Go here to read an interesting account of the Catholic mission of Christopher Columbus.

The first act of Columbus upon setting foot on this new land was to set up the standard of the Cross and claim it in the Name of Jesus Christ. He gratefully named the first island he arrived at “San Salvador” (Holy Savior), by which it is still known today, despite the fact that the Masons succeeded for a time in having its name changed to Watling’s Island.

After a brief rest he set sail again, and on Christmas Day he disembarked on the northern coast of what is now Haiti, establishing the first European settlement in the New World, which he called La Navidad (The Nativity). Columbus, by securing the friendship of the natives, was able to learn from them that a large island lay not far away, and that beyond it was a huge body of land. And so, leaving sixty of his men there, he started out on his return course to Spain, bringing with him the news of the existence of the American continent.

This article makes a neat connection between the Battle of Lepanto and Columbus’ ships the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. They mean, “Little Girl”, “Paint” and of course, “St Mary”. The author makes a historical connection with Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In the great victory of Lepanto (October 7, 1571), in which the Holy League defeated the Moslems who were invading Christendom, the head of the Christian fleet, Don Juan of Austria, flew an exact replica of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico from the mast of his ship. Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, under that title, went back many centuries before the sacred image was painted by Mary on the tilma of Saint Juan Diego. But that is another story.

I’m not sure it is utterly convincing, but it is an interesting read for Columbus Day.

Go here for more on last weekend’s feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.