H/T: The American Catholic
Columbus facts via Young Fogeys:
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Christopher Columbus' son, Ferdinand, said that his father was so strict in his regimen of prayer and fasting that he could have been mistaken for a member of a religious order. He may have even been a Franciscan Tertiary.
At first, Columbus had little luck in finding royal patronage for his proposed expedition. Early in 1492, he and his son, Diego, ended up begging at a Dominican monastery at La Rabida. At the door, Columbus asked if he could do some work in exchange for food and a bed for he and his son. The conversation was overheard by the Prior of the monastery, Fr. Juan Perez, who also happened to be the Confessor to Queen Isabella. Fr. Perez made the connection between Columbus and the Queen, who had Columbus presented to King Ferdinand.
On August 3, 1492, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels, Columbus departs Spain on his voyage. Before doing so, he and his crew went to Confession and received Holy Communion.
We all know the names of Columbus' three ships, but did you know that the full name of the Santa Maria was "Santa Maria de Immaculada Concepcion"?
Columbus' first words upon reaching land in the new world was a sailor's prayer: "Blessed be the light of day, and the Holy Cross we say; and the Lord of Verity, and the Holy Trinity. Blessed be the light of day, and He who sends the dark away."
Columbus and his crew discovered land on October 12, 1492, the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, the Patroness of Spain. Columbus had said that if he didn't find land by that date, he would turn around and head back to Spain.
Diego Columbus, Christopher's younger brother, would eventually become a Catholic Priest and work in the West Indies.
Tradition says that Ferdinand & Isabella gave the gold first brought from the new world to Pope Alexander VI as a gift, which was used to adorn the ceiling of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome.