Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Elizabeth Lev

10/17/2008 (6 years ago)

Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

A deeply devout man, Columbus was always grateful to God and dedicated his mission to the New World to the conversion of pagan peoples; like the apostles, he hoped to bring the Gospel to those who had never heard of Christ.

Highlights

By Elizabeth Lev

Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

10/17/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in U.S.


ROME (Zenit) - Even the ancient Romans understood the importance of gratitude. Marcus Tullius Cicero, orator extraordinaire, extolled that "gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

Yet in our modern age we seem to have lost this virtue as revisionist history, cinema and popular literature have vilified those whose achievements have shaped the world we live in today.

This came to mind Sunday, Oct. 12, on what was once known as Columbus Day in commemoration of the day Christopher Columbus first sighted the New World.

This event, which opened the age of discovery, has been since renamed "Indigenous People Day" by some U.S. towns, thus casting into obscurity the courageous and visionary undertaking of the explorer and his patrons who equipped the mission.

Columbus himself has been recast as a greedy, social-climbing tyrant, and while his defects have been blown out of all proportion, his admirable qualities have been simply forgotten.

Ironically, Columbus, the first European man to set foot in America, was the first example of what would later be called "the American dream."

Born of poor parents in Genoa, he immigrated to Spain with only his hard-earned knowledge of seamanship, his desire to get ahead and his profound Catholic faith to sustain him.

Like the countless immigrants who would follow him, he had a dream and the drive to work hard and take risks to realize it.

Divine Providence decreed that he would find a sympathetic ear in the king and queen of Spain, and so Columbus fulfilled his life's ambition, did well for himself and paved the way for future generations to be able to excel through hard work and ingenuity.

A deeply devout man, Columbus was always grateful to God and dedicated his mission to the New World to the conversion of pagan peoples; like the apostles, he hoped to bring the Gospel to those who had never heard of Christ. Upon sighting land on Oct. 13, 1492, the entire crew prayed the Salve Regina.

Today, his contributions are masked by words like "exploitation" and "gold-hunger," but all those Americans who descend from families who hoped to live out their ambitions while freely practicing their faith, should be grateful to Christopher Columbus who was not only great navigator on the seas, but in life.

* * *

Elizabeth Lev teaches Christian art and architecture at Duquesne University's Italian campus. She can be reached at lizlev@zenit.org.



Comments


More U.S.

A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


The Gender Identity Executive Order of President Obama is a Trojan Horse

Image of Most of us are familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse used by Greek soldiers to take the City of Troy. After a multi-year, unsuccessful effort to take the City, the Greeks pretended to retreat. However, Greek soldiers had left behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans found what they thought were spoils of battle, a large wooden horse. They decided to pull it into the City as a trophy of their victory. Hidden inside were an elite group of soldiers. As soon as the crowds gathered to celebrate the victory, they came out of the horse and destroyed the City from the inside.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

To equate how one engages in sexual activities with a member of the same sex - or whether one has sexual attraction to a member of the same sex - with a properly protected status such as race, creed, gender or national origin, in the enforcement of federal ... continue reading


America's best hope for 2016 is an old face: Republican's need Romney to run Watch

Image of While Mitt Romney has not said he will run for president in 2016, those close to him suggest that he will, and he is confident that he can win.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Republican party is doing a great deal of soul searching ahead of the 2016 presidential election season. It's will be tough finding a candidate that appeals to the small but vocal Tea Party, the aging and reactionary ultraconservatives and the large and ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter