Learning Gratitude from Columbus

On October 12, 1492, after running out of food and water crossing the Atlantic, Christopher Columbus and his crews were overjoyed to find land—a tiny island in the Caribbean. Going ashore and thanking God, Columbus named the island San Salvador (“Holy Savior”).

For what else did Columbus express gratitude during his life? Scroll down for a few excerpts from Columbus' writings (extracts from Libro de las proficias of Christopher Columbus):

“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...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 Savior Jesus Christ, we should also believe that this particular prophecy shall come to pass."

“I said that I would state my reasons: I hold alone to the sacred and Holy Scriptures, and to the interpretations of prophesy given by certain devout persons."

“It is possible that those who see this book will accuse me of being unlearned in literature, of being a layman and a sailor. I reply with the words of Matthew 11:25: 'Lord, because thou has hid things from the wise and prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes.'”

“I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolations since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy his marvelous presence."

“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."