The "Columbian" evangelization.
Columbus was not only a good man. He was extraordinary.
"What is not commonly known is that the growing power of the followers of Mohammed had closed the normal pathway from Europe to the Orient. In God's providence, this is what occasioned the search for another way to the Indies. Most historians claim that this was the dominant motive for Columbus going west so that the wealth of the East might be found. The Book of Prophecies shows the opposite. Commercial interests were certainly prominent in the minds of others. But Columbus had deeper spiritual interests at heart. It was surely part of God's mysterious design that Columbus should have planted the true faith in the New World at the same time that Islam was overrunning Africa, the Near East, and was being driven out of Southern Europe.
As early as 1493, Columbus wrote a letter to the Royal Treasurer of Spain in which he speaks of the discovery of the New World as a great victory. Yet, it was not a victory by force of arms but a victory of bringing the truth to people who were sitting in the darkness of unbelief. He wrote, "Since our Redeemer gave this victory to our most illustrious King and Queen and to their famous realms, in so great a manner, it is fitting for all Christendom to rejoice and to make celebrations and give solemn thanks to the Holy Trinity with many solemn prayers for the great exultation which it will have and the turning of so many peoples to our holy Faith."
All that we know about Columbus testifies to his having lived up to his Franciscan Rule. We know that he would wear the Franciscan habit, especially when he appeared before the Royalty or nobility. Except for the Franciscans with whom he stayed before leaving on his historic voyage, he would never had received the entree to Ferdinand and Isabella which opened the door to the New World. He went to confession to Franciscan priests. He would spend long periods of time in worshiping before the Blessed Sacrament in Franciscan chapels. When he left Palos, Spain on August 3, 1492 to cross the Atlantic, he left his son in the care of the Franciscans at their monastery.
There was one feature of Columbus' Franciscan spirituality that by now we have seen was dominant in his historic discovery. It is the zeal of St. Francis, as expressed in his Rule of Life, "To go among the Saracens or other unbelievers." As we know, Francis himself did the incredible thing of personally visiting the Moslem Sultan in the Near East to bring him the Gospel of the Christian faith. To this day, Franciscans are the authorized guardians of the sacred places in the Holy Land." - Fr. Hardon on Christopher Columbus
Now there's a history of Columbus kids won't hear about in public schools. In fact, I didn't know about it either (and I went to Catholic schools).ReplyDelete
Seems like I have to educate my sons again on the selective truths of American History. Thanks for posting on this, Terry. It was interesting.
Gabriella has a most beautiful post on Columbus, as well. Thank you for making this known; Catholicism and the "white European male" are the "lepers" of our day...and yet, where would Western civilization be without them? No hospitals; no universities; no schools; no science; ...how easy it is to forget.ReplyDelete
Fr. - I took the Grace Jones video down. Yes - she is scary. LOL!ReplyDelete
Terry, Thanks for letting me know.ReplyDelete
I thought I was "losing it"...you've restored my sanity, for today, anyhow:<)!
Terry, I remember Grace Jones in James Bond's movie, A View to a Kill and her famous 80's dance hit, La Vie en Rose. What happened to her now?ReplyDelete
Fr. Gary - then you know who she is - I consider much of her work outside of film to be performance art and her singing quite good. She did a new album in 2008 as well as another 'art' video for her song 'Corporate Cannibal' (youtube) which is quite good, and of course provocative - gratefully, not in a sexual way. She's obviously still around at 61 years old, albeit a little heavier. Sadly, I doubt she is at all religious.ReplyDelete
Columbus "discovery" of the Americas was not exactly a victory for the people living there. We can dispute just what abuse he sanctioned and what he objected to, but he did try to tax the indigenous and any "evangelisation" was more a matter of making loyal subjects of the Pope than winning people to the Way of Christ. I would never have taken him for a Franciscan had I not read it a few times.ReplyDelete