05.03.

1684: The Holy League of Blessed Pope Innocent XI

1684: The Holy League of Blessed Pope Innocent XI
Photo Credit To https://viennaphoto.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/p-markus-v-avioni.jpg

One of the key people for the founding of the League was the Italian Capuchin Blessed Marco d’Aviano. He was born in the vicinity of the town of Aviano, near which a well-known U.S. airbase is located today.

 

This day in 1684 marked the founding of a Holy League of Christian countries against the Ottoman Turks. The European countries often had great difficulty in forming a unified front against the Ottomans. In fact, certain European powers used the fact that the Habsburg Monarchy was under heavy pressure from the Ottomans in the southeast for their own gains, and sometimes even allied with the Ottomans (e.g. the French kings sometimes used such a strategy to overpower the Habsburgs in Europe).

 

The Holy League of 1684 was formed under the patronage of Pope Innocent XI (born Benedetto Odescalchi). Member states of the Holy League included, among others, the Habsburg Monarchy, Poland, Venice, and later the Russian Empire and several other countries. The League was founded after Vienna was defended from the last Ottoman invasion in history (in 1683). During the defense of Vienna, Emperor Leopold I Habsburg was greatly assisted by Polish king John III Sobieski.

 

One of the key people for the founding of the League was the Italian Capuchin Blessed Marco d’Aviano. He was born in the vicinity of the town of Aviano, near which a well-known U.S. airbase is located today. Marco d’Aviano was sent by the mentioned Pope Innocent Xi in order to help found an alliance of Christian countries against the Ottomans, and performed his mission successfully. A movie was even made about this in 2012 (pictured), where Blessed Marco is played by Academy Award-winning Actor F. Murray Abraham (known for his earlier role in Amadeus).

 

The Holy League managed to push the Ottomans eastwards, far from Vienna, liberating almost the entire Kingdom of Hungary, up to the Sava and Danube rivers. Christian forces then penetrated deep into the Ottoman Empire, reaching all the way up to what is now Macedonia (however, this area remained under Ottoman rule according to the later peace treaty). All in all, the Holy League proved successful in liberating a large part of Europe from Muslim rule (it actually liberated more territory than any other Christian force before it).

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