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Declaration Of The Committee Of Honour for Celebration Of The 330th Anniversary Of The Victory At Vienna

The memorable Battle of Vienna, also known as the Victory at Vienna, along with the date of this event, 12 September 1683, found its place in admirable tradition of Poland and Europe.

Poles and the allied forces united under the command of the extraordinary leader and acute politician, Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, took a stand in defence of Europe endangered by the Ottoman Empire, despite of many struggles against enemies who were attacking Polish Republic in the 17th cent. and despite of exhaustion due to war, financial and political problems. Blood of many nations, Christians and Muslims spilt together stopped religious wars on majority of our continent for many years.

As one of few and regardless of being defeated, Turkish state admitted noble fights of army under the command of the Polish monarch. In tragic times for Poland in 18th and 19th centuries, the Ottoman Empire did not recognize the partitions.

On the Ottoman court during official ceremonies there was a special chair waiting for a Polish Republic representative. And for the Padishah’s question ‘where is a deputy of the Lechitic state’ the ruler received a reply ‘ambassador could not attend the ceremony’.

Relieving Vienna and successfully repulsing the tremendous army of Kara Mustafa made the name of Jan III Sobieski known as defender of Christianity further than borders of Europe. Since that day the King of Poland was called by defeated Turks as the ‘lion of the Lechitic state’, and by Christians as the ‘defender of faith’. Even though he did not ascribe this amazing victory to himself, but to God, what he expressed in the first words of the letter written to Pope Innocent XI: ‘Venimus, vidimus et Deus vicit’ as this victory had also a spiritual sense. It was a kind of levy in mass of all praying Christians, led by Maria Kazimiera, Queen of Poland, as well as priests, Capuchin Blessed Mark of Aviano, and the first Marist, Blessed Stanisław Papczyński,  who both had a significant impact on decisive monarchs, the Emperor of Austria and the King of Poland. ‘God and our Lord, forever blessed, gave such victory and fame to our nation as had never been heard of before in past centuries’, that is the beginning of the letter to Jan III Sobieski’s wife.
In reply to a request of the Polish monarch, the Holy See agreed that day of the victorious battle shall commemorate an intercession of Our Lady Victorious, reminding us of the Holy Name of Mary.
The Victory at Vienna has fixed in common memory an image of Her Majesty Polish Republic as ramparts of Christianity. Poland reverted to its history of Henryk II Pobożny (the one who had stopped the further invasion of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th cent., ended with the Battle of Legnica) or Władysław II Warneńczyk (the one who had stopped the Ottoman Empire during the Battle of Warna to march within Europe for some time). Further down the road the memorable Victory at Vienna became the germ of other significant events. In the 20th cent. Polish Republic made a stand for ’for our freedom and yours’ against two totalitarian systems: Bolshevik in 1920 and Nazi in 1939, once again becoming a shield protecting values, on which Christian European culture is based upon.

The Battle of Vienna has been included among ‘the most important battles in history which saved Europe’.
The Victory at Vienna had been commemorated in a special way on the 100th and 200th anniversary, and in free Poland: on the 250th anniversary, to which Marshal Józef Piłsudski attached much importance. Blessed John Paul visited numerous churches during his pilgrimage to motherland in 1983 and he was reminding with extraordinary unction about the celebration of the 300th anniversary of this glorious history.
At present, 330 years after the Victory at Vienna, we would like to remind European citizens that it was an event which was important for the whole continent and for many nations. The victory was gained due to sacrifying one’s own interests for the greater common good. Having in mind words of Blessed John Paul II: ‘Unity of Europe will be stronger if based upon common Christian roots’, we declare to support all cultural activities and events aiming at just commemoration of the Battle of Vienna, as well as preserving Christian European identity in spirit of respect and tolerance for other people.

The Organization Committee shall approve of using the logo of the Committee of Honour by all who would like to take part in organizing the anniversary in spirit of this event.



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