The defense of Europe by the Polish king in 1683 against the Islamic onslaught must still be alive in our memory. Today we should be able to draw conclusions from the Vienna Victory and terroristic attacks – it was taught so by the late prof. Józef Szaniawski

The victorious battle at Vienna, in which the Polish king Jan III Sobieski thrashed the Turks, rescuing Europe against the flood of Islam, is one of the decisive battles in the history of the world. It is just the 330th anniversary of the Victory which is a great pride for the Polish nation.

On this occasion, the late prof. JózefSzaniawski was planning to publish a book about the great victory of the Christians over Islam. Although he was working hard on ‘the work of his life’, as he often repeated, he did not manage to finish monograph. Prof. Szaniawski died tragically on 4 September 2012 in the Tatra mountains. Shortly before his death, the historian gave the weekly ‘Niedziela’ a unique photograph presenting a monumental picture of Jan Matejko ‘Sobieski at Vienna’.

Imperial jihad

The artist decided to give this masterpiece to pope Leon XIII during the 200th anniversary of the Battle at Vienna and it is in the Vatican Museums today. ‘The photographic reproduction of the highest quality (190 megapixels) was made from the initiative of the late military bishop of the Polish Army TadeuszPłoski, during his stay in Rome in 2008. As long as it is known, apart from this photograph, in Poland there is not any photographic reproduction of such a good quality. Bishop Płoski showed me this photograph in order to use it for writing a book planned for the year 2013. He said that he would write a preface to this book about the great victory of Christianity over the aggression of Islam in Europe. As the present owner of this unique photograph, I am giving it to the weekly ‘Niedziela’, with certainty that I am giving it not only onto good hands, but the hands which are the best ones’ – this is how prof. JózefSzaniawski wrote on the pages of ‘Niedziela’ (‘Niedziela’ no 37/2012).

The historian was one of very few people in Poland, reminding about an essential relation of the Vienna succor with the terroristic attack, taking place on 11 September 2001 in New York and an attempt of establishing the European Caliphate in 1683 by the great Wezyr Kara Mustafa, who was the leader of the Turkish army. The professor often noted that the Islamic jihad (the holy war with the West, conducted by the Muslims, whose purpose was making the whole world subject to the reign of Allah, and those who are not Islam believers, belong to non-believers) is still going on.

A revenge for the Vienna succor

‘On 11 September 1683 and 11 September 2001 – this convergence of dates is not accidental, although it is more known among Islamic terrorists and fanatics rather than among Poles! Here is an attack on America planned with diabolic logistics and the attack on the World Trade Centre skyscrapers in New York took place just on the anniversary of the battle at Vienna, even at the same time! The Battle at Vienna started on 11 September 1683 at 3 – 5 p.m., when Christian armies started coming from the hills of Kahlenberg and Schafberg and started a fight against the forces of the enormous Turkish army. Terrorists of Al-Kaida admitted, that attacking America, they took revenge for the biggest defeat of Islam in history, which was the victory of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski at Vienna’- reminded prof. Szaniawski emphasizing that extremists did a terroristic assassination in New York as an act of revenge for the battle at Vienna, won by the king Jan III Sobieski.

He also emphasized that attacks from the Islamists on the pope Benedict XVI in 2006, after the speech of the Holy Father delivered on the anniversary of the Vienna Victory at university in Ratzybona, were not accidental. Prof. JózefSzaniawski, honoured with the title of ‘A Custody of Tradition, Glory and Fame of the Polish Weapons’ and a prominent expert on history emphasized, that Europe should draw conclusions from the battle at Vienna and terroristic attacks done in the name of the Christianity. ‘Morally permissive attitude and indifference deprived Europe of a belief about obvious superiority of its civilization over the others. Return to the belief about its value could help Europe lead an effective fight not only against terrorism’ – wrote prof. Szaniawski (‘Our Journal’ 12 September 2008).

Faith of Jan III Sobieski

If it had not been for the Polish king, who was a great leader aware of a danger for the whole Christianity in 1683, it is not known, what fates of Europe would have been. Especially that the strategic aim of the Turkish army was Rome. It was just Jan III Sobieski who was asking Christ and Blessed Mary for blessing and care and, praying - as the late prof. Szaniawski emphasized – among the others, in front of Miraculous Christ in the Church of the Polish Republic (arch-cathedral of St. John in Warsaw), at JasnaGóra in front of the Miraculous Image of Mary the Queen of Poland and in the sanctuary in PiekaryŚląskie. Jan III Sobieski entrusted himself completely to Christ and Mary. He was completely aware of responsibility for the defense of Christianity against the aggressive Islam.

In ‘Pan Wołotyjowski’ by Henryk Sienkiewicz we can find the following declaration of the king Sobieski about which the Nobel-winner writes in his literary work: ‘Oh, God! If we are going to die, if our names are going to be the names of the dead, not the alive, so, let fame of us remain and remembrance of the service which God assigned us for; let our descendants looking at the crosses and graves say: ‘Here is Christianity, here are the crosses against Mohammedan obscenity, as long as there is breath in breast, as long as they defended blood in veins and died for the sake of other nations’.

A continuous fight about Christian Europe

Jan III Sobieski and his allied Christian forces had much smaller army in comparison with a Turkish army of nearly half a million of soldiers. However, he managed to stop the Islamic attack. OrianaFallaci, a famous Italian journalist, in her book ‘Strength of the mind’, reports the Vienna fight in the following way: ‘Sobieski shouted before the battle: Soldiers, we must save not only Vienna! We must save the whole Christianity, the idea of Christianity! (…) During the battle he shouted: Soldiers,we are fighting for Our Lady of Częstochowa, for Black Madonna! (…) On 12 September Poles won in an impressive way, which forced Kara Mustafa to escape and leave behind even camels, elephants, wives, concubines with throatsslashed’. ‘Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit’ (‘We arrived, we saw, God won!’) – these were the words of the Polish king, said to the pope Innocenty XI with the gained flag of the opponent.

The victory of Sobieski can be treated as a kind of a miracle and another victory of Our Lady of JasnaGóra. However, facing the Islamic offensive trying to seize the power over Europe, we cannot stop a continuous fight about our Christian civilization. As Jan III Sobieski was fighting at Vienna about the existence of Christianity, also today politicians and particular societies must fight – as the late prof. Szaniawski said – so that Islamic radicals would not defeat us with the petroleum and bellies of their women.


"Niedziela" 36/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl