Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Navigator, b. about 1485, of good family, at Val di Greve, near Florence ; executed at Puerto del Pico, Spain, November, 1527.

Entering the naval service of Francis I of France, he soon became famous as a corsair, preying on the ships of Spain and Portugal, one of his prizes in 1522 being the treasure-ship sent to Charles V by Cortés with Mexican spoils, valued at nearly two million dollars.

In Jan., 1524, he began a voyage of discovery to the New World on behalf of his patron Francis I, during which he kept a log-book of his experiences. In 1556 Ramusio published in his collection of voyages a letter written by Verrazano giving an account of his voyage to the coast of North America and its exploration from 30 degrees to 50 degrees N. lat. It is the first post-Columbian description of the North Atlantic coast, and gives the first description of New York Bay and harbour and the present Hudson River. Thence he sailed along Long Island Sound to Block Island and Newport, of which he makes mention. From this note-book of the voyage his brother Hieronimo drew in 1529 a map of the North Atlantic coast, which is now in the museum of the Propaganda at Rome, and testifies to the accuracy of Verrazano's observations along the coast as far as a point in the present State of Maine, whence he returned to France, arriving at Dieppe in July, 1524.

Little that is authentic is known of his subsequent career; Spanish records relate that he was captured in 1527, while cruising off the coast of Cadiz, and executed by order of the Emperor Charles V. The authenticity of his letter descriptive of his voyage along the Atlantic coast has given rise to an extensive historical controversy, but the most recent researches affirm its reliability as well as that of his brother's map, the best sixteenth-century map extant in its original form, which has special influence on the subsequent cartography of the time.

A bronze statute, set up in 1910, by his admiring fellow-countrymen, facing the mouth of the great river on whose east bank the metropolis of the United States has grown, proclaims their conviction that Giovanni da Verrazano, and not Henry Hudson, was its discoverer.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'Contemplative communities are not immune': Pope Francis on prayer
  • 'She is the witness to the risen Christ': Mary Magdalene honored
  • Christ apparition in Mexico
  • Daily Readings for Monday, July 25, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Monday, July 25th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. James the Greater: Saint of the Day for Monday, July 25, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 18:20-32
20 Then Yahweh said, 'The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:1-13
1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 2:12-14
12 You have been buried with him by your baptism; by which, too, you have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2016 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He ... Read More