Chasuble sewn from Turkish tents captured by King Sobieski in Vienna 1683. It is on display at the Archdiocesan Museum of Przemyśl, in southeastern Poland. Photo by Mathiasrex
The spoils of war from King Jan Sobieski’s great victory on September 12, 1683, against the 150,000 Muslim Turks outside Vienna were immense, but perhaps none received a better fate than the war tents. They were brought back to Poland, where loving and pious hands turned some of them into rich Mass vestments, as can be seen in the picture on the right.
Thus, from accessories in the attempted destruction of Christendom (Vienna was the gate into the heart of Christian Europe), the rich fabrics were given a new and sacred purpose: the honor and glory of God in the divine liturgy. “God will laugh at them” says the Prophet-King David, in one of his Psalms (2:4).
Often in History, God allows great tribulations to come upon His Church. Sometimes this is in punishment for our sins. At other times, He tests our faithfulness and love for Him in trial and suffering. Be it one, be it the other, ultimately He is the Lord of History, and He alone guides its ultimate course, which will culminate in His great apotheosis and triumph over evil at the end of History, when He will judge all men–from Adam and Eve to those who will be living at the time. He will separate the good from the evil, taking the first with Him and His Blessed Mother back to Heaven, while the latter, He will consign to the torments of Hell, with Satan and his fallen angels, for all eternity.