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It's sometimes referred to as the most important battle you've never heard of — sometimes as a miracle. Whatever you've heard, Martina Moyski reveals more about the epic battle when the Polish "David" slew the Soviet "Goliath."
One hundred-one years ago, candles were being lit. Poles knelt before the shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa begging deliverance.
Everything was at stake. They were praying for a miracle to keep their newly independent state alive.
The seemingly unstoppable Red Army intended to march West over the "corpse of Poland" to world domination.
Jan Franczak, Polish writer and translator: "It was one of the most important battles of world history. If Poland had not won the battle, our civilization would have been lost."
Young scouts, women, priests, peasants joined the Polish army under Józef Piłsudski — against the Soviet's infantry, cavalry and armored vehicles.
A hundred thousand of them gave their lives defending Poland's eastern borders.
And suddenly, with the Soviets just outside Warsaw, the tide changed. Reports circulated of Our Lady's appearance over Polish skies.
Franczak: "We have to talk about Our Lady. It seemed like everything was lost. And on the 15th of August, the feast of Our Lady — the Assumption — something happened. We stopped them. And we managed to push them back."
The decisive victory on the banks of the Vistula River stunned the world. Britain had advised Poland to give in, and Lenin and Stalin were furious — and humiliated.
But the Republic of Poland was spared.
Franczak: "This is a lesson for us now. I think at that time the feeling was similar, that we were going to lose. We won. We are fighting the same dragon but it is not red anymore. It is rainbow. We shouldn't give up. We should fight, push back."
President Trump referred to this battle when he visited Warsaw in 2017.
The Poles are remembering their victory this Sunday on the feast of the Assumption — honoring Our Lady of Częstochowa — aware of Her help in keeping Marxist tyranny at bay.
One foreign diplomat who refused to leave Warsaw during the siege was papal nuncio Achille Ratti, the future Pope Pius XI, who, throughout the battle, gathered survivors in prayer and processed with the Holy Sacrament through the ravaged streets.