Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christopher Columbus - "Christ-Bearer"

Don Ferdinand Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus, records his testimony of the integrity and Christian character of his father. The selection which follows is from Ferdinand Columbus book "History of the Life and Actions of Admiral Christopher Columbus and of his Discoveries of the West Indies, called the New World."

The Author’s Preface  
     I being the son of the Admiral Christopher Columbus, a person worthy of eternal memory, who discovered the West Indies, and having myself sailed with him some time, it seemed to me but reasonable that among the other things I have writ, one and the chiefest should be his life, and wonderful discovery of the West Indies or New World; because his great and continual sufferings, and the distempers he laboured under, did not allow him time to form his notes and observations into a method fit for history…For this reason I resolved to undergo the labour of this task, thinking it better I should lie under the censure my skill and presumption shall be subject to than to suffer the truth of what relates to so noble a person to lie buried in oblivion…I promise to compose the history of his life of such matter only as I find in his own papers and letters, and of those passages of which I myself was an eye-witness.  The author informs the reader before he enters upon the work, that in it he will find all the reasons which induced the admiral to such an undertaking; he will see how far he proceeded in person upon the discovery in four several voyages he made; how great and honourable the articles were upon which he entered into the discovery, and which were afterwards confirmed to him by those two famous Princes, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel; how basely they were all violated, and he, after such unparalleled services, most inhumanly treated; how far he settled the affairs of the island Hispaniola, what care he took that the Indians should not be oppressed, but rather by good usage and example, prevailed upon to embrace the Christian faith; also the customs and manners of the Indians; their opinions and practice as to religious worship; and, in a word, all that can be expected in a work of this nature, the foundation whereof was laid by so great a man as was the admiral and finished by his own son, who had all the education that could contribute to make him capable of writing so notable a life… 
     I believe he was particularly chosen by Almighty God for so great an affair as that which he performed; and because he was to be so truly his apostle as, in effect he proved it was his will he should in this part be like the others, who were called to make known his name from the seas and rivers, and not from courts and palaces, and to imitate himself, whose progenitors being of the blood royal of Jerusalem, yet it pleased him, that his parents should not be much known.  Therefore, as God gave him all the personal qualities for such an undertaking, so he would have his country and origins more hid and obscure…His proper name being Christopher, it might be known he was a member of Christ, by whom salvation was to be conveyed to those people…So the admiral Christopher Columbus, imploring the assistance of Christ in that dangerous passage, went over safe himself and his company, that those Indian nations might become citizens and inhabitants of the church triumphant in heaven; for it is believed that many souls which the devil had expected to make a prey of…were by him made inhabitants and dwellers in the eternal glory of heaven…” 

The Introduction of Christopher Columbus' Book of Prophecies summarizes his commitment to carry out the Great Commission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It summarizes his commitment to the Gospel of Christ and also clearly indicates the Holy Bible as the actual source of his inspiration.

     “At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean.  For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere that people go.  I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task:  seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports.  I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy. 
     It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies.  All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me.  There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.

     Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God.  I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up.

But since things generally came to pass that were predicted by our Saviour Jesus Christ, we should also believe that this particular prophecy will come to pass.  In support of this, I offer the gospel text, Matthew 24:35, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not his marvelous Word.  He also affirmed that it laws necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by Himself and by the prophets… 
     The Holy Scripture testifies in the Old Testament by our Redeemer Jesus Christ, that the world must come to an end.  The signs of when this must happen are givenby Matthew, Mark and Luke.  The prophets also predicted many things about it. 
     Our Redeemer Jesus Christ said that before the end of the world, all things must come to pass that had been written by the prophets… 
     For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps.  It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied.  All this is what I desire to write down for you in this book…
     I said that some of the prophecies remained yet to be fulfilled.  These are great and wonderful things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the end.
The fact that the Gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time – this is what convinces me.”

On May 3, 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote a letter to Lord Raphael Sansix. The letter is titled. "Concerning the Island Lately Discovered" which gives us deep insight into the heart of Columbus. He sincerely desired to bring the light and redeeming message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shores of distant lands.

The following excerpts clearly reveal the desire of Columbus' heart.

     “…But great and wonderful is this thing, neither attributable to our merits, but to the holy Christian faith…because what the human understanding was unable to attain,that thing the Divine understanding granted to human creatures.  For God is accustomed to hearken to His servants, and those who love His precepts, even to theaccomplishment of impossibilities, as it hath befallen us in the present case, who have accomplished those things, which hitherto the strength of mortals hath not attained. 
For if others have written or spoken anything of these Islands, all have done so by quibbles or conjectures, no one affirms that he has seen them.  Whence the whole matter seemed almost a fable… 
     Let us all give things to our Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour, who hath bestowed on us so great a triumph:…Let Christ exult on earth, as He exults in Heaven, foreseeing as He does, that so many souls of people heretofore lost, are now about to be saved…”

Columbus' Last will and Testament (Mayorazgo) - Testament of Founding Hereditary family Estate -is dated Thursday, 22nd, February, 1498. This document authorizes Don Diego to maintain and sustain a Christian school which Columbus established on the Island of Espanola.

"Also I order to said Don Diego, my son, or to him who will inherit said Mayorazgo, that he shall help to maintain and sustain on the Island Espanola, four good teachers ofthe holy theology, with the intention to convert to our holy religion all those people in the Indias,and when it pleases God that the income of the mayorazgo will increase,that then also be increased the number of such devoted persons who will help all these people to become Christians. And may he not worry about the money that it will be necessary to spend for the purpose…”

Christopher Columbus' Book of Prophecies clearly indicate the source of what enabled him to pursue his venture and also what motivated him to accomplish those ends.

It was simply the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies are recorded in the Old Testament.

     ‘…the fact that the Gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time – this is what convinces me.’”
abridged from Dr. Catherine Millard

1 comment:

Edward Reyes said...

We seem to be reading different history books: It is written that Columbus lasciviously abducted 12 young Indian women on his first voyage without making the slightest reference to the children he then left motherless. In Columbus' journal, he focuses on whether or not the women were strikingly attractive, or lighter or darker than the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and whether they covered their shame [privates].
The Spaniards did not always find it necessary to use force. The acquiescent Taino and Siboney Indians surrendered their women willingly. For the majority of the conquistadors who followed in the wake of Columbus, the Indian women had been created to service them and give them limitless sex, and the Indian males reinforced this shameful attitude by giving the Spaniards their young daughters, sisters, and even their own wives to pacify the blood-thirsty conquistadors. They gave Cortés 20 women, among them Malintzin, the famous Malinche, who is later Christened “Marina,” who after being passed down through other men, acted as his interpreter and eventual lover.
It was likely that the Conquistadors of Mexico came to feel more comfortable with native women than white ones. It has long been thought that his legitimate wife, Catalina Suárez, known as la Marcaide, died under strange circumstances shortly after arriving in Mexico to be reunited with her husband. Sometimes the callous Spaniards would tire of these sexual gifts and expressed their contempt by hanging a pair of the unfortunate Indian women at the camp entrance. Notwithstanding, the Spanish liked to believe the women preferred them, but this was most likely it was a banal delusion, as the terrified, the Indian women merely sought safety. The native women recognized that having a child by a Spaniard might allow them certain privileges, which sometimes tended to soften the malevolent men. The Spaniards occasionally lost track of the offspring they created, engaging in a furious procreation [genital feats] that after several generations, eventually changed the ethnic composition of the New World. ~Twisted Roots; A Look at the Historical and Cultural Influences that Shaped Latin America Into the Most Impoverished, Unstable, and Backward Region of the Western World by Carlos Alberto Montaner.