We played a mean trick on Christopher Columbus by moving his special day to Monday, so we could have a long weekend when it was actually on October 12, 1492, that he discovered America.
The first thing Columbus did after leaving the Santa Maria was to pray:
“Blessed be the light of day
and the Holy Cross, we say
and the Lord of verity
and the Holy Trinity.
Blessed be the immortal soul
and the Lord who keeps it whole.
Blessed be the light of day
and He who sends the night away.”
The next thing he did was to plant a cross at the place where they had landed. He gave the island the name San Salvador, which means Holy Savior.
Other lands were named Trinidad, referring to the Trinity and Vera Cruz, which means the True Cross. There is every indication that Columbus was a devote and sincere Christian.
It is true that other Europeans who came later abused, mistreated and swindled the natives. But, Columbus’ desire was that they would come to know Christ.
Like others through the ages, Columbus felt he was living in the last days, he wrote “the Holy Scriptures testify in the Old Testament, by the mouth of the prophets, and in the New Testament, by our Savior, Jesus Christ, that this world will come to an end: Matthew, Mark and Luke have recorded the signs of the end of the age, and I say that the sign which convinces me that our Lord is hastening the end of the world is the preaching of the Gospel recently in so many lands.
Not only his adventurous spirit, but his motives were clear for it was Columbus who said, “No one should be afraid to take on any enterprise in the name of our Savior, if it is right and if the purpose is purely for His Holy service.”