Thursday, September 14, 2006

Coffee: Nectar of the gods

So, in preparing for a one-minute-or-less meditation for my high school students yesterday, I decided to look up the history of the day's feast - the holy name of Our Lady.

Apparently, Our Lady's intercession was sought when the Turks had occupied Vienna in the 16th century. The Polish King, Sobieski gathered his troops to stop the Muslim invasion into Europe, leaving Poland and first bringing his army to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestawova. Their prayers were answered on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.

In honor of this victory, the people drank the spoils left behind by the Turks, coffee, and the bakers created a crescent shaped pastry (croissants, presumably) in imitation of the crescent moon on the Turkish flag.

I'm seeing that my coffee addiction may actually be a virtue, and not a vice.


qlinger said...

No matter how many stories you come up with your addiction is not a virtue or ever will be.
Could this feast day be the reason why Poland has such good coffee?.

Petrus said...

Yes, this is also another piece of evidence why Poland is almost as great as America.

meredith said...

Hmm, I too love coffee. However, the Turks *never* occupied Vienna. They came close in the 17th century, but their sultan died and this disheartened the Janissaries so much that they could not continue in the absence of the "Shadow of God on earth". This attack, however, remains in the Austrian national consciousness, which is why they are leading the EU opposition to Turkey's membership.

Petrus said...

Meredith: You're right, I wasn't being very precise in my language. The Ottoman Empire stretched only to the OUTSKIRTS of Vienna. There's more information on the link I've pasted above.

The tide of the expansion of the Ottoman's was turned at the Siege of Vienna.

Thanks for the history lesson.