"The eternal and almighty God, our Lord, it is Who gives
to all who walk in His way, victory over things apparently
impossible, and in this case signally so, because although
these lands had been imagined and talked of before they were
seen, most men listened incredulously to what was thought to
be but an idle tale. But our Redeemer has given victory to our
most illustrious King and Queen, and to their Kingdoms rendered
famous by this glorious event, at which all Christendom should
rejoice, celebrating it with great festivities and solemn
Thanksgivings to the Holy Trinity, with fervent prayers for the
high distinction that will accrue to them from turning so many
peoples to our holy faith; and also from the temporal benefits
that not only Spain but all Christian nations will obtain. Thus I
record. What has happened in a brief note written on board the
Caravel, off the Canary Isles, on the 15th of February, 1493."
Excerpt from The Letter of Columbus to Luis de Sant Angel Announcing His Discovery
(1493) from American Historical Documents, 1000-1904, The Harvard Classics. 1909-14
"No one should fear
to undertake any
task in the name of
our Saviour, if it is
just and if the
intention is purely
for His holy service."
Virgin of the Navigators
central panel of Altarpiece of Casa Contratación (House of Trade), by Alejo Fernández; 1531-1536; Seville, Spain; earliest known
painting whose subject is the discovery of the Americas.
The Virgin Mary is depicted spreading her mantle over the Spanish explorers. She straddles the seas, uniting the continents, while
hovering over the harbor to protect ships, cargo and crew (kneeling on clouds, in prayer) as they embark on their perilous Atlantic crossing.
Ferdinand II of Aragon and the emperor Charles V (in red cape), are portrayed together with Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and
one of the Pinzón Brothers, shown kneeling and in prayer.
Detail of Columbus in The Virgin of the Navigators
2nd Monday in October - Christopher Columbus - Victory Over Our Obstacles
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