On October 8, the nation will celebrate Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, on October 31, 1451, and began his life on the sea around the age of 10. Over the years he gained experience on trade ships navigating the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus wanted to find a shorter route to sail to the Orient for trade. He proposed sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for a shorter route, but he did not have funds for such a voyage. After being rejected by Italy, Portugal and England, he found an audience with the Spanish court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
He finally found support for his idea and between 1492 until 1503, completing four voyages to the New World. When he first landed he noticed that many of the indigenous people were friendly and wore gold ornaments, which eventually led to a huge gold rush from Europe. He also introduced the indigenous people to the practice of Catholicism, although sometimes it was done by force. There are many who criticize Columbus for interfering with the indigenous cultures and forcing them to acquiesce to a more European culture and religion. Yet, with the introduction of Catholicism, many of the indigenous peoples of Central and South America had their pagan practices abolished and the Gospel was spread through their countries. Because of Columbus’ courage to sail uncharted waters, Christianity was able to be preached throughout the New World.