clement XI extended the Special Devotion to the Universal Church in 1716, and later the date was changed to October 7th. This Special Devotion became an Official Liturgical Feast Day under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary set by the Roman Catholic Church, the Universal Church for October 7th.
However a Special Devotion is still celebrated for the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Victory. In 1620, King Louis XIII of France made a vow that if his troops were successful in ousting the Protestants (Huguenots) from their fortress in
La Rochelle, he would build a Church in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Siege of La Rochelle was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627 - 28. The siege marked the apex of the tensions between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, and ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics on October 28, 1628.
After the victory, a site for the church was chosen on the property of the Discalced Hermits of St. Augustine in Paris. King Louis XIII laid the first stone himself, one that was inscribed with a dedication to Our Lady of Victory, on September 9, 1629. The Basilica of Notre-Dame des Victoires building was completed in 1740. The Church was built by King Louis XIII with thousands of ex-voto plaques on its interior walls.
The actual statue of Our Lady of Victory is in that Church.
The Church is now called the Basilica of Notre-Dame des Victoires.
A poor laborer entered the Augustinian Order in 1630 and took the name Brother Fiacre. He took up residence at the Church (Shrine) and lived there until his death in 1684. Brother Fiacre was renowned as a mystic. He had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1637. The Blessed Virgin Mary asked him to tell the King Louis XIII would soon be blessed with a son who would inherit the throne. Louis XIV was born on February 10, 1638, and, in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin Mother, King Louis XIII consecrated France and his royal family with his son to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Two Souls Prayed Before The Statue of Our Lady of Victory:
- St. Therese of Lisieux, “The Little Flower of Jesus” prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Victory for help in following her vocation.
- Blessed John Henry Newman went from England to France
prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Victory to give thanks for his conversion.