Our Namesake Christopher Columbus

Knights Featured | News Comments Off on Our Namesake Christopher Columbus

Today, the Knights of Columbus celebrate Columbus Day, knowing that our namesake gave voice to generations of Catholics and helped clear a path for the diverse society we have today. 

We celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, which happened on October 12, 1492.  Columbus’ voyages have been celebrated since the colonial days.  Columbus Day first became a state holiday in Colorado in 1906.  It was not until 1937 that Columbus Day became a federal holiday.

When the Knights of Columbus was born on February 6, 1882, the new members selected Christopher Columbus as their patron, recognized as a Catholic and celebrated as the discoverer of America.  Ten years later, on the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the New World, 6,000 Knights of Columbus marched in the New Haven Columbus Day parade.   Just thirty years later, with support from the Knights, the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain was dedicated in Washington, D.C. Some 20,000 Knights attended the ceremonies, which were overseen by President William H. Taft.

COURAGE AND CONVICTION: The True Story of Christopher Columbus is a thorough examination of the life and legacy of the fearless discoverer of America. Produced by the Knights of Columbus and narrated by actor Chazz Palminteri, this film provides insight into Christopher Columbus’ remarkable genius as a sea navigator as well as his deep desire to bring all nations to Christ.  If you missed Sunday night’s premiere on EWTN, you can now watch this documentary at KofC.org/Columbus and on the KofC YouTube channel.



Through expert interviews and archival footage, we look at the origins of Columbus Day and the symbolic role that Columbus has for Catholic immigrants, especially Italian Americans. Finally, the film addresses the current indictments against Christopher Columbus with boldness and exposes the motives behind the attacks of revisionist historians.

“Courage and Conviction” shows why Christopher Columbus remains not only a man worthy of admiration, but a noble icon of what it means to be a Catholic and an American.

Want to learn more? Click the links below.

Why the Knights of Columbus? 

Christopher Columbus and Fake History

Five Myths about Columbus 

Why Columbus Sailed