"There are but 155 years left ... at which time ... the world will come to an end," wrote Christopher Columbus in his book "Libro de Las Profecias," composed in 1502 between his third and fourth voyages.
Columbus continued: "... The sign which convinces me that our Lord is hastening the end of the world is the preaching of the Gospel recently in so many lands."
Though his predictions were off, Columbus revealed his motivation for setting sail Aug. 3, 1492, with the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria on his first voyage to find a sea route to India and China, as the Islamic Ottoman state had closed off the land routes nearly 40 years earlier.
The background of the Islamic state occupying large areas of Europe began when Muslim crusaders, called "Moors," invaded Spain in 711 A.D. With a cavalry of 80,000, Moors wielding curved scimitar swords, they "went through all places like a desolating storm."
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The Mozarabic Chronicle, 754 A.D., recorded that thousands of churches were burned and: "God alone knows the number of the slain."
In 846 A.D., 11,000 Muslims sacked Rome, Italy, and looted the Basilica of St. Peter, desecrating his grave.
They did the same to remains of St. Paul which were in San Paolo fuori le Mura (St Paul's outside the Walls.)
Following this raid, Pope Leo IV decided to build a wall around the Vatican City.
In 1011, Muslims killed 2,000 in Cordoba, Spain.
In 1066, Muslims massacred every one of the 5,000 Jews in Granada, Spain.
In 1189, Muslims raided Libson, Portugal, and enslaved 3,000 women and children.
In 1191, Muslims attacked Silves, Portugal, enslaving another 3,000.
The Catholic orders of Montjoie, and Calatrava, were organized to ransom back Christian slaves.
It took over 700 years to drive Muslims out of Spain in what was called the "reconquista" or re-conquest. In 1085, the kingdom of Castile freed Toledo from Muslim control.
The Spanish knight Rodrigo Diaz, known as "El Cid," drove Muslims out of Valencia in 1094. (Charlton Heston starred in the movie, "El Cid," in 1961).
In 1119, the kingdom of Aragon fought and freed the city of Zaragoza from Muslim control.
Columbus wrote in his "El Libro de la Primera Navegacion," as recounted by Bartolome' de Las Casas': "After Your Highnesses had made an end to the war with the Moors who ruled in Europe, and had concluded the war in the very great City of Granada, where in the present year, on the 2nd day of the month of January, I saw the Royal Standards of Your Highnesses placed by force of arms on the towers of the Alhambra (which is the citadel of the said city), And I saw the Moorish King come forth to the gates of the city and kiss the Royal Hands of Your Highnesses."
Almost 40 years earlier, in 1453, Muslim Ottoman Turks had conquered Constantinople, ending the land trade routes from Europe east to India and China. This gave rise to European explorers searching for a sea route.
Columbus continued in his "El Libro de la Primera Navegacion": "And soon after in that same month, through information I had given to your Highnesses concerning the lands of India, and of a Prince who is called Gran Can (Khan), which is to say in our vernacular 'King of Kings,' how many times he and his predecessors had sent to Rome to seek doctors in our Holy Faith to instruct him therein, and that never had the Holy Father provided them, and thus so many people were lost through lapsing into idolatries and receiving doctrines of perdition; And Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes devoted to the Holy Christian Faith and the propagators thereof, and enemies of the sect of Mahomet and of all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said regions of India, to see the said princes and peoples and lands and the dispositions of them and of all, and the manner in which may be undertaken their conversion to our Holy Faith. ..."
Groups critical of Columbus for inadvertently discovering the New World would be more correct in placing blame on the Islamic State which cut off the land routes to India and China, creating the impetus for Europeans to explore in search of alternatives routes.
Columbus concluded his address to the king and queen of Spain: "... And ordained that I should not go by land (the usual way) to the Orient, but by the route of the Occident, by which no one to this day knows for sure that anyone has gone."
Columbus stated in his "Libro de Las Profecias," written between his third and fourth voyages: "I spent seven years in your royal Court arguing the case with so many persons of such authority and learned in all the arts, and in the end they concluded that all was idle nonsense ... yet the outcome will be the fulfillment of what our Redeemer Jesus Christ said. ... that ... all that was written by him and by the prophets to be fulfilled."
Columbus continued: "The Holy Scriptures testify ... that this world will come to an end. ... St. Augustine says that the end of this world will occur in the seventh millennium following the Creation."
Columbus ended: "I have already said that for the execution of the enterprise of the Indies, neither reason, nor mathematics, nor world maps were profitable to me; rather the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled."
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