THE BLESSED MARY'S LAND
The discoverer of the New World
were all Catholics who invoked the help of the Mother of God in their
Christopher Columbus entrusted
his venture to the Blessed Virgin Mary. But one may say that Christopher was
not the first to discover America. Surely. For 130 years before his arrival,
other Europeans had arrived in the New World.
In 1353, King Erikson of Sweden
and Norway sent Paul Knutson to Greenland to check on his subjects there.
Not finding them there, Paul sailed further, thus reaching the
Americas, landing in Hudson Bay and settling in South Minnesota.
In 1898, a farmer in Minnesota
unearthed a flatstone with Scandinavian writings of the middle ages. It
described a massacre of some of their men and the invocation, "Ave
Virgo Maria, save us from evil." Sweden and Norway were still devout
Catholics at that time and often invoked the help of Mary, the Virgin Most
America was truly discovered by
Catholic Vikings and Catholic Columbus, both ardently devoted to the Mother
of God. Columbus named one of his ships the Santa Maria and is said
to have sung the Salve Regina upon sighting the New World.
A few years later, Our Lady
appeared to Juan Diego and made the New World her own domain. Maryland is
named after her. And Los Angeles is not the city of angels but the city of
Our Lady of the Angels. The Mississippi river was originally the River of
the Immaculate Conception. And in Montana stands Our Lady of the Rockies,
the world's tallest statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In Louisiana, the feast of Our
Lady of Prompt Succor commemorates the American Victory over the British
invaders in 1815, wherein Andrew Jackson with 6,000 poorly trained American
militiamen routed 20,000 well-trained British solders backed by 50 ships
with a thousand guns. Jackson personally thanked the nuns for their
When non-Catholic Europeans
arrived in the Americas, they exerted great effort to downplay devotion to
Mary causing much exodus from the Catholic Church. It is sad to note that
the second biggest non-Catholic denomination in the U.S. is made up of
twenty million ex-Catholics.