Restoring the Sacred

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nigeria's Boko Haram and The Battle of Lepanto

Our Lady of the Rosary is credited with the miraculous defeat of the Turlish (Mislim) Fleet by a vastly overmatched Christian fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto, in 1571.  The battle pitted the two largest naval forces ever assembled: the Turks fielded 280 ships; the Christians, 212.  You can read more about that battle in a previous post by clicking HERE.

Our Lady may be at it again, in Nigeria, in the fight against the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram.

The following is from
Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, head of the Diocese of Maiduguri in Nigeria’s Borno State, was in a chapel praying before the Blessed Sacrament last December when, he says, something extraordinary happened: Jesus Christ appeared holding a sword, which He offered to the prelate.
According to Bishop Dashe, the moment he took the sword from Jesus’ hands, it transformed into Rosary beads. He then heard Christ repeat three times, “Boko Haram is gone.”
The bishop recalls, “I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the Rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.”

Fast-forward one month, and the position of Boko Haram in Nigeria appears to have all but collapsed. Gbenga Akingbule, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, describes the sudden and surprising turn of events:
Boko Haram has abandoned so many hundreds of kidnapped women and girls recently that Nigerian officials tasked with bringing them back into society on Sunday said they were looking to open a second rehabilitation camp, a nod to how fast the tide of abductions has reversed. In the past few weeks, as troops from Nigeria and surrounding countries have punched deep into Boko Haram territory, soldiers said they have rescued about 1,000 women and girls, hostages the Islamist insurgency left behind. They include about 275 that army pickup trucks brought into the city of Yola on Saturday night and 260 rescued on Sunday.
Of course, Boko Haram has not been thoroughly defeated, and the Christians of Nigeria are still undergoing horrible trials and tribulations. But I cannot help but be reminded of the words once spoken by Blessed Pope Pius IX: