Blessed Marco d’Aviano – God’s Preacher During the 1683 Siege of Vienna

September 1, 2014

Bl. Marco d’AvianoFather Marco d’Aviano, an Italian mission preacher calling to repentance did not stint his zeal at this gloomy moment. For some time previously his reputation had attracted attention north of the Alps. Charles of Lorraine’s court at Innsbruck wished to invite him, but Pope Innocent at first refused permission. Then the Wittelsbach court in Munich, Philip William at Neuburg, and finally Leopold, joined the chorus…. In 1682 he came to Vienna and was blessed for Lorraine’s recovery from a second bout of illness. But more important, in the highest court circles the attitude of Pope Innocent XI towards Islam was then, and henceforward, to be strongly defended by this remarkable man, whose correspondence with the Emperor for a period of nearly twenty years (until 1699) is one of the most curious memorials of the age. It testifies as much to the piety of the layman as of the priest; and the priest assured the Emperor, insistently, by letter or in the course of occasional confidential interviews, that the overcoming of the Turk was necessary, possible, and the vocation of God’s servant Leopold.


John Stoye, The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent (New York: Pegasus Books, 2007), 34.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 416



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