IWKnights’ Christopher Columbus Resolution

An 1846 painting depicts Christopher Columbus and members of his crew on a beach in the West Indies after arriving on his flagship Santa Maria Oct. 12, 1492. The work was commissioned by the U.S. Congress and installed in the Capitol Rotunda in 1847. Landing of Columbus, 1846, by John Vanderlyn.

To:           Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus Supreme Council
CC:           Robert J. Ennis, Director of Membership Growth, Fraternal Mission Dept.
Missouri State Deputy: Mike Grudzinski, District 54 Deputy, Bill Davis
From:          Knights of Columbus Council 9981

We affirm the honor of our patron Christopher Columbus, the inspiration for discovery, liberty and evangelization of the New World. Christoferens (Christopher), which means Christ-bearer, is renowned for his courageous and honorable life as described by these reflections 1

  • Before Columbus' time all European voyages had followed coastlines, or crossed open seas to lands previously known or at least sighted by storm-driven ships. Only Columbus set off directly across a broad, unknown sea with no specific knowledge of how far it extended or what lay on the other side.
  • Columbus was convinced that God had chosen him to reach that land, hidden from the Western world for ages. His discovery would bring the Catholic Faith, to which he was devoted, to the people who lived in that land.
  • Columbus strived for the conversion to Christianity of the people he found living in pagan idolatry and performing human sacrifice, as he wrote in his journal: “I pray to Our Lord that Your Highnesses will appoint persons of great diligence in order to bring to the Church such great numbers of peoples, and that they will convert these peoples.”
  • Columbus was a flawed hero—as all men are flawed, including heroes—and his flaws are of a kind particularly offensive to today's culture. But he was nevertheless a hero, achieving in a manner unequalled in the history of exploration and the sea, changing history forever.
  • Christopher Columbus is the discoverer of America and by that discovery ultimately responsible for America's evangelization; and for this we should forever honor him.

We proclaim that the Knights of Columbus since its founding 138 years ago have served God through His Catholic Church as heir of the mission of the Christ-bearer to the new world, Christopher Columbus. Throughout its history, the Knights of Columbus have honored Christopher Columbus’ legacy for Catholics in America, as evidenced by these great historical achievements.

  • In 1892, 6000 Knights of Columbus march in Columbus Day parade in New York City.
  • In 1912, the Columbus Memorial and Fountain dedicated in Union Station, Washington D.C., with support by the Knights of Columbus.
  • During the Mexican Cristada of 1917-1927, the Knights of Columbus stood against the persecution of Catholic bishops, priests and faithful citizens, as recognized by the canonization of six Knights of Columbus martyrs by Pope St. John Paul II.
  • In April 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made October 12 a federal holiday under the name Columbus Day.
  • In 1954, following three years of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the addition of the words “Under God” to the pledge of allegiance declaration of “One Nation Under God.”

Therefore, we implore the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to honor, uphold, and defend Christopher Columbus in name, in reputation, in history, in art made in his likeness, in the organizations and cities that bear the name of Columbus or Columbia.

This resolution is proclaimed during a time of persecution and slander of the founders, saints, and leaders who built the church and government of freedom in America, including Christopher Columbus. We call on the Knights of Columbus everywhere to defend the honor of our patron against such persecution coming from our fellow citizens of the country in which we are blessed to live in faith and freedom through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This resolution is approved on the 9th of July in the year of our Lord two-thousand and twenty.

For the Council 9981,


James L. Ressler, Grand Knight Council 9981
Incarnate Word Catholic Church, Chesterfield, Missouri

A Printer Friendly PDF version of this resolution can be viewed by clicking here.

Taken from paper by Warren H. Carroll, PH.D, published by EWTN on https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/honoring-christopher-columbus-4080.