Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Happy Columbus Day

Today is the traditional day on which Columbus Day is celebrated. On 12 October 1492, Columbus and his three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria "stumbled" upon the island which is now called San Salvador in the Bahamas.

As much as Columbus is under attack by so-called "multiculturalists" for starting the "occupation" of the Americas, there is one admirable side of the man that is often overlooked, and that is probably equally dispised by these Leftists. Columbus and many of his men were devout Catholics.

On Free Republic.com, I came across an article about Columbus that dates from the mid-1990s. An excerpt from another article was included on the article's discussion thread which detailed Columbus' "mystical side." Here are the key excerpts.

[F]ew know that Columbus prayed at a shrine in Spain called Guadalupe before setting off on his great journey. This was a spot where an ancient image of the Virgin had been hidden in the first centuries after the death of Christ and where she later appeared to a herdsman, telling him in 1326 to have the bishop dig up the image and build a chapel. It is believed that Columbus took a replica of the image with him on his first trip across the Atlantic, and when he arrived in the New World he named an island after Guadalupe (it is now spelled "Guadeloupe"), and soon after, the Virgin appeared to an Aztec Indian near Mexico City at a spot that was also named Guadalupe!

The devotion of Columbus was tangible. He named his ship after Christ's mother (the Santa Maria) and every night he and his crew sang the Hail Mary. According to his diary, Columbus, looking for the correct course, was guided at one critical point by a "marvelous branch of fire" that fell from the sky.

That was on September 15, 1492. Once across the Atlantic, this faithful son named the first island he came to "San Salvador" for the Savior and the second "Santa Maria de la Concepcion" for Mary, in addition to Guadeloupe and another island, Montserrat, named for another ancient apparition site near Barcelona.

Upon landfall Columbus and his men prayed the Salve Regina.

Thus, the first Christian prayer recited in the New World was an entreaty calling Mary the great advocate and Mother of God.

In response to this historical anecdote, a "Reformist" Christian called it "nonsense" (using a rougher word), claiming there was no such prayer and that "God has no mother." Oh, really? Whether this person knows so or not, this statement is a denial of the true divinity of Christ. By strongly rejecting the long-standing teaching of the one Church concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary, one can end up regretting the logical end of such words. Catholics should be grateful to the Fathers of the Church, and specifically, those who met at the Council of Ephesus to declare Mary the Theotokos, literally "the Bearer of God," affirming that Mary is the mother of Jesus, in the hypostatic union of His two natures, both human and divine. Salve Regina!


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