Image of La Santa Marí:a: the largest of the 3 Spanish ships used
by Columbus in his 1st voyage across the Atlantic, whre he discovered the New World (in 1492).
On September 4th, 1479, the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon on one side, and King Afonso V of Portugal and his son the Prince John on the other, signed the Treaty of Alcaçovas.
One of its agreements was to grant sovereignty over the Canary Islands and the Western Atlantic to Castile, while Portugal gained the African territories and those eastward to the Indies.
In 1492, as soon as the discovery of a new world by Columbus
was known, the Kings of Castile needed Rome to confirm their control over those newly discovered lands. Thus, they officially requested the donation
of those lands from Pope Alexander VI (the Head of all sovereigns on earth).
The papal bulls issued by
Alexander VI responding to that request were the basis for negotiation between Spain and Portugal with regard to the sovereignty of the New World, resulting in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 and the division of the New World between
the two kingdoms. This means that the papal bulls of Pope Alexander VI shaped the structure of the modern world for the following centuries, and thus are some of the most important documents in history.
Picture of the original copy of Pope Alexander VI's Papal Bull "Inter Caetera”, which mentions
by name in it, more than once. (Archive of the Indies in Seville, Spain)
"We have indeed learned that
you, who for a long time had intended to seek out and discover certain islands and mainlands remote and unknown and not hitherto discovered by others, to the end that you might bring to the worship of our Redeemer and the profession of the Catholic
faith their residents and inhabitants... you, with the wish to fulfill your desire, chose our beloved son, Christopher Columbus, a man assuredly worthy and of the highest recommendations and fitted
for so great an undertaking, whom you furnished with ships and men equipped for like designs, not without the greatest hardships, dangers, and expenses, to make diligent quest for these remote and unknown mainlands and islands through the sea, where hitherto
no one had sailed; and they at length, with divine aid and with the utmost diligence sailing in the ocean sea, discovered certain very remote islands and even mainlands that hitherto had not
been discovered by others... . " (Extracted from: Alexander VI's "Inter Caetera”, May 4, 1492)
CLICK Here to read the Full Text of the important Papal Bull, "Inter
Encyclical on Hero Christopher Columbus by Pope Leo XIII (Promulgated July 6, 1892)
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Monarch Philip II's Official Decree Establishing Spanish Inquisition in the New World
(Rare Document of Jan. 25, 1659. Source: Recopilación de leyes de los reynos de las Indias: mandadas imprimir y publicar por la Majestad Católica del rey Don Carlos II, nuestro señor, titulo XIX, “De los Tribunales del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición
y Sus Ministros,” ley 1, folio 91, Madrid: Imprenta de Julian de Paredes, 1681)
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Pope Gregory XVII
"Siri" On Imperative Role of Catholic Press
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