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Hispanics gave us Columbus and Christianity

The Sept. 25 letter “Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15” mentioned many of their accomplishments, but failed to list two of the most important ones. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella funded Christopher Columbus’ voyage and Spanish colonists (along with other countries) brought Christianity to America.

Spain had just driven the Moslems out of their country with the capture of Granada in January 1492. They could now turn their attention to sending missionaries to India by a sea instead of a land route to spread Christianity in the Far East. Some evidence of the importance of Christianity to Hispanics includes the following:

One of Columbus’ ships was named the Santa Maria (Saint Mary).

Columbus named the island where he landed San Salvador (Holy Savior), knowing it would please the king and queen, who were devout Catholics.

Many of their cities in the New World were named after saints including San or Santa Juan, Antonio, Diego, Cruz, Fe, Jose, Rosa and many others. Other cities had Christian names such as Los Angeles (The Angels), Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and Sacramento (Most Holy Sacrament).

They established missions along the California coast.

Many of the Hispanics in the U.S. are serious Christians. Although some may be here illegal, I hope they have a positive Christian influence on this country.

We certainly need more serious Christians in our country these days.

Don’t forget to celebrate Columbus Day this year.

Robert Boudreaux, Gloucester, Va.