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11 September 1572 – A celebration for the defeat of the Ottoman Troops and the massacre of the Huguenots

Pope Gregory XIII's medal

Pope Gregory XIII's medal

Pope Gregory XIII ordered a joint celebration or commemoration on 11th September 1572 for the defeat of the Ottoman troops by the Holy League at the Battle of Lepanto on 7th October 1571, and for the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of the Huguenots in France, in August 1572.

It seems distasteful of the Pope to be ordering celebrations for the massacre of thousands of Huguenots, but he viewed it as divine retribution on heretics. When Pope Gregory had heard news of the massacre, he ordered the singing of a Te Deum and ordered a commemorative medal to be struck. This medal depicted the Pope's head on one side and an image of an angel, holding a sword and a cross, standing over the fallen Huguenots with the motto UGONOTTORUM STRAGES or “Huguenot Bloodbath”.

You can find out more about the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre at the following links:

Extract taken from On This Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway.

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11 September 1572 – A celebration for the defeat of the Ottoman Troops and the massacre of the Huguenots

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