The Battle of Lepanto
On October 7th, 1571, a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states, decisively defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire.
The Venetian navy played a leading role in the battle and to mark this a statue of Santa Giustina (on whose feast day the battle had taken place) was placed above the land entrance (Porta di Terra) to the Arsenale.
The Senate also decreed that an annual andata (traditional procession) should take place on the saint's feast day, whose body lay in a Benedictine monastery in nearby Padua. The procession started in the Piazza San Marco and wound its way to the monastery of Santa Giustina in Castello. Mass was celebrated in the church of Santa Giustina and specially minted coins (giustine) were handed out to the nuns.