In recent years, Leftists have attempted to run down Christopher Columbus, the man many of us celebrate on Monday, a day set aside to commemorate his brave and adventurous landing in the Americas in 1492.

Some cynics have suggested Columbus’ journey was all about money and even furthering the slave trade, but the records suggest otherwise. “It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies,” Columbus would write.

In fact, the Italian-born explorer credited Psalm 65:5 for inspiring him to undertake the expedition:

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.

We know that when Columbus landed, he planted a cross and named the island “San Salvador” – which means “Holy Savior.”

As for addressing the charges Columbus enslaved natives and even profited from trading and selling people, historian David Barton writes:

“Nearly all those he forcibly brought to Spain were the cannibalistic Caribs or those captured in justified warfare … the modern claims that he was a heartless genocidal maniac are false.”

In fact, Christopher Columbus even wrote about his motivations and heart for evangelism in a book that he began writing in 1502, heavily and generously quoting the Scriptures.

Included in the book is a letter he wrote to Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, which lays bare his heart for reaching the lost. Here he is in his own words:

I have seen and put in study to look into all the Scriptures … Our Lord has opened to my understanding (I could sense His hand upon me), so that it became clear that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies … All those who heard about my enterprise rejected it with laughter, scoffing at me … Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that He [the Spirit] with marvelous rays of light, consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures … No one should be afraid to take any enterprise in the name of our Savior, if it is right and if the purpose is purely for His holy service.

Perhaps most telling of Columbus’ genuine faith is the fact he never tried to claim credit or genius for successfully navigating four remarkable trips to the “New World.”

Reflecting on his accomplishments, the explorer wrote:

I pointed out that for the execution of the journey to the Indies I was not aided by intelligence, by mathematics or by maps. It was simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesiedIt is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth [Isaiah 40:22].

So, go ahead and ignore those who decry the man, and celebrate Christopher Columbus with a clear conscience and a grateful heart.