Monday, August 31, 2015

Rosaries Against The Satanic Practice of Selling Baby Parts!

Become a Rosary Rally Captain to end the Satanic practice of selling baby parts!

     After the horrifying Planned Parenthood scandal, I was floored by how much our nation needs prayer.

     Especially the Holy Rosary.

     As you know, a pro-life group managed to get a Planned Parenthood abortion doctor to tell them how they sell organs from aborted babies for profit.

     This was filmed during a meal in a restaurant. The abortion doctor shared the gruesome details while calmly eating salad and drinking wine.

     The video is simply horrific...sent chills down my a horror movie….

     But it’s NOT a movie. It’s really happening in America.

     However, I certainly don’t plan to just sit around feeling sad and defeated! My reaction is to increase our Rosary Rally Crusade across America.

     And this is why I want to invite you to become a Rosary Rally Captain in October 2015. Over 8,000 people have already accepted to be a captain and lead a Public Rosary. Can you do the same to help save America?

     It is very simple. All you need to do is:

  • Fill in the form, and we’ll send you a beautiful rally banner and a manual.

CLICK HERE to sign up.

  • In time, contact your friends and invite them to join you at the place you choose.

  • On Saturday, October 10, 2015 at noon pray a Rosary in a public place.

  • When you become a Rosary Rally Captain, we’ll deliver a Red Rose in your name to Our Lady on the very spot where she appeared in Fatima, Portugal. We’ll do this on October 12, 2015.

     Meanwhile, I put together a page with a couple of videos. Both of these videos bring to light why we need a Crusade of rosaries for America.

     Please, Click here to watch these videos.

     And then, please join our prayerful Crusade for America. CLICK HERE to become a rosary rally captain.

When you become a Rosary Rally Captain, I promise to take to Fatima a Red rose in your name and for your intentions. This will take place on October 12th.

Click here to become a Rosary Rally Captain and pray for America!

See photos below.

This email is never sent unsolicited. You have received this America Needs Fatima email because you subscribed to it or someone forwarded it to you. Click here to  unsubscribe .

To subscribe, click here.

We respect your right to privacy.  View our policy.

To learn how to add Robert E Ritchie  - America Needs Fatima -  to your safe senders list  CLICK HERE

To see our full financial disclosure, click here.

© 2015 America Needs Fatima - P.O. Box 341, Hanover, PA 17331 - (888) 317-5571

Archbishop Responds to the Demands of ‘Transsexual’


The Archbishop of Mexico Responds to the Demands of a ‘Transsexual’

The Cardinal recalled that the catechism points out that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered acts, contrary to natural law and do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Therefore, under no circumstances can they be approved.”

The Archbishop Primate of Mexico, Norberto Cardinal Rivera Carrera has responded to a transsexual’s demands on the Church’s position regarding issues such as abortion, same-sex “marriage” and gender ideology.

Filial Petition to Pope Francis to Save the Family — Sign Here

On July 29 of this year, a “transsexual” named Diana Sánchez Barrios sent Cardinal Rivera a letter in which she praises the abortion laws and homosexual unions adopted in the Mexican capital and accuses bishops of promoting homophobia and discrimination against homosexuals.

Cardinal Rivera responds: “First of all, I disagree with you that the approval of some laws is for the benefit of the population; murdering a baby in its mother’s womb is not a good thing for the woman who experiences this episode, and much less for the child, who would thus be deprived of the first of all rights, which is the right to life.”

Typically, said the Archbishop Primate of Mexico, “women who have aborted seek the sacrament of reconciliation to ask for Our Lord’s pardon, and we cannot imagine the pain and guilt they carry as they just begin to become aware that abortion was a terrible act in which they murdered their own child.”

In this sense, “the Church cannot accept the approval of false rights such as those you listed in your letter because they go against the words of Holy Scripture, the Church’s teaching that derives from it, and the Catholic Faith lived in fidelity to God’s plan for two thousand years.”

After recalling that the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that one should avoid “any sign of unjust discrimination” regarding homosexuals, he also recalled that Article 2357 of the same catechism considers that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered acts, contrary to natural law and do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Therefore, under no circumstances can they be approved.”


How the Russians Were Defeated by The Holy Rosary

Holy Rosary Crusade of Reparation

After World War II, Austria was divided between four countries: America, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. At the time, Russia was still communist. The section of Austria controlled by the communists was the richest, and included the city of Vienna. The Viennese were subject to the all the atrocities and tyrannies of communism.

However, in 1946, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, after making a pilgrimage to Mariazell, the principle Marian shrine in Austria, was told by an interior voice: “Do as I say and there will be peace.”

To obey this inspiration of Our Lady, Fr. Pevlicek founded the Holy Rosary Crusade of Reparation in 1947. This Crusade consisted of the Viennese faithful coming out of their homes in order to participate in a public Rosary procession in the streets of the city. The intentions of the Rosary were for the end of communism in their country and in the world.

At first, the processions were minuscule, but in time they grew to staggering proportions. In 1955, after eight years spreading the word about the Crusade throughout Austria, the Rosary processions would reach sizes of half a million people, about 1/10 of the Austrian population. Finally, through the help of Our Lady, the Soviet forces pulled out of Austria in October of 1955, leaving the country for good.

”Through the Holy Rosary; Save America!” 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What Napoleon Thought About Holy Communion

What Napoleon Thought About Holy Communion

In an age of instant gratification, we are encouraged to forget about the most important things in our lives. Our rushed and hectic schedules demand our attention. We must have everything now, instantly, regardless of the consequences. It must be the latest and greatest, the biggest and the best version; it must be new and improved; updated to 5.0, 6.0 or even 7.0.

When we are caught up in the frenetic intemperance of our times, it would be good to stop a moment and reflect on those things that really matter. This is especially true of our Catholic Faith. All too often, we do not fully appreciate what our Faith has to offer. We do not, for example, realize what a great grace it is to adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and especially to receive Him, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

In moments of reflection, we should think about Napoleon. He was the emperor of France in the early nineteenth century. There was no glory he did not receive during his lifetime. Always victorious in war and adored by his men, he subjected huge parts of Europe to his rule. His life might be considered the apotheosis of all possible glory and joy.

Yet, he left the Church, persecuted the Church and lived a life that was ultimately unhappy. Indeed, it might be asked: What was his greatest joy?

In James Joyce’s book, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, there is a passage where Subscription5.3

Napoleon tells his generals that the happiest day of his life was the day of his First Holy Communion.

Beloc, in his biography of Napoleon, confirms this great happiness when he wrote: “His preparation for his First Communion he always remembered and that day stood out for him all his life.”

The Church is full of hidden treasures that we do not value as we should. One need not be an emperor to appreciate the Holy Eucharist; one need only be a Catholic.

As seen on

By John Horvat II author of Return to Order. See more of his writings at:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

70th Anniversary of the Amazing Hiroshima Eight

Hiroshima before the bombing.Hiroshima before the bombing.

Early on August 6, 1945, a lone American B-29 Superfortress bomber circled in a vividly blue sky over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The unsuspecting inhabitants on the ground barely glanced at the plane. They were unaware of the deadly payload it was about to unleash on them, ushering in the atomic age with unimaginable death and destruction.

As one single bomb neared the ground, a city died in an instant. Houses crumbled, people evaporated, an immense ball of fire shot skywards, and a terrible wave of super-heated gas bulged out from ground zero, flattening buildings for miles.

Atomic cloud over Hiroshima.

Atomic cloud over Hiroshima. The cloud rose to over 60,000 feet in about ten minutes, while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet at the base of the rising column.

Amongst the unsuspecting inhabitants of Hiroshima was Fr. Schiffer, a Jesuit missionary assisting the many Catholics of that city. On the morning of August 6, 1945, he had just finished Mass and sat down at the breakfast table. As he plunged his spoon into a freshly sliced grapefruit, there was a bright flash of light. His first thought was that a fuel tanker had exploded in the harbor, as Hiroshima was a major port where the Japanese refueled their submarines. Then, in the words of Fr. Schiffer: “Suddenly, a terrible explosion filled the air with one bursting thunder stroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me round and round like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind.” Next thing he remembered was that he opened his eyes and found himself on the ground. He looked around, and saw there was nothing left in any direction: the railroad station and buildings in all directions were gone. Yet, the only harm to him was a few slight cuts in the back of his neck from shards of grass. As far as he could tell, there was nothing else physically wrong with him.

Father John Seimes, S.J., one of the eight Jesuit Fathers that miraculously survived the atomic bombing.

The small community of Jesuits to which Fr. Schiffer belonged lived in a house near the parish church, situated only eight blocks from the center of the blast. When Hiroshima was destroyed by the atomic bomb, all eight members of the small Jesuit community escaped unscathed, while every other person within a radius of one-and-a-half kilometers from ground zero died immediately. The house where the Jesuits lived was still standing, while buildings in every direction from it were leveled. Father Hubert Schiffer was 30 years old when the atomic bomb exploded right over his head at Hiroshima. He not only survived, but also lived a healthy life for another 33 years!

Our Lady of the Assumption Church and the Jesuit Rectory.

Our Lady of the Assumption Church and the Jesuit Rectory.

How did this group of men survive a nuclear blast that killed everyone else, even people over ten times further away from the blast? It is absolutely unexplainable by scientific means. An interesting detail is that this group of Catholic clergy was made up of ardent enthusiasts of the Message of Fatima. They lived the Message. Was their fidelity to Our Lady rewarded by this stupendous miracle of their survival?

Atomic cloud over Nagasaki from Koyagi-jima on August 9, 1945.

Atomic cloud over Nagasaki from Koyagi-jima on August 9, 1945.

Even more astonishing is that the story was to be repeated a few days later at Nagasaki, the second Japanese city to be hit by an atomic bomb. In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki the survivors were Catholic religious. Most other buildings were leveled to the ground, even at 3 times the distance, but in both cases their houses stood – even with some windows intact! All other people, bar a handful of scattered mutilated survivors, even at thrice the distance from the explosion, died instantly. Those within a radius ten times the distance of the Jesuits from the explosion were exposed to fierce radiation and died within days.

After the American conquest of Japan, U.S. army doctors explained to Fr. Schiffer that his body would soon begin to deteriorate because of the radiation. To the doctors’ amazement, Fr. Schiffer’s body showed no radiation or ill effects from the bomb. All who were at this range from the epicenter should have received enough radiation to be dead within a matter of minutes. Scientists examined the group of Hiroshima Jesuits over 200 times during the next 30 years and no ill effects were ever found.

hiroshima after

Hiroshima after the bombing

Could it have been a fluke? Could the bomb’s makers have designed it to avoid killing U.S. citizens? There is no known way to design a uranium-235 atomic bomb so it could leave such a large discrete area intact while destroying everything around it. The Jesuits say: “We believe that we survived because we were living the message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that house.” Fr. Schiffer feels that he received a protective shield from the Blessed Virgin, which protected him from all radiation and ill effects. Fr. Schiffer attributes this to his devotion to Our Lady, and his daily Fatima Rosary: “In that house the Holy Rosary was recited together every day.” Secular scientists are dumbfounded and incredulous at his explanation. They are sure there is some ‘real’ explanation. However, over 60 years later the scientists still have not been able to explain it.

From a scientific standpoint, what happened to those Jesuits at Hiroshima still defies all the laws of physics. It must be concluded that some other force was present, whose power to transform energy and matter as it relates to humans is beyond our comprehension.

Urakami Cathedral after the bomb. Only 500 feet from the hypocenter of the blast stood the original Urakami Cathedral, a center for Nagasaki’s Catholic community. Catholic missionaries first came to Nagasaki in the 16th century, and within several decades hundreds of thousands of people in Southwestern Japan were practicing Catholics.

Urakami Cathedral after the bomb. Only 500 feet from the hypocenter of the blast stood the original Urakami Cathedral, a center for Nagasaki’s Catholic community. Catholic missionaries first came to Nagasaki in the 16th century, and within several decades hundreds of thousands of people in Southwestern Japan were practicing Catholics.

Dr. Stephen Rinehart of the U.S. Department of Defense is widely recognized as an international expert in the field of atomic blasts. Says Rinehart: “A quick calculation says that at one kilometer the bulk temperature was in excess of 20,000 to 30,000 degrees F, and the blast wave would have hit at sonic velocity with pressures on buildings greater than 600 PSI. If the Jesuits, at one kilometer from the geometric epicenter, were outside the atomic bomb’s “plasma” their residence should still have been utterly destroyed. Un-reinforced masonry or brick walls, representative of commercial construction, are destroyed at 3 PSI, which will also cause ear damage and burst windows. At 10 PSI, a human being will experience severe lung and heart damage, burst eardrums and at 20 PSI limbs can be blown off. All the cotton clothing would be on fire at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and your lungs would be inoperative within a minute of breathing even one lungful of air at these temperatures.

Hypocenter of the blast in Hiroshima was Shima Hospital.

“No way could any human have survived nor should anything have been left standing at one kilometer. At ten times the distance, about ten to fifteen kilometers, I saw the brick walls standing from an elementary school and there were a few badly burned survivors; all died within fifteen years of some form of cancer. Reconnaissance pictures taken of a panoramic view from epicenter of the blast, at Shima Hospital looking towards the Jesuits’ house, did show some kind of two-story building totally intact, at least from what I could make out, and it looked to me the windows were in place. Also there was a church with walls still standing a few hundred yards away, but the roof was gone.

“The Department of Defense never commented officially on this and I suspect it was classified and never discussed in open literature. I think it is possible the Jesuits were asked not to say anything either at the time.”

Miraculous Image of Our Lady of FatimaFor God, who made all matter and energy, it is simply a matter of willing it and the laws that govern them are suspended. This is what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also happened in ancient times, to the loyal servants of God Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, as is related in the Book of Daniel (3:19-24):

“Then was Nebuchodonosor filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated. And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire. And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coasts, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments. For the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago. But these three men, that is, Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnance of burning fire. And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God and blessing the Lord.”

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 486

Originally published in Britain Needs Fatima Members’ Newsletter, Issue 25, February, 2007. Britain Needs Fatima Members’ Newsletter is a publication of the Tradition, Family, Property Bureau for the United Kingdom.
Please direct all enquiries to: Britain Needs Fatima, P.O. Box 2713, Glasgow, G62 6YJ.
Tel.: (0141) 956 7391  —  Fax (0141) 956 6978  —

Friday, August 28, 2015

FREE “Catechism” on the Synod -- 100 Questions and Answers On the Upcoming Synod On the Family

What is a synod?

And why is there so much controversy about the Extraordinary Synod on the Family planned for October in Rome?

Learn all about the synod in a free booklet titled Preferential Option for the Family - One Hundred Questions and One Hundred Answers Regarding the Synod

Please click on the link to download: 

"Catechism" on the Synod

The booklet was authored by Most Rev. Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, SSS (Archbishop of Paraiba, Brazil), Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa (Bishop of Santa Rosa, California) and Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider (Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan).

The work opens with a preface by Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estevez, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and has received letters of praise from Most Rev. Luigi Negri (Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, Italy), Most Rev. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz (Archbishop Minsk-Mogilev, Belarus) and Most Rev. Patricio Bonilla Bonilla, OFM (Apostolic Delegate of San Cristobal Galapagos, Ecuador).

Filial Petition to Pope Francis to Save the Family — Sign Here

Prof. Tommaso Scandroglio, spokesman for this initiative launched by the Filial Appeal Association, stated: “this volume is an original handbook on the family, theme of the next Synod.

It is divided into one hundred questions and answers. The questions reproduce the most common objections on issues such as sexuality, indissolubility of the marriage bond, divorce, homosexuality, declaration of nullity of canonical marriages, communion for the divorced and remarried, mercy, pastoral policy, and many others. The answers, in contrast, recall perennial Church doctrine on these matters.”

According to Prof. Scandroglio, the publication has a twofold purpose: On the one hand to call to mind the requirement of consistency with the dictates of the Catholic Church regarding natural morality and faith. On the other, it seeks to offer proofs that, on many conceptual issues on the topic of the family, Church doctrine has already been consolidated and has successfully answered, for a long time now, some ethical and theological objections which many media outlets keep coming up with.

The challenge is therefore eminently pastoral in character, Scandroglio said, adding that “the handbook is designed primarily for bishops, priests, religious, catechists, and the faithful involved in the life of the Church. But it will also appeal to all those lay people who will find in this handy publication some rational reasons to defend the family from attacks unleashed ever more often by a nihilist and relativist culture.”

Also speaking at the press conference introducing the book, Preferential Option for the Family, was the well-known English pro-life leader John Smeaton, in his capacity as co-founder of the Voice of the Family coalition, a dynamic think tank that works in support of the natural and traditional family.

Voice of the Family has been producing high quality studies on the issue, such as a recent analysis of the 2014 Relatio Synody. The analysis which emphasizes omitted issues and ambiguously treated aspects during the Synod, leaving the faithful in a state of confusion. According to Voice of the Family, these issues should be urgently clarified in the 2015 Synod.

The book’s purpose is consistent with the Filial Petition to Pope Francis (, which has exceeded 500,000 signatures, including those of 5 cardinals, 123 bishops and archbishops, and numerous academic and public figures from many nations.

The booklet can be downloaded for free here:

"Catechism" on the Synod

God shows visionary the future and destiny of nations

Blessed Anna Maria Gesualda Antonia Taigi

(Maiden name Giannetti.)

Bl Anna Maria Taigi vision

Venerable Servant of God, born at Siena, Italy, 29 May, 1769; died at Rome, 9 June, 1837. Her parents, Luigi Giannetti and Maria Masi, kept an apothecary shop at Siena, but lost all their fortune and were obliged to go to Rome in search of a livelihood. Anna Maria was then five years old. Having been educated in all the domestic virtues, she was married in course of time, 7 January, 1789, to Dominico Taigi, a retainer of the noble family of Chigi, with whom she lived happily for forty-eight years. Hitherto nothing extraordinary had happened in her life.

But one day while she knelt with her husband at the Confessio in St. Peter’s she felt a strong inspiration to renounce such little vanities of the world as she had allowed herself. She began to pay little attention to dress and to listen to the inner voice of grace.

Soon afterwards she was received publicly in the Third Order of Trinitarians in the Church of S. Carlo alle Quarto Fontane, and having found holy spiritual directors, she made rapid progress in the way of perfection. All the money she could spare she devoted to the poor and miserable, and though not rich she was very charitable.

The incorrupt body of Bl. Anna Maria Gesualda Antonia Taigi at San Crisogono in Rome.

The incorrupt body of Bl. Anna Maria Gesualda Antonia Taigi at San Crisogono in Rome.

Of the hospitals she regularly visited, the preferred one was S. Giacomo of the Incurables. Despite her love for the poor, she never neglected her own family. Of her children two died young, the others grew up in piety under the surveillance of the mother. But she never availed herself of her connections with persons of good position to take her children out of their humble social environment.

The whole family were wont to assemble for prayers in a small private chapel, and here, later on, in a small private chapel, and here, later on, Mass was celebrated by a priest who dwelt with the family. The great virtues of Anna Maria were rewarded by extraordinary gifts of God’s grace. During many years, when praying in her chapel she had ecstasies and frequent visions, in which she foresaw the future.

She exercised a peculiar influence over individuals and converted many a sinner to God. During her life she suffered much both corporally and spiritually, and was at times meanly calumniated. But after death her name soon became venerated in Rome.

Her body was several times transferred, and rests finally at S. Crisogono in Trastevere. The process of her beatification was begun in 1863, but has not yet been finished.

G. LIVARIUS OLIGER (Catholic Encyclopedia)

[ note: She was beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.]

St Augustine

Today is the Feast of St Augustine. Read about this great Saint and Doctor of the Church here....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Heretics slash the Blessed Mother’s face. . .

Our Lady of Czestochowa

     Did you ever hear the story of Our Lady of Czestochowa?  If not, you are in for a treat!

Click to read a marvelous page in the history of devotion to Mary Most Holy.

     This is a wonderful story of an icon of Our Lady possibly painted by an apostle.  And tradition has it, that it was painted on a table top built by Our Lord Himself.

     It is an icon that has been so persecuted it sustained real scars and was embattled by an army of 12,000 strong.

     Yet, as always, Mary our Queen, was victorious!

     In these days when evil closes in and those that wish to follow Christ, and practice their Catholic Faith feel more and more besieged, here is a source of great hope!

     This is a story of courage and faith, of prayer and protection, of battle and victory that will strengthen your trust in Our Blessed Mother during these troubled times!

     So, let us never fear, no matter how much evil spreads and gains ground, Our Lady and her Divine Son will always triumph! Never doubt it!

Click to read: Our Lady of Czestochowa, Marvelous Story of an Embattled Icon.

Catholic Solution For Our Economic Meltdown. . .

Book Reveals How Spiritual Conversion Is Key to Prevent Economic Crash




     The national debt stands at $18.1 trillions, although some experts forecast a jump to $36 trillions.

     Real estate is no longer a safe haven for preserving the American dream, as housing prices have fallen to record lows.  Millions of families have lost homes due to foreclosure.

     New college graduates struggle to find decent paying jobs in their field.  You can pay $50 to fill up your gas tank.

     Economists debate the source of our woes.  Many attribute it to government overspending and the huge national debt.

     But the root cause of our troubled economy, argues author John Horvat II, is a failure to live according to the timeless Catholic principles of the Gospel.

FREE BOOKReturn to Order
Reveals the Catholic Solution to Our Economic Crisis

     Thankfully, you can also GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only.  Sorry for the short time limit on that.)

     Or, you can GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

     “We navigate in dangerous waters,” he writes.  “We cannot follow the socialistic courses to anarchy and revolution that have shipwrecked so many nations in history.  Unless we have the courage to draw upon our rich Christian tradition and place our trust in Providence, we will neither steer clear of disaster in the coming storm nor arrive to safe harbor.”

     Now, in his bestseller Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go, Horvat maps out a course of moral behavior that will return America to its Christian roots -- and our healthy and vigorous economy.

     The book is FREE so that more Americans can learn the REAL time-tested formula to economic recovery before we’re hit by an economic crash.

Is America broken?

     The single biggest spiritual sickness in our economy, Horvat argues, is what he calls “frenetic intemperance.”

     He defines frenetic intemperance as when people throw off legitimate restraints and gratify wild passions.  Far from providing a free market, frenetic intemperance undermines and throws it out of balance and even prepares the way for secularism.

     “Frenetic intemperance is an explosive expansion of wild human desires beyond traditional and moral bounds,” the author writes. “Its frenetic nature leads those of this undercurrent to resent the very idea of restraint.  They scorn the spiritual, religious, moral, and cultural values that normally serve to order and temper economic activity.”

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

     “Frenetic intemperance is to be found riding on the crest of speculative ventures such as the major stock market crashes or the 2008 sub-prime mortgage bubble.  Its self-destructive character will eventually destroy free markets and moral values.”

     Men have put aside social, cultural, and moral values, adopting a set of values that attached undue importance to quantity over quality, utility over beauty, and matter over spirit. Free of traditional restraints, those under this rule favor the frantic dealings, speculation, and exaggerated risks by which they have sent our economy into crisis.

A Return to Order

     “If frenetic intemperance is the main cause of this economic imbalance, the quelling of this restless spirit must figure in the solution,” writes Horvat. “To this end, we need to reconnect with that human element that tempers the markets and keeps them free.”

      The solution he advocates is a return to an “organic society” – a social order oriented toward the common good that naturally and spontaneously develops, allowing man to pursue the perfection of his essentially social nature through the family, intermediary groups, the State, and the Church.  The book reveals why the calming influence of these natural braking institutions is at the heart and soul of a balanced economy.

      The organic socio-economic order developed in Christendom timeless principles of an economic order that are wonderfully adapted to human nature, giving rise to markets full of exuberant vitality and refreshing spontaneity.

      In the kind of organic society the author advocates, the economy becomes anchored in the cardinal virtues, with the rule of money replaced by the rule of honor, beauty, and quality.

      A Christian order suited to our fallen nature, the organic society was born under the constant shadow of the cross with Christ as the divine model.  By studying the principles of this Christian order, we can gain a notion of what our ideal should be and how it might be obtained.

      “We must seek to discover basic principles associated with the nature of things and in accordance with the Gospel, and then allow enormous freedom in applying them to the needs of society,” advises Horvat in his book. “Counting upon God’s grace, we must recognize and respect the organic nature of man, full of vivacity, spontaneity, and unpredictability. This is the essence of a truly organic society.”

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

Where Modern Society Went Terribly Wrong

     The cure for our economic ills, Horvat explains, is to return to an economy without frenetic intemperance --an organic economic order with a passion for justice.

      He says a role model for modern times can be found in the timeless principles used in medieval economy.

      “Medieval economic thought was especially absorbed with a passion for the cardinal virtue that should govern transactions—justice,” says Horvat.

      In economic matters, commutative justice is the particular kind of justice that assures that one party will render to another in transactions what is due in strict equality as, for example, when the price one pays for an apple corresponds to its worth.

      “Justice ensures the free flow of markets by protecting them from their great enemies: monopoly, speculation, usury, false advertising, induced scarcity, and other practices that produce fraud or obstructions in commerce,” he writes.

      As a result, the Christian state protects the markets with clear rules and laws so that healthy competition, free consent in contracts, and transparency in exchange might naturally take place. At the same time, the State avoids undue interference in the markets or excessive taxation.

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

A Catholic Solution

Return to Order does much more than show how living according to the Gospel can return America to order: it also presents a prescription for reviving the economy.

      According to Horvat, when economic activities take place inside the context of society, it allows the natural restraining influence of human institutions such as custom, morals, family, or community to calm markets and prevent frenetic intemperance.  He says: “In vain do we seek to regenerate an economy if we do not regenerate the family, the community, and so many other institutions that are its heart and soul.”

      All these dynamic elements—church, community, family, personalized property—form an invaluable human infrastructure that actually provides the moral capital, psychological health, and stability upon which even our modern economy must be built, he says.

      A just society does not live beyond its means. “We must insist upon an economy that is guided by justice and not by money and markets,” explains Horvat. The rule of money makes the present system of money and credit inevitable; the rule of justice makes it impossible.

      Justice creates the conditions for an orderly and temperate economy, which will then be free to operate according to its own norms of prudence:

      ** Saddling future generations with the expense of the present offends its most basic precepts and is inherently unjust.

      ** Justice does not permit the deliberate over-extension or acceptance of credit to and by those who have no means to pay, as in the subprime mortgage crisis.

      ** In a just society, one does not leverage money to issue loans or fund certain types of speculation and money manipulation with funds that do not actually exist.

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

Praise for Return to Order

Return to Order provides an interesting analysis of how the United States has departed from the spiritual, cultural, and economic precepts that supported the founding and the early history of our republic. It also sets forth valuable recommendations for restoring our society to its foundation of ordered liberty and traditional values.”

--The Honorable Edwin Meese III,
Former Attorney General of the United States

“If our nation ever needed to return to traditional values, it is now. Each of our problems has at its roots a moral solution found in the tenets of the Christian tradition. Return to Order does a great job of highlighting the source and solution to our impending demise.”

--Major General Patrick H. Brady,
(USA-Ret.) Medal of Honor

Return to Order offers a synthesis of Catholicism’s invaluable contribution to the building of a humane and ordered society in which the human person can flourish. When culture, economy, polity, and religion form an ethical whole, children, families, businesses, religious communities and individuals find their fulfillment through making their contribution to the common good. Return to Order shows us a clear way out of the current cultural crisis which besets the great human project.”

-- Most Reverend Donald J. Hying,
Bishop of Gary, Indiana

“Mr. Horvat does an excellent job in excavating the underlying root of the current economic crises. It is the loss of the golden mean of virtuousness, the consequence of replacing prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance as the guiding principles of economic activity with the principle of income maximization.”

--Gregor Hochreiter,
Director, Institute of Applied Economics

“In this very well-documented and argued work, John Horvat ingeniously demonstrates how the four cardinal virtues are the basis of a free and prosperous society.”

--Prof. Harry Veryser,
Author and Former Director of
Graduate Studies in Economics,
University of Detroit Mercy

“An erudite cultural sculptor, Horvat chisels away materialism’s false promises and points toward God as the source of the higher revelation that makes beauty, heroism, nobility, sacrifice and true vocation discoverable and meaningful.”

--Robert Knight,
Columnist and author

“The central theme of frenetic intemperance is original, interesting, and compelling. The diagnosis of contemporary social maladies must focus on moral failings, and Return to Order rightly does so. Its insightful thesis deserves wide circulation and consideration."

--Kevin E. Schmiesing,
Ph.D., Acton Institute

A Roadmap for Economic Recovery

      The need for sacrifice and restraint in supplying human needs coincides with the consuming ideal of seeking the Cross of Christ. Medieval man looked for ways to offer up his sacrifices in the economic dealings of everyday life.

      One immediate manner of doing this was by offering to God the best fruits of one’s labors. With Christ as the perfect model, this “Way of the Cross” economy also served God’s glory by awakening in men a passionate pursuit of excellence for excellence’s sake.

      When such a metaphysical spirit permeates everything, all society cannot but grow in quality and excellence, and the act of labor becomes a veritable prayer. This spirit of immolation and abnegation found in the Way of the Cross puts things in order and gives stability to the economy.

      In Return to Order, John Horvat provides guidelines that must be followed NOW to avoid the impending economic collapse.

      These urgent action items suggest what might be done to establish the organic order we so ardently desire -- and calm the debt-driven frenzied economy that fuels frenetic intemperance. He observes: “The Christian roots of our economic order are sound, and it is to these roots that we should return.”

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

Survive the Coming Economic Storm

      No one knows for sure what will happen with the economy in 2016.  What we do know is that a storm lies ahead. It is not just a passing tempest for we already feel its strong winds.  By its sheer magnitude, we sense there is something about this particular crisis that touches the very core of our American order.

      In the past, we were a people solidly united around God, flag, and family, but now all seems fragmented and polarized. By our great wealth and power, we once held the respect and awe of nations.  But now we are unexpectedly attacked by unforeseen enemies and forsaken by friends and allies.

      Although the storm be treacherous, we need not sail on uncharted seas.  That is why Horvat’s considerations spring from deep Christian convictions and draw heavily on Church social and economic teachings.

      We navigate in dangerous waters.  We cannot follow the socialistic courses to anarchy and revolution that have shipwrecked so many nations in history.  Unless we have the courage to draw upon our rich Christian tradition and place our trust in Providence, we will neither steer clear of disaster in the coming storm nor arrive to safe harbor.

Return to Order not only points to the pathway for prosperity in your own life; it charts for our nation a course for returning to economic greatness. If you worry about the U.S. economy …and long to ensure a secure financial future for you and your family…just follow the economic, life, and spiritual lessons laid out in Return to Order.

Get your FREE Return to Order book here

GO HERE to download a free ebook copy of Return to Order on kindle.  (Available free on kindle for the next 24 hours only)

GO HERE to download and listen to Return to Order on audiobook.

Or call 855-861-8420.  Thank you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Our Lady of the Rosary Saves Catholics from the Invading Protestant Fleet


Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila in Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City, Philippines. Photo by Interaksyon

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila in Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City, Philippines. Photo by Interaksyon

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Saves the Philippines from the Invading Dutch Fleet

Inside the Dominican church of Santo Domingo in Quezon City sits in celestial splendor and glory one of the most venerated and beloved image of the Most Holy Virgin in the Philippines. Among an impressive array of twenty-eight canonically crowned statues of  the Mother of God in this Catholic nation in the Far East, Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila, also known as La Gran Señora de Filipinas and Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario, stands out preeminently in terms of grandeur and beauty. It holds the most singular distinction as the first Marian image to be officially and solemnly crowned as such in the country and Asia (1907).[1]


One can trace the statue’s origin (circa 1593) to the auspices of a Spanish governor-general of the island nation, Luis Perez Dasmariñas (1593-1596) who commissioned its creation (under the supervision of Captain Hernando de los Ríos Coronel) to honor his deceased father and to serve as a memento to his regime. He entrusted the statue in the hands of Dominican friars who enshrined it in a simple primitive chapel made of cogon grass and nipa palm within the walled city ofIntramuros of Old Manila.

Utilizing hardwood for the torso and elephant ivory for the face and hands, a pagan Chinese artisan, who according to pious tradition converted later to Catholicism through Our Lady’s intercession, skillfully carved and fashioned its unique and indigenous Oriental features that stood out when the white ivory took on a shade of brown through the patina of time.

Luis Pérez Dasmariñas

Luis Pérez Desmariñas

The Blessed Mother’s image measures 4 feet and 8 inches and is depicted carrying the Child Jesus in her right arm while holding a scepter in her left arm.  Both images have a rosary slung on the right hand. From the very beginning, the faithful especially those belonging to Manila’s elite and aristocratic families have traditionally adorned both the Virgin and Child with elaborate raiment, ornate crowns and precious jewels. It now stands as the oldest ivory carving and the most resplendent example of traditional Marian iconography in the archipelagic nation.

The first Dominicans, who reached Philippine shores in 1587, established in the following year a confraternity in honor of Our Lady under the title of the Rosary. Upon receipt of the prized carved image from the benevolent Spanish governor-general, the Dominicans installed it in the aforementioned chapel withinIntramuros effectively replacing a 2-foot statue of Our Lady of the Rosary that the pioneering friars brought from Mexico to be venerated there. Thus, began a special devotion that would transcend centuries of signal graces and favors granted to the Holy Virgin’s throng of ever increasing devotees.

In a decisive series of sea battles in the middle of the 17th century, the Virgin’s intercessory powers would prove crucial in staving off the attacks of the invading Dutch fleets, a heavenly prodigy that would earn her the title of La Naval in the annals of Philippine history.


The Eendracht and a Fleet of Dutch Men-of-war, painting by Ludolf Bakhuizen.

The Eendracht and a Fleet of Dutch Men-of-war, painting by Ludolf Bakhuizen.

From the late fifteenth century to mid-sixteenth century, Spain and the Dutch Netherlands locked horns in a bitter and protracted war in Europe that came to be known as the Eighty Years war or the Dutch War of Independence (1568-1648).[2]This effectively severed Dutch’s access to the lucrative spice trade which ran through the port of Lisbon in Portugal, an integral part of the Spanish empire at the time.

Henceforth, the Dutch sought to offset this setback by venturing into the Far East to seek a direct route and to monopolize commercial sea trade through piracy. The first expedition in 1595 yielded much promise with 400% returns.  Another Dutch voyage set sail in 1598 that successfully returned a year later with a load of 600,000 pounds of spices and other East Indian[3] products.

A Spanish Galleon

A Spanish Galleon

These initial successes fueled incursions of Dutch marauders into Philippine waters and Manila Bay coastlines as they intercepted unsuspecting junks and sampans sailing forth from China and Japan.

From the early 1600’s and onwards, the better financed Dutch eventually overcame the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade and the shift of power tilted in their favor. These early forays eventually led to the establishment of the Dutch East Indies Company in Indonesia.

The explosion of the Spanish flagship during the Battle of Gibraltar, 25 April 1607.

The explosion of the Spanish flagship during the Battle of Gibraltar, 25 April 1607.


December 14, 1600 marked the day when the Spanish and Dutch naval forces first engaged in a sea battle in Philippine territorial waters near Fortune Island off the coast of Batangas province near the mouth of Manila Bay. The Dutch flotilla of two warships, the Mauritius and Eendracht, under Admiral Oliver Van Noort  faced off with the Spanish squadron of San Diego and San Bartolome under the command of an inexperienced jurist, Dr. Antonio de Morga. De Morga’s flagship San Diegosunk with heavy loss of lives while Van Noort’s altamiranta[4], Eeendracht, suffered severe damaged and was captured. The Dutch admiral limped home with his badly battered flagship and continued on to Borneo. He then set sail for the Netherlands to become the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe.

Three minor sea conflicts known in Philippine history as the three Battles of Playa Honda took place in 1610, 1616 and 1625 respectively, with the Spanish forces emerging victorious in all three encounters. The Dutch had dispatched these fleets in an effort to curtail the China-Manila trade and to divert the Chinese traders to their outpost (the Dutch East Indies) south of the Philippines.

Spanish Armada

The Dutch armadas also sought to upset the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and often lay in wait to ambush the commercial ships bearing silver coins or fine silk as they entered and left the San Bernadino Strait also called the Embocadero de San Bernadino (the narrow waterway separating the islands of Luzon and Samar.)

These preliminary clashes served as a prelude to the five major Battles of La Naval in 1646.


Recent and surrounding events prior to 1646 proved ominous to Spanish authorities and residents of Old Manila alike as well as to the rest of the country.

  • The ravages of the Thirty Years’ War had taken its toll on Spain which left the Philippines scrounging for relief and aid.
  • Various sea wrecks and mishaps weakened Manila’s naval capability and defense which also had debilitating economic consequences on the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.
  • The ongoing war against the Muslims of Mindanao spearheaded by Sultan Kudarat (since 1635) weighed heavy on both human and material resources.
  • A Chinese uprising also known as the Sangley[5] rebellion erupted on Christmas Eve of 1639.
  • The Dutch captured Malacca in 1641 and in the following year overran Spain’s fortress on the island of Formosa (present day Taiwan) north of the island of Luzon which boosted their campaign to seize King Philip II’s possessions in Asia. Now the Dutch had a strategic point to launch their coastal raids along Manila Bay and to carry out attacks on Manila. Through years of build-up, the Dutch had acquired a formidable naval presence in the region with Batavia (Jakarta) as the rallying point.

Map of the Castle and the City of Batavia, on the island of Java (now Jakarta, Indonesia)

Map of the Castle and the City of Batavia, on the island of Java (now Jakarta, Indonesia)

  • In the spiritual realm, Manila suffered a terrible blow when its newly installed archbishop, His Grace Don Fernando Montero de Espinosa who just arrived from Mexico on the Pacific side of Luzon Island never made it to the city when he died of hemorrhagic fever in mid-1645. Elation turned into grief. The lack of spiritual leadership further dampened the morale of the inhabitants.
  • And to add insult to injury, a devastating earthquake hit the ancient city on November, 30, 1645 razing several buildings, schools and churches to the ground. The utter ruin left the city practically vulnerable and defenseless.


In spite of Dutch alliances with Muslim raiders, years of frustration to conquer Manila now came to a head. Realizing the precarious and vulnerable situation assailing Manila and the rest of the country at the time, a Dutch council in Batavia (Jakarta) resolved to gather a formidable force to wage an attack on the Philippines in 1646.

Three squadrons of 18 well equipped naval vessels comprised the powerful armada (divided into groups of 5, 7 and 6 ships respectively).  Maarten Gerritz Vries headed the naval enterprise to implement a three-pronged mission:Manila

  • To incite the natives against the Spaniards and to capture Chinese merchant junks and sampans along the coasts;
  • To intercept the galleons from Acapulco loaded with supplies and money;
  • To harass and curtail supply lines from Manila to Ternate and Makassar.[6]

Each squadron maneuvered into strategic points around the country to carry out designated tasks with the final objective of uniting into one powerful fleet outside Manila Bay to storm the city.


In February, 1646, reconnaissance reports revealing the presence of Dutch ships in several areas of the Philippines spurred the Spanish government in Manila, under Governor-General Diego Fajardo Chacón, to prepare for the impending attack despite its sheer lack of a strong and able naval fleet.

In 1644, the Governor-General dispatched two aging commercial galleons to Mexico, the Encarnacíon and the Rosario, which arrived safely back the following year with much-needed supplies and goods. With no other ships on hand, the Governor-General had no option but to equip these old, heavy, decrepit and rickety galleons for battle. Some cannons were stripped from the forts of Cavite and Manila, risking their loss at sea and leaving the land without adequate artillery for defense.  General Lorenzo de Orella y Ugalde took the helm as commander-in-chief and steered the Encarnacíon, the flagship or capitana. The other galleon, theRosario, served as the admiral ship or altamirana under the command of Sebastian Lopez.

Spanish Galleon Firing its Cannon

Spanish Galleon Firing its Cannon


While preparations were underway on the natural and material plane, the need for spiritual aid and guidance were not lost on the Catholic leaders. Unbeknownst to each other, General Orella y Ugalde and Admiral Sebastian Lopez both made a vow to the Our Lady of the Rosary to walk barefoot together with their crew to her shrine at the Santo Domingo Church and to offer gratitude for the victory they hoped to obtain from her intercession. These intentions were to be revealed publicly later, prior to the second sea battle.

A Sea Battle painted by Johannes Lingelbach

A Sea Battle painted by Johannes Lingelbach

Following the example of the joint Catholic forces in the great Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the naval campaign was aptly placed under the protection of the Holy Virgin bearing in mind that both ships bore the names Encarnacíon and Rosario in her honor. The Father Provincial of the Dominican friars offered to provide chaplains and ministers to both ships to which the Governor-General readily acquiesced. Four priests were called to the task with two assigned to each vessel.

The Dominican friars preached and enjoined the naval crew and officers to confess their sins and receive Holy Communion and urged them to seek the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary; and when victory was granted, that they should celebrate a feast day in thanksgiving. The clerics also prevailed upon the soldiers the vocal recitation of the Rosary before an image of the Virgin – on their knees and in two choirs. They would fulfill this vow assiduously during the entire six month-long sea campaign especially on the days of battle.

Governor-General Fajardo Chacón himself directed that the Blessed Sacrament be exposed constantly in the royal military chapel as well as in all churches and chapels in Manila for as long as the naval forces were in conflict and pursuit of the enemy.

Photo of Our Lady of La Naval by LawrenceOP

Photo of Our Lady of La Naval. By LawrenceOP

As they grew impatiently tired of waiting for the attack that never came, the Spanish-Filipino forces finally decided to actively pursue and engage the Dutch flotilla.  On March 3, 1646, the Governor-General sent off the soldiers assuring them of his and the populace’s fervent prayers. Thus the fleet set sail from the port of Cavite to the coast of Mariveles, Bataan. Now, it would just be a matter of time before hostilities would commence.


First Battle

Upon reaching Mariveles, the Spanish found no trace of the Dutch. Continuing on to Bolinao in Lingayen Gulf, they finally caught sight of one enemy ship in mid-morning of March 15, 1646. At 1:00 pm, after a hot pursuit of the lone vessel, the two sides finally came within firing range of each other. The two Spanish vessels, mockingly called “two wet chickens” by the Dutch (a play of word on galeones and gallinas), confronted 4 Dutch ships and one small oar-propelled boat.  After the initial exchange of salvoes, a fierce and fiery clash ensued which lasted for five hours. When the smoke cleared and the din of battle died down at 7 p.m. the enemy ships were on the retreat with the Dutch altamiranta hobbling and in danger of sinking. By a stroke of luck, the enemy slipped under the cloak of darkness and disappeared. The Filipino-Spanish forces gave chase till Cape Bojeador on the northern tip of Luzon but to no avail.  With only minor damages sustained, a few wounded and no fatalities, it was no doubt a clear victory for the Catholic Spanish and native forces. The Dutch, on the other hand, suffered many casualties and two severely battered ships foundered.

Naval battle between the Spanish and Dutch

After undergoing repairs in the port of Bolinao, the two Spanish ships sailed to San Bernadino Strait near the southernmost tip of Luzon upon instructions of the Governor-General. Their mission: to escort, protect and conduct safely to port theSan Luis, a commercial galleon expected to pass through the strait from Mexico on or around July 21, 1646.


The two “wet chickens” reached the port of Ticao Island (a long strip of land between San Bernadino Strait [Embocadero de San Bernadino] and Ticao Passage, north of Masbate) in early June of 1646. There they set anchor to monitor the arrival of the San Luis and to defend it against marauding enemy ships.

Meanwhile, a second Dutch fleet that reached Philippine waters in April had been conducting raids in Jolo Island and Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao only to find out that the Spanish had already decamped due to the peace treaty signed with the Muslims just after the first battle.

Spanish and Dutch battle at Batavia.

Upon receipt of orders from the Dutch headquarters in Batavia, the Dutch squadron of seven ships sailed for the Embocadero with the obvious intent of intercepting galleons arriving from Mexico.  The fleet reached the area on June 22 and on the following day discovered the Encarnacíon and Rosario anchored in the port of San Jacinto which is located in a cove with a narrow entrance and exit point. The two vessels were trapped as the Dutch blocked the bottleneck passage to the harbor to form a naval blockade. To save on ammunition and powder, a war council decided to hold back and go on the offensive only when the San Luisarrived. Thus, no major clashes occurred save for some minor skirmishes where the Dutch sent intermittent launches[7] to harass the two galleons. After 31 days of standoff, the Dutch grew impatient and lifted the blockade. Thinking that theSan Luis[8] had slipped by them, the fleet headed towards the direction of Manila.

Second Battle

At the crack of dawn of July 25, the Encarnacíon and Rosario finally left the port of Ticao to confront the enemy fleet in the Embocadero. Finding the Dutch nowhere in sight, they immediately gave chase knowing that Manila lay defenseless. Finally on July 28, they caught up with the seven Dutch ships but no immediate clash ensued. Apparently, the Dutch avoided engagement in broad daylight.

True enough, on a bright moonlit evening of July 29 at seven o’clock , between the islands of Banton and Marinduque amidst calm waters, the Dutch finally approached for the kill. An intense and fiery battle commenced with fierce exchanges of cannonball and musketry fire between the adversaries. The enemy ships ganged up on the Encarnacíon but were repulsed by its intense artillery fire.  The Dutch employed fireships filled with incendiary devices to no avail. They were quickly neutralized and one sent to the bottom of the sea. The battle lasted until daybreak and yet again, the Dutch found themselves on the retreat having sustained considerable damage and losses. On the run throughout the day, the Dutch refused to engage even as the Spanish commander urged them to do battle.

The flagship Encarnacíon, had no fatalities with only two wounded while the altamiranta Rosario, lost five men. The second clash would prove to be the bloodiest among the sea battles.

Battle of La Naval

Third battle

On the next day, July 31, the feast of St. Ignatuius of Loyola, the Spanish fleet kept on the pressure on the Dutch squadron which was now reduced to six vessels and a fireship. With much persistence, the two “wet chickens” cornered the Dutch who were left with no option but to fight as they reached the waters between the islands of Mindoro and Maestre de Campo at around 2:00 p.m.

The Spanish-Filipino forces pressed on the attack sensing that their adversary was on the defensive. Since it was daytime, the odds tilted in favor of the local forces. Soon, another fierce and thunderous exchange of fire commenced. To the pleasant surprise of the Spanish-Filipino crew, their cannons and muskets worked with smooth and uncanny precision. One cannoneer attested that he fired 19 cannon shots in succession without fail, rosary on one hand and a torch on the other, while proclaiming loudly, “Viva La Virgen!”

In the heat of battle, the Dutch flagship directed its fire on the altamiranta only to be met a by a barrage of cannon balls in response. The enemy flagship suffered considerable damage that it had to withdraw quickly to avoid being sunk.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila. Photo by Ramon FVelasquez

In desperation, the Dutch launched their remaining fireship hoping its load of fireworks would do major damage to the other side. Devoid of sails, it had to be escorted and dragged by launches only to end up a veritable sitting duck to furious cannonball fire. As it went down to the bottom of the sea, the Encarnacíon’s crew shouted in jubilation, “Ave Maria!” and“Viva la Fe Cristo y la Virgen Santisima del Rosario!”

The naval clash raged for the rest of the day until 6 p.m. when the routed Dutch retired and fled under cover of darkness fortuitously aided by a thunderstorm.

Having realized their miraculous victory, the officers and crew publicly declared that it was granted through the intercession and patronage of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. General Orella “fell on his knees before an image of Our Lady of the Rosary and publicly gave thanks for the victory, acknowledging it as by Her hand.”

In early August, it was learned that the Dutch fleet disappeared, with two fireships sunk and the flagship badly battered. Thinking that the Dutch had enough, the Governor-General recalled the fleet to the port of Cavite for repairs and recovery.

On their return to Manila, the officers and crew were received with much acclaim by the overjoyed populace. In fulfillment of their vows, they walked barefoot, with the four Dominican chaplains, people and religious of Manila in tow, to offer gratitude and homage to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Santo Domingo Church. Little did they know that from this humble beginning would blossom a beautiful tradition of yearly processions to commemorate Our Lady’s intervention. For his valiant efforts, General Lorenzo Orella took a reward of the best encomiendas[9] in the land while the rest of the officers received a promotion in rank.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval. Photo by francisjasondiazperez

The threat renewed

By September, 1646, confident that they had stemmed the Dutch invasion, Manila authorities dispatched the newly built merchant galleon San Diego without escort at least until it reached San Bernadino Strait on its way to Mexico. Much to the surprise of its commander and crew, three Dutch ships appeared on the horizon near Fortune Island where its namesake under Antonio de Morga sunk in 1600. The enemy vessels were part of a fleet of 6 ships hoping to join the two previous Dutch flotillas which unbeknownst to them had already been soundly beaten by the local forces.

The Dutch squadron seized the opportunity to attack upon seeing the commercial ship alone and unguarded. The San Diego’s commander, General Cristobal Marquez de Valenzuela acted quickly by having five cannons brought on deck. Fortunately, they were enough to help thwart the surprise attack but not without sustaining some casualties. The ship then retired to Mariveles for safety.

When Governor-General Fajardo Chacón received news of the skirmish, he immediately reorganized the Spanish armada by adding the now armed San Diegoto the fleet. Don Sebastian Lopez, the second in command in the previous three battles, took over the helm of the flagship Encarnacíon now that General de Orella had retired from service. Don Agustin de Cepeda, the former sergeant-at-arms, ascended to the admiralship of the altamiranta Rosario. A galley of 100 sailors with an escort of 4 brigantines reinforced the fleet.

The same spiritual preparations and solemn vows were made as with the previous campaign. Two Dominicans retained their chaplaincy of the flagship while two Franciscans now tended to the altamiranta. An Augustinian priest took charge of the extra galley.

First Sunday in October procession with Our Lady of La Naval de Manila.

Fourth Battle

By September 15, the armada was ready, willing and able to set sail to meet the Dutch challenge once again. The search for the enemy in the vicinity of Fortune Island proved unsuccessful. With patience and perseverance they finally caught sight of the adversary’s flotilla off the coast of Mindoro Island near Calavite point. At 4:00 p.m., while struggling against the wind, the Spanish flagship nevertheless opened fire to signal its challenge. Unable to close the gap, both sides fought for five hours at a distance using long range artillery.

At around 9:00 p.m., the Rosario, inadvertently it seemed, drifted into enemy territory and was surrounded by the Dutch ships.  There was nothing the Spanish flagship could do to come to the aid of the altamiranta under cover of darkness. As expected, a fiery and intense exchange ensued which lasted a good four hours. At one point, the guns of the altamiranta fell silent, which emboldened the Dutch ships to draw near for the kill. Little did they know that it was just a ruse. As soon as the Dutch vessels came within firing range, the altamiranta, on orders of Admiral Cepeda, set their cannons ablaze causing considerable damage to the enemy which hastily retreated.

At daybreak, the Spanish flagship’s crew could now see the altamiranta and finally came to its rescue. But by then, the enemy had already taken flight after receiving another terrible beating.

The Fifth Battle

The San Diego was beset by structural defects that needed correction thus its journey to Mexico had to be aborted by a council convoked by General Lopez. It laid anchor at Mariveles under the watch of the “two wet chickens.” Unfortunately, the Rosario drifted away due to strong currents which it could not overcome thus separating it from the rest of the Spanish fleet.

Meanwhile the three Dutch ships, which according to records were huge and armed to the teeth, reemerged on October 4, 1646, the feast of St. Francis, apparently sensing their adversary’s predicament. Thinking they had the upper hand, the Dutch decided to press the attack and approach the Spanish flagship.

The Encarnacíon’s commander chose to bide his time and wait for the enemy to come nearer since it would be too much of a gamble to leave the San Diego alone. At a given moment, the flagship’s sails unfurled and unleashed its cannons on the approaching enemy ships. Thus began another tumultuous and relentless clash of firepower that lasted four hours. Like the Rosario in the previous battle, the Encarnacíon bucked all odds as it engaged the three Dutch warships singlehandedly while inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy which withdrew to a quick retreat.

Our Lady of Naval

Much to the chagrin of the fleeing Dutch, the wind died out and their progress stalled. Admiral Francisco de Esteyvar seizing the window of opportunity ably launched a daring attack from his oar-driven galley which was now being propelled under the cadence of the Hail Mary. With just a single cannon on the prow and some culverins, he picked on the nearest Dutch ship which suffered so much damage it almost sunk. Some enemy crew jumped ship in panic but luckily the wind returned which saved the day for them as the ships disappeared into the night even as the Encarnacíon and galley followed in hot pursuit.

At battle’s end, the intact Spanish galley sustained no casualty. However, the flagship suffered four fatalities but with minimal damage. Once again, the Spanish-Filipino forces gained another tremendous victory.


Upon their triumphant return to Manila, the officers and crew fulfilled once more their solemn vow and promise of walking barefoot to the shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Santo Domingo Church.

On January 20, 1647, a solemn procession, Mass, and a parade of the Spanish squadron celebrated the decisive victory. Soon thereafter, the City of Manila convened a council which pledged to solemnly commemorate the naval victories annually.

And to this day, the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila is celebrated yearly with much pomp and ceremony on the second Sunday of October. It is a fitting tribute to Our Lady as the Patroness of Christian navies, a patronage which traces its roots to the resounding triumph of the Catholic forces against the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where Pope St. Pius V, also a Dominican, entrusted the Catholic fleet to the protection of Our Lady of the Rosary. In thanksgiving, the holy pontiff, added the Feast of the Holy Rosary to the Church calendar and the invocation Auxilium Christianorum to the litany of Our Lady, in humble yet fitting acknowledgment of her powerful intercession.


Noting the extraordinary circumstances that led to the victory, the Archdiocese of Manila conducted an ecclesiastical inquiry at the behest of the Procurator General of the Dominican fathers, Father Friar Diego Rodrigues, O.P.

The most striking occurrences scrutinized were as follows:

  1. The Spanish-Filipino forces lost only 15 crew members;
  2. The fleet comprised mainly of two aging, rundown merchant galleons;
  3. The troops prayed the Rosary faithfully to ask for the Holy Virgin to intercede and to grant them the victory.

After a thorough examination of witnesses and pertinent events “the Venerable Dean and Chapter of the Archdiocese of Manila declared as miraculous the victories obtained by the defenders of religion in the Philippines against the Dutch, in the year 1646.”

On April, 9, 1652, the official declaration states:

“That we should declare and we do declare that the five battles expressed in the testimonies, which the said two galleons, under Catholic arms, won against the Dutch enemies, were and should be upheld as miraculous, and that they have been granted by the Sovereign Majesty of God by means of and through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Our Lady and Her devotion, the Holy Rosary.”

Author’s notes:

This article was pieced together mainly from two sources:

  1. Cortes, Regino, O.P., Ph.L., S.Th.L., S.S.L. The Story of La Naval. Quezon City: 537 Quezon Avenue, Santo Domingo Convent.
  2. “Battles of La Naval.” Wikepedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 2 September 2012. Web. 5 September 2012.

Other references:

  1. “The Story of La Naval. La Naval De Manila Online. 27 November 2007. Web 6 September 2012.
  2. “The Spice Trade.” Wikepedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc… 17 July 2012. Web. 2 September 2012.
  3. Joaquin, Nick. “Ikon, Friar and Conquistador.” Filipino eScribbles; random jottings about everything Philippine. 2 March 2010. Web. 3 September 2012.
  4. “‘Remembrance of La Naval De Manila’ at the Santo Domingo Church. 24 September 2006. Web. 31 August 2012.
  5. Aquino, Leslie Ann G. “Catholics Celebrate Feast of La Naval.” Bulletin Publishing Corporation. 9 October 2010. Web. 1 September 2012.
  6. Hellingman, Jeroen. “History of the Philippine Islands.” Ebook. pp.104-107.Wattpad. Web. 2 September 2012.
  1. Crossley, John Newsome. Hernando de los Ríos Coronel and the Spanish Philippines in the Golden Age. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1988. Google Books. Web. 1 September 2012.
  2. Jernegan, Prescott Ford. A Short History of the Philippines: For use in Philippine Schools. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1905. Google Books.Web. 30 August 2012.
  3. Ocampo, Ambeth. “The Christmas Eve uprising of 1639.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. 12 December 2008. Web. 2 September 2012.
  4. Lach, Donal F., Van Cley, Edwin J. Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume III: A Century of Advance. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. Google Books. Web. 29 August 2012.
  5. “Dutch East Indies.” Wikepedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 5 September 2012. Web. 6 September 2012.
  6. 12.“Eighty Years’ War.” Wikepedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 27 August 2012. Web. 27 August 2012.
  7. 13. Photo credit: La Naval Procession

[1] A canonical coronation is a Papal act, decreed through a papal bull, by which the Roman Catholic Church officially honors an image of the Virgin Mary venerated under a specific invocation in a particular region or locality. In his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam (October 11, 1954), Pope Pius XII declares, “The Roman Pontiffs, favoring such types of popular devotion, have often crowned, either in their own persons, or through representatives, images of the Virgin Mother of God which were already outstanding by reason of public veneration.”

[2] This conflict between Catholic Spain and the Protestant Netherlands freed the latter from Spain, resulting in the separation of the Southern part of the Netherlands (Flanders) from the Northern part.  It led to the establishment of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands or the Dutch Republic.

[3]The Indies or East Indies (or East India) generally refers to a broad area of lands  of South and Southeast Asia, covering all of present  India,  Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar,   Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and stretching through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor, Malaysia and most of Indonesia.

[4]Altamiranta – a Spanish term referring to the admiral ship usually led by the second in command. The flagship is called the Capitana.

[5] From the Spanish Sangleyes, the term for a Manila Chinese.

[6]Since 1612, Manila governed and protected militarily the Moluccas Islands.

[7] A heavy open or half-decked boat propelled by oars .

[8] It was later discovered that the San Luis sunk off the coast of Cagayan.

[9]A sytem, instituted in 1503, under which a Spanish soldier or colonist was granted a tract of land or a village together with its native inhabitants.