The idea of prayer (at least nowadays) is considered by many as something outdated. Something for little old ladies in the back of the church to do when mass isn't going on. Something passive and inherently pointless, which is the common mentality of the average armchair college atheist or anti-theist who spends their spare time reading Marx and Dawkins wondering why the bloody Proletarian revolution hasn't occurred yet. But that's another story.

Prayer or more specifically the Holy Rosary, in essence, is a weapon to be used by the faithful, to fight in the spiritual war between God and Satan for the accumulation of souls. This is especially the case with regards to the Battle of Lepanto, one of the most important battles of not only the Ottoman-European Wars but also in the survival of Western civilization as a whole. Lepanto was a Naval battle fought in the Ionian Sea between the technologically advanced Ottoman Navy vs. the primitively equipped and outnumbered Holy League of Victory in the year 1571. It was the naval equivalent of an uphill battle that, at first glance, one would believe that it would be a decisive victory for the Ottoman Empire (Note: The Ottoman Navy had not lost a naval battle since the 15th century).

Given the Europeans were under-equipped, the Ottoman General Sufi Ali Pasha (no relation to Talaat Pasha who organized the Armenian Genocide) brought on board his ship his supply of gold. Meanwhile, Saint Pope Pius V sent out a message to all of Catholic Europe (with the exception of the military men) to pray the Holy Rosary during the battle. Just to add a finer edge to your understanding, the Christians were armed with 212 Ships, 1,815 Guns, 28,500 Soldiers, and 40,000 Sailors and Oarsmen, whereas the Ottomans were equipped with 278 Ships, 750 guns, 31,490 Soldiers and 50,000 Sailors and Oarsmen (mainly Christian slaves and prisoners).

Despite the Ottomans Naval track record, along with their army of composite bowmen being one of the most feared in the world, and alongside the fact that the guns carried by the Christians (mainly wheel-lock muskets) during the 16th century were mostly inaccurate, unpredictable and awkward to use in comparison to composite bows, the battle fell in favor of the Christians. Now, one could say that the victory was largely due to the strategies of the Christian forces, however, one must remember the fact that the Ottomans had the Christians outnumbered and outmatched, which may lead one to believe that there was a higher power that intervened through the Holy Rosary on the Christians behalf. This is especially evident when one looks at the number of casualties. The battle resulted in the deaths of 10,000 Christians out of 68,500 men, with a loss of only 17 ships. As for the Ottomans, their defeat cost them 40,000 men out of 81,490 men, with a loss of 200 ships and 12,000 Christian slaves freed.

In other words, the technologically advanced and efficient Ottoman Empire lost roughly half their naval soldiers, a significant portion of their slaves, and over two-thirds of their ships. We now return to Saint Pope Pius V and his Christian-wide message of the Rosary novena. The Rosary is not just a set of prayers to be said by little old ladies in the back of the Church. It isn't something passive. Again, the Holy Rosary is a spiritual weapon that, as demonstrated by the Battle of Lepanto, can ward off any evil whether spiritual or secular, demonic or human.

If you seek to begin or restart a life of prayer and faith in God, the best place to begin is with an open mind and an open heart. Only then will the power of the Holy Rosary be truly unlocked for your salvation, and for a great many victories in the spiritual war between God and the Devil.