12 September 2009

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to Thee in gladness and rejoicing.

This feast day touches close to home, as it were, since of all the Marian feast days in the year it is more than any of them Maria's "Name Day." Also, the feast was made obligatory for the whole Western Church by Pope Innocent XI as a feast of thanksgiving to Mary for the great victory won on this day in 1683 by King John III Sobieski of Poland over the Turks at the walls of Vienna.

We, therefore, decided to observe the day by driving to Kahlenberg, a small mountain on the North side of Vienna. It was atop this hill that King John and his men heard Mass early in the morning of the 12th of September 1683 before riding out to battle. And what a battle! The Turks were routed by the largest known calvary charge in history (20,000 horse!) and Vienna and Christendom were saved.

St. Joseph's church (above) on Kahlenberg marks the place where Mass was said on that morning 326 years ago. Afterwards, we headed for Klosterneuburg (below), an Abbey of the canons of St. Augustine, which was visible from Kahlenberg.

Besides being an impressive monastery and imperial residence, we were drawn there by the entry on page 133 of the Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey & Song. We looked around, bought a bottle of 2006 Sankt Laurant, and headed for home.

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