COLUMBUS DAY (Observed)
Columbus Day is the celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who discovered the Americas for the Spanish King Ferdinand of Spain. Columbus set off into the Atlantic with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Two months later he would set foot on the Bahamas and establish settlements on Hispanola Island (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Upon his return to Spain, he spoke of gold in the New World and thus the Americas were opened up for European colonization. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared October 12th every year as Columbus Day. In the US, Columbus Day is celebrated by all US states except for Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska. Columbus Day now occurs on the second Monday in October each year.
Columbus Day Facts & Quotes
· Colorado was the first state to officially recognize and celebrate Columbus Day in 1906.
· Christopher Columbus' first settlement on Hispaniola Island was called Villa de Navidad (Christmas Town)
· In 1971, the official holiday was moved to the second Monday in October in order to give workers in the US a long weekend. This was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
· Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - Robert F. Kennedy
· You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Christopher Columbus
Columbus Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend a Columbus Day Parade. The parade in New York City is one of the largest.
· Eat some good Italian food.
· Watch a parade.
· Visit the Library of Congress's online exhibit 1492: An Ongoing Voyage.
· Host a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids and let them become Explorers for the afternoon.
Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney,
assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his
parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially
chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is
still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. The
Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families.
Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their
families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and
their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war
relief and public relief works. The history of the Order shows how the
foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being
investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world's foremost
Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain
economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and
long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to
service in communities. The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members
in one council to 15,342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the
United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam,
Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea
Famous Last Words
· Friedrich Nietzsche, pernicious philosopher who preached "God is dead" Nietzsche died in spiritual darkness, a babbling madman. On a wall in Austria a graffiti said, "God is dead, --Nietzsche!" Someone else wrote under it, "Nietzsche is dead! --God."
champagne on his deathbed:
"And now, I am dying beyond my means."
· H. G. Wells: "Go away...I'm all right."
· Ludwig von Beethoven: "Friends applaud, the comedy is over."
· Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian: "I am about to, or I am going to, die; either expression is used."
· Thomas Jefferson: "This is the fourth…"
· John Adams: "Thomas Jefferson? --Still surv.... "
· Jean Paul Sartre, existentialist "I failed!"
· Emily Dickinson: "The fog is rising…"
· The prophet Mohammed: "O Allah! Pardon my sins. Yes, I come."
· Nurse Cavell Before facing a German firing squad in 1915, "Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."
· Henry Ward Beecher: "Now comes the mystery."
· Karl Marx, born in a Christian Jewish family, originator of Communism. On his deathbed surrounded by candles burning to Lucifer, screamed at his nurse who asked him if he had any last words: "Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough."
· Lawrence Oates: British explorer, who sacrificed himself in 1912 in an attempt to save his starving companions during Scott's expedition to the Pole: "I am just going outside, and I may be some time"
· Crowfoot (American Blackfoot Indian Orator): "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
· Cesare Borgia, statesman: "I have taken care of everything in the course of my life, only not for death, and now I have to die completely unprepared."
· Cardinal Mazarin: "Oh my poor soul, what is to become of you? — Where do you go?"
· Thomas Hobbes, English Philosopher: "It's my turn, to take a leap into the darkness!
· Voltaire, the famous skeptic, Voltaire died a terrible death. His nurse said: "For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness."
· Napoleon Bonaparte, About Napoleon, Count Montholon wrote: "The Emperor died forsaken by all, on this horrible rock. (St. Helena) His death struggle was awful!"
· Thomas Edison, American inventor "It is very beautiful over there."
· Goethe, German Poet "Light, More light!"
· William of Orange, first King of the Netherlands, as he was shot by an assassin, "My God, my God, have mercy on me, and on my poor people!"
· John Newton b. 1725. d. 1807. Originally a slaver, he had a dramatic mid-ocean change of heart that led him to turn his slave ship around and take the people back to their homeland. He became a Presbyterian minister and preached against the slave-trade, inspiring William Wilberforce who brought about the abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies. He is most famous for having authored the words to the hymn "Amazing Grace". As he neared his end, exclaimed, "I am still in the land of the dying; I shall be in the land of the living soon."
· Heinrich Heine, Heine, the great Skeptic, later changed his attitude. In the postscript to his poem collection "Romancero" (30.9.1851) he wrote: "When you are on your deathbed, you become more sensitive and you would like to make peace with God and the world… Poems, that only contained halfway reproaches against God, I delivered over to the flames in a fearful zeal. It is better, that the verses burn than the verse maker… I returned to God as a prodigal son, after I fed the swine with the Hegelians for a long time… In the theology I have to accuse myself of retreating, because I returned to a 'personal God'." As he died: "God will forgive me. It's his job."
· Sir Thomas Scott, Scott, once president of the English Lower House said: "Up until this time, I thought that there was no God neither Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am delivered to perdition by the righteous judgment of the Almighty."
· Stalin who was responsible for the murder of at least 80 million Russian and Ukrainians, if not many millions more—most of them Christians! The greatest hushed up holocaust and genocide in human history, never mentioned by the media, as it is not "politically correct!" About Stalin's death struggle, his daughter Swetlana Allilujewa, who in March 1953 was called to the dying dictator in his dacha in Kunzewo, stated: "Father died terribly and difficult. God gives the righteous an easy death."
· A Chinese Communist, who delivered many Christians to their execution, came to a pastor and said: "I’ve seen many of you die. The Christians die differently. What is their secret?"
· Stephen the first Christian Martyr, as he was being stoned to death by the Farisees, assisted by Saul, who later met Jesus in a vision and changed into the Apostel Paul: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
· Jesus Christ: Jesus, after a long morning of torture and a 3-hour lasting excruciating crucifixion, He first forgave his Roman enemies from the cross, saying: "Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do!" Then he granted eternal life to a repentant thief that was crucified beside him, saying, "Today you shall be with me in Paradise" After the Father's Spirit left Him as He died for the sins of the world, he said, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me!" Then He said, "It is finished!" and after He had cried out with a loud voice, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"—He gave up the ghost!
Coming of the Lord and the Last Judgment
As Catholics, we are mindful and profess in our Creed that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. The Second Vatican Council's "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" states, "Already the final age of the world is with us and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect" (No. 48). To try to grasp the when, what and how of this Second Coming and last judgment, we really need to glean the various passages in Sacred Scripture to see how our Church has interpreted them. They are united in one drama. Our Lord in the Gospel spoke of His second coming. He indicated that various signs would mark the event.
1. Mankind would suffer from famine, pestilence and natural disasters.
2. False prophets who claim to be the Messiah will deceive and mislead people.
3. Nations will wage war against each other.
4. The Church will endure persecution.
5. Worse yet, the faith of many will grow cold and they will abandon the faith, even betraying and hating one another.
6. St. Paul describes a "mass apostasy" before the Second Coming, which will be led by the "son of perdition," the "Man of Lawlessness," the "adversary who exalts himself above every so-called god proposed for worship." This "lawless one" is part of the work of Satan, and with power, signs, wonders and seductions will bring to ruin those who have turned from the truth.
7. However, "the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and annihilate him by manifesting His own presence." The Catechism affirms, "God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the last judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world" (No. 667).
8. Our Lord will come suddenly. "The Son of Man in His day will be like the lightening that flashes from one end of the sky to the other" St. Peter predicts, "The day of the Lord will come like a thief and on that day the heavens will vanish with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and all its deeds will be made manifest" (2 Pt 3:10).
9. Death will be no more. The dead shall rise and those souls who have died will be united again to their bodies. All will have a glorious, transformed, spiritualized body as St. Paul said, "He will give a new form to this lowly body of ours and remake it according to the pattern of His glorified body...".
10. At this time, the final, or general judgment will occur. Jesus said, "Those who have done right shall rise to life; the evildoers shall rise to be damned". Our Lord described this judgment as follows: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, He will sit upon His royal throne and all the nations will be assembled before Him. Then He will separate them into two groups, as a shepherd separated sheep from goats" Here each person will have to account for his conduct and the deepest secrets of his soul will come to light. How well each person has responded to the prompting of God's grace will be made clear. Our attitude and actions toward our neighbor will reflect how well we have loved our Lord. "As often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me". Our Lord will judge us accordingly. For those who have died and already have faced the particular judgment, their judgment will stand. Those living at the time of the Second Coming will receive judgment.
a. Those who have rejected the Lord in this life, who have sinned mortally, who have no remorse for sin and do not seek forgiveness, will have condemned themselves to hell for all eternity.
b. "By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love (Catechism, No. 678).
c. The souls of the righteous will enter heavenly glory and enjoy the beatific vision and those who need purification will undergo it.
We do not know when the Second Coming will occur. Jesus said, "As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father. Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake! You do not know when the appointed time will come"
Monday: Litany of Humility