Monday, October 11, 2010

"Admiral of the Ocean Seas"

Christopher Columbus

Picture source

"...Conditions become worse. Water turned bad, and food was running out. On October 10, some of the sailors wanted to mutiny and throw Columbus overboard. Fearlessly, Columbus faced the frightened men. He told them that God had taken care of them thus far and He would continue to watch over them. Finally his captains agreed to go for three days more before turning back. Columbus said nothing regarding this new threat.

The next day, October 11, was full of hope. A green reed was found floating in the sea--then some cane--a small board--and finally a branch covered with berries. Admiral Columbus believed surely that land was near, and he ordered a careful watch. But dusk fell, and no land had been sighted. At en o'clock that night, Columbus was on the high poop and believed he saw a light flickering in the distance. He called one of his officers who confirmed the light. The vindicated leader then led his men in singing the "Hail Holy Queen," and afterward he told them to watch well for land.

At two o'clock on the morning of October 12, a sailor aboard the Pinta saw the moonlight brightly reflected by the white sand of a beach some miles ahead of the ship. Immediately the cry of "Land! Land! was echoing throughout the little fleet. Columbus ordered the ships to stand by until morning.

When daylight came, Admiral Columbus went ashore on the island took possession of it in the names of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and called it "San Salvador..."

-From Our American Catholic Heritage by Albert J. Nevins, MM

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