Christopher Columbus (aka, Cristóbal Colón)
Christopher Columbus was born in Catalonia (today’s Spain’s second major city of Barcelona was once its Capital). The Spanish Inquisition expelled his family to Genoa, Italy (hence the confusion of his Italian heritage) because of their reluctance to convert to Christianity. Born Jewish, Christopher Columbus would later be converted to Christianity and was a good Catholic, indeed, and became an unflappable believer in Jesus Christ. He was fluent in Hebrew, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin. As a matter of fact, most of his crew on his 1492 voyage (accidental discovery of the New World when they were looking for an alternate route to India [hence the American Indians] to facilitate trade/commerce and to seek gold) were Jews. The linguistic ability of his Jewish crew served him well in his communication attempts with the Arawaks (in Spanish, Los Tainos) of Cuba, Hispaniola and Jamaica.
Christopher Columbus was also a revolutionary and a patriot. He fought on behalf of Catalonia for their independence from Spain. Unfortunately, for him, the Catalan insurrection was suppressed and he escaped to his family residing in Genoa, Italy. Later, he reinvented himself and returned to Spain whereas he made history with his discovery (although it is established that Vikings came to the New World from Canada to Mexico centuries before Columbus bumped into it on his way to India; there are irrefutable evidence that Ancient Sub-Saharan Africans traded with South Americans when both continents were closer in proximity [see the Plate Tectonic Theory], and most importantly the New World’s original inhabitants came from Asia and Pacifica via boats and land bridges [during the ice age]) of the New World. In an ironic twist, he died a penniless and persecuted prisoner of the Spanish Crown. Nonetheless, he died believing in Christ as his Lord and Personal Savior.
A quick note on the Spanish Inquisition’s expulsion or coerced conversion of Jews (and Muslims and atheists), they were not unique. Jews were also expelled from Great Britain and was not brought back until Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell overthrew the British Crown. He made a deal with the Chief Rabbi (Sephardic Orthodox) of Holland whereas he provided the Lord Protector with finance; sugar technology (West Indian sugarcane and molasses industry; access to the Iberian (Spain & Portugal) Triangular Slave Trade; marine technology (global shipping routes, experienced/linguistic sailors & traders and natural allies), and undermining the Papal Blessing (Vatican) that gave the Western Hemisphere to Spain and the Eastern Hemisphere to Portugal – making them the Twin Towers of world supremacy . In turn, overnight, England became a world superpower evolving from a nation of pirates (Somali pirates are amateurs in comparison…), buccaneers and high seas robbers to becoming the greatest nation on earth – the New Rome. To be fair, the Dutch Chief Rabbi (born in Spain) went against Iberia because of the Spanish Inquisition’s religious persecution of his people. Let’s not forget, many Sephardic Jews (e.g., the Roosevelts) left Spain & Portugal and migrated to Spanish occupied territories: Holland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and the New World in the hope that the long arm of the Spanish Inquisition would be out of reach or out of touch (unlike in Spain Proper). They were to be dismayed and so they rebelled against Iberia. Of course, fortune making in trade, commerce and finance were key motivators, too. After all, half of Brazil’s and Surinam’s original White population were Jews.
(For the sake of transparency, my mother’s mother’s mother’s [born and raised as a Sephardic Orthodox Jew of Portuguese descent residing in Jamaica, West Indies] forebears were sea traders/merchants who invested in and profited from the Slave Trade [centuries ago]. Mind you, my maternal forebears were forbidden to own slaves because Colonial Jamaica did not allow religious Jews to be slave owners).
I digress. In addition, in the Ottoman Turkish Empire, the Chief Rabbi of a Jewish community was given the choice of conversion or death. In turn, he persuaded his Jewish community to convert en masse to Islam. Later, remaining as a close knit community, they were politically dominant in the Ottoman Turkish Empire. In addition, they tried to restore Turkey’s national dignity after its disgraceful defeat in the Great War via their leadership in the Young Turks movement.
Nostradamus (aka, Michel de Nostredame)
Nostradamus was a Jew born into a Jewish family (actually, his grandparents) that converted to Catholicism. Of course, Nostradamus is well-known and do not need an introduction. He was not a warlock, nor a wizard, nor a fortune teller. Nostradamus had the gift of prophecy; a fervent believer in the Christ, and died as a good Catholic….
Finally, he was one of history’s most innovative medical doctors. Learning from Arabic medicine, he invented pills to cure the Bubonic Plague while advising the French on preventive medicine; on proper sanitary & hygienic practices (common in Arabic and Jewish culture); on diet, exercise and nutrition, and on healthy living. He was a licensed medical doctor educated in one of France’s prestigious universities and was born into a family of doctors.
Pope John Paul II (aka, Karol Józef Wojtyla)
According to Orthodox Jewish History and Philosophy Researcher Dr. Z. Yaakov Wise, M.A., P.G.C.E. – an honorary research fellow at Manchester University’s Centre for Jewish Studies – Pope John Paul II was Jewish because his mother was an Ashkenazi Jew. His father, a devout Polish Catholic, became estranged from his own family because of his marriage to the Pope’s Jewish mother. Eventually, his father and his mother moved into a Jewish neighborhood in Poland. This is the reason why Pope John Paul II hid from the Nazis (while taking up with a theater company) because of his Jewish background. Not surprisingly, Pope John Paul II was the first pope (besides St. Peter – the First Pope) to make important inroads within the Jewish community via his statements, proclamations, visits (to synagogues and Israel). The Anti-Defamation League (A.D.L.) wrote about the pope’s special relations with the Jewish people in its essay – Pope John Paul II: in His Own Words published in 2004. Like Columbus and Nostradamus, Pope John Paul II was a fervent believer in the Christ and died a good Catholic….
In the end, St. Peter – the first pope was a Jew. St. Paul, the greatest of the disciples (the 12th and last disciple; Tribe of Benjamin – the same tribe as King Saul – Israel’s first king; his original namesake) was a Jew. Most of all, Jesus – God Incarnate; the Messiah, and the King of kings – was a Jew.